Thursday, February 3

A Day in My Life...a.k.a. Painting is Getting Boring Now!

If you've ever fancied yourself as a vintage seller, I'm going to show you some nitty-gritty detail of whats involved.

As you know we're having all the stock taken to the shop on Monday, so I'm finishing up lots of furniture projects this week.

I'm the kind of person who needs challenges and variety; being that I sell everything from clothing and hats to small collectables, sewing patterns and large furniture, I certainly get plenty of both.

For the last few weeks though I've mostly been working on the furniture- read on and you'll soon see why painting is getting boring now! This is a rundown of what I did today.


First up, I gave this 50s wire plant stand a second coat of white paint. I used a spray can so it was very quick.


This cast iron garden chair, one of a pair, also had a second coat.
I've chosen to give this Art Nouveau style hall table the shabby chic treatment. It's taken an enormous amount of work but it's almost done now.

I used different textures, colours and finishes to give it a more aged look.


A cute little cane childs chair got a coat of satin-finish varnish.

Two cushion covers from a pair of barstools get soaked in black dye.



Two naughty dresses that didn't come clean the first time around get re-soaked. I always hand wash every vintage garment separately in clean buckets.


I scrubbed down and touched up this fab retro footstool. Such a nice old guy I bought this from. He let me go over to his house, go through all his stuff, and pick out everything I wanted. IT WAS GREAT.

For a vintage seller there is nothing better than that!


Did some more work on the second two of this set of four dinette chairs. (I love the word dinette!). Above is one of the completed ones. I'm still painting and sanding the second 2 chair backs. We have 6 complete dinettes in stock, but this one will be first on the shop floor.


These chairs are quite different to most I have seen. The legs and back support bars are plastic-coated, but the horizontal bar (i.e. the bit that the seat is placed on) is metal. I stripped it down to almost bare metal and  mixed the creamy colour up myself to get it to match. I'm very pleased with the result.
Of the 4 chairs, two have faded significantly and two haven't. This is one of the faded ones. I also mixed the pinky red colour myself as it matches well with the less faded seats. The seat backs were originally a bright red...which I tried but it was too strong a colour for the laminate.


How beautiful is this kitchen dresser! Luckily it doesn't need major work or painting, just a lot of cleaning....so I gave it another half an hours' worth this afternoon.


I love this old burnt cane wall shelf. It got a final coat of gloss varnish, which I think brings out the colour beautifully.


This is a beautiful 1950s full size dressing screen, and will form the basis of our change room. (How do I know it is 50s? by the hinges). The white frame is being painted gold to tie in with some other shop fittings we have been keeping specially for the shop. Above is the first coat I applied yesterday.


Unfortunately this lovely brocade fabric is completely nailed into the frame, which makes the painting a chore as I'm not willing to pull the whole screen apart.


Especially when you are using the paint of satan. Don't be fooled by the beautiful colours; this is the worst, wierdest, fastest-drying paint I have ever used!


I thinned the paint down and applied a second coat. It still looks lumpy, but I'll sand it tomorrow and see what gives. We'll see.

But the day is not over yet, mes chers! It's 11pm as I write this so it's dress-steaming time.

So, do you still fancy yourself a vintage seller??

17 comments:

Penny Dreadful said...

Wow Kitty, you are putting so much work into this thing. I need to get myself a dress steamer too, so far I have been ironing everything, then I have to pack things away in suitcases because I have no space and then iron again when they come out! I only wash synthetic things though, because anything that is non-synthetic needs extra special care and I would have to put the time spent on top of the price. So I only handwash older things if they really need it due to stains etc.

Despite all the hard work, it does look as though you are really excited and having a fun time preparing x

Zootsuitmama said...

Good luck! I want to do the same...again ...someday!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Kitty, you're doing a great job there! The hall table looks gorgeous. I have exactly the same cast iron chairs at the end of the garden under a big tree. I bought them from Ebay a table and three chairs oddly for £40.

I could never be a vintage seller - I can't even sell a single thing on Ebay. I'll just stick to buying! xx

Kitty said...

Penny- I don't always wash every single item for fairs, but I do wash most of them. everything going into the shop is definitely getting washed though. I think stuff can smell more here though, it's a hot and humid climate and I've found vintage is always dirtier than it looks.

Christina- I don't understand why you can't sell anything ...you're good enough at buying, LOL!

Vintage Vixen said...

I'd love to come over and help.
I've got the same cast iron chairs as Christina, too. They are in dire need of a respray. I rescued ours from a neighbour who was about to chuck them out.
I love fiddling about and repairing stuff. I'd branch out into furniture if I had the space.
Most of my stuff gets washed or at least sponged down and pressed. My iron's from the 1960's, it doesn't even have a water jet. xxx

Kitty said...

Vix- you just pop on down anytime darl and pick up Helga on the way. I have plenty of spare work to keep your boys occupied too!

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Gee you really are putting a lot of work into this! But the results are amazing!

I notice over here (USA), sellers mostly leave things un-retouched and original, regardless of condition. Wonder if that helps or hurts sales here?

Do most other vintage sellers repaint over there?

Helga! said...

Wow,honey,it certainly ain't all glamour! I'm fascinated by your skills! Nah,I don't think I could wuite cut it as a vintage seller! But I'm loving watching you do it!
Go girl,you're on a roll!!!
XXXXXXXXX

Vintage Coconut said...

Wow you have been doing ALOT of work.
That wire plant stand is so sweet & Art Nouveau style table is gorgeous. I have to find myself a retro footstool like that one, I LOVE IT.
wowowow on the kitchen dresser!!

delia hornbook said...

My goodness you have been busy, but it will so be worth it when you see it all in your shop ;-) I love those 50's chairs and the 50's larder cupboard what a beauty. dee x

Kitty said...

Thanks all for your lovely comments, it means a lot to me.

Ranchie- interesting point. Most vintage furniture in shops here is in excellent if not perfect condition, I'd be beyond embarrassed to sell anything imperfect in the shop, but thats just me. I think if people are paying shop prices they don't want to be taking 'project' pieces home.

Nelly said...

I still want a lovley vintage shop even with all that work lol

theoldboathouse said...

Welcome to my world ha and guess what it never ends xx

Sarsaparilla said...

Oh Kitty - I'm glad you told me to come take a peek at this post. You work even harder at this vintage selling stuff than I do! And the results are gorgeous! I truly, truly admire your energy & know-how. I know you are going to do so well!

I love old furniture, but I'm not a fixer-upper kind of person. So when I used to sell furniture in an antique mall, I only purchased items that looked fine just as they were. It certainly limited what I could buy, though.

Same thing applies to vintage clothing - I've been very limited with what I can buy because I don't want to deal with stains or tears or missing buttons!

Misfits Vintage said...

Wow - you must be exhausted Kitty! I especially love the 1950s plant stand, the red foot stool, the dinette (I have a yellow set!) and the kitchen dresser. Man alive, I would LOVE your shop so much!

Sarah xxx

Claire said...

That kitchen dresser is so beautiful!
What a fantastic find!

Mick said...

Love the planter and the kitchen dresser! Your blog is fab, be sure to pop in and say hello over at "Everyone Goes to Mick's" !