Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Introducing Lorraine

Late last Summer, so late it may have even been fall, my mom and I hit up one of our last yard sales of the season.  It was also the day we both got some new ink and I bought the chair that has (partially) re-designed a room.  This yard sale had lots of vintage treasures pulled straight out of an older home not far from me complete with the original glass door knobs on all the interior doors, and steps leading up to the house that were impossible not to trip over.  I bought a planter, a vintage green juice bottle complete with "new" screw-on lid technology, and this table with matching chair:

I failed to take a picture of the matching chair, which kills me now, but it was the same color and had the same sweet little flower decal embellishment.  This little set was a thing of beauty.  If it were up to me, I would have left them as is.  If it had been 10-years-ago and I was living in my little apartment in Bethesda, I would have kept it as-is and used it for my dining room table.  But alas, I was the only one to feel that way, and this set was pretty grimey.  The previous owner had painted it (I would soon come to learn it had been painted twice, as there was green underneath the blue), and years of residing in a garage or a basement had left it fairly dirty.  Dirty to the point of no return.  So I only had one option:  strip it.

And I did.  I started stripping and sanding the table-top the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  I finished stripping and sanding the table-top that Thanksgiving weekend.  And then it sat.  And sat.  And sat some more.  It was begging for stain, for paint, for love, for something, and I neglected it for months because I wasn't ready.  The clean wood was so promising and so full of opportunity but I couldn't see it yet.  I knew vaguely what I wanted it to look like, but I wavered.  I kept going back and forth.  I kept waiting for divine intervention.  And finally, divine intervention came in the form of a foot of snow on our doorstep and a fresh can of stain.  And now, here's Lorraine:

Her top is stained in a warm, rich, chocolate brown and sealed with a gloss poly.  I went with the gloss poly because it's unexpected.  This lady is older and a little rough around the edges but a little gloss goes a long way and gives a shine to her vintage look.  I repainted her legs a matte dark grey, which are a strong contrast in many ways to the warm, glossy tones of her top.  But the contrast was necessary to highlight her features, she's matte and shiney, she's cool and warm.  She's a little bit of old made new again.  

And her chair, a bright, bold cobalt blue pop of color that compliments both the grey and the warmth of her stain.  

I was so excited to take her picture.  The weather was nice last weekend, and I wanted to take her picture under natural lighting.  Terry wasn't home, so I schlepped this lady out solo, careful not to ding or scratch (her, not me; I'm plenty dinged and scratched).  I set her up and staged, and took lots of shots from lots of different angle.  The sun was on my face and in my eyes but it felt good.  I had a thousand other projects going on at the time, but I wanted to tackle her before the sun set.  Unfortunately in my excitement, I failed to take a a picture with her leaves opened (she has leaves!) so I can't list her on Craigslist until I do.  That means waiting until this weekend to take more pictures outside in the sun (while it's significantly less nice), with the leaves up.  

But she's a beauty to behold in the meantime.  Thanks Lorraine, for patiently waiting on me.  I hope it was worth it.

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