Finished For Good

A community of believers in: 1.) Saving old pieces of furniture from the landfill, 2.) breathing new life into them and 3.) donating refurbished pieces to Loudoun Habitat for Humanity so they can sell in their ReStore and continue to raise funds.

Operating as usual

Photos from Finished For Good's post 14/09/2021

Franz is our 44th transformation! This handsome guy has been a pure pleasure to work on. He was spotted on a free FB listing (thanks A!) and the donor is now a FB friend (thanks C!). This is a Berkey and Gay dresser and from my research, I believe he is from the 1920s.

Franz had a ring on his top, a bit of missing veneer, one drawer front of loose veneer and a few marks here and there. He also has some indents where the gorgeous hardware dropped and made dings into the drawer fronts.

If I had an unlimited budget, I would have replaced the veneer and bought backplates to cover the dings. BUT as supply costs come out of my pocket, I filled and color matched the area to camouflage the missing veneer and simply stained the dings. Backplates would have been nice, but finding the right size and perfect complement to the piece proved to be tough. That is certainly something that the new owner can do based on their preference.

The process for refinishing Franz was very lengthy with the biggest (and messiest) challenge being removal of the old shellac. For this, I used denatured alcohol, abrasive pads and cotton swabs. (See photos)

After all shellac was removed, I applied two coats of Danish oil followed by two topcoats (three for the top of the dresser). The hardware was boiled on my stovetop with a combo of vinegar and water – see photos for a big change there.

This dresser is truly a quality-built piece. He is sturdy and should last for many years to come. He is big and beautiful (that wood grain!!!!!) but because of his age and the careful process required, he really took me ages to finish. But I hope his new owner loves him. Franz is headed to Loudoun Habitat ReStore Leesburg today.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 12/09/2021

Transformation #43: It’s Gert! This adorable pine Davenport desk was a donation. (Thanks K!) I love the shelves in the back. Gert was in good shape structurally, her finish was just a bit dry and she had some homework on her. I wanted to retain her character so left the indents and such you would expect to find on a desk, just removed the pencil and crayon. I cleaned up her hardware (shiny, but not too shiny), added a restorative finish and wax conditioner. Note – I loved her original color and didn’t change it. These before and after photos were likely taken in different weather conditions. Gert is an adorable lady and I hope she enjoys her new home. She is headed to Loudoun Habitat ReStore Leesburg next week.

06/09/2021

Finished For Good

Creating good out of trashed furniture.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 29/08/2021

Transformation #42: Here’s Gwen! My mom found Gwen beside a dumpster at their local trash dropoff. She grabbed her up, named her and kept her safe until I could get her. She named her GWen as she gave her to me during a GW (Girls’ Weekend). Thanks Mom!

Gwen had one broken support piece. My step-daughter connected me to her friend who would weld for beer! After she was welded, she graciously cleaned and primed her for me – all I had to do was spray paint! Thanks Stella!

I had a flower pot that came with a plant we bought. It fit perfectly and for now, Gwen is a planter. Perhaps I’m excited for fall, but I think she would look pretty with a pot of mums.

Gwen was originally a vanity stool, but I do not have the skills to put her back that way. If you look at the included photos, I found her twin being sold online for $60! So if you DO have the skills to make her a stool again, grab her from the ReStore and do a flip! She will be at @loudounrestore next week!

Photos from Finished For Good's post 26/08/2021

You often know you have an old piece when you see dovetail joints. But what about round joints?

This curb find has what are called Knapp joints and they specifically date the piece to between 1870 and 1900! (I can't pretend I knew this - I had to look it up.)

This piece looks nice but has a lot of structural damage inside as well as water damage to the back and feet. By the smell of it, it may have some rot.

