what am I going to do with that?

You just never know what you might find at a garage sale.  I try to keep an open mind when I’m out hitting the sales.  If something has a vintage appeal (i.e. it looks good and old) I often buy it even if I have no idea what I’m going to do with it.  There is nothing more annoying that seeing a really cool project somewhere and then realizing I passed up the exact item needed at a garage sale two weeks ago.

Today’s project is definitely falls into the category of ‘what am I going to do with that?’, but I bought it anyway.

It’s an old newel post.

I paid $15 for it, which is a little high in garage sale money (which has way more value than typical money).  I felt a little sad when I saw it there because I knew that the sellers had callously ripped it out of their older home and probably replaced it with something new and with far less character.

I knew it deserved better.

I brought it home and put it in my carriage house where it got buried behind 50 other potential projects.  It sat and gathered dust for a couple of years.  Ha!  Maybe not really better treatment after all.

Then a few weeks ago I was surfing the blog world and I ended up on the Liz Marie Blog looking at her Cozy Farmhouse Winter Entryway (click that link to visit) and I spied a fabulous chippy black newel post.  And she just had it leaning up against the wall.  Duh!  So easy, and so fab!  And I knew just where I could find a newel post … sort of … somewhere out in the carriage house.

So I headed out there in sub-zero weather and started digging around.  I unearthed it from a pile of cast off remnants and hauled it in the house.

I started by cleaning it up, then sanding it, then cleaning it again, then adding a layer of Homestead House’s Salad Bowl Finish because I wanted some more of that perfect chipping.  This time I used a little more wax than I did on my original ‘perfect chipping experiment’ with the Buttermilk Cream mirror frame.  I wanted a really beat up chippy look similar to the inspiration photo.

Here’s how it looked after the wax.

Then I painted it with just one quick coat of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Typewriter.  Once dry, I sanded to distress and found that I got plenty of chipping.  I vacuumed up the dust and chips and then added a layer of Homestead House Black Wax.


And then in answer to the question ‘what am I going to do with that?’, I just leaned it in the corner of the piano room next to my Paris subway sign.


Easy peasy.


Chippy architectural salvage for $15, not bad right?

12 thoughts on “what am I going to do with that?

    1. Home Depot did a workshop before Christmas that was very similar to that, only they called it a ‘stocking holder’ for Christmas stockings. Either way, great idea!


  1. Love it. Looks great just displaying it like you did. I do the same thing. See something old and weathered that was probably a toss out and take it home knowing I’ll do something fabulous with it someday. Those projects often turn out to be the most fun and the most fabulous.


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