hand made tables

Vintage Hand Crafted Apothecary Tables

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Vintage HandMade Tables

Part I

This post is less about a project and more about the decision before the project.  I have found myself in a predicament and would like your input.  I have this pair of very old, vintage handmade tables.  They are solid wood, with dovetail cubby drawers . The tables appear to be hand made due to the visibly hammered nails in parts.Apothecary tables

The hardware can not be removed without risking damaging and possibly destroying them.  Note the photo is of the inside of the drawers where the hardware is merely a nailed end hammered down.  You don’t see that every day!

antique handmade tables

The craftsmanship is fantastic, imperfect yet made to last, obviously.  antique handmade tables vintage handmade tables

Originally I wanted to put a pretty print on each drawer and paint the body but now I’m not so sure that’s even possible. I can’t decide on whether I should leave them alone and sell ‘as is’.. or attempt to work around the hardware and paint.

vintage handmade tables   vintage handmade tables

I’m including multiple photos to show how these little tables were made, there are no markings to decipher age or make anywhere to be found.

vintage hand made tables, vintage furniture, hand made, painted furniture, staten island, nyc, nj, just the woods, dovetail   vintage hand made tables, vintage furniture, hand made, painted furniture, staten island, nyc, nj, just the woods, dovetail

I’m also considering leaving them as is but lining the bottoms of the insides of the drawers (nonpermanent) to cover the ink stains while maintaining the original character of the tables. antique apothecary tablesMaybe one of these prints for inside the drawers:

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What say you?

Part II

Materials Needed:

Staging/Home Decor

After much consideration, I decided to NOT paint these tables. Instead, I cleaned them up and refreshed the wood.  A simple cleaning and refresh brightened and enhanced the rich chestnut color of the wood.Restored vintage tables

Then I chose the first print, it’s neutral with a simple design that doesn’t take away from the character of the tables.



I used a clean cloth as a buffer and ironed the print flat to make sure it didn’t curl up in the drawers since I didn’t want to make the liner permanent.  I want to make sure that the drawers are clean and a place that someone would want to place personal items.  But at the same time, I don’t want to compromise the integrity of the tables.


Once finished these apothecary style chests are gorgeous…  and without paint.  For those who follow my work, I paint everything but I can always appreciate a piece that doesn’t need paint.  These definitely fall into that category!

Restored Vintage Handmade Tables by Just the Woods, vintage hand made tables

Restored Vintage Handmade Tables by Just the Woods Restored apothecary tables Restored apothecary tables Antique dovetail jointsVintage handmade apothecary tables

I’ll be sharing this post at these fabulous link parties.

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