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Sunday’s Best

Mel and I came across an ad on Craigslist that stated a gentelman had some items he wanted to sell. We drove up through the beautiful El Dorado Hills until we arrived at his homestead. We had the pleasure of meeting a man by the name of Tom. As we spoke he began to tell us that his wife had been an antique dealer for years. They had been into antiques since the 70’s. His wife passed away recently due to cancer and Mel and I could tell it was hard for him to go through their collection and sell it. It makes you realize that when you go to these estate sales that these were someones prized possessions. These are the things they cherished. I guess all I am saying is that as a dealer/collector sometimes we forget what this stuff meant to those who owned it before us and those left behind.


These are the items we were fortunate enough to find at Tom’s place.


As I am sure a lot of dealers out there know, stuff is getting harder and harder to find so it makes your day when you stumble across a collection of cool items.


Most of these items will make it into the our shop, while others will be staying with us.


Here are a couple of large Carlo of Hollywood watercolors we purchased. These will end up in our shop.


Mel and I have been looking for one of these for a long time. This is a collapsable record/magazine holder. We wanted to start selling records and this will work great to display them.


Here are a couple of cool looking danish lamps that are heading to the shop.


We have a 1958 Wurlitzer 2200 jukebox and these speakers will be great companions for it.


This John Hauser style hoop chair will make someone very happy. It’s going into the shop!


I wish we had room in our home for this pink dream chair with frieze fabric. This chair is clean and will also be going into the shop.


For me, this was the find of the day. We have a vintage bathroom that is the same color and this vintage dentist’s cabinet will be a great addition.


Here are a pair of breathtaking Art Deco horse head lamps. They need to be cleaned up and I need to find some shades for them. These will be going in the shop.


This was not a part of Tom’s items but we picked this up a few days ago from San Jose. This is the highly sought after Heywood Wakefield record cabinet (model: m395).

Well now comes the hard work of restoring these items as needed, but I wouldn’t have it another way!

Heywood Wakefield Dogbone Bed


At last it is done.

We finally got our Heywood Wakefield bed done. I restored it a while ago but it took some time to sell our old one. We are really happy with the way it turned out. The finish has that usual warm glow like caramel.


This is what Mel and I love about this style HW bed. We love the cut out in the foot board. It is basically a larger version of the back rest on the HW dog bone chair (M154).

We love this bed! It sits lower to the ground which is nice compared to what we had before. We have been on the hunt for cool vintage chenille bedspreads. We found this simple but cool “popcorn” chenille spread that is this soft pink color. We have been hunting for really cool peacock or flamingo bedspreads but have not found one we like yet.


Mel’s mom made these pillows out of some cool barkcloth fabric we found online. She did a great job!

You might have noticed the Dahlberg AM radio above the headboard. I got it back from Luis over at Stereoadvisor last week and it works great. I had to make a wall stand for it to mount to. I can just imagine having the pillow speaker under your pillow listening to Perry Como or Bing Crosby crooning you to sleep.


It looks right at home just hanging above the bed, I wonder the last time it was in that position….years and years I bet.

I think it all ties together and looks marvelous. We are soo happy with how it has all turned out.


We hope you all like it too! If anyone out there has any really cool chenille they want to sell let us know!



Brown-Saltman Desk And Chair Completed

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This set was in pretty rough shape!

You might remember me blogging about this desk sometime back. Our friend Vic allowed us to buy it because she wanted it to be restored. Though this set needed a lot of work, it had to be done. Brown-Saltman pieces are hard to come by and deserve every chance at becoming new again.  The first thing I had to deal with was the re-veneer of the top of the desk and drawer fronts.


The top had burns, water damage, stains and chunks of wood missing.

Since the surface of this desk had wood loss in some areas, I had to fill it before I re-veneered it. You might be saying what should I use for a filler…….Bondo. This stuff is a great filler for projects like these.


Here are the pieces with bondo applied and drying in the sun. Once the bondo is dry I will sand it flush with the surrounding surfaces.

The next step is to rough cut the veneer with excess to allow for trimming and adjustments. Once you apply the veneer glue to the under surface of the veneer and the surface of the desk and those surfaces come in contact, you will not be able to separate them again.


