Thrift shop Refurbish #1

Once at a music practice, someone found a “broken” music stand. I walked over and took the stand and figured out the reason the stand was non-functional. I explained it to leader, only to find that she was more astonished at the fact that I was able to diagnose the problem than the fact that an expensive music equipment was broken. Later that week, she mentioned it to my mom. I chuckle every time I remember that story because most people are surprised that I know a few ‘handy’ tricks, or when they find out that I often help my dad fixing/building things around the home.

August 2013, my younger sister Joan and I, wanted to surprise our parents by refurbishing an old piece of furniture on our own. We began by shopping around thrift stores for a piece composed of solid wood. Our budget was under $20.
We visited three different stores, until we found our recipient at the local Good Will store. We paid $10 for this pale pink small bookshelf.pre

We then paid a visit to Rona and bought some walnut stain. That afternoon we spent a few hours sanding the whole shelf down. The following day we started the stain. I found a can of pecan stain, so I decided to combine the two. We let it dry, and when we came back, to our great dismay, we found that the stain dried to look extremely ugly. The walnut stain looked as though we painted the beautiful cedar with black stain. Joan and I were so upset. Joan came up with the the most intelligent solution (i.e. intelligent accident). She found a thin piece of metal, which used to belong to a hole punch. She began to scrape the wood. As I began observing, unknowingly, she created a masterpiece. Somehow, the stain, was reinforced into the small hairline cracks in the wood, creating beautiful texture. We were amazed! (Well, we both prayed throughout the whole project, so it shouldn’t be a surprise).

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Encouraged, we used the pecan stain and went over the whole shelf once over, and let it dry overnight.

When we moved into our home about 9-10 years ago, the previous owner, being a renowned engineer (he actually built our home, and was part of the Montreal Expo), left a lot of building materials. Amid the collection was a bunch of old rugged solid hardwood. We decided to nail a few of them on the top. We did sand it, and used the pecan stain. We were quite proud of our achievement.


Oh, we also nailed a few shorter and thinner pieces of wood to the back of the shelf as you can see in the picture.

In the end, our parents loved it and were very touched. It meant a lot to our father because it was from him that we learned all of which we accomplished. It now rests in our living room.


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