Tag Archives: wood

There are few things more satisfying that giving new life to old or worn out furniture. As you may know, we love Howard products. Most of the furniture we buy to re-sell is in pretty good condition. Sometimes they need new knobs, or some legs re-attached. But usually, we can just bust out the Restor-A-Finish and clean it up! It is just amazing how scratches disappear and the wood gets a new shine. But why take my word for it? Check out some before and afters…

This card catalog had great structure but was covered in scuffs, mild scratches and some paint flecks.


I did one side with restor-a-finish and…


Voila! night and day right? It’s really amazing stuff. ( I of course did the other side after taking this picture…)

The most recently finished project is a mid century dresser by Bassett. As you can see I used Restor-a-finish on the top half. It not only hydrates the wood, it also fills in the smaller scratches (since it’s tinted) and since you apply with steel wool, it buffs away any residue and paint flecks, it’s like using really light sandpaper.


Or in the case of this dresser, to get rid of some unwanted stickers (I also used goo-gone and a razor on the sticker)


The dresser also needed some new knobs. Then it was golden! After I cover it with restor-a-finish, I let it sit for a minute and then wipe the whole thing off with a rag.

Note: The tone of Restor-a-finish doesn’t matter as much as you might think, some are darker (like the ebony) but I used golden oak on this dresser and it turned out just fine!


This coffee table had some major scuffs and worn finish that restor-a-finish couldn’t completely cover, but, they are far less noticeable now.



Here at the AP, we use Restor-A-Finish the most and carry it at the shop for $8.50. But we have also loved

  • Howard Butcher Block & Cutting Board Oil
  • Howard Feed N’ Wax
  • Howard Butcher Block Conditioner
  • Howard Leather Conditioner Cream

For more information on all Howard products check out their site here. And if you refinish/restore/condition or spruce up something at home email it to us, we’d love to see! {antiqueplaza@gmail.com} Good luck!

P.S. We aren’t the only ones who love Howard Products, check out these other bloggers reviews hereherehere, & here


Happy October everyone! All of Arizona is taking a collective sigh of relief that the cool evenings and moderately warm afternoons are here. And of course that means the Holidays are practically here!

Greg and I took advantage of the cooler weather to knock out one of the many “projects” that have been lingering in the garage.

At a glance it may not look like the biggest renovation. But take a closer look. The top of that chair is not brown wood, no way, that’s brown paint. The shadows of the garage aren’t making the legs “look black” they are also painted black. Ugh!


This poor chair wasn’t in wretched condition, but the iconic shape and style deserved to be resurrected! We tried out a new product Soy-Gel and it worked great! I felt like it took more coats than other paint strippers. But the plus side of that, is that it doesn’t smell, hurt your eyes or burn your flesh off (my personal favorite!)


The above pictures were about 2 hours into intervals of paint stripper and scraping. It appears the entire chair was spray painted black, then just the top was painted with brown…OIL PAINT. Yeah, that layer put up quite the fight.


We ended up using butter knives (make sure they are un-serrated and rounded point) to scrape it. We tried larger scrapers, but they couldn’t go over the minute curves of the chair. It took about 4 hours total, but I think it turned out pretty great! W finished it off with steel wool and Restor-a-finish.


Yes, there are still dings, and there is a chunk missing on a corner. But it looks 10 times better than that fake brown painted monstrosity! And I don’t mind some character on my antiques. I also really love the difference in wood coloring/grain going down the middle of the chair, I think that’s such a cool detail.


This chair was designed by Norman Cherner. The Chair became immensely popular in 1961 when it was featured (the version with arms) in a Norman Rockwell’s painting “The Artist at Work”on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

Rockwell The Artist at Work 1961

It’s considered a mid-century classic and we certainly agree. This chair represents all that we love about mid century design: Rich wood grain, molded plywood, clean lines and (most of all) the curves in the seat that make it actually comfortable!

This revitalized chair is now for sale in the plaza. Dealer #69 $275. Thanks and Happy october 🙂


Over the last five years, the trend in “restoration” has been to take vintage furniture pieces and give them an update by spray painting them a different color, stenciling on a geometric pattern or decoupaging the heck out of the things. Adding something new to a worn-out piece is the obvious way to make it feel new too.


{Image via here}

How many campaign desks have we seen shellacked in a bold green hue? Or how many chevron patterns have zig-zagged their way onto dresser drawers? We admit, sometimes this is the way to go.


{Image via here}

But making something the best it can be, naturally? That’s often more beautiful than all the smoke and mirrors. This holds especially true for furniture that has great lines or history.  Restoring a piece back to it’s intended state is in essence, embracing what quality furniture is and will always be: timeless.

Trendy colors rotate at the hand of Pantone’s suggestions, and what you like today may not go with the decor you prefer tomorrow. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve spotted a beautiful piece that had been attacked by an over-ambitious DIY amateur. All too often we find ourselves falling to our knees, raising our arms and screaming to the vast sky, “WHYYYYYYYYYY!?”

Kat recently did a makeunder on her dining room table, and lots of people shared they were happy she didn’t paint it (one even mentioned she was afraid the after picture would include chevrons). So we thought we’d show you some great makeUNDERS we have found. They just warm our hearts!


