Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Sweet Deal (or two!)

I think I've forgiven Craiglist for its betrayal from last week.  I was little soured on the whole deal, but today my online garage sale was redeemed!

I found this AWESOME solid oak rocking chair with the BEST detailing on the back.  Today, I picked it up for a song - $30.00!  It is going to be absolutely PERFECT in our bedroom!  And better yet, I picked up a gallon of the most gorgeous green paint that I'm going to paint it with.  I had originally thought that the color pallet for our bedroom was going to be gray and white with pops of turquoise, but when I saw this green eggshell paint in the mis-tint aisle at Menard's I KNEW that it was color I was going to go with!  At $5.00 a gallon, it was such a steal!  I am so glad I learned about mis-tinted cans through the amazing blogs I read!  So, the nightstands, and now this rocking chair are going to be green.  And if I get REALLY brave, I'm going to paint my vanity that color too!

So, here's the chair:

Is that not the most awesome thing EVER???

Here's a close-up of the carving on the back:

And the arms:

And another close-up of the little bit of veneer that is coming off the back.  This does give me some pause, as it seems to be REALLY thick veneer.  In fact, I'm not even sure it IS veneer.  It just seems a lot thicker than any veneer I've ever seen.

I CANNOT WAIT to try my first attempt at distressing and using finishing paste.  And the hubs has promised me that I can buy an electric hand sander since I hate sanding with a vengeance.  I am just so excited at the thought of it all!

I also went on a little buying mission at Menard's today.  I used to DESPISE going into that place!  The hubs would spend HOURS in there and I would be all antsy for him to get what he wanted and get out.  Now, I get downright excited to go into that store.  It's a restorer's heaven!

I think I'm getting a little ahead of myself though, with all my furniture purchases.  As of now, I have 4 nightstands to refinish (2 of which I already owned), the football player's chest of drawers, 2 twin headboards/footboards (we own those, as well), the rocking chair, and a buffet that I bought today.  I have now promised myself that I will purchase absolutely nothing until all those pieces are completed.  I won't even LOOK!

I also found an oak buffet yesterday on Craigslist.  Unfortunately, the one I REALLY wanted was almost 2 hours away and the hubs vetoed the idea of me driving that far north to buy it.  Sad thing is, it was definitely the era in which I was looking, had some minor veneer issues on the top, and was only $10!!!  DARN!

So, last night I called one that was for sale locally for $100.  The gentleman was a little ill-informed (not that I'm even close to an expert) and told me that the one he had for sale was built probably in the 1920s-1930s.  Supposedly the only thing that was wrong with it was one of the doors was off a hinge because the screw holes had been stripped out - an easy fix.   Well, I figured with an asking price of $100 bucks, it would probably be in pretty decent shape.

I was a little disappointed when I got there.  I had assumed from the way he made it sound, that the man just needed more space in his garage and wanted to get rid of it.  When I pulled up to the residence, it was obvious that the guy probably just needed money quick and this was one of the only things he had of value that he could sell for any decent amount of money.  The small one car garage was full of boxes and miscellaneous furniture.  The garage obviously wasn't  even remotely able to keep out the elements, so I knew I'd be dealing with some moisture damage.

She (I always refer to my furniture in the feminine, no clue why, just do - Heck, I might start naming it.  LOL) was in pretty rough shape and definitely had more going on than a door that was off.  Due to moisture, the veneer was buckling off in places on the front and on a few spots was peeling.  But the piece itself was actually a really solid piece of oak furniture.  I'm not sure if the knobs are original, they probably are since they match the wood drawers.  It even has the key that fits into the locks on the drawers.

The one good thing is it still had the dealer tag in the back.  It says it was made by Chittenden and Eastman from Burlington, Iowa and it has "Square Brand" on the tag, as well.

The company dates it's beginnings back to 1866.  Thanks to Google, I have seen some absolutely beautiful pieces by them from the 1920s.  They manufactured the Square Brand product from 1890 to the early 1970s, so I have a very broad range of years that this could be dated.  Something about it reminds me of furniture that came from my Dad's childhood home, so I'm thinking maybe 1940s or 1950s????

Given the nature of the work I was going to have to put into it, there was NO WAY I was paying the $100 asking price.  Its not like it was some kind of antique that needed the work and would be worth quite a bit when it was finished.  At best, it might be 40 years old.
I really didn't want to have wasted a 45 minute drive for nothing either.  When he saw me hemming and hawing and pointing out the issues it had, he said, "I'll make you a deal.  I'll take $80 for it."  That DID NOT impress me.  I looked at it some more, looked at the back again...  Stared at the front...  I already had an idea about what I would do with the veneer buckling off the drawers, but I knew it would be super-lots of work.  So, I offered him $60 and that was only because I knew that it was solid oak.  And he took the offering price.  Honestly, I feel like I should have only paid about $50 for it, but I didn't think he'd go half.  If it turns out the way I think it will, I will be satisfied in the end.  I just really wish there was a way to find out for sure how old it is.


Here she is in all her faded glory:

Looks like I've got a lot of work to do!  I probably won't post for a little while, while I work on the all the things I've acquired lately.  But when I do post again, hopefully I'll have lots of reveals to show you!

Until then, take care!  :)


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