in the workshop.

The snow is gone.  The days are getting longer and little bit warmer.  And I have finally made it out to my Carriage House workshop to get things organized.  I was just telling my friend Sue that I have 13 pieces of furniture waiting to be refurbished.  Yikes!  I may be turning into a hoarder.

I have good reasons why all of these pieces have been waiting for spring, but I won’t bore you with all the details.  Now that spring is here, I have taken inventory and consulted with Ken about repairs and I have a plan of action.

Here are just some of the pieces in the line up.

workshop curbside desk

Mr. Q found this desk on the curbside in our neighborhood and he snatched it up.  See, he is becoming properly trained in the art of junking!  Someone has already gone to the trouble of stripping the top of the desk, but I suspect they decided it was far too much trouble and they gave up after that.  It needs a little repair under the middle drawer and it needs all new hardware, but I think this will be a darling little desk.  Plus, I have set a goal of improving my ability to work with stain, and this guy will be a perfect jumping off point since his top is already stripped.  I plan to paint the bottom and stain the top.

workshop curvy gams

What I love most about this dresser are its curvy front legs.  I think this one will be a charmer once it’s painted.  This one is next up on the to-do list.  I just need to decide on a color.

workshop veneered vanity

This vanity is part of a bedroom set that Mr. Q and I picked up on a Friday date night.  Isn’t it pretty?  I debated briefly about removing the mirror and just calling it a desk, but in the end I think I’ll paint the mirror and leave that option up to the buyer.  Keep the mirror and have a vanity, or chuck the mirror and have a desk.  The seller also included a little vanity seat, but it’s obviously not original to the set.  Not sure if I will keep these paired up or not.  What do you think?

workshop vanity seat

Here is the gentlemen’s dresser that came with this set.

workshop dresser

Isn’t he unique?  This will be a fun one to paint.  I’m going to have Ken replace the back on it first because it’s in pretty rough shape, but otherwise this one is in quite good condition.

workshop bed

The bed is by far in the worst condition.  A leg broke off the headboard on the way home.  The veneer on the footboard has definitely seen better days.  Ken is confident that he can repair the leg, and I am confident that a coat of paint will bring this one back to its former glory.  I love these curved footboards.

Next we have this sweet little drop leaf desk.

workshop drop leaf desk

Some friends of mine dropped this one off for me one day.  They had planned to refurbish this themselves, but never got it done, and thought of me.  I love friends like this!  And isn’t it a sweet little desk?  Ken will put new hinges on to reattach the drop leaf and I will add paint.  I have a plan for this one forming in my mind.  It includes one of my new French stencils.

workshop sideboard

Finally, we have this sideboard.  nnK, my craigslist spotter, has the whole family involved.  She sent her dad off to fetch this one from the wilds of Wisconsin.  Her folks live in a beautiful lake home about an hour from here and this sideboard wasn’t too far from them.

nnK also came up with an idea for this one.  Replace the two center drawers with shelves instead, cut a hole in the back for cords, and market this as a TV stand.

workshop tv stand

I’m having trouble making this decision.  The conservative side of me is afraid to mess with a perfectly good sideboard.  But on the other hand, I can definitely see the plus side of turning it into a TV stand.  It’s the perfect size to balance out a large wide screen TV.  The center section is the perfect size to hold a couple of components.  I think there are more buyers out there looking for a great piece to hold their widescreen TV than those looking for a great place to hold their silver and china.

I plan to give this one an updated color and more modern hardware, giving it an updated look.

So … weigh in.  TV stand or sideboard?  What do you think?


20 thoughts on “in the workshop.

    1. So, I’m curious Barb. Why? Is it because you are a lover of all things antique and think they shouldn’t be altered? Is it because you just love a good sideboard? Is it because you have large collection of grandma’s silver and you need a place to store it? I do think there are a lot of much prettier sideboards out there and this one is just a little bit plain and unexciting. Consider your vote counted though. One for sideboard!


    2. While I do love all things antique, I enjoy a modern look as well, But there was something about a flat screen tv on the sideboard that really bothered me. But if anyone could make it work, I am sure it you can!


      1. I hear you Barb! I did get quite a few more votes for sideboard than for tv stand, so you are definitely not alone. And I think that if I were going to just do what I wanted, I would leave it as a sideboard also. But sometimes I try to think more about how well a piece will sell, and that changes my direction. I’m still undecided about this one, but I kind of like Victoria’s hinged front idea. If Ken is game to try it, I think I might go that route. The best of both worlds!


    1. Thanks Darrielle! I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could get all of these done quickly. I need to just take a deep breath and get started 😉


  1. I vote for keeping it a sideboard. It could still be used for a TV without removing the drawers if that’s what someone wants to do. I’m not a purist but I just think you have more options if you don’t remove the drawers. I also would treat the little vanity bench as an individual.


