Super lucky to of found this amazing sample book of vinyl upholstery for transport and upholstery trades just last week.
Dating from the 1950’s the book contains 60+ samples of vinyl showcasing different textures, patterns, colours and finishes.
See just a small selection below.
It’s amazing to recognise so many of the patterns and colours from the book on different pieces of furniture I’ve dealt with over the last 10+ years. However I must say my favourite was towards the rear of the book, and appears to of been a late inclusion as it is fixed differently to the other samples.
As you can see, this finish is called ‘Satellite’ and definitely has a strong atomic influence. Reminds me very much of those 1950’s French coat/cloth/hat racks by Roger Feraud.
Yes, what indeed are we looking at……………………? Well if we pan back a little, you’ll see that we are feasting our eyes on some amazing etched glass doors that depicts a lovely forest scene with everyone’s favourite mid century animal – deer! And not just one, but 3! Buckincluded!
I’d dare to have a guess and say that they didn’t quite match the new style that the renovators in question had in mind for their 1950/60’s home so out they came, and luckily for some, straight into my arms!
Doors and shower screens seem to be the most common areas to find these etched glass images, ranging from mermaids to bushmen, under water fish to ships however I’ve rarely seen such a large scene stretched across 2 doors and its 2 sidelights.
With no active plans for them at this stage, I think I’ll just store them until I find a use, or alternatively, until someone comes across this post, falls in love and wants them for their own home restoration! If thats you, contact me here.
With the bedside sanded and ready for the finish to be applied I wasted no time in applying some Cabots Danish Oil. I decided to go with the Danish Oil as from previous experiences I like the protection/slight hardness it gives and it’s neutral colour which really lets the blonde QLD maple grain shine through.
4 thin coats were applied using a cotton cloth, with each coat being lightly sanded with some 800 grit wet and dry sandpaper before the next was applied.
The results were pretty great! Lovely tones however with a varying contrast due to the timbers used, which leads me to think that the original orange/?/stain/shellac applied was probably more so to ensure that all pieces were uniform in their colouring due to the varying timbers used………Give me the au naturel look any day!
At the end of my last update I had removed the base/legs and was continuing to prepare the bedside for it’s new finish.
With the bedside now in pieces I could get stuck into some fine veneer repairs along with the final preparation of the timber surfaces before reassembly. As mentioned previously due to the thin nature of the veneer, patience is a must when sanding, 240 grit to start, 320 grit to finish.
Reassembly was pretty straight forward, fresh wood glue, and with the existing screws and holes all lining up it went back together like a jigsaw puzzle, just lucky I numbered each piece!
Once the glue had dried, a very light final sand with some 400 grit wet and dry was carried out in preparation for the Danish Oil to be applied.
I’ve been sitting on this Summertone bedside for a little while in the hope of finding its matching partner. Unfortunately I haven’t been so lucky as of yet, however in preparation for a larger restoration job I’ve decided to trial a few different techniques and finishes on it.
Wanting to get away from that orange tinge I’ll be removing the original shellac finish and tint and going with a neutral finish to show off that wonderful golden QLD maple veneer. Seeing as though I’ve only got 1mm or less in thickness to work with I’ll be using a cabinet scraper and metho/steel wool to keep the sanding to a minimum.
Already you can see the huge difference between the natural colour of the stripped back drawer front and the original finish to the body of the bedside. To make things easier, I’ve removed the legs and base supports and as these are solid timber the electric sander should make light work of them.
Hoping to get through the restoration within a week or two so be sure to check back and see how things progress!
A few weeks ago I was in S.A for work, and whilst travelling to my destination I passed an absolutely amazing piece of Mid Century architecture in possibly the most uncommon place.
Now I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to mid century architecture, and I know that you know my core business is mid century furniture and home decor, however I had to share, especially after a reasonable search online brought up practically no information or images.
Surrounded by vast grazing/cropping pastures and century + old stone buildings Hallett was the last place I’d ever expect to see such a building.
After rubbernecking like I never have before, a swift U’bolt was undertaken to have a closer look. The foundation stone provides an exact date – 1957. And the little information I found online describes the Church of England consecrating St Catherines of Sienna on the 15th September 1957. It was officially closed in 2003 when it was sold and is now a private residence.
Unfortunately it needs some serious attention, and currently appears to be only used as storage.
I can only imagine how magnificent the inside space would of been in it’s day with all that natural light flooding in. A heavenly experience in a far out building I’m sure.
If you’re ever in the region, you can find it yourself just before/past the Toolangi road turnoff on the Barrier Highway.
Continuing on from my last post, the repairs to the 1950’s bedsides have been completed.
I was reasonably happy with how the veneer patching turned out. Once the glue dried, I dotted the fresh veneer with a dark stain (walnut) to help give it a little colour, and after a light sand, I again spotted the repairs with a varnish/thinner mixture to build it up a little. It was after this I then realised I wasn’t happy with the overall finish on the door and drawer fronts. Cue some 240 grit wet and dry. This smoothed out the original finish, and gave a good base to then apply 2 final coats of the varnish/thinner mixture.
With the repairs done, it was time to polish the new (old) door and drawer handles in preparation for fitting!
I came across this neat little set of bedside tables on the weekend. Ever popular, and judging by the style, I’d imagine they date from the 1950’s. Cube shaped, and sitting atop a 4 legged base, the compartments comprise of a single drawer and cupboard space.
It looks like they’ve previously had a refurbish, and unfortunately the handle choice leaves a little………or a lot to be desired! Just not the correct style for the piece. Luckily I was able to find 4 period specific matching handles that should look quite good. More on those next post.
Now for the fun part. The current handles had to have 2 extra holes drilled in each drawer, and 1 extra in each cupboard door because the centres for the screw holes were wider apart than the original handles (6 holes in total to patch). Secondly, whilst removing the handles, they removed some of the finish and stain due to whatever glue they used to attach them. Double Whammy! Thanks for coming! LOL. All good, I’ll sort it!
I started off by glueing some 6mm dowel pieces in place of the old handle screw holes. This will help give a solid backing to the small pieces of maple veneer I’ll cut and paste. A super sharp razor blade and small rule then helped to size the veneer up perfectly which was ‘borrowed’ from the rear/bottom of the drawer fascia. It should mean that once I’ve reapplied some stain, it will match very well. Fingers crossed of course!