Here is an example of a process used when applying veneer. This is a great help to make sure a good fit. (click)

Once I applied the new veneer I trimmed off the excess and light sanded the edge and all surfaces to prepare for stain.


Next step is to apply the Heywood Wakefield champagne stain. The original look of these desks had a pickled finish. I am not too keen on that finish so I changed it up!

After 4 coats of the Heywood Wakefield stain the desk was ready for re-assembly.


Here they are drying in the late afternoon sun.

The chair was refinished the same way as the rest of the desk, once it was done I sent it over to Bill at B&T Upholstery to recover it in some fantastic teal frieze fabric, similar to the upholstery on our famous pink wing chair. Here are the results:


All I can say is WOW! Thanks Bill, it looks great!

Now with the chair done and the desk re-assembled it, is now time to move it into our bedroom so Mel has a work station when she needs to work. We are pleased with the final results and will enjoy this piece for years to come.


As you can see, we had a piece of glass cut for the top to safeguard it from damage.




Heywood Wakefield Revival


This group of sad-looking Heywood Wakefield pieces are a part of my next series of projects. If you study the photos above you will see that these have been used and abused.


Look at these two sad sorry end tables. The guy we bought them from proudly advised us he painted one of them blue and he went further to tell Mel and I he had planned to paint the other one red! AAARRRGGGHHHH! An intervention was required.

The first piece I took on was the coffee table model M905G produced for only one year during 1955.


Gosh! Had the previous owner ever heard of a coaster!

As I have mentioned before the great thing about Heywood Wakefield is that it is SOLID wood. If a piece has any issue usually you can sand out most of the imperfections.


Here it is sanded down and ready for stain. This will help get rid of all the water rings and will even out the finish.

Now that it has been sanded the next step is applying that famous stain that I get from Jeff off Ebay!


Here it is after its first coat of stain. I applied 4 to 5 coats to get that nice buttery finish.

After a lot of staining and buffing between coats it is finally finished. I even had a piece of 1/4 inch glass cut from a local glass store ($30) for the top so another water ring never has a chance to appear. Without further delay…


As usual Jeff’s finish always turns out great!

Before I had glass cut for this piece I was under the impression that getting glass cut for furniture was costly. But it really isn’t, and it is worth it. It only takes one careless placement of a glass with condensation to mess up your finish so spend a little and preserve what you worked so hard to restore.



Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Another Rio piece done!

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Here it is before the restoration. I know some of you may like it just as it sits but I wanted a more buttery finish.

I have been staying busy even though I have not been blogging a lot as of late. I did manage to finish another piece of our Rio Heywood Wakefield bedroom set. I still need to finish the bed frame and the low dresser.

Here it is! I think it looks great.

I wasted no time accessorizing the top. I finally had a place to put our Continental Art Company fairy lamp that I repaired.

I also freshened up the frame of this 1943 Cosmo DeSalvo print. This is a matching piece to a set that I should have in a few weeks from Atomic Warehouse.

Our bedroom is coming together slowly but it has been fun building it up. We managed to pick up a couple more Clay Art heads of some silver screen icons.  We still need to get Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor (as Cleopatra), Mae West, and the rest of the Wizard of Oz characters (Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow). I do not know if they made any others because there is no list of faces manufactured. If anyone has any of these please let us know because we want to get a complete set.  Here is our wall as it sits now:

Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Rio Nightstands Completed

We picked these up from two separate places through our blog. Our blog has helped us meet some really great people and allowed us to acquire a lot of items we’ve been looking for. Thanks David & Vince for each contributing to the completion of our Rio Heywood Wakefield bedroom set!

Each one had condition issues but all they needed were some sanding and staining. I used the same product I mentioned before off of Ebay to restore our Heywood Wakefield Rio vanity. Like I said before, I am amazed at how easy the whole process was. Here is how they turned out:

Shinny like melting butter. I love the rich finish. I would use this to paint my car if it would stay on my car.

You must keep in mind the only way to get a completely flawless finish when applying any stain is to be in a paint booth with dust and particulate filters to purify the air. Let’s remember I am a DIY guy so I do not have a fancy paint booth etc., so I have to do my best to eliminate any kind of surface contamination. All that being considered they turned out great!

Now that I have finished these pieces I need to take them to a local glass shop to get pieces cut to protect the tops. I recommend this whenever it comes to pieces that are wood and have been refinished.

