Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Yankee Magazine invited me to participate in an article about upcycling. You know, finding old things and giving them new life. Right up my alley, you say? That's what I thought, too, so I heartily agreed and a few months later met a Yankee writer and photographer at Todd Farm to hunt for a project. The idea was to get before and after shots of a DIY upcycle project to feature in the magazine along with a bit of detail about my process. The magazine came out this month, and while I do love the writeup, it doesn't include any "in process" pictures, so I thought it fitting to show some of those here on the blog.
I selected an old drawer box that looks similar to an apothecary chest, but was probably intended more as a tool storage box when built. Here it is in a fuzzy Instagram shot along with some other projects that sat around in my Vermont workshop for a while but eventually were finished...
The box is plywood and somewhat beat up - which I love - but wasn't appropriate for refinishing so I chose to treat the outside with a white pickling stain and leave the drawer faces unfinished for contrast. Pickling stain gives wood a whitewashed look while still letting the grain show through.
Next I swapped out the simple wood drawer pulls for brass card catalog pulls found for $1 each at a salvage shop. They were still on their original wood drawer fronts and had plenty of dirt and tarnish to go around. I used a screwdriver to remove them from the old drawer faces, then polished the brass with a baking soda/vinegar mixture and a fine grade sanding block.
Instead of selling the box as I usually would have done, I decided to keep it to store my lamp rewiring supplies that had long outgrown the small tool box I'd been stuffing them in for the past few years. Many of the drawers have divided sections, so it's perfect for sorting out small hardware like finials, washers, and the like.
It was a blast thrifting with the folks from Yankee, fixing up the chest, and eventually seeing the project in a magazine. Thanks Yankee for getting in touch. It's been a big thrill for a little shop like mine to be featured so!