It has spent a day in the sun to try and clear out the smell (which is strong!). But I am determined to try and save as much as I can, especially now that I know more about it. #furniturerescue #curbfind

Photos from Finished For Good's post 19/08/2021

A friend spotted a Facebook listing for a free dresser (thanks E!). When I went to pick it up, the kind man told me that if someone hadn’t taken it, Thor would have had at it. I looked up in confusion to see him holding his hammer, which he explained was called Thor. (See, I’m not the only one who names inanimate objects…)
So, it wasn’t hard to come up with a name for this piece. Meet Thor. He was in rough shape but structurally sound. I wanted to keep the wood, but the veneer was extremely thin and with the various scratches and bumps, it made the most sense to fill, prime and paint him.
Oops paint from Home Depot ($2) was used for Thor - I love his bright cheery color. I sprayed the k***s gold with paint I already had. Yes, he still has dings and bumps but that gives him character. He is good to go to the ReStore.

17/08/2021

We’re celebrating! 🎉 It’s National Thrift Shop Day! Support your favorite local thrift store and shop or donate today. We are giving out 15% off Total Purchase today! 12-4pm

#NationalThriftShopDay #ShopLocal #Donate #LoudounCountyVA #LeesburgVA

30/07/2021

A few people have asked me why I name my pieces. With 40 pieces done and 7 in my garage, it's hard to keep track of everything. Plus, if I refer to a piece as 'that broken, brown chair', it may not be brown and definitely won't be broken by the time I finish with it.

I record each piece I receive, where and when I got it as well as its size. Naming each piece makes it a lot easier.

Often, I ask my family to name finds - it's a way to get everyone involved. If someone is donating a piece, I usually ask them to name the piece and they often choose a name that reflects the loved one that had it many years ago.

A few people have asked me why I name my pieces. With 40 pieces done and 7 in my garage, it's hard to keep track of everything. Plus, if I refer to a piece as 'that broken, brown chair', it may not be brown and definitely won't be broken by the time I finish with it.

I record each piece I receive, where and when I got it as well as its size. Naming each piece makes it a lot easier.

Often, I ask my family to name finds - it's a way to get everyone involved. If someone is donating a piece, I usually ask them to name the piece and they often choose a name that reflects the loved one that had it many years ago.

24/07/2021

I’ve opened the alcohol and am stripping in the garage. Not as exciting as that may sound….

I’ve opened the alcohol and am stripping in the garage. Not as exciting as that may sound….

Photos from Finished For Good's post 20/07/2021

Meet transformation #40! This is Alice, named long-distance by my cousin in Indiana. (Thanks C!). Love her name.

I'm thrilled that my 40th piece was a rescue - and it was Earth Day to boot. On a walk with my dog, I spotted her on the curb but thought by the time I got home, the trash truck would had gotten to her. An alert from a friend (Thanks J!) told me she was still there.

The pink artwork came right off without a hitch but I soon learned Alice had a broken leg. My hubby quickly helped mend her.

The previous owners had put two nails in her top to help hold the wobbly leg. But even with those removed, in her condition, it seemed best to paint her. My photos are not the best, but she has a cream body and gray top. And she seemed a shabby chic kind of gal so I added a few distress marks.

Ya, ya I know. She was already distressed. I fixed her and distressed her again. Seems strange but then again, I do go through people’s trash.

Alice will make her way to the Loudoun ReStore later this week.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 08/07/2021

This is Vera. My teen told me she had spotted something that looked wooden on the side of the road, the night before trash pick-up. She had no idea what it was. Sorry, kid - this is an old sewing/knitting box. You wouldn’t know as your mother gets hives just thinking about sewing. Anyway, she found it, so she got naming rights.

Vera had been painted a pretty blue over a coat of white paint. I was determined to get all that paint off and see what type of wood was underneath. Vera had other ideas.
Vera’s handle snapped when trying to remove it. Some of the screws simply would not budge, so I could not disassemble and properly strip as I had hoped. Eventually, with chemical stripper, sandpaper, razor blades and even a nail file, I got 99.9% of Vera’s paint off.

