As we pulled up to our favorite thrift store, I saw her. It had been a rainy week and apparently this old girl got dropped off when no one was there and left in the rain. She was rough. The veneer on this ole gal had turned loose on all the curvy areas. My guess is she was part of a bedroom set in the 1940’s. She was all curvy and a little funky. It was an art deco-ish type vanity that at one time would have had a huge mirror on it. Sadly, the mirror was missing.
I offered $20.00 for her, but to my surprise the lady said she could not sleep if she took so much for that piece. She was going to drag it to the burn pile as soon as she got a chance. She took $10.00 for the piece and I found two more pieces to spend my whole $20.00 on. The Team Dean end table and a 1970’s table that is currently giving me fits.
It was hard work getting the vanity ready for her make over. I stripped as much veneer off as possible for me, but had to get my husband to get the last bits off. It took some muscles! We sanded, patched, and repaired almost all of the vanity. There is wood glue, putty and hard work in almost every section.
From the beginning I knew that I wanted the vanity to be a mix of wood stain and paint and I was thrilled when I found out that under the veneer of oak between the drawers was solid hardwood.
We had a mad painting day at Star Hill and got a TON of stuff painted all on one day. Hubby has figured out the paint sprayer and we are now able to get stuff done that is beautiful and about 10 times faster than with a brush. Getting the base coat on with a sprayer and the polyurethane at the end really allows me to use my energy distressing and glazing the furniture and has increased what I can get done being a weekend hobbyist.
I chose Behr Sea Salt for the painted color. I like this white color. We used it on the French Provincial furniture in the guest room and I knew it would work well for all the pieces I would be redoing. I taped everything I wanted stained off before Hubby sprayed it. Just so you know, taping took about an hour. I wanted it to look clean and perfect.
My Hubby using the sprayer and his mask!
The Sea Salt looks really white until the glaze is applied. I always second guess my paint color choice at this point.
Once the piece was painted, I removed the tape and was thrilled that the wood was not damaged by the spray painting. So thrilled, I could not wait to stain it. I quickly taped off the paint and got busy. I tried a new type of stain that is less liquid and thicker. The gel stain worked well, but the there was a problem. I did not make sure that where the tape had been did not have residue. Clearly there was something because this was the result.
I went to bed Friday night pretty upset. When I got up Saturday morning, I sanded the wood back down then re-stained. I knew the wood would never be perfect. This piece is probably 70 years old and has had hard use over the years. I like the imperfections, as long as they are not created by my mistakes! Here are the results.
I glazed the whole piece with Behr Faux Effects mixed with Revival Mahogany. Once the glaze dried Hubby sprayed it with satin polyurethane. I love the finish.
I painted the hardware with made for metal dark brown paint. I really like that the original hardware was in such good shape.
Here is the finished beauty. She does not look like a $10.00 thrift store find now does she?
I now need an awesome mirror for this vanity. It is going in our bathroom for me to use to keep my make up and toiletries. I want a fun oval mirror. Any leads on one for me? Seriously.
I hope you had a productive weekend, too.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.
9 thoughts on “1940’s Vanity Makeover”
Karen I love what you do. I have a piece that has veneer on it. Burt Walles told me could not do anything with it because they did not make veneer any more. Well it sits in my barn. I think I am going to try this and see how it looks. This piece you did looks great. What kind of shops do you visit to get pieces like this? Can’t wait to see what y’all do next. Tell Eddie hello for us.
Carolyn, there are several resale and thrift shops I visit up near our lake house. I am always surprised with what we find. Mr. Walles repaired a piece for me many years ago. You might try stripping the veneer to see what is under it. We were surprised.
I absolutely love this! What a difference a little ( or a lot) of TLC makes! So glad to hear your husband figured out the sprayer. That will save you so much time. Just think how much time you will have for more pojects. ;o) Good luck finding the perfect mirror.
Thank you, Jennifer.
Jennifer, thank you! We were pleased with the results. I think we are pretty tired of projects today. Our next focus will be on getting the house painted.
That is just beautiful.
Thanks. I am keeping this one for myself because it is so pretty.