So you like to refinish furniture? How about a house

I’ve always loved old stuff. Lanterns, historical fiction, furniture in need of refinishing, ancient dilapidated homes with subtle hints of bygone character. You may have read my post A little family history, reclaimed and restored, in which I described the refinishing process for my grandmother’s kitchen table. It was a fun side project but now, I’ve graduated to something much much larger….

This behemoth is my grandfather’s home. The original homestead that was built by my great-great grandfather, for my great grandfather’s family, where my grandfather and father and aunt grew up. It needs…just a touch of work. Or, as my father-in-law Paul said,

“It would look better torn down.”

The home was bequeathed to me with a promise that I would not tear it down or sell it. So, therefore, I get a crash course in DIY home renovation.

It’s been power washed, next came scraping, and hopefully paint before the temperatures dip below freezing. More updates and photos to follow. Oh, I also need to figure out how to install some windows, call an electrician, a plumber….

But, look at the beautiful NEW roof! One part down, a million more to go.

A little family history reclaimed and restored

I’ve completed my first major project….My grandmother’s maple dining table and chairs. I don’t have very many memories of my grandmother, but one of the things I remember very strongly is sitting with her at this table, which is why it was so important to me to refinish and restore it. Unfortunately I have no “before” pictures, but if you chat with my family they will tell you the table’s finish needed some major work. Luckily, it’s a solid table and no major repairs were needed, just lots and lots of sanding. It had a dusting of blue paint, the result of being stored in a garage where Dumpsters were repainted. There were also several deep water marks, stains and some sort of paper residue left over from a milk or juice carton.

I cleaned and reupholstered the chairs as well. Unfortunately only three chairs were found. At one time there were six, I’m hoping the other three will mysteriously show themselves. Let me know if you see them running loose in the Northwest Indiana area. 

I’m not absolutely in love with the fabric pattern but it works in my very austere dining room. (See that bright green, yeah that’s the only splash of color in the entire room).

This project would have never been completed without the help of my wonderful husband-to-be. Josh carved out some space in his shop for my “little” project. Here’s hoping he will be just as helpful with my next project….

This is not a family piece. It’s an item I purchased at an auction this fall. I went to the auction hoping to find a china cabinet for the dishes currently residing in a box in my dining room, but at the price those cabinets were going for, I had a new appreciation for my passion in furniture restoration.

Oh yes, that IS turquoise contact paper with black flecks.


These photos were taken when the cabinet was first taken into the shop. Currently, I have scraped my way through at least 4 coats of paint and I’m getting closer to the sanding stage. More photos to come.