I think Vera has some age to her. Maybe some attitude too. There were times when I had to put Vera aside, walk away from her. We were not speaking for some time. She is stubborn but did not have me beat.
When I got to the point that I worried about damaging the wood, I stopped. I restained her, fixed her handle and put a few layers of topcoat on her. To give her back some of that color she apparently really wanted, I painted the inside of the flaps a similar blue. And she is ready. Not perfect, but a bit rustic and reflective of her age. I like her this way. Even after our struggles, I’m happy she didn’t end up in a landfill.

[06/21/21]   I have been following this shop for a while and love how they use the proceeds from their furniture sales, described below. They have really lovely pieces too! #furnitureforcharity

02/06/2021

Nod was donated as part of a set which had been damaged by renters. Wynken and Blynken (end tables) were finished and donated last December. Poor Nod had to wait until I had space. In fact, I finished Nod a year to the day that I received him. I tried something different here and put his photos into a video to show my process.

Despite the fact that it took me a year to tackle him, the actual working time was over the long weekend. Nod will go to Loudoun Habitat ReStore Leesburg later this week.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 28/05/2021

Meet Ananas – the word for pineapple in several different languages. This cabinet was donated (thanks B!) in good shape, with just a few scratches here and there. My after photos are not the best as rain surprised us.

After a lot of internal debate, I sanded off the painted pineapple scene and brought it all back to bare wood, leaving the inside as it was. The artwork was licensed and mass produced so I didn’t get rid of anything hand-painted.

I stained and topcoated the outside and replaced the k**b with something fun. (It’s a bee by the way, not a cicada!) I like the more rustic look.

Ananas will be taken to ReStore today, along with Squiggy the end table.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 24/05/2021

Meet transformation #36 - Squiggy! Squiggy was one of the three pieces I tried to do simultaneously. I did work on the three together, but they will all finish at different times. Turns out I can’t quite multitask in the garage like I had hoped.

This sturdy end table had quite a split on the top and I wasn’t sure I could stain it, but with a bit of sanding and filler, the damage is minimized. Still visible, really not bad. A can of $2 oops paint gives Squiggy a kind of retro vibe which I like. I had just enough stain left which I had used for the top to do the drawer fronts which is a very different look. If I had painted the drawer fronts green too, it might have been too much. I switched out the hardware to three k***s I already had.

Squiggy sat in the garage for a while as the damage to the top intimidated me and I really wasn’t sure how I would finish him. (I finished his brother Lenny in March.) But as things often turn out, I think he is one of my favorite transformations. Thanks H for the donation!

08/05/2021

I don’t usually post photos before I tackle a project but I’m trying something different. In an effort to quickly turn over furniture, I am redoing these three smaller pieces at the same time. That way I can get all of my messy work (like sanding) done at once -and then once the dust clears, get all of my staining and painting done. Hope this approach works.

I don’t usually post photos before I tackle a project but I’m trying something different. In an effort to quickly turn over furniture, I am redoing these three smaller pieces at the same time. That way I can get all of my messy work (like sanding) done at once -and then once the dust clears, get all of my staining and painting done. Hope this approach works.

05/05/2021

Ashburn friends: do you have old newspapers you are getting rid of? I am starting three messy projects and could use a few if you have them. I am happy to come pick them up!

Ashburn friends: do you have old newspapers you are getting rid of? I am starting three messy projects and could use a few if you have them. I am happy to come pick them up!

Photos from Finished For Good's post 04/05/2021

Meet Demi. This dining room table came to me half-sanded. A very kind couple started sanding the table after they noticed damage to the finish, but then realized the project was a bit too much.

It could not be donated as it was, but they found my name on the ReStore site and reached out. My husband kindly sanded the other half of the table for me while I tackled another project. (He doesn’t know that I’m secretly recruiting him to join the Finished for Good team).

