I love estate auctions. There is something so gratifying about buying something that was preloved and keeping it out of landfills. I normally, go through the auction site and put really low bids on items that I liken to playing auction roulette. I never know if I’ll win or if someone else will pick the items up for a better deal. Sometimes, I’ll love the item in my home for a few weeks and then resell it so someone else can enjoy it.
Last week, I picked up an antique sewing machine and cabinet for only $5. I’d seen similar ones that were on sale for $500 to $5,000 so I was shocked and delighted when my bid was the winner. Once I picked up the item, I could see why. While the sewing machine itself was dusted off, the wood cabinet had a huge layer of dust and cobwebs. For people who are afraid of potentially bringing home creepy crawlies, they would have left this find behind.
The scariest part was just bringing it home in my car, but once I got it home, I did a thorough inspection and discovered that all of the spiders were dead.
Quick Tip: Do not bring a piece of furniture into your home until it has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected.
Once I got the piece home, I put it on my covered patio so I could do a full inspection. The piece was likely placed in an attic or under-home storage shed for 30 or 40 years and then forgotten. I then got to work.
Within half an hour, I transformed a dilapidated piece of rubbish back to its former glory, and could easily sell it for at least $400. Not a bad ROI for an hour of work!
You can do it too. Here are the steps.
1. Remove loose dust and cobwebs with a duster.
2. Rub of more dust using rags.
3. Now, pull out my favorite tool – a microfibre cloth. Get it slightly damp and start wiping every surface down. Rinse the cloth frequently.
4. Using a different microfibre cloth, wipe every wood surface with my special wood treatment oil.
Monique’s special wood treatment oil:
· 1 cup grapeseed or olive oil (I used grapeseed oil infused with calendula flowers because I had it on hand, but plain grapeseed oil works fine. This oil has very fine molecules, so it absorbs better than vegetable oil.)
· ¼ cup vinegar
· 8 drops lavender oil
Place all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake. Spray on your cloth rather than on the wood. Test a small area of wood before using it everywhere. If your wood is treated with paint rather than varnish or stain, the paint may come off.
After bringing this beauty home, I decided to whip up an apron on my other sewing machine (a wedding present from my mother-in-law back in 1991). The pattern is from the 1940s.
What a great start to the weekend!