{Image via here}

This Lane dresser Makeunder is truly impressive. It went from curbside material to showstopping jewel of any bedroom!


{Image via here}

This dresser had it’s own natural chevron pattern to show off, and we’re so thankful someone saw it’s potential! Simply stunning.


{Image via here}

You’d think the haphazard graffiti on this table would automatically make it unsalvageable, but NO! It just needed a little TLC. (Guests better be using their coasters on it now!)

Yes, restoring neglected furniture to its original glory is often harder than slapping a coat of paint on, but the rewards are also greater. Not only do they make the piece look and feel more expensive, but they’d make any designer proud.


Want a quick and easy project that screams summertime fun? I did too. So I made this pinwheel wreath.

I just cut scrapbook paper into 6″ squares and eyeballed the diagonal cuts. I love how most scrapbook paper is double sided, it makes projects like this so much easier!

Then I used an awl to make the 4 holes in each corner and punched a pink brad through. More detailed pinwheel instructions (and a few cute ideas!) here. After they were all made, I hot glued them onto a square frame and stapled a pink ribbon to hang on the hook.

I later thought of how cute it would be to glue vintage buttons in the center. Many color  schemes would be complimentary but I went with a pink theme. You see, this wreath was a simple, summer decoration yes. But it was also used for more than that. I used all pink, not to torture my husband, but to use at my parents house for my mom’s 60th birthday and 10 years cancer free party my dad threw her.

I got a bunch of the same paper and used the same ones for the letters, bunting and wreath. The white rectangles behind the letters are plain printer paper. It was a needed revision when we saw how the wallpaper clashed with the letters. Lesson learned!

I thought I was going to have to cut the bunting by hand but when I went to Scrapbooks Etc. in Mesa to buy the paper I was also able to use their die cut machine to cut out the squares for the pinwheels, the letters for the banner and the triangles for the bunting in under 30 minutes. Not bad! The party was a success and I was glad I was able to use this  quick and easy summer time wreath for the event.

Now that we’ve gone out west with Erica’s Tablescape, come have a seat at my art inspired table! We were invited to participate in Tablescape Thursday by Between Naps on the Porch and we are super excited to be a part of it!

Making Tablescapes exclusively with items for sale in the Antique Plaza can be a challenge. Finding all the components, getting them all to work together, and making sure they don’t sell before we have a chance to use them! But I think they turned out really well if I do say so myself!

I chose this original screen print of a house with great architecture. I was drawn to the clean lines and the fun color scheme of earthy brown, bright yellow and rich blue.

I used an easel to not only display the art, but also as a mini vignette shelf for some vintage collectibles. I brought in the clean lines in the house by using two old printer type trays on top of the table. It takes a simple table up a notch and really gives it visual interest.

I layered alternating depression glass plates and Homer Laughlin plates over various enamel dishes. The napkin was fastened in the middle with ribbon and the mismatched silverware gives the table an informal feel.

For a centerpiece I kept it functional with two photographic copper plates as the base.

{the copper plates are artwork themselves, showing the negative image in a subtle way}

Also in the center is a yellow enamel pitcher for your favorite beverage and the salt/pepper shakers (They were originally old drink containers that were used to serve alcohol on airplanes!) I was thrilled to find these shakers that capture so much of the essence of the inspiration artwork!

As this table is smaller, I thought that food serving might be better done vertically so I “constructed” a food stand of my own using yellow depression glass plates and wooden candlesticks ( I didn’t glue them, as they are for sale individually, but I would recommend it if you do this at home!)

This table was made complete with some funky book coasters and cobalt tumblers

Well, that’s my table and I think it’s a pretty great representation of the Art! This was a fun challenge and I hope you all liked it. Excited to link up to Tablescape Thursday and check out all the great tables here! (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view all the other participants tables).

Here is a complete list of items and prices.

  • House Screen print – Dealer #69 – $69
  • Yellow log cabin S/P – Dealer #5 – $15.99
  • Kitty S/P – Dealer #69 – $20
  • Cup (on easel) – Dealer #69 – $34
  • Wooden scribe – Dealer #69 – $12
  • Ruler – Dealer #69 – $10
  • Small cobalt vase – Dealer #39 – $7.50
  • Wooden Type Tray – Dealer #M622 – $37.50 each
  • Moderntone blue plate – Dealer #69 – $12.95
  • Blue plate – Dealer #69 – $15
  • Blue/White enamel plate – Dealer #69 – $14.95
  • Grey Enamel Plate – Dealer #44 – $4
  • Enamel Plate – Dealer #44 – $16 & $18
  • Homer Laughlin bread plate – Dealer #M622 – $6.50 each
  • Yellow depression plate – Dealer #5 – $6 each
  • Pair of wood candlesticks – Dealer #69 – $6
  • Photographic copper plates – Dealer #69 – $7 & $ 8 each
  • Blue/White House – Dealer #22 – $4.50
  • Wooden folding chair – Dealer #471 – $29
  • Wooden folding chair – Dealer #4 – $99 each
  • Cobalt Imperial glass pitcher (not pictured) and 4 glasses – Dealer #37 – $60
  • Encyclopedia coasters (6) and holder (not pictured) – Dealer #411 – $12
  • Silverware – Dealers #22 & #411 – $2-4 per utensil
  • Napkins with ribbon– Dealer #33 – $30