After sanding, I mixed stain to color-match the top to the base and legs. Completely new territory for me, but I’m happy with the results. Yes, I could have redone the whole table, but I know that would have taken me ages – and the rest of the table was in good shape – there was really no need.

Demi is one of my older project pieces. I picked her up last June, but my garage got so full, I didn’t have the space to fully open her up and work on her. I did enjoy the challenge she gave me and hope someone snaps her up at the ReStore.

[05/04/21]   Spring cleaning? A great day to donate! And look at all the types of accepted items.

22/04/2021

Happy Earth Day!
#EarthDay2021

Happy Earth Day!
#EarthDay2021

Photos from Finished For Good's post 07/04/2021

Hope was spotted on the curb by a friend. Thanks E for the text alert and for the name - I think it suits her perfectly! I’m so glad she didn’t go to the dump as she still has life in her and is a nice smaller-sized dresser. My husband offered to pick her up for me but when he looked closer, he almost left her on the curb as she was in a sad state.

Hope had some damage on top and both sides but for the most part, I could camouflage it. Not going to lie – you can see it if you stare at it. Some people stare at dressers, some don’t.

She took some gluing and filling on her sides and a good cleaning/sanding. She has two coats of Compass Blue ($2 in the Home Depot oops section) as well as two coats of poly. I shined up her handles and she is good to go. I’m truly glad that Hope made it.

07/04/2021

Thanks everyone for your support, scouting and donations.

Thanks everyone for your support, scouting and donations.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 06/04/2021

Meet Tip. Named for where he was found (the tip) and for what would happen if you sat on him, I credit my daughters for finding and naming him. After passing four chairs on the curb, my daughters screamed at me to stop the car. With a garage full, I was hesitant. I could only save one as the others had fabric and more extensive damage.

Tip was in great shape! Just needed some gluing on the supports which took no time. I did go over the finish to brighten him up a bit - but really, not much of a noticeable change.

I did consider painting him, but - ooh, those spindles! With so many pieces in my garage, I needed a quick turnaround. Tip will go to ReStore later this week along with another project almost complete.

Photos from Finished For Good's post 29/03/2021

Meet Lenny! Twin Squiggy is beside him, not yet refinished. Thanks H for the donation! I normally do twin pieces together, but I used Lenny for a demonstration at the ReStore earlier this year, so it was helpful to have Squiggy as my 'before' piece.

Squiggy has a bit more damage to his top and may look different from Lenny when I get to him. I do like having the two side by side, though as it shows how color, stain and updated hardware can really change a piece.

26/03/2021

Meet Bates. What is Bates? Good question! He was on the curb but also listed for free on Marketplace. Described as a vanity from the 1920s, I believe he is actually a gentleman's dresser so I named him Bates (for my Downton Abbey fans). See those two cabinets? I believe those are hatboxes. The mirror frame is currently flat on the top (no mirror) and there are a few other pieces I have to figure out. Quite a puzzle, but the kind I like. He is made of beautiful oak and may have to wait a bit before I can tackle him. Do you have any knowledge of what Bates might be? Lots of internet searches so far have yielded nothing. In the meantime, I have two newer pieces almost finished.

Meet Bates. What is Bates? Good question! He was on the curb but also listed for free on Marketplace. Described as a vanity from the 1920s, I believe he is actually a gentleman's dresser so I named him Bates (for my Downton Abbey fans). See those two cabinets? I believe those are hatboxes. The mirror frame is currently flat on the top (no mirror) and there are a few other pieces I have to figure out. Quite a puzzle, but the kind I like. He is made of beautiful oak and may have to wait a bit before I can tackle him. Do you have any knowledge of what Bates might be? Lots of internet searches so far have yielded nothing. In the meantime, I have two newer pieces almost finished.

Videos (show all)

Finished For Good
Trashed to Treasure 1
I enjoyed speaking with Loudoun Habitat for Humanity yesterday about Finished for Good.  A technical issue prevented us ...

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