Rustic buffet! The last piece to my clients amazing living room and hallway! Here is a total of all her pieces in her home, not including other pieces I refinished in her master bedroom 😉

Finishing off my clients dream home with the matching buffet this gal is rocking her new look! Refinished in Sherwin-Williams Paperwhite and lightly distressed. All original hardware revamped in bronze. The top stained in Mission Oak.



Coat Rack

Loving this heavy rustic furniture my client has me refinishing for her home. Next up is her coat rack!

To view the matching furniture items so far click here: Rustic Furniture

Refinished in Sherwin-Williams Paperwhite and lightly distressed. Heavy iron hooks are revamped in bronze.



This piece is actually bigger then what you would think. Heavy and solid just like how I like my furniture pieces. My clients home is sprinkled in teals and blues. Staying with a neutral grey color we did something exciting for an added pop!

Refinished in Sherwin-Williams Mega Greige and distressed in all the right places. Revamped the original hardware knobs in Sherwin-Williams Rivulet for an unexpected color addition tying in her space.



I absolutely love the space this mastive piece is going in. My clients master bedroom is beach themed and she wanted to lighten up her dark furniture.

After seeing her bedroom set in person we agreed on the perfect white.

Refinished in Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa and lightly distressed. Revamping the original hardware in black to match her other pieces.


Vintage New Century Sewing Machine Cabinet

I remember the day I found this fellow. I was in my shop working on a Saturday and my neighbor calls me. He tells me he is at Goodwill and they were having 50% sale on all furnishings and that “you need to come down here, I think this may be something you want”. I loaded up and ran over there. People were everywhere looking at so many goodies. There sat a little table that no one thought twice of. I thought to myself, well isn’t that cute. As I got closer and was checking him out I saw that he was a sewing machine. Of course- anything vintage has my heart. So I went ahead and purchased him along with a few other items.

When I brought him home I didn’t think about plugging him in, the chances of him working were slim to none and to gut him would be a project for another day. So I stuck him off in the corner- and thought, I’ll get to him later. Weeks past and I figured, it’s time to check him out. I plugged him in the outlet and couldn’t believe it! I quickly grabbed my phone and made a short little video that I posted over on Second Chance Charms (Behind The Scenes) Furniture.

I also found some exciting little things like a maintenance receipt from 1983 and sewing footers, needles and the like.

After much late night research on the web and with the help of a lady by the name of Cyndy in Nowra, New South Wales (You can view her site at Cyndy Kitt Productions) we came to the conclusion that this vintage New Century sewing machine cabinet is from the 1930’s by Marcus Clark & Co.

Of course- I must share some history on this old timer:

From a modest start in the Sydney suburb of Newtown in 1883, Marcus Clark & Co rose to become one of the city’s largest department stores with a network of branches in towns and suburbs across Australia. Henry Marcus Clark (1859-1913) established the company when he purchased the drapery business of his former employer, John Kingsbury. The business quickly expanded, trebling itself within five years, and soon opened new stores in Marrickville and Bondi Junction. In the Sydney Sands directory for 1894, Marcus Clark was listed as a “wholesale and retail draper, tailor, milliner, boot warehouse and fancy repository; the largest, best lighted and most comfortable establishment in Newtown, the floor space covering nearly an acre.” In 1896 Marcus Clark & Co opened a store closer to the city on the corner of George & Harris Street near Railway Square. It was, however, a slightly different concept as it stocked less expensive wares than its other stores and was given the name Bon Marche, a reference to the famous Parisian department store (but also the name of the store in Liverpool, England where Henry Marcus Clark was apprenticed). The success of the store led to a larger building being constructed on the site in 1909 but also influenced Marcus Clark to build more stores around Railway Square. Marcus Clark & Co made arguably its biggest and most lasting mark on Sydney in 1906 when the James Nangle-designed Central Square building, known as the flat-iron building, was erected on the corner of George and Pitt Streets, Railway Square, on the site of an early toll-gate. For all visitors entering the city from the south it was an impressive sight: a landmark nine-storey structure of 150 feet in height, the tallest in Sydney at the time. It was probably also about this time that the company’s stock expanded greatly: a catalogue from around 1910 (TCQ 749.20491 CLA) lists departments ranging from manchester to ironmongery, musical instruments to stationery.


