The Beauty in Refinishing Furniture Handed Down by Past Generations

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Home Stager

Refinishing sentimental furniture pieces can be a great way to pass down sentimental objects that still provide function and storage in your home.   I love restoring old furniture but my absolute favorites are those that belonged to family members!

Recently, my uncle transported three such furniture pieces in a U-Haul all the way from Santa Fe, NM to College Station, TX.  When the big white door rolled up on the back of the truck, I felt like a kid on Christmas!

Inside was an old vanity that my grandfather used mostly, a dresser of my grandmother’s and a china hutch that also belonged to my grandmother.  All three pieces are about 70 years old and in great condition considering their age.  They have been in storage for decades and I’m so very thankful to have the opportunity to give new life and function to all three.

I recently refinished the antique vanity into a gorgeous light blue.  You can see the full tutorial and reveal here:  Vintage Vanity Makeover.  This piece is absolutely beautiful with it’s curved mirror, milled legs and different levels of drawers on either side.  It now sits in front of my window and the light shines through in the morning which is perfect because that’s when I put my makeup on every morning.  It’s such a special piece as I was very close to him and remember playing at this vanity, as did my mother when she was little.  Sitting at this vanity every morning brings me a lot of comfort to know that a part of him is still with me.

Speaking of putting on makeup, the dresser is where my grandmother would put on hers every morning.  She had a big mirror on top and put all of her brushes and makeup supplies in the top drawer.  It is now in my office in a stunning navy paint color.  You can see the reveal and a tutorial with tips on how to paint with dark colors here: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Painted Antique Dresser.

Last, but not least, is my next piece to refinish – the china hutch.  It has beautiful long spindled legs and will fit perfectly in my entryway.  I will use latex paint on it as I do all my furniture makeovers (Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint on Furniture) and will paint it in white.  I’ll also display blue tinted mason jars in the front which you can see through the glass door.

I’m not very sentimental with things but I am sentimental with furniture.  Not only are they special family heirlooms but such furniture pieces serve a functional role in one’s home for storage and decor. 

Also, furniture from that time period was made much better than the furniture you buy today.  So, although they are old pieces, they are still very high-quality hardwoods. 

Last, the fact that I can refinish them to my own taste to coordinate with my home is an added advantage to passing down furniture pieces from generation to generation.  I would like to believe that my grandparents are watching from heaven smiling at how I enjoyed refinishing their treasured items and using them as my very own.  Every time I pass by one of these pieces, I smile as I think of them.

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Karin Peters

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