Wednesday, 6 August 2014

VINTAGE: Revamping a 1950's Vintage Detecto Laundry Hamper

DetectoHamper

It's been over a year now that we picked up a vintage laundry hamper at an estate sale. I think we got it for like $5 if that - but it was in a bad condition and certainly hadn't been looked after too well. Joe remembered when I revamped a wicker laundry hamper from a charity shop and thought i'd enjoy doing another one.  How right he was.

Yet until moving I didn't have the space to clean, paint and air it, so the nasty top was covered in a piece of material and it was hidden away somewhat. Until now. The hamper dates from the 1950's and was manufactured by Detecto of New York - a company famous for manufacturing scales. These aluminum hampers were often advertised as being "the lifetime hamper" and by the late 1940's were retailing for around $9.95 with the small print of "slightly higher west of Miss". 

Many came designed with hand painted decorations - ones that were often floral but this one had a repeating circular design with gold trim. Sadly at some stage it had been (badly) repainted in a pastel green (actually it doesn't look as green as it really did in those photographs) with questionable staining inside. As for the lid well that had a mix of the green and cream paint - delightful! Originally it would have stood upon four little legs, sadly they were hacked off.

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Now this revamp really didn't end up has planned. After striping off the green paint I'd intended to repaint it a bright, simple white (after finding some left over paint in the garage - perfect) but after getting 3/4 through the removal process, I noticed a somewhat pealing protective coating - which you can see coming off in the photograph below. Now, if you're a perfectionist when it comes to vintage, doing what I did - removing it was probably a no no, but then again, the perfection part of the hamper went when someone else painted it horribly.
DetectoHamper

Removing the layer left behind a lovely off white, clean surface one that makes the design really stand out and one I'm not going to touch. Cleaning up the gold trims - one of which was painted over (sigh) the rest was more of a repair job - gluing, repainting the inside of the top and the handles. Speaking of which the handles were a pain, being fastened on with fancy vintage hinges I couldn't remove them so spray painting them was never a option. Sigh. As much as I didn't want to, the answer came with painting them white then using some Martha Stewart gold glittery paint to add some extra gold into the piece. Jazzy!

DetectoHamper DetectoHamper DetectoHamper

It's fitting that the hamper now finds a use within a 1950's house, it's clean, it's beautiful and functional - something I always love my vintage pieces to be. While the revamp certainly didn't go as planned - it comes to show you have to expect the unexpected when it comes with working and revamping vintage pieces. Sometimes they still have something to reveal.

Revamped anything yourself lately?

15 comments:

  1. It looks great! I've never revamped anything myself, though I'd love to have a go if I found something as precious as that hamper! Loving the look of the blog, too!

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    1. Haha thank you - I was fitting the itch after finding a free website (canva.com) that you can make and design social media images and things on. I always get the need to try and change something every now and again!

      I love how it came out, i'm sure my painting skills wouldn't of brought it out as well as finding that protective coating that's for sure. I'm glad it has a new home and is being used too that's always one of my musts when it comes to vintage - practical and usable!

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  2. That hamper is pretty adorable! You did an amazing job fixing it up!

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    1. Thank you - turned out a lot better then I hoped too which is always a bonus!

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  3. I never thought I would say this but "that's pretty lovely looking hamper" :) I tend to prefer off white to white as it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

    My best revamping story is we bought a wooden chest second hand and we varnished it :) (well Kris did... secretly while I was at work because he thought I would like it. He's a keeper!)

    Joe knows you well :)

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    1. I think bright white is weird on vintage things too, it makes them look too new and too unused. I also couldn't live in a house that's decor was ALL white, that would drive me nuts. Plus it wouldn't stay white for very long, i'm very messy. That's why I could never understand why our old apartment had white carpets, like seriously?!

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  4. It look a great! I would much prefer to revamp something than buy so,etching new! I have started following you on bloglovin, I love finding other Brit expats!

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    1. Thanks! I love finding expats that have gone through a similar experience, certainly helps!

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  5. You did a great job! I haven't revamped anything, that boat I talked about earlier on my blog is still in the yard waiting to painted, but besides that..nothing! I'd love to revamp a dresser one day, I don't know why. I feel like it would be fun...lol

    Jessica

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    1. I find the process really relaxing. I mean it took me a week off and on to get it all sorted and at times when I was striping the green paint off really depressingly slow, but the end results were worth it. It I can take something that would otherwise be cast aside or thrown out and I can help it get back to it's (somewhat) former glory that's grand by me!

      You're fine on the boat yet, like I said it took me a year to start working on the hamper. Plus i'm sure the fall weather might be more welcoming for working in in Florida than the summer heat!

      The bathroom in our house came with a vintage little wooden cabinet under the sink that's next on the to do list, just got a garden to tame first haha!

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  6. oh my! Well done! That's such a gorgeous find and I'm glad it's continuing to be loved!

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  7. I'd love to do some of my own revamping but I don't have the space to do so in the flat! I absolutely love this hamper. It is so beautiful!
    Debi x

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  8. It looks really nice - I especially like the inside! :)
    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. I need a bit more vision I think - this looks bloody brilliant but I'd never have even looked twice at it before to think about what it could be like.
    Sexy hamper.
    M x

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    1. Yeah hampers don't tend to last long at estate sales (especially branded ones - these can fetch a bit on a good day) but I think all the stains and mess was putting everyone off. My win!

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