Let me see, I think this bed was purchased about 35 years ago. It cost me $40.00 and it came with the foot board and rails. I have used it all these years. For most of the time it was used with a double mattress but as we aged our sleeping habits called for more space. I dispensed with using the foot board and added other rails to accommodate a king size mattress. When I bought this bed in Murfreesboro TN, it was painted white. I spent lots of money on various strippers to try to get off the white paint. I also shed lots of sweat in the sultry sun. On one of my many attempts of using regular stripper and sweating irregular amounts of sweat, my housekeeper,(side bar here, I had a housekeeper once a week ,which cost about $12.00 for a ten hour day (( can you imagine??)), as I taught school, and went to school for my Master's degree. It was required for me to get my Master's degree within five years of starting teaching--there is so much more I could say about this but that is for a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy later post, i.e. maybe never! Smile. Alright, I rambled way of the subject so I will just start the sentence again. My housekeeper, Ida, was watching me out the window using the stripper and sweating profusely. She came out and told me to go to the store and buy some Red Devil Lye. To make a long story short, "sure you say", I did and it worked like a charm. The results you see above, in the picture. If anyone who is a furniture re finisher ever reads this he or she is cringing at the moment. This kind of product is like using cheap bar soap on your beautiful hair. It raises the grain of the wood and consequently requires much more sanding, etc. But trust me. I would much rather sand in the garage than strip, strip and strip, in the woes of the outside, summertime, south. By the way, Red Devil Lye is no longer sold but I am told Drano is the same thing. This product is deadly so use with great caution.
Now, where int he world am I going with this? It is 35 years later and guess what. I want white again. I have many times wondered through the years how someone could paint beautiful wood. Oak baseboards have been stripped, various pieces of woodwork and cabinets stripped. Well, now I know exactly how someone could splash on paint. What goes around comes around. The other funny thing is, I used to be such a purist. I did not want to re purpose for fear of ruining the value of the piece. Now I am almost irreverent about it. Now what I care about is how it can meet my beauty and use needs at this very moment in time. It has occurred to me these vintage pieces are much like the people who own them. We humans also go through many different stages of evolving. We often keep some of the old and add some of the new. We test out each part of ourselves and as we grow older, and well, we grow! We come to understand it is alright to change. It is alright to have a different opinion. It is alright to gain weight and lose weight. It is healthy to know that not all things are black and white. All people do not think alike. At different times in our lives our favorites change. Thus I am about to take the decorative piece on the top of my bed and paint it white, distress it a little, and use it maybe over a door as an archetectual attraction. I will save the rails, the footboard and the rest of the headboard. Someday it might become a bed again, or perhapas a bench or who knows what it might grow into next or what color it will be. I do know one thing, it's beauty will be relevant in the here and after.