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A few days ago I was lying in bed in the morning  and scrolling through Facebook when a Marketplace advertisement popped up and caught my eye.  It was for a silky oak dressing table which looked to be in pretty good condition and a fair price- $150.  Silky oak is a tree which is native to where I live and we have one growing on our property so it is quite special to have furniture which was obviously made with locally sourced timber.

Within a matter of 10 minutes I had contacted the seller and arranged to buy it with collection that afternoon.  GMan and I took the ute and collected this beauty.

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It is currently in the workshop as we intend to sand and refinish the timber as well as replacing the handles on the drawers and possibly replacing the mirror.

You may remember the other dressing table, also silky oak, which GMan restored a few years ago.

Dressing table

Once the new one is restored I will probably swap the existing one to the guest room and replace it with the slightly larger one in our bedroom as there is more drawer space.

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002I am really pleased with how this turned out.  We trusted the skill and judgement of Hans at Montville Joinery and would highly recommend him if you live in the area.

Bringing this piece of furniture into the house has led to some further re-arranging of furniture to best meet our needs and there will be more about that in a later post.

Recipes and Restoration

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In response to the comments from my Clean & Green post the links to recipes for both the cream cleanser and wool wash are under the tab at the top of the page marked “Recipes – Other”.  Unfortunately, the wool wash one does not have any photos as they were a victim of my culling photos some time ago 😦  I do need to make some more again before long so I will take some new photos.  Also, I have found that the mixture sets quite firmly so I will be experimenting to make it more like a gel or even semi-liquid.  I will let you know how I go.

Dressing table

Since we finished restoring the silky oak dressing table we have been searching for a similar unit for The Duke’s clothes.  Many that I had seen on Gumtree (online buy/sell site) did not have enough storage space.  I was hoping for a silky oak piece but that was not essential.

On the weekend we bought this piece.  The thing I really love are the small, deep drawers at the top.  They will be perfect for separating socks and underwear.

Chest of drawers
The seller had owned it for about 20 years and never restored it.  We will need to replace the bases of some of the drawers and do a bit of structural refashioning.  The piece is not original as the top left-hand drawer does not match the others and the front of the unit looks as though it was once the back of a piece of furniture.  Apparently it has come from Coober Pedy (an opal-mining town in the outback of South Australia) and there is clearly a lot of history so I believe it deserves to be restored.  It needs a lot of work but we are confident that it will come up nicely.  We intend to replace the wooden knobs with metal handles to match the dressing table.

We do not intend to embark on this project at the moment as we are trying to get things ready before we head overseas in a couple of months.  So we have covered the piece with a heavy drop-sheet and left it until we have more time.

Downsizing the Drawers

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Last week I showed you some of our furniture restoration projects.  Like everything we do they did not come to fruition quickly.  In fact, The Duke found the receipt for the new hardware for the drawers which was dated May 2012!!

The drawers are finally finished (apart from the mirror) and have been moved into our bedroom.

This is what they have replaced.

Chest of drawers
The first step was to remove the contents from the existing chest of drawers.
As per any good decluttering guide, the first step is to remove everything from its existing location.  Even though it was completely necessary to do it in this instance,it is certainly sobering to see the entire contents piled on the floor.  I was amazed at the things that I ‘found’ that had not been worn for some time.  After carefully sorting the items I managed to toss 2 pairs of socks  and an old t-shirt.  There probably should have been more but it is a case of small steps.

My clothes
I also removed the drawer liners and cut the pieces to size to re-use in the new drawers.

Drawer liners
It took a bit of judicious re-arranging but the clothes all fitted in.  This was mainly because the drawers in the new dressing table are somewhat deeper than in the previous chest of drawers even though there are less drawers.

Dressing table
This is my new dressing table/clothes storage which is silky oak timber.  The silky oak tree is native to the local area in which we live.  We bought this about 2 years ago and The Duke stripped all of the paint from it, sanded and stained the piece of furniture.  All of the drawer handles are new reproductions of a style similar to what would have been on the drawers originally.  All that is left to do is to get a new mirror cut and place in the oval frame which will be suspended between the 2 timber uprights that you can see in the photo.  We are taking the old mirror to town tomorrow to get it done.

I am really pleased with how this has turned out.  There is a huge degree of satisfaction in restoring old pieces of furniture and bringing them back to life.

Furniture Restoration

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I do not have photos of each piece but The Duke and I have been busy today, working on 3 different pieces of furniture.

Furniture restoration

The main piece is a silky oak chest of drawers/dressing table which we finally got around to beginning to stain.  We bought it unrestored a couple of years ago and the Duke worked hard to strip all of the paint and sand the individual pieces.  The oval mirror which attaches to the top has been dismantled and that was what was holding us back.  We needed to have it resilvered and there always seemed to be something more pressing to do.  The Duke searched on the internet and found that a large glass and mirror business in the city no longer do resilvering as it is cheaper, easier and more accurate to cut a new one, no matter what the shape or if there are bevelled edges.  We will have the frame stained and take it with the old mirror next week to get a new mirror cut and fitted into the frame.  Once it is finished it will replace the current pine chest of drawers that I am using.

On the left-hand side of the photo is what was originally our TV cabinet which was used by our daughter for a few years and then found its way back home.  Today we have sanded and undercoated it and the finish will be gloss white enamel and it will go in the guest (Air BnB) bedroom instead of the small decoupage desk which is there at the moment.

Finally, there is a pine blanket box standing on its end in the background.  We plan to use this as a storage box on the verandah.  It will hold BBQ supplies and tools and will be painted ‘Woodland Grey’ which is the colour that we will be using for a lot of the exterior trim as well as all of the fenceposts.  We have had this box for over 30 years but it has been superseded in our bedroom by an antique cedar chest.  It had heavy rope handles which we removed and are replacing with metal handles.  We bought them some time ago from Paddington Hardware along with all the new handles for the chest of drawers.  The holes where the rope was attached needed to be filled so I sanded a piece of an old broomstick and cut it into pices to plug the holes.  We overfilled them with Plastibond and tomorrow will sand the box including the Plastibond.

It may take us a couple of weekends to finish them all but I am looking forward to taking photos of the finished articles to show you.