A little paint and distressing can update a vintage scale
making it a perfect piece of farmhouse style decor.
There are many antiques out there that are priceless. Their condition is impeccable. You can stand in awe looking at these treasures, marveling over the detail and craftsmanship of long ago. Care has been taken over the years to preserve the beauty and value of the piece. Those antiques shouldn't be touched or given a "makeover."
On the other hand, many others have seen better days. They are rusted. The finish is beyond repair. These antiques are perfectly fine for receiving a makeover. And many times, a little bit of DIY can actually raise the value of these neglected finds, turning them into stylish decor for your home.
I've never been in love with this scale purchased at an antique shop a few years back. It was $3, and at the time, I was looking for a replacement to a scale that I sold. Considering the rust and the fact that is it missing all of the numbers on the front, it's condition is bad enough to make me believe I overspent.
While I've used the scale in my decorating (you can see a picture in my fall home tour), it doesn't enhance any of my displays being so rusty and worn.
I finally decided it was time for this little scale to get a makeover. And while I know vintage scales are valuable and there will be people out there who still believe I shouldn't have touched it, I think you can agree that the after is much more suitable for displaying in my home than the before. And that is what is important to me. I felt the same way last year when I updated an old Goodwill fan.
Before painting the scale, the rust needed to go. I used a heavy grit sandpaper over everything except where the measurements would be (if this one still had them). Then everything was sealed with three coats of polyurethane to stop the rust from bleeding through.
The body of the scale was painted with two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash. I left the part where you'd set an item to be weighed in it's natural metal for some contrast.
The face of the scale looked a little dingy once the body was so clean, so I did a very light wash of Champlain paint mixed with some water over it.
Before the paint had dried for too long, I used 100 grit sandpaper over the edges and anywhere I wanted the scale to show a little wear. In a few places where the paint wasn't completely dry, it even peeled off a bit which I thought really makes this scale still seem old and worn.
My intention with painting this antique wasn't to make it look new and pristine, but rather cleaned up and fresh. Distressing the paint helps to maintain the character that an old metal item would have after years of use.
Painting an antique that is past it's prime is completely fine. We can all use a little makeover when we don't look so good anymore! A little paint didn't ruin the value of this old scale, because there wasn't much value left to it. But now that it is dressed up a little, it is once again a piece that I'm proud to display.
Oftentimes, things like this scale are what we pass over at yard sales and thrift stores because their condition is so bad. They are normally affordable, though. If you don't mind spending a little time doing a DIY, the worn out items are actually great buys and can give you a rustic or farmhouse style piece for very little money.
I'd love to hear if there is anything that you've given a makeover so that it fits in better with your style!
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