I’m a few days overdue for my weekly post, but I promise I will make it up to you with the best piece of furniture I’ve refinished yet.
The David Bowie Inspired Rocking Chair
I had acquired this little rocking chair probably 6 months ago. I was planning on refinishing it in such a way that I would keep it. Right around the time I was moving into my studio, David Bowie had tragically passed away. I thought that maybe this rocking chair had more purpose than just a plain rocking chair in my apartment. I put my feelers (aka a Facebook post on my personal page) to see who would be interested in a David Bowie inspired rocking chair… much to my surprise, there was plenty of interest.
This rocking chair went through such a transformation! From removing the upholstery that had stain all over the edges to a lot of the structural repairs (a lot of the joints were loose), to the actual painting and learning how to reupholster a chair…. It is now a Chair that Rocks!
It has been a long time coming, but I have finally completed a furniture piece that I have had in my possession for years. This little table deserves it.
The Back Story:
In 2010, my Ex and I both taught a class at Skill Share. (If you haven’t heard of Skill Share, I highly suggest you check it out.) My Ex, Dave, is a skilled electrician and was volunteering his time to teach a light re-wiring class. Dave also had a knack, a gift, whatever you want to call it, for finding the coolest free treasures. Most would probably call them junk but for those that were fans of the vintage and antique, he was the best magnet to have. He collected and pulled together bins full of lamps for this class. I was unable to attend his class, as I was teaching my canning class at the same time, so I never got the tutorial, but I was so happy to see many of the unwanted lamps come back home with him!
A couple of years passed, Dave and I were moving on with our separate lives, I was relieved and thrilled that he did not have a lot of interest in the two lamps that I so desperately wanted. One is the cutest yellow lamp which sits on my nightstand and the other was this little side table with a light in it. I’m assuming Dave thought it was more trouble than it was worth, just by looking at it. It was wobbly, the light fixture needed to be replaced, and the finish was shedding off at an exponential rate.
I have moved several times with this diamond in the rough. Every move, I tell myself, “Someday, I will refinish this,” or, “I swear I will get to this project.” I don’t know if the timing was just right or that there is some magic force within the walls of this current apartment that is a driving force behind me completing lingering projects, either way… this side table got the treatment it deserved.
Admittedly this project took a little longer than anticipated due to the cold weather. I do most of my work outside for ventilation and the sake of my downstairs neighbor. Thankfully we’ve had a few days of exceptional weather and I was able to sand and finish this project.
This little table no longer wobbles, it’s been painted and finished, the metal bits are cleaned up and polished, and refreshed, as well as a spiffy new light fixture. This project has left me feeling more handy than ever and satisfied to have finally completed it. What a learning experience!
In my past blogs, I have always talked about the women that have inspired me. This particular post is more of an ode to the creative men that have influenced me . My father and his father have always had a knack for skilled carpentry. My Dad can look at the skeleton of a farm house and turn it into something really special. His father, obviously taught him. My Grandfather gave me a taste of woodworking at a young age. I have fond memories of building toys, painting nutcrackers, birdhouses, and wooden signs with him. I remember sitting up on a stool at his workbench in his basement workshop listening to stories about World War II and how he first met my Grandmother while Bing Crosby was playing in the background. When I came home for Christmas one year, my Papa showed me pictures of these refinished dressers, rocking chairs, and chests that he had picked up at the junk yard. He would breath life into the old tattered pieces of furniture. They would glow when he was done with them! I told him over and over again how much I wanted to learn how to do what he did. A few years later, my Grandfather died of leukemia. His passing was very difficult for me as I was closer to him than most. It is my biggest regret that I lost the opportunity to learn his techniques, not for passing on the trade, but the bonding experience. I’ve since begged boyfriends, exes, and guy friends to teach me how to do it, but no one has ever really taken the time. Fatigued with desperation, I finally picked up a book appropriately named Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair. I have just completed my first furniture makeover. I found a simple, easy one for a first time: a good ol’ Goodwill stool. I learned how to strip, prime, paint, and finish. My Grandfather was a traditionalist when it came to refurbishing wooden pieces, I decided to go a different route. I know he might not approve of my bold colors, but I know he would definitely be proud of the quality of the work.