Adventures in Antiquing & Refinishing

Hey All!

Sorry it has been so long between my posts lately. This summer seems to be flying by, and I feel like I haven’t gotten a thing accomplished! I’ve had lots of fun with friends and family though – and isn’t that what summer is all about?

In any case, I have had a few chances to get some “bloggy” things done. Like my weekend adventure to go check out Antiques Plus in Belledune, NB. This spot is like antique lovers’ heaven with over 20,000 square feet of space, and close enough to home for me that it made a nice day trip. The staff is super friendly, and is more than willing to answer your questions and give you a tour around. The fun for me, however, was digging through piles of old doors and paintings and wondering how much I could fit in my husband’s truck without getting into trouble. 😉

My “little things” in their new home

I ended up with a lovely little antique settee couch, an old door that will be used for a future project, and a few little things – an old milk bottle, a flour sifter like my Grammy had, and a great solid wood rolling pin. I felt like I got quite a good deal for the above items, spent about an hour in the store, and was saddled up and ready to head home.

Then, disaster struck.

I know I can be a little dramatic at times, but friends, there is no worse feeling than driving along, jamming to your music, and then seeing your beautiful little bargain of a red velvet couch – sailing through the air off the back of your husband’s new truck, and landing smack in the middle of the Trans-Canada. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. No kidding. I was shaking. I screeched to a halt on the highway, and then ran into the middle of the (thankfully empty) road to fetch my prize and throw it back into the truck bed.

The ride home was very long and involved a lot of looking into the rear view mirror, pulling over to check on my cargo, and a stop to Dad’s to borrow some rope and a tarp. So, my advice to anyone looking to go on an antiquing trip is to bring some supplies to secure your treasures, lest you become the owner of a road-rashed settee!

As a result of this little mishap, I wanted to sand down and restain my couch – to hide the damage and also to make the finishes on the couch match a little better to my decor. First, I covered my floor with a plastic drop sheet, and hauled out some Gorilla Glue (purchased at Canadian Tire) to repair the little damage that the couch sustained during its flight. After that dried I then got to work sanding with a medium grit sanding block and some fine grit sanding pads as well. I picked away at this step over a few days and got off as much of the old varnish as I could. Then I wiped off the dust with a damp cotton cloth. The stain I chose to use is Varathane Premium Wood Stain in Red Mahogany (purchased from Canadian Tire). This product has varied reviews online, but I found it worked well and dried quickly – which was perfect for me as I wanted to do multiple coats and didn’t want the stain to drip into the upholstery. I just used a folded up clean cotton cloth to rub the stain on, and I found it applied easily and didn’t get splotchy. I did two coats and liked that result – not much different from the original – but the couch’s road rash spots were covered, and the red tint to the stain matched my decor nicely.


The above photo shows the couch as it looked when I brought it home, and afterwards – all stained and with the upholstery freshly cleaned and vacuumed!

Settee Couch refinished and in its new home!


All in all, I had a great time both hunting for, and refinishing my new furniture piece. Not only was it a bargain, but now I know that antique furniture was definitely built to last – if it can sustain flying off the back of a truck going 80 km/h it can certainly last you and your family! I’m now dreaming of my next project (or a few more) to tackle, and I encourage you to do the same – either with your antique finds, or refinish a well-loved piece so its new again.

I’m hoping to get some more projects together soon to share with you! If you don’t hear from me for a while, don’t panic. I’m enjoying as much of the summer as I can and I hope you are too. Thanks for stopping in & have a great rest of the week!


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