Monday, February 27, 2012

A Challenge to Antique Dealers

I call myself an antique dealer, loosely, apologetically. 

Truthfully, most of what I try to sell falls in the "vintage" category.  Not 100 years old.  Yet at least 20 years old.

We are all trying to sell the same stuff, the same junk, the same.  All across my city, Kansas City, there are hundreds of dealers.  We are all competing for a very small piece of the pie.  We run 30% off sales in our booth, only to have the dealer around the corner having a 50% off sale.  Competition drives down prices.  That's why Kansas City is probably the best city for finding vintage/antique items at the cheapest prices. 

My point is, we've lost our creativity.  When a dealer uses a different technique and comes up with a new twist on, let's say painting a dresser, then within the month, that technique is copied around our city at rapid pace, springing up in the West Bottom's famous First Friday Weekend sales.  Each shop is offering the same stuff the shop around the corner offers.

I am talking to myself here - preaching at myself.  Because I'm as guilty as anybody.  In the quest for increased sales, we feel this is necessary. 

I don't know how to solve this problem, except to do something different than others.  But be assured, the "bubble will burst" when you are shortly thereafter copied, time and time again. 

Part of the answer sounds harsh, but dealers who are hobbyists, who don't have the true need to make money for their household, are competing and adding to the pool of dealers.  Consequently, we have to sell goods at lower prices. 

Another answer is to NOT GIVE IN TO THE GREEDY DEMAND FOR CHEAPER GOODS!  I mean, who really wants to fill up their house with $19 side tables?  We've gotta face it - we wind up with lesser quality. 

I had an antique dresser in my booth at River Market Antique Mall for 8 months.  It's very old - unique dovetailing, and the woman who sold it to me said that it came through the wagon trains.  No one would pay me $395 for it.  Everyone wants an $89 dresser that has white paint on it.  I was told to paint it to get it noticed.  What did I do?  I brought it home to keep for myself and hauled to the mall a painted antique, which I had in my entry but grew tired off - not the best quality but it will probably sell soon because it's not as expensive. 

Yes, I'm ranting.  And I value comments. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Project using my Homemade Chalk Paint

Using homemade chalk paint, this is the project I painted.  And I could kick myself for not getting a "before" shot of this piece.  Let me describe the original:  using regular paint, it would have needed sanding because there was a lot of gloss on the veneer.  So...

I happened upon a  blog at called "It's Just Me" and saw her fabulous work.  I emailed her and asked questions and she shared that she mixes plaster of paris with water and adds it to paint.  More plaster or paris means more of a chalky appearance.

So, I had a can of light blue paint in a satin latex and put about 3/4 cup in a container.  I added about 1/4 cup of a plaster/water solution.  (I added enough water to the plaster of paris to make it like runny yogurt.) 

That's all!  I waited a day, then sanded it down before applying urethane to the top and paste wax to all the other parts.  I'm happy with the results.  I didn't pay much for this piece and it's so lightweight - I knew not to invest a lot of time in it with sanding and priming.  It won't sell for a lot of money!

Mixing the chalk paint took less than 5 minutes.  Love the results!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making My Own Chalk Paint

I have been reading all over about people using the oh-so-expensive chalk paint.  It's hard to find! 

But from what I read, so EASY to make.  And cheaper!  No sanding or priming!

I have no pics because I haven't decided which piece to try it on. 

You just use the paint of your choice, mixing it with Plaster of Paris.  I've seen this on numerous blogs. ( I will post the links later on - I want to get permission.)

Let me know if your try it.
So...I think I'll try it on a frame first! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pinterest and Blogging - Time for a Pinkie Match

Pinterest has been more interesting to me than blogging lately.  Time to square off!  I've neglected my "tiny blog".  It's not that I don't like blogs;  it's just that pinterest is so easy and I get more ideas.  It's quick and I like that. 

...which has nothing to do with these fab pics of interiors, which I pulled off Pinterest.  My style...

When my house grows up, it wants to look like that.