Have I ever told you about Amnesty Day in our village? I know that I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago on Facebook and I'll bet that some of you wondered what in the heck I was referring to while others of you who know me and who happen to live in the Western Chicago 'burbs probably just laughed to yourselves...
because you know that I was shamelessly cruising the streets of my village in search of other people's cast off furniture and garden decor...I just can't resist a good roadside rescue... or two
...like this cute pair of side tables that I snagged on Amnesty Day, 2010.
For those of you who haven't had the good fortunate to have experienced this phenomenon for yourselves, let me explain: Each year in May, our village has what's known as "trash amnesty day". This means that residents are, for one glorious Monday each year, exempt from having to pay extra to have larger items hauled away by the trash folks.
For scrap metal dealers and junkers like me, it's like CHRISTMAS...in May! It's like college move out day...only with wayyyy better stuff! In my neighborhood, it's often furniture that no longer has a home because someone grew tired of it or their decorator got them something new.
It's nicer than the beer-soaked desks and tables which have been tossed out of a fraternity house window into a pile at the curb that you'll usually find at every college and university across the nation at just about the same time each year. I've witnessed college move out day for three years and I have to admit that, while I've been tempted, I've never been brave enough to haul college cast-off furniture home...amnesty day, however, is another story....I've lived here for twenty years and I'm still amazed at what people throw away.
There's patio and household furniture, carpets, toys, old electronics, televisions, grills, exercise equipment...you name it, you can probably find it on the curb in front of someone's home...unless another scavenger gets to it before you do!
Over the years, my amnesty day hauls have included the patio table and two chairs that I showed you in my White Spray Painted Metal Patio Furniture post, two book cases that I told you about in my Cabinet De-Finishing post last summer. They're in my studio, along with a roadside rescue dresser makeover and an amnesty day table....are you sensing a theme here?! There's also a concrete planter that I gifted to my friend, Maureen and, of course.... these two adorable side tables.
I've watched other junkers haul off bedroom sets, sofas, entertainment units and some pretty amazing dining room furniture. I know that there are at least a few college students who have completely furnished their apartments with amnesty day finds.
There have been at least two years when I've wished that I owned a truck as I loaded the metal patio set into the back seat of my friend, Donna's, two seat convertible and more years than I can count where I've debated whether there was room in my garage for one more set of chairs....but I digress.
These tables were in pretty good shape when I found them. Good enough that they've been in my guest room, un-refinished and un-repaired...until now. I've found that now that our home is on the market and the garage is finally cleared out, I've got the time and the space to paint some of the furniture that I've been
Here's what I did to achieve the look on these tables: The table top and pull out tray were wiped with furniture refinisher and sealed with dark wax. The body of the piece was painted with chalk paint in Old White then highlighted with Cream. I very lightly distressed the piece and gave it one coat of clear wax.
TIP: When you want a grey cast to the piece, simply TINT YOUR WAX!
I tinted the wax for this project by adding Graphite and French Linen to Clear wax and mixing well. Then, I applied the wax to the areas along the banding on the top of the piece as well as the cross bars on the legs using a stiff brush, I allowed the wax to settle into the creases and wiped away the excess with a soft cloth. I re-used the original brass hardware.
The repair wasn't difficult. First, I drew a template of the wavy pattern along the top of the table then transferred it to 1/8" thick bass wood that I purchased at the hobby store. I cut the basswood with my jig saw.
Then, I clamped and glued the existing pieces then added my basswood patch with glue and clamps and left the piece to dry overnight. This morning, I sanded the edges until they were round and matched the rest of the piece. I filled the remaining gaps with wood putty then followed the same process as I had on the first table.
So, there you have it. The story of one of my favorite suburban holidays: Trash Amnesty Day, and the roadside rescue tables that found their way into my home (and heart) via a neighbor who no longer wanted them....and a chalk paint and tinted wax makeover!
Miss Mustard Seed