CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If the dining room set is still there when I go back tomorrow, it's mine.
There's something about barely-still-usable furniture that draws me. The attraction is not something new. It started ages ago, after I experienced the thrill of finding an antique dresser for $20 at a yard sale.
"Does it just have the one coat of brown paint?" I remember asking the seller. She assured me it did.
Excited about my purchase, I quickly hauled it to my garage and applied paint remover. Off came the brown paint.
Beneath it was green.
I was more amused than upset. After all, I'd only asked the seller about brown. Since the brown had come off easily enough, so should the green.
Except under the green paint was tan. Then yellow. Then cream.
Finally, though, there was oak. A gorgeous, wavy grain that drank in the stain and wax till it glowed.
I put in so many hours restoring that dresser, but the funny thing is - when I was finished, the dresser felt like even more of a bargain. Worth every minute, and more.
From then on, I was hooked by the challenge of trying to find the potential in dilapidated or dull-looking pieces, feeling proud that I was able to see what most others did not. Nothing pleased me more than to have someone question my sanity at the outset of a project. It added to the challenge, made it taste that much better.