Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From Ugly Duckling to Swan

There's an ongoing garage sale about 15 miles from me that I like to visit occasionally (found it on Craigslist ... of course).  I like the deals I've found, but also the critters that live there. It's on a well-maintained horse boarding property that also has goats, a few chickens, and some kind of funny-looking crested quail or something that either thinks she's the official greeter, or a guard dog--I haven't figured out which.  She runs up to the front of each car that drives up, then runs around it and is at the car door when you open it.  After you get out she circles around you  for a while making little squeaks until she decides if you're acceptable. She cracks me up.

I've gotten to know the owner  a bit and he knows I paint vintage furniture.  So whenever I stop by, he pulls out something he thinks I might be interested in from one of his barns.  On my last visit he pulled this out, saying,  "I don't know if you can do anything with it, but if you want it you can have it."

To be honest, I didn't really know if I could do anything with it either--it was a bit wobbly, and that burn was big and deep--but it had such nice detailing and great legs that I thought it deserved a chance. Plus it was free.  And I really like free.

So it came home with me. Inside the drawer I found a rectangular metal plate that said "KLING, Mayville, New York" and part of a stamp that said mahogany.  I looked up Kling furniture and found out they were in business in Mayville from 1911 to 1962, when the family sold the business to the company that became Ethan Allen.  Ethan Allen used the factory until closing it in 2003.  The plate in my piece was used between 1946 and 1962, so that's the age range of the table.

First I re-glued and nailed the wobbly bits, then I sanded the top.  I got quite a bit of the burn off, but I was sanding a divot into the wood, and I didn't want to make it deeper.  So I filled it in with wood filler.  I actually had to fill in with the wood filler a couple of times during the painting process so there wasn't a dip.

I used ASCP Old White for the top and the shelf.   I also used Old White as a base coat for some of the detailing I wanted to highlight.  I used ASCP Emile for the body of the table.  This is the first time I've used this color, and it is a very pretty lavender.

So ... here she is ...

You can see where I sanded to let the white show through.

Then I did a light distressing over the rest of the piece.

I replaced the drawer pull with one I had bought from Hobby Lobby a while ago.  It actually came with a back plate, but it seemed too much for the scale of the table, so I just used the knob.  Then I finished with ASCP clear wax.

I learned a new tip about fixing a problem that some of you may have encountered with ASCP:  The wood kept bleeding through the paint on the top of the table--showing up as kind of a pinkish hue.  I looked on the Annie Sloan website and apparently this is a problem with some vintage mahogany pieces from the '30s and '40s.  The website said to use shellac to fix the problem, but it didn't give much more info.  Never having used shellac before, and not being clear whether I needed to remove the paint I'd already done or if I could just put the shellac right over it; I asked chalk paint guru and stockist Janet from The Empty Nest.  She told me you put it right on the existing paint.  It dries very quickly, then you can paint over it.  And it works!

Between the burn, filling in the wood and the bleeding issue, let alone the painting and detailing, she took a lot of work and a lot of time--but I definitely think she was worth it!  (I don't usually assign gender to my furniture pieces, but I just feel this piece is like a former belle of the ball brought back to her prime!) I think she would be sweet in a little girl's or a teenager's bedroom, or perfect in a romantic bedroom with a bit of a French accent. 

She may have started out as an ugly duckling in a barn with a "guard quail", but now she's a beautiful swan!

Sharing at:

Not Just a Housewife: Show Me What Ya Got
Type A Decorating: Anything Goes
Elizabeth & Co: Be Inspired
Primitive & Proper: POW Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style: Wow us Wednesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia: Tuesdays Treasures
Etcetorize: Make it Great Monday
No Minimalist Here: Open House Party
Embracing Change: Creative Inspirations
Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday
My Romantic Home: Show & Tell Friday
My Repurposed Life: Catch As Catch Can
French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday
It's Overflowing: Overflowing with Creativity
Redoux: Friday Feature Party
Curb Alert: Friday Block Party


  1. Awesome job ! I love it ! Great info about it ! Papa here is the wood worker/ refurbisher/ finisher and I sometimes help him , we like the odd mark or ding in the piece gives it character !Have a good day !

  2. that is so beautiful! what a swan now! i am not usually a lavender fan, but i adore this so much!

  3. The table turned out so cute and i like the lavender!

  4. What a great piece! And the lavender is so refreshing after all the turquoise I see! And I loooove turquoise! It looks like spring in a table!

  5. I love that color! I have such an aversion to color, I really need to branch out on the pallet a bit more...

    I'm giving you the Versatile Blogger award on my blog today!


  6. So pretty! Love the colours you chose, they suit the piece perfectly. I found you through Thrifty Crafty girl and am so glad I did, I'm following now! If you do linky parties, I'd love for you to stop by Etcetorize to share this cute transformation. Party is on now, hope to see you there~ (http://etcetorize.blogspot.ca/2012/03/make-it-great-monday_25.html)

  7. Great transformtion! Nice job!
    I would love if you stopped by to my Creative inspirations Linky Party opening late tonight to link this up! I would love to have you there!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  8. It's lovely! And such a unique piece - different styles in one piece. Do you think the legs were originally from another piece? Also, do you mind sharing where this ongoing garage sale is? Fairfax county, Loudoun county ??? And, is it staying in your house, or will it be at the Luckett's Fair!?

  9. Hey Deborah,
    Very cool blog and post! What a great hobby, but oh my, what patience you have!
    BTW I'm here on Blogger too, blogging about the Northwest on my blog Pacific Northwest Seasons. Not much of a niche following, but I enjoy doing it nonetheless.

    jill (irwin)

  10. What a transformation! Sometimes it really takes vision to take on these pieces and you did a great job.

  11. So darling! Thank you for reminding me of the tip about the shellac! I've pinned your pretty little belle in Emile to my "Paint it Annie" inspiration board! Thank you for sharing!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  12. Just in time for spring~that is one gorgeous dash of color.

  13. so pretty! You did a great job!

  14. It looks so pretty! I would love to get a freebie like that.

  15. You do wonderful work! I so love that lavender.
    Fellow CL junkie here too!

  16. It looks fab....and thanks for the shellac tip!

  17. Oh this really is a swan! Beautifully done!


  18. wow-what a charming piece of furniture-you worked magic!

  19. Thanks for linking up at Etcetorize last week. I like this table so much that I'll be featuring it at tonight's party! I hope you'll stop by to grab a button and link up again~

  20. This came out beautifully and is inspiring me to try something with the gallon of oops lavender paint I got! Love it!

  21. deborah--your swan is beautiful! I love her style and the two tone color is awesome!
    thanks for sharing @ catch as catch can!

  22. Definitely a swan now! Look at those curvy legs! And that sounds like one very cool yard sale you've discovered!

  23. Wow! Great transformation! I would love to invite you to share over at our Friday Block Party and link up at Curb Alert!
    ~Tami @ Curb Alert!

    1. Thank you for linking up to the Friday Block Party. Makes me want to visit Craig's List a lot more often! Hope to see you again next Friday.
      Have a great weekend.
      Tami @ Curb Alert!

  24. You did a great job! I love the shape of this piece, and you succesfully brought it back from the dead. Sharing at my party later today, thank you so much for linking up!


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