Hundred-year-old Pictures of Painted and Stenciled Furniture

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, August 4, 1914:  Forgot what I did today.1914-06-35 e

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some ideas for stenciling and painting furniture that were in the June, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

Did Grandma ever paint or stencil a dresser or chair to beautify her bedroom? When I was young I used to enjoy “antiguing” furniture with paint to give it a new look. Maybe Grandma also enjoyed giving old furniture a new look.

1914-06-35 cThe simple pattern on the slats is stenciled in white.

1914-06-35 GWhen painted  yellow and stenciled with a leaf motif in green, a chiffonier makes an attractive piece of furniture.

1914-06-35 dThe washstand can be treated in a like manner.

 

30 Responses

  1. I sometimes forget what I did during the day …but not when I was 19! Stencilling – everything old is new again because it comes and goes as a trend.

  2. I don’t believe I have ever done stencilling. I am anxiously waiting to see if Helena mentions the beginning of World War One.

  3. ‘Forgot’ what I did today? I think maybe Helena’s mind was straying to other, more 19 year old things! I dry-brush furniture, and sometimes that can involve stencils. They certainly alter your view of a piece.

  4. I, too, loved antiquing furniture when I was a teenager!!! I still have my aunt’s cedar chest that I did in antique gold paint. It is still lovely today. I am absolutely sure that it would be worth hundreds of dollars if I wouldn’t have removed the finish but…I like it the way it is now!!!

  5. I have a bunch of old furniture that needs a new look. H would probably cringe though – if he even noticed – so I may give it a try anyway!

    • My daughter bought an old radio cabinet for $1 at a garage sale several years ago. She and a friend refinished it, and it turned out really nice. She’s moved to 3 or 4 different apartments since then, and the old cabinet is still a featured piece of her furniture.

  6. You bring up a good point about how we try to make furniture look antique now and then it was decorated to make it look new. :)

  7. I like the look of stencils,I remember using stencils in art class in school.

  8. I forget what I did this morning! Love those stenciling ideas Sheryl!
    Diana xo

  9. I have a dining set in our garage waiting for someone to stencil and paint it. It would be the talk of the town if done up.

  10. There is a cluster of “painted churches” about two-three hours from here that I made one visit to. I didn’t get enough photos for a post, but I need to go back and get that done. The interiors are beautifully decorated, and much of it is stenciling. The congregations that built them were mostly Polish and Czech, and perhaps a little lonely for the Old Country. They did a beautiful job. One has stars stenciled all over the ceiling.

  11. What a grand way to decorate plain furniture. Actually, my Dad was a house painter a long time ago, and he used stenciling for interior walls sans wallpaper.

  12. […] previous day Grandma wrote that she, “Forgot what I did […]

  13. Silly girl–can’t remember what she did today. I wonder if she forgets to write, and when she picks it up a couple days later, can’t remember. I’m sure her life is fairly busy with regular chores. She does a good job of remembering parties and activities away from home.

  14. The furniture and stenciling was so elegant back then. I do admire the workmanship they had.

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