    1. Vote 2 for sideboard! I’m thinking of Ginene’s advice and may paint the bench to match, but price it separately. That way someone could choose to pair them up, or not.


  2. Were you going to move the crossbar to make it into a TV component cabinet? If not, I would put a dust partition board, as was often done, to make a top shelf for components. Finish the inside just as you would if it was to be used as a TV cabinet, and drill a hole in the back panel for electrical wires. That way you could sell it as a TV cabinet or a buffet. The drawers will still fit inside. Double purpose!
    If I had the vanity/desk, I would finish the stool because if it doesn’t sell with the piece it will still sell alone. Some people will love the fabric you use and not want to find a chair for the piece on their own. But, I think it would still sell separately.
    Hey, I tried milk paint last night for the first time. It was fun!



    1. The crossbar is actually already loose, so yes, we were going to remove it, and finish this inside as you suggested. I seem to be getting a lot of votes for sideboard though!

      What did you paint with the milkpaint? what color? Did you like the end result?


      1. Well, I did what you did the first time you used MMS milk paint. I chose something small, a doll-size dressing table. I used Ironstone and I was surprised that the paint wasn’t the least bit runny which is what I expected for some reason. It took two coats and it didn’t chip at all. I was also surprised by the silky smooth texture, after I sanded it with very fine sandpaper. I am now on the milk paint bandwagon because the not knowing how it will turn out, to chip or not to chip, was so fun. I had pre-ordered
        two boxes, Ironstone and Grain Sack, before it had even been made. I’d like to get Kitchen Scale.


      2. I’m so glad you had a good experience with it! It does have an amazingly smooth and soft finish after just the easiest bit of sanding, doesn’t it? I just finished a dresser today that chipped more than I thought it would. The previous finish was so dried out, I really didn’t expect much chipping. Sometimes you really just don’t know what will happen!


  3. Please, please, PLEASE post after pics!! I plan on copying a couple of items (as we have similar furniture that I want to up-do and don’t quite know what to do with them). We’ll be keeping our furniture that I up-do, so don’t worry about competition ♥


    1. I definitely will post after pics. Those are the most fun of all. With you all the way in Michigan, I probably don’t have to worry about competition 😉 What furniture are you going to do?


  4. Sideboard would be my vote however I did have a dresser redone for a client’s bedroom so she could hang a tv over it. I had my carpenter hinge the top middle drawer so her components fit inside it. He put the hinges on the inside of the drawer front. And I had the tv wired inside the wall no wires showing at all.
    Back to the sideboard I just love the lines of vintage furniture. I would prefer a dresser or buffet that was not leggy for a console. Not everyone is going to open up their wall to hide the cords. My favorite piece has the curvy gams what color are you going with on this piece. As for the vanity/bench I most people prefer a chair but you just never know these days since anything goes. I like to use benches like that one in a bathroom. They are great to put extra towels on for a guest bath and with those new free standing tubs that resemble the old footed tubs but have no feet. I put a tray on it for bath essentials. I really do not get the popularity of these tubs for functionality. Where do you put shampoo your razor etc but they do look lovely. Cannot wait for this hauls reveal. Happy Easter!


    1. I’m painting the curvy gams dresser right now. I invented my own color by mixing 3 together. I hope reveal it soon!

      As for the sideboard, I hadn’t considered the ‘leggy’ factor. You are right about the cords. So far it seems like sideboard is getting most of the votes!


    2. Victoria,
      I put in a cast iron antique bathtub and found an industrial iron stool to put at the head of it, then put a piece of curved marble on the top of the stool so everything is right there. I don’t know what the new tubs are like without the legs, but I can’t imagine anything more comfortable to lay in then these old tubs. The back is curved to the point of perfection. I have fallen asleep inside it. And, the water is so deep. It is Nirvana! I have a antique wire piece that fits over the side to hold the soap.


  5. I think a TV stand would be perfect. I love the drop leaf desk and think it would be great without the door on it. The cubbies and drawer are so cute and would be great to see all the time. You couldn’t just throw your stuff in & hide it with the door, but it has a lot more character open (although a lot more work to paint all that inside stuff)! If you decide on lucketts green or ironstone for the drop leaf or gams, I’m your buyer! Are you looking for more books to paint?


    1. I thought of leaving the drop leaf off the desk too, but I have a plan for it. I’ll likely paint the inside anyway … hopefully that won’t be too putzy. As for the books, they were not a top seller at Junk Bonanza. I painted 20 sets of books, and only sold 7. So, I probably won’t be painting more books any time soon. Meanwhile, I am just finishing up the curvy gams dresser and it’s not exactly Luckett’s, but close … and it’s looking lovely! Stay tuned for the after.


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