Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Cleaning, Dealer Style

Ah, the glamour of the antique business....Thought I'd show you the sum total of my work day last Wednesday. I spent 9 hours cleaning 4 "items," 3 of which are pictured. Okay, some of the items were multiples, but still! This type of cleaning is why my hands always look like I just finished changing the oil in my car.

These shuttle boxes (used to move textiles in a mill) were actually quite clean, compared to the nest of drawers pictured below. A little sanding, removal of some stray nails and a coat of wax were all that was needed. However, the nest of drawers was a mess!

Two hours of sanding, bleaching and varnishing were needed before a new back was added. But the piece looked great when we were finished. Had a lovely, primitive patina and would be terrific for storage and organizing.

Now this piece, along with some vintage factory bins, were the true bad guys Wednesday. This is the popcorn machine I mentioned in the Bright Spot a couple of weeks ago. It is adorable -- the top is glass and metal while the bottom is enameled and full of drawers. It would make a great display piece or a terrific cabinet. But what a greasy mess! Joe removed the popping mechanism and other wiring, then I went to work -- vacuuming, scraping, sanding and washing with Awesome (the world's greatest cleaner for oily dirt). Yikes. But by Thursday at 11, we were ready to add a wooden floor to the top and replace the one missing handle on the front. It really looked terrific -- and was one of the first pieces Joe sold Saturday when he made our April delivery to Midland ( Which is what makes all that cleaning worthwhile!


Anonymous said...

Oh yes..the easy antiques dealer life! Happy Easter! xo Joan

kamahu said...

Hey, those drawers are cute! Wait till you work your magic on 'em!