Henry Marcus Clark’s early experience in Newtown may have alerted him to the advantages of regional and suburban retailing. Although a number of retailers opened branches outside the city after World War II, Marcus Clark & Co’s growth was unprecedented: the 1915 Sydney Sands directory listed stores in Newtown, North Sydney, Armidale, Dubbo, Goulburn, Gunnedah, Inverell, Lismore, Lithgow, Narrabri, Newcastle, Nowra, Tamworth and Wollongong. Many of these country locations were actually modest sized ‘sample rooms’ rather than large stores. However, they could still provide customers with personalized service and competed directly with city retailers like Anthony Hordern & Sons which made large profits from the lucrative mail order trade. Country customers could order goods and have them shipped from Marcus Clark & Co’s city stores, conveniently located next to the parcels post office at Central Railway. Many department stores of the early twentieth century had their own manufacturing facilities. Marcus Clark & Co’s manufactures included timber and cane furniture, quilts and bedding. The colourful 1920s ‘New Century’ down and kapok quilts catalogue (TC 643.53 CLA) emphasised the company’s local production. Marcus Clark & Co emphasised value for money, like many department stores of the day. The preface to a furniture catalogue from around 1914 (TC 749.20491 CLA) states that “you can very likely get more timber and upholstery for your money – but nowhere can you purchase more lasting satisfaction and furniture friendliness.” By this date, a new furniture showroom had been constructed, also on Railway Square, to be extended in 1928 by architects Spain & Cosh into another impressive 10-storey building with clock tower. On the death of Henry Marcus Clark in 1913, his son Reginald Marcus Clark (1883-1953), who was knighted in 1939 and then known as Sir Marcus Clark, took over the business. The company continued in family hands until taken over by rival department store, Waltons, in 1966. Marcus Clark’s Bon Marche store had already closed in 1961 and moved to the Sydney suburb of Liverpool and the Railway Square store closed in July 1965.

Refinishing him to his stellar original days was the first option. However, with his black and gold sewing machine I wanted to incorporate those colors.

Refinished in Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black and heavily glazed in gold. Distressed for an added vintage look. The top and inside are stained in Minwax Chestnut to match his original days. I added a Gold Metal Arrow Handle from Hobby Lobby to help open the little compartment door he has to hold all sewing necessities. The working rotary sewing machine operates via a pedal at thigh height, which you just lean into with your leg. Closed cabinet measures, 21.5″ wide x 17″ deep x 30.5″ tall.

He is available for purchase, to view details please click over to Shop Selections.

1920’s Library Card Catalog

Worth the wait, wouldn’t you agree!? My first piece to the new year! Meeep!!! I want to start off by saying, I believe that every furniture refinisher out there wants to be able to say they refinished or restored an antique library card catalog storage cabinet, at least once. Secondly, I think it’s safe to assume that everybody wishes they owned one! I can check off one of those things! I completely swooned when I got my hands on this old fellow. He belonged to my great-grandfather and it was used to store his nick knacks and small tools in his garage. I am not sure how he encountered such a piece but let me just say- he used it for all its possibilities. After his passing in 2011 my mother held on to this lovely old gem, stored away in her garage, waiting for a Second Chance.

Before pictures:

The first thing I do when receiving a piece underway in the makeover process is take all the hardware off. Of course, this piece was an emotional experience for me. All the tags had my great grandfather’s hand writing on them. A little part of him was still here.

I giggled at my self a few times when I was stripping the paint away that he applied by hand and I would bet with some old paint he had stashed somewhere wanting a change, thinking to myself, I bet if he were here he would have said to me “Geez great grand-daughter, if I knew you would be knee-deep in toxic liquid, breathing in fumes, and scrubbing until your fingers were numb I wouldn’t have painted that darn thing”. But I know now that he would be so proud of how this piece looks today.

Stripping away all the old paint, my mother and I agreed to restore the base. The wood grain was in beautiful shape, apart from some cracks and missing pieces. I didn’t want to fill in certain flaws as it’s part of his charm and character. I stained the body and drawer faces using Minwax Early American.


Using four colors we enhanced only 20 of the 45 drawers for an artistic pop of color touch. My mom chose to use Sherwin-Williams Butternut, Rookwood Terra Cotta, Haven and Riverway.


I distressed the drawers that had color on them for the final vintage worn look. I am so proud of how this 1920’s Yawman & Erbe MFG. CO. Rochester N.Y. 45 drawer Library, Apothecary, Antique Industrial Card File turned out!! The card file has four sections: Top section with a brass plate identifying the manufacture (hidden behind paint in the before photo). Three sections with 15 card files each. Three boxes were built to replace the missing ones, two broken faces were repaired and four new catalog hardware was added to complete this restoration project!

Before and After: