Restyle4Life

Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Vintage End Table Find

Scored these beautiful vintage 1960s or 1970s ? end tables a few months ago. At $25 a piece, I couldn’t resist. Hidden away among countless tables and chairs, there they were-upside down, when I spotted them and let out a delightful “Oooh, what have we here?” as I reached to pull them out from under the pile of stuff.

Made by Kroehler, dovetail joints and a wonderful pull out drawer. In absolute PERFECT condition minus a scratch along the side of one. I knew some Briwax wood filler would fill this in so it wasn’t an issue. The wood is of the walnut family. Pecan to be exact. They’re a little shorter than most end tables but that’s going to work out fine since I’m going for some very tall vintage lamps to put on top. I’m looking at buying new lamps with a vintage look but all the ones I’ve seen or like are WAY out of my budget. I mean really, $400 a lamp? Meh, ain’t happening. When I find what I like and it’s not in the colour I want, I don’t care. I’m just going to paint them a nice light turqouisy (is that even a word? probably not) blue.

Lesson learned from this thrifted-from-a-massive-warehouse-of-junk store? Check EVERYTHING out! The hidden treasures are there just waiting for you!

Awesome vintage Kroehler end table

Awesome vintage Kroehler end table

Top and side view. How much do I love it? There are no words.

Top and side view. How much do I love it? There are no words. I may darken them up a bit. We’ll see when the room comes together.

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Restore or Refinish?

I used to think that all old wood furniture had to be refinished: entirely stripped of existing varnish and stain right down to the bare wood. It’s probably not a good idea to take on a full restoration where you’re going to do all this work on a genuine antique. A piece must be at least 100 years old to be considered an antique, otherwise the piece is vintage. I have refinished several pieces over the years and believe me when I say I have learned from my mistakes. It is these mistakes that have made we wiser (hopefully).

I recently purchased a 1920s walnut dining room table and chairs and got a quote for restoration of the table. Price? $1600! Um, no thank you. Am I cheap? No, not really but my attitude has always been “Oh, I can do it myself!” And nobody and I mean nobody, is going to tell me otherwise. The table is actually in very good condition. The chairs are another story but lucky for me I am married to a pretty handy guy. His only problem is his attitude! Luckily again, he’s gone from saying things like “Don’t ask for my help. You’re on your own” to “Yeah, I can help with that. I can do that.” Yay me! More on the dining set later as this is going to be a huge undertaking: all chairs need reupholstery and most of the chairs need some sort of repair. It will be months before we even start on this.

The walnut sideboard show here is a piece we picked up through a private sale. This piece is HEAVY and I love it. There is something so intriguing to me about bygone eras: the 20s through the 60s. I sold our 1980s dining room (a hand me down from my parents). I never liked the set-oak and boring! I knew I didn’t want another china cabinet. I think they’re useless. Why do people feel they need to “display” their dishes? It’s probably a me thing. I just think it’s weird, so sideboard it is. This gave me a great excuse to go through all my china and glassware and either donate stuff or put some things away for Daughter Restyle. My dishes could live in the 2 side cupboards. Anything that didn’t fit in here, I wasn’t keeping.

So here’s the sideboard as it sat in our garage:

1910-1920s walnut sideboard

1910-1920s walnut sideboard

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1910-1920s walnut sideboard

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1910-1920s walnut sideboard

 

 

 

 

I wanted to find out more about this. The appraiser believes the drawer pulls may be original. Apparently, they are of the chippendale style but when he looked at the legs more closely, they are a modified chippendale style. Believed to be made in the 1910s-20s.

Can’t see it in the pictures but one side was pretty badly roughed up. I really did NOT want to strip and refinish this. I already have several projects on the go right now. Such a shame until I found a product called BRIWAX. I wish I’d known about this years ago. Briwax (pronouned bry wax, not brie wax) is an incredible product. I can’t say enough about it. It can’t be purchased in stores. At least not in Canada. This is a British product made from carnauba and beeswax. I seriously recommend this if you don’t have the time or skills to completely refinish something. In fact, refinishing old pieces like this actually depreciates their value. A simple restore may be your best bet if you don’t mind the dings and nicks that come with hundred year old furniture.

Toulene free Briwax

Briwax comes in different shades. I chose toluene free Briwax in a shade that I thought closely matched the existing finish. A little bit of Briwax goes a long way. Simply apply using a soft cloth, working in small sections and leave it on for about 15 minutes, then buff with a clean cloth to a nice shine.

It covers nicks, dings, scratches, etc. quite well. Much better than those stain markers, Briwax cleans the wood as it works. To cover any gouges, small holes, etc. use the wax filler sticks. Briwax Wax Filler StickThis product also works wonders.

I’ll post the after picture of the sideboard soon and hopefully my 1920s inspired dining room will appear on this blog too!

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