You know us here, we love a bargain and there’s literally nowhere better to bag a bargain than your local charity shop. Are you a fan of digging through the fusty to find treasure? I can’t get enough of it. Honestly, if I did ‘t have to work for a living, that’s totally what I’d do, all day every day. Scour chazzas and delve through reclamation yards, like a pig in the proverbial.
Anyhow, I thought I’d show you the latest Moregeous find, spotted and appropriated at the Tree of Life in Wythenshawe the other week. That’s the danger of popping into these second hand furniture warehouses – one minute you’re passing, the next minute you’ve a table strapped to your car.I clocked her immediately. A very ropey colour – isn’t it weird how she looks so much more orange in the sun above?! – but with marvellous legs. Marvellous. She was even standing on a parquet floor, helping me to visualise her on my own giant version. Very helpful of the warehouse. Almost fated , I like to think 😉My table back at home had been a client cast-off, saved from the skip and perfectly useable during our renovation when it didn’t matter if tools and rubble bags got dumped on top. Design wise though, a bit too office boxy for the new Moregeous dining room.
But not these legs, oh no, these were perfect! OK, not quite perfect. Perfect in shape but not in colour. Maybe a touch too much of the Trump, but that’s the thing about charity shop furniture.
Much of it might be the ‘wrong’ colour, or too shiny, or too mahogany for your taste, but the bones are good. Much of it is proper vintage, not so called 80’s vintage, and made back in the day when craftsmen created solid, beautifully crafted furniture to last. Classic pieces. And some of it is maybe not quite so old, but might be exactly the right shape and size for your home, it just needs a little TLC, updating or repainting. And some of it, obviously, is just plain old cheap tat, but you can ignore that using your keen, well-honed interiors eye 😉
My find of the summer certainly isn’t an antique and wouldn’t have been expensive when new. I didn’t care though, she wasn’t going to Sotheby’s, she was coming to my dining room and those legs, those legs were just what I wanted. How much I hear you cry? £30. Seriously £30. And that £30 going straight back into my local community.I got cracking as soon as she was back in the Moregeous garden, scrubbing all the old dirt and polish away with my trusty friend Cif, then – TIP KLAXON – I gave her legs a coat of Fusion Ultra Grip. (Not spon or ad, just my recommendation).
I’ve only discovered this brilliant water based emulsion in the last year – thanks to Zoe at Muck & Brass – and it’s really good stuff, especially useful for hard to paint surfaces but also handy when things are really tricky to sand, like furniture legs. Or when you’re a really lazy upcycler 😉
Once the legs were given a coat of the Ultra Grip and the milky white emulsion had dried clear (less than an hour), I finished them with matt black water based furniture paint and took this look up to the table edges.How much better do those legs look in black??!
Then I used an electric sander to take all the horrid orangey varnish from the table top back to the bare natural pine. You can just see the last patch of orange in the image above – what a difference!
Instead of painting the table top fully matt black, I fancied adding texture and warmth. Using a black water based stain, I created a charred effect by first staining the whole top black, then gently sanding some of the black stain back to reveal small sections of bare wood.Then I lacquered it to seal thoroughly and protect against the inevitable table top knocks. Sorry about the undies and socks in the shot above, but, well, real life and all that. She looks great doesn’t she. And, I say again THIRTY QUID. With about £20 on paint and a bit of my time, I reckon that’s an absolute win.
Everytime I holler Stop The Car when we pass a decent looking charity shop he rolls his eyes and wonders what he’ll have to strap to the roof next. At least that’s the dining table ticked though eh. Until we start having food pop ups and I need three more…