Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gabriel's Box

The whole family goes garage-saling when it is the season. Both of my sons like to make 'investments'. We try to guide them a little so we don't end up with Mardi Gras beads or beach toys in the shop but ultimately they are their own men and it is always good to have those people around with fresh ideas. This started as one of those wood boxes that you get in gift stores with the parks name painted on it. We sanded, painted it using Rust-Oleum's Apple Red and added a new knob. He decided an $8 tag was fair.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Art-deco in Red

This is one of my insisted purchases that makes my partner look at me like I am crazy. It's not really our style but it is a good lesson to step outside the box once in awhile, not to mention the price was a good experimental investment.

Honestly, despite what you see so far from the blog, we are not paint-crazed people. In fact, unless it is damaged like most older veneer furniture are, we don't touch it. We have many beautiful hardwood dressers with chips and cigarette burns on them that I refuse to touch. We keep those cheap enough for someone else to make it there own, although I try to get people see it for what it is and the beauty it has in it's unique character flaws. I like things loved and primitive but I understand this isn't everyones bag. I call it 'Sharpie-friendly'. Life happens and I don't want to cry if the kids or dogs decide something needs more patina. Besides, with some furniture, it is really hard to see the potential no matter how cheap it is and we've learned that if we paint some things, it gives people the OK to paint it a different color.

Back to red. This one had very little veneer damage, but I did have to remove it from an entire drawer front. I filled in a few holes where there had been pulls instead of knobs with a dowel, puttied it, and sanded. I ditched the back part of the hardware but kept the knob because the rose motif was perfect with the Colonial Red (by Rust-Oleum, of course). A paste-wax finish completed the job and it's on the floor at $110.   SOLD

New Loving

OK. I'm not very good at remembering to take pictures of the actual before. I usually start something and then remember (*^%$#) that I haven't done the picture thing. So, the mushroom knobs are off and it has been sanded already in the before shot. I managed to do something different and painted it this too-cute pink by Rust-Oleum. (I love their products and I will be mentioning them a lot.) I replaced the wood knobs for a pair of mismatched crystal ones. One would really have to look to notice the difference. This is a good example of looking around your house to give new loving to the furniture you've had forever. Price is at $40. SOLD

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The 10 Year Project

This is one of those classic tales of good intentions. I bought the headboard and foot board 10 years ago with the intention of making a bench. It sat in an attic space for 5 years and when I got divorced, I took them with me. They sat in a barn, moved to a garage, and finally made it into our in-door junk yard in the back of our shop for the last year. My very creative other half picked them up yesterday, married them with a table top half, used a part of another table to make the braces on the sides and, voila!, a bench. The white you see is completely natural - they absolutely match like it was meant to be.
We have a hard time throwing anything away because everything can be repurposed given time and that ah-ha moment. It's priced at $110. SOLD

The Little Black Buffet

I love buffets! They are tremendously versatile and yet so under-rated. We can usually pick them up at auction for nothing and with a little elbow grease, they are my favorite transformation. This one had hugh veneer issues on the top. You can see I patched up a drawer already. I filled in the rough spots with wood filler, lightly sanded and painted. I was going to step out of my comfort zone and actually do a color but nothing looked right. In the end, with the top being a little too 'loved', I opted for the black because it is so forgiving and hides the filler perfectly. After two coats of my favorite Rust-Oleum, I sanded the edges to give it a little age and used a paste wax to seal it. I decided to keep the hardware because it looked great after some steel wool treatment. This is by far my favorite technique. Distressing is a great look and very liveable. If it gets scuffed or scratched, it's called patina and blends into the existing 'personality'. The price is $175. SOLD

Red-Legged Table

We tend to come upon a lot of tables and then they start breeding in our indoor junk yard. This one required a little help before being customer-friendly. The top had a thick coat of poly on it that was cracked and flaking badly. I had stripped it off and sanded before remembering to take a 'before' shot, but you get the idea.
My favorite red is the Colonial Red by Rust-Oleum. The consistency is wonderful so it goes on like a dream. Then, I used a food-grade poly on the top partially because I was having to do it indoors and it doesn't smell. There is a burn spot on the top that I couldn't remove but in the end we accept all flaws as personality and it turned out rather striking. We put a price of $135 on it.  SOLD

Monday, December 20, 2010

In the Beginning

It's amazing how concepts can change even if you feel dead-set against doing things certain ways. I've learned never to say never.
Businesses evolve sometimes without meaning to and that would be The Rusty Bucket. We started our modest shop in a different town at a different time and under a different name. It was to be a primitive do-it-yourself kind of eclectic antique shop where we barely kicked the dirt off the furniture. The customers would come in, gain inspiration, take home an item and make it their own. I really hope they actually did it instead of piling their purchase in the garage with good intentions. Hey, life happens and I can't point fingers.
Two years ago, we opened a shop in Spooner, Wisconsin with the idea of doing the same thing. We loved the idea of keeping it simple - buy cheap to sell cheap and let our customers gain the satisfaction of doing it themselves. We found through trial and error that our favorite customers really wanted a finished piece. There is very little interest in completing a project, time aside. Fortunately, we are here seven days a week (unfortunately?) and neither one of us can sit still so we started putzing - me painting and he more time in the work shop. With just a little time spent on each piece, we still keep our prices down and our turnover high.
In this blog, I would really like to show what we do from start to finish. We get so excited about before and after shots in magazines, for instance, what a dumpster-dive save could look like with a fresh coat of paint. We want to inspire people to think outside the box.