I went a little crazy here. I have a big roll of this tan leatherette material that I used to line the inside of the drawers to protect them from wear. I think I need help.

Now that I have replaced the felt on these two lamps they will look great on top of these nighstands (and won’t scratch them either).

I am very happy with the results. Now onto the dressers.


Heywood Wakefield Restoration: The Right Tools For The Job!

Here it is before I restored it. The finish was tired and it was flaking off in some areas.

Mel and I picked this up at a local antique store and consider it one of our great finds. As I mentioned before, I want to decorate our bedroom in the rare Heywood Wakefield Rio style pieces (these were only made from 1943-1944). This is the first piece in our set. We are awaiting delivery of our low and tall dresser from back east.

The old finish wasn’t rich enough so I decided to change it up.

The first thing I had to do was use Klean-Strip chemical stripper to remove all the old finish. It took numerous coats to get the old finish off.

After I removed the old finish I needed to sand the whole piece down to ensure the stain penetrated the bare wood. This is a very important step to ensure the stain takes.

It is important that you sand the piece thoroughly to make sure the stain touches only bare wood. Once sanded make sure to wipe it down really well to remove any dust.

It is amazing how well Heywood Wakefield built their furniture. You can see that they used a lot of solid wood during the construction and most of it is old growth.

I used Minwax Ipswich Pine stain to restore the other Heywood Wakefield pieces, but I wanted to try something new this time. I wanted to achieve the milky, buttery finish they originally came with. I had seen this Champagne stain sold on Ebay and it seemed to be very effective from the pictures shown on the item auction screen. Jeff over at  “needful_useful_things” is the seller of this wonderful product and let me tell you this stain did not disappoint. Jeff has done a wonderful job explaining how to apply the stain and even offers himself up for questions if you need help. Anyways, the stain arrived and I was ready to give it a try.

Per Jeff’s instructions you will apply 4 coats of this stain. I decided to start with the drawers in case there was a learning curve (there wasn’t).

As you can see the buttery finish is present and they look fantastic. I was shocked at how easy the whole process was. I thought the process would be more complex but it was just a repeat each time. I am hooked on this stuff and will use this going forward when it comes to restoring Heywood Wakefield.

When the stain goes on it looks really milky but when dry it has a richness to it.

It took me a few days to knock this project out becasue drying times took a while due to the cool and wet weather we have been having. It is important not to rush a restoration. Just let it take as long as it takes, because if you hurry it will show in the final piece.

Here the piece is with 2 coats on it. The more coats you apply the better it looks!

After all the pieces dried the last step was to wax the piece. I love the final results!

As you can see I wasted no time accessorizing this piece. The finish looks like butter!

The finish looks as good as new!

What makes this stain so much like the original is that it shows just enough of the wood grain.

I could just see Mel getting all dolled up!

Next I need to refinish the stool we ordered on Ebay to match the vanity. I will be getting it recovered by our good friend Bill at B&T upholstery.

Now onto the next resto!

Heywood Wakefield Restoration: Lazy Susan Coffee Table M1576

Anybody who is into mid-century furnishings knows Heywood-Wakefield. They have been in business since before the turn of the century. Their design and quality is unmistakable. Recently we were able to piece together a living room table set off of Craigslist. We had to drive all over the central valley and the bay to acquire all four pieces. We ended up finding two matching end tables, “lazy susan” coffee table & also a corner table. As is normal for original used Heywood-Wakefield pieces the finish was peeling and there were stains on the surface. This did not concern me because I knew that they were made of solid wood. I could sand off any imperfections and it will look like new. My intention was to sand all pieces and then stain them with Minwax “Ipswich Pine” stain. After I had applied a few coats and they had dried I then used a spray on polyurethane with a semi-gloss finish. Once the polyurethane had dried I light sanded and then applied another coat. I did this about 3 times. Since I do not have a paint booth it is nearly impossible to get a perfect finish. Not to worry, all you need is some “0000” steel wool. I then took some car wax and applied a good amount to the steel wool and began to rub in the direction of the wood grain. I let it dry then buffed it off. The finish was nice and smooth and the semi gloss finish compliments these pieces well. Here are some pictures of the process and how it turned out.

Click Images to Enlarge


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