an iowa estate sale.

A week or so ago my neighbor, nnK, traveled to Iowa to help clear out the old family farm.  Apparently her uncle (cousin twice removed?  something like that) had passed away after living on the family farm for his entire life.  And he liked to hold onto things.  In other words, the place was packed with stuff.

She promised to send me pictures of things that she thought I might like to purchase from the estate sale.  So as they were setting up, she sent me some texts with photos of items that were for sale …

Hello suitcases!

Good gracious, that’s a lotta suitcases.  I asked nnK why in the world her uncle would have had so many suitcases.  Did he love to travel?  But apparently the story goes that he thought if he kept his most treasured belongings inside suitcases, then if a tornado came the items wouldn’t get blown all around, they would stay intact inside the suitcase.  Well, I guess that would explain the need for 11 suitcases.

I purchased three of them, mainly sticking to the style that I like to paint …

Next up was this painted piece …

This piece totally spoke to me, so I said yes! to purchasing it despite its obviously poor condition (and luckily nnK was driving a truck back home).

Here’s how it looked once I got it home …

It definitely needs some work.  Ken is going to have to rebuild some parts of it, starting with the drawers.

I’m hoping I can figure out a way to salvage, or at least replicate, the color inside the drawers.

I have lots of idea swirling around in my head for this piece.  It may take some time, but hopefully with Ken’s help I can give it a new life.

We’ve tackled similar projects in the past and have been happy with the results.  Do any of you remember the In a Pickle farmhouse table?

Gosh, back in the day I even staged my ‘before’ photos, didn’t I?

Anyway, it started out in pretty rough shape too, but in the end it looked like this …

And then there was the primitive cabinet that I scored.  It started out like this …

And it actually stayed like that for quite a while until I got around to refurbishing it and putting it in my piano room.

I also said yes to this desk from the estate sale.

I’ve painted a couple of pieces like this in the past and really liked how they turned out.

I’ve actually already gotten this one painted, and now I’m working on the final touches.  I hope to share it with you guys on Monday, so be sure to stay tuned.

One last thing, in case you were wondering, although technically the Soldier Blue dresser is not officially sold, I do have someone who is away at her cabin that wants to see it when she returns.  And honestly, she wanted to pay me for it sight unseen via paypal or venmo but I said no to that.  Why?  Well, I just hate to sell things unless the buyer has seen them in person and is absolutely sure they want the piece.  Things can look different on the computer screen than they look in real life.  I’d hate for someone to pay me for a piece, then show up, decide they don’t really like it, yet feel like they are stuck with it.

So for now I’m not advertising it anywhere else, and just sort of hanging onto it until later this month when my potential buyer returns to town.  I’m not sure if I can count that as sold or not.  Either way, the black dresser and the floral dresser both sold more quickly than the blue, but I think we can just call all three a win!

OK, well, have a great weekend all!

17 thoughts on “an iowa estate sale.

  1. Nice little walk down memory lane. I can see another “in a pickle” farmhouse table in your future. Such a happy color!


  2. Wow, nice buys there. Good thing she brought a truck! Nice of her to think of you! Can’t wait to see how you bring these back to life…


  3. Love them both and the challenge of a project. The green looks a lot like MMS boxwood with hemp oil.Can’t wait to see the desk-Covid has helped desk sales in my neck of the woods!


    1. The green inside the drawers? For me, Boxwood always leans towards the more yellow side of green, and I also have a lot of trouble getting Boxwood to behave. No matter how much I mix, I still end up with lots of variations when using that color. I was thinking this green is more like Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.


  4. That green inside the drawer is the accent color in my kitchen, which I always refer to as “old fashioned green”…. Martha Stewart used to have a color to work with (that was a lot of years ago) and now it is nice to have color matching. I’m going to check out Laura’s suggestion of MMS Boxwood with Hemp Oil. Will be fun to see the final result. I have a similar table that’s been in our bathroom for about 30 years – came out of my husbands grandparents house estate sale. We sanded and stained the wood top and drawer front and painted the rest – and it is now really chippy after 30 years. Fun stuff you found!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly how I think of it too Suzy. Old fashioned green. I remember the Martha Stewart paint, I used to get it at Kmart. Are there even Kmart’s anymore? Anyway, it was called Everyday Green and I used it on quite a few pieces back when I first started painting furniture. It was sort of the color of Jadeite. Just a heads up, Boxwood will be nothing like Everyday Green. If you want to use MMS milk paint, I’d say that Luckett’s Green is closer to Everyday Green than Boxwood. As for the table, how cool that you salvaged one from your husband’s grandparents!


  5. Well see what I mean Miss Quandie? This is what your living in an enchanted upcycle world looks like! I’ve got absolutely no friends who would be going to an old farm in Iowa to clean out all the stuff! But boy! I sure do love reading about how all these things find their way to you whether by thrifting, yard saling, or friends going to Iowa!


    1. You’ve reminded me to be grateful for my enchanted upcycle world Connie! I do tend to take it for granted sometimes, but you’re so right. It is pretty amazing to have friends that find such cool stuff for me!


  6. I’ve always called that green…1940s green. Seems like everything was painted that color back then. You got some good stuff … & didn’t even have to go hunt for it! Can’t wait to see your results.


    1. You’ve got to come to the midwest where people have 150 year old farmhouses that have remained in the family for that entire length of time. Road trip!


  7. You got some great pieces!! All the dressers sold so quickly. I am not surprised. They all are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. 😊


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