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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Truly Priceless

If you cringe and cry at the thought of quality wood furniture being painted over with flat black paint, you may not want to read any further. Do understand that I didn’t do this wantonly. It just seemed the right decision.

This all began when I went poking around one of the local thrift shops. If you live in Northern Virginia and enjoy the treasure hunt of thrift shops, you should check out Yesterday’s Rose in Fairfax. I was actually looking for a microwave cart. Our cart that was a very cheap, imitation wood, put-together model was finally giving out after over twenty years. I am also in the process of trying to spruce up our finished basement and make it more of a living area and less of the place we put any and all excess stuff. As I am making my way through the haphazard maze of cheap dinettes and odd chairs I noticed a wooden lamp table stuck under a chrome and glass table. This table looked like it was solidly constructed. There were no gouges or deep nicks. The dovetail joints of the front drawer were intact. However, the table looked like it had suffered a great deal of abuse. The finish was marred with numerous scratches, stains, and water rings. There were wads of old gum stuck under the tabletop. The thrift shop had put a price of $15.00 on the table, but Thursday they were taking 75% off of all furniture. That means it would cost a whole $3.75 to acquire this table. Sold!

My thought was that I could sand the abused surfaces and paint the table flat black. It would be great for storing a few board games in our game room. I am not much of an expert on furniture refinishing but I can slap on a coat of paint without too much trouble. I figured that by the time I bought the paint, sand paper, and table, I would spend less than $20.00 which fit fine in my budget. I got the table home and took out the electric sander. It was pretty simple to smooth out the surface. It was still pretty stained but that would be covered by the paint. I took the drawer out to sand the face and noticed a signature maker’s mark on the side: Henredon fine furniture. My $3.75 table was a Henredon table. This piece of wood furniture is worthy of a quality facelift. I don’t have the time, skill, or inclination to do this. If I invested in a professional refinishing job I would have a valuable piece of furniture. It would look something like this (I found a picture of a similar model on ebay):

But I don’t want a valuable piece of furniture. I want a sturdy table for the game room. I don’t want to worry that my investment is being marred by family living. So I did it. I painted that quality wood black. It looks great. It is exactly what I wanted.

I will just ignore the fact that beneath those coats of black latex is a potential heirloom waiting to be exposed. Maybe some future generation of thrift shop shoppers will discover this table and give it the treatment it deserves. A crystal vase will grace its newly polished surface. Until then, it is going to hold the tools for family time: dominoes, cards, Cranium, and Trivial Pursuit. And truthfully, such times are the real treasures in life.

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