I’ve never properly shared my newest vintage obsession in my home. That bright orange industrial school locker nestled between vintage French country toile curtains and an amateur ship captain oil painting. None of it makes any sense but it doesn’t have to, does it?
And would you believe my number 1 picker and brother found that flaming orange locker on a curb? No shame in his game. Or mine since I paid him for his haul. Destined for a landfill no more, my friends. It now houses all of the wood stove accoutrements.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, shall we? The wood stove is a brand new addition this winter. It is serving us well as our primary source of heat. Ryan installed the slate tile hearth and I must say that he did a bang up job bringing the rustic vibe I was seeking. We picked up the iron log holder on our last trip to Brimfield. I love this cozy corner in our home which is an eclectic mash up of so many vintage styles. It has set the tone for the direction of the rest of our house.
And do I need to mention the vintage walnut & mohair chairs again? Because I will. American furniture designer Ward Bennett for Brickel Associates circa 1970. They go for about three grand on 1st dibs. Unbelievable. Let’s just say I paid less than 1% of that and didn’t have an idea of their value until I researched the label. Neither did the seller obviously. My most prized find to date! It certainly pays to buy (or trash pick) what catches your eye. Always trust your gut when shopping for vintage.
Vintage Trunks are the best, aren’t they? Clearly they provide storage as that was the intention in the utilitarian object to begin with. However, they also lend an aesthetic appeal to a space.
A few years back I scored this large vintage ammo trunk as part of a lot of trunks. It was a WWII US Navy trunk. In fact, the shipping labels are still in tact which indicate that it was sent to the US Air Force in New York. The trunk, overall, is in great shape.
I have a soft spot for World War II memorabilia. It is probably the least feminine thing to collect but there is something visually appealing to me about the army green, type fonts, rivets and brass details typically associated with the items. It generally leads me to wonder about what our country was like at that time with women headed to work while men were at war; what my grandparents were doing; what technology was in play and so on. It is also the era that my collections date back to. I don’t really gravitate toward many pieces earlier than 1940’s.
Naturally I loved this green trunk although I did initially try to sell it but had no takers. When that happens it is a sure sign that it is meant to stay with us…at least for now.
Over the past year it has lived a double life after receiving a set of casters on the bottom so it can easily be pushed around. First, it made a fantastic window seat when covered with a thick, tufted cushion and pillows.
The problem was that it simply wasn’t getting enough use beyond its storage abilities. A few months ago, I pushed it into play as an extra long coffee table where it seems to have a more fulfilling life. Plus, this made more room for vintage chair hoarding.
You can do no wrong to it. Drink rings cause no damage. This thing was in war after all! And brass always looks good with army green.
The Ardex plunge, that is. This product has taken the DIY world by storm lately. For those of you that don’t know, Ardex- Feather Finish is a concrete substrate traditionally used in subflooring. It has been getting increasingly popular as a low-cost way to resurface laminate counter tops. In my continued quest to update our 80’s kitchen on a tight budget, I thought it was worth a try.
The über fake looking wood grain formica counter never jived well with the true wood backsplash we installed a couple of years back.
Last you saw the space we installed chrome hardware, about a year ago. At that time, I had searched for Ardex- Feather Finish planning to move right into the counter project. The product is difficult to find although I tracked it down at a local tile shop and now it is readily available on Amazon.
I delayed the counter installation because I couldn’t make a decision on what sealer to use. It is very much personal preference however you must choose a food safe sealer considering this is a kitchen counter after all. Some concrete sealers have a fungicide in them which make sense in a shower or on a patio but on a counter I prefer not to have any pesticides as food may come in direct contact. You also have the aesthetic choice of sealers with a matte finish, more of a sheen and even stains.
We went with a sealer we had all along…Miss Mustard Seed’s hemp oil. It stained and sealed the concrete, plus it is food safe. I applied three coats back to back because the porous surface kept soaking it up. I plan to apply another coat or two this week until it reaches total saturation.
Mixing Ardex is very similar to mixing milk paint. It comes in a powder form and mixes easily with water. (1 part Ardex to 1/2 part water) To prep, we first sanded the countertop to rough it up a bit for best adhesion. Then we carefully and quickly applied one thin coat right over the formica using a trowel. It was much like icing a cake. Ardex dries very quickly and turns to a clay like consistency.
Twenty four hours later, it was dry and ready to be sanded down to a smooth finish. I used 60 grit sandpaper and then 150.
After vacuuming up the dust, I applied another slightly thicker coat. And then repeated the above steps again the following day to make for a third coat. As you can see, we did not remove the sink. We simply took the Ardex right up to the edge.
On the third and final coat, I was more deliberate in my application and trowel marks as I realized these would be seen on the finished surface.
The process went pretty quickly. Actual application only took about 30 minutes each time as we didn’t have much counter space to cover.
The final step was sealing the concrete finish. As I mentioned, we chose hemp oil since it is all natural and food safe. I simply brushed on the hemp oil. This will need to be applied annually as will most sealers on a porous counter. I am also considering applying a coat of furniture wax for a little luster.
It soaked into the surface right before our eyes and we continued on with the next coat.
Overall I love the final finish. It has a natural rustic feel vs. the fake plastic look we had previously. I am not convinced that it has the look of a poured concrete counter but I am happy with this low-budget transformation.