Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh Alfred!

I know you've all seen Alfred before...He was a great Craigslist find and the focus of my last post about stripper.  Again I didn't say "a" stripper....although after watching Magic Mike this last week, that would've been WAY better :)  Anyhow, here he is, in his FINAL before pic.
All dingy and dirty and in need of some help.  I know I've mentioned it before but I like to try to do any research I can when I get a new piece.  It's kind of fun for me to find out when (about) it was made, if I can find it.  This guy is a 1955ish Heywood-Wakefield.  I say "ish" because while researching I discovered this one was part of the Cadence line that was manufactured from 1955-1959.  Still pretty cool that it has some history.  While scouring for information I found that there are lots of Heywood purists, who would probably scream their faces off if they knew I planned to paint it.  But painting is what I do, and if there was a chance I could've restored it with minimal effort, I would've.  But remember the stripper incident...
So ya, I knew I was gonna paint it.  The wood underneath all that paint wasn't nice enough to restore.  But the original mangy paint that was on it inspired me to do it in black.  His lines are strong and masculine.  Black just seemed fitting.  And yes once again I've named the furniture.  I will divulge(much to husband's dismay) that Alfred is a family name.  My hubby's grandpa is Alfred, and my father-in-law and husband share the middle name Alfred.  But all that aside, I still instantly think of the butler on Batman :) 
So I'm sure you're scrolling through, saying, alright, alright just show me the pictures already...patience.  In case you wanted to know I used Valspar's Lincoln Cottage Black.  It's kind of become my favorite/go to black paint.  Oh, and yes I turned it into chalk paint.  So much easier to work with, and really does cover well!  After 2 coats of paint, using a fine grit sanding block in between, I did some minor distressing.  Then 2 coats of wax to seal it up. 
Due to his age he was missing a drawer, and ironically a "matching" drawer was broken. I knew right away I wanted to get baskets for it. Just made it look a little more complete, with the missing drawers. I did paint the insides of the missing parts just to unify it.  But searching for baskets became an obsession, which frustrated the heck out of me.  Luckily a trip to Homegoods was successful and the obsession was quelled!!  I also had to find new hardware for this guy.  The before pic looks like it has those cool teardrop type of pulls, but no, those would be knobs attached to crazy bent screws.  I didn't want to detract from his shape with fancy knobs, so I just got some wood ones and painted them to match.  This project was definitely a learning one for me.  I learned that I will never strip a piece of furniture again, if I can help it.  And I also learned that I will do my best to stay away from pieces missing drawers.  Too much obsession time wasted looking for those darn baskets :)
Ready?  Here he is, all done up.  Just dropped him at the shop this morning!!

So, what do you think?  What projects have taught you lessons you won't soon forget?  Stay tuned to see what I come up with next!!


  1. He looks so much better! Nice job! Love the baskets on the top shelves. What a great solution for missing drawers.

    1. Thank you! I think I just need to hit homegoods any time i need baskets from here on out :)

  2. that looks great...i am too afraid to do anything like this, lol, but i want to!

    1. it seems overwhelming, but once you get started it's easier than it looks....i generally try to avoid anything that needs "stripping", but having it done it now i feel like i can conquer anything :) good luck with all your projects!!

  3. Hello, I am up in Bellingham and loved your piece about the black dresser with the baskets. I have a similar dresser but it is missing one drawer pull. Do you still have any pulls from your dresser? and thanks. Great blog!