Vintage is in vogue! For a treasure hunter like myself, who relishes the beauty and history held in antique, and love worn objects this is a delight! The cold, newness of modern objects and decor can create a very sterile home atmosphere but add even a few prized pieces with a past and you have added character, and conversation! I do not come from family rich in the monetary but rather rich in the wealth of lore, and love. This however does not mean I do not have family treasures and keepsakes. The value of these items is often in their stories and family meaning as opposed to how much money they could line a pocket with.
I have few heirlooms currently as many of those which will be entrusted to me are housed presently with my mother and my aunts but I know when I do receive them I will find ways to display as many as possible with pride of place and with their histories intact! I despise the idea of stashing away the precious in boxes never to be seen or enjoyed, hidden from those who may benefit from the cherished history and stories they hold within.
While some extremely valuable antiques may be difficult to safely display or renew others house their value in their true use for their true intended purpose. I possess a lovely children’s table and chairs set made by my grandfather for my mother and her sisters in the 1930s and 40s. My mother kept this set for use by my sister and myself, and I for my children. It had been refinished at least once over the years with a thick plastering of dark varnish but about a month ago I decided it was time to renew its beauty and charm to allow for its continued usefulness!
Perhaps if this was a truly priceless object I would leave it untouched but as it is priceless only to us I knew a fresh coat of the latest chalk paint and wax and a little distressing would renew this darling set while maintaining its antique character. I enlisted the help of my daughters who were absolutely thrilled to be part of this family project. We chose a lively peacock colour, as they are meant for the bright, vivacious nature of children! What I love, love about chalk paint is that you can paint over anything without the daunting task of first preparing the piece with sanding, priming, and the like. It’s a simple process of paint (perhaps a couple coats and touch-ups depending on the surface), rub on wax (a little bit of a process until you get the knack), a distressing with a fine sandpaper in the areas where normal wear might have occurred, and another layer of wax for protection and good measure! Voila! A piece no one can resist commenting on!
Google chalk painting techniques–Annie Sloan I believe is the product leader in this approach–but I just took a quick gander at a Mrs. Hines’ Class Blog post and followed it very loosely with fantastic results! My son and daughters now want to know who will be the next to possess this beautiful family keepsake for their children. I replied, “I think, one day in the distant future, it may have to stay at grandma and grandpa’s for all to enjoy!”