What do you do with a salvaged furniture pediment? Hang it on the wall and call it art.
At least that’s what I did with mine.
The pediment’s past
My pediment was originally attached to a vintage secretary desk that I gave a makeover to earlier this summer.
I felt like the pediment made the secretary look formal and fussy, which wasn’t the look I was going for with the makeover, so I whacked it off.
At that time, I didn’t intend to keep the pediment. I tossed it onto the concrete slab behind our house so we could burn it the next time we started a fire in our firepit.
But the day after I tossed it out, it rained. Then it rained again the next day. And it kept raining, on and off, for a week.
When I next walked past the discarded pediment, the veneer had started chipping off, and I was intrigued by the wood peeking out from underneath.
Removing the veneer
I wondered how hard it would be to remove the rest of the veneer, so I grabbed a putty knife to find out.
Happily, I discovered that most of the veneer peeled away easily. And the more I saw of the wood underneath, the more I liked it.
As I worked, the salvaged furniture pediment started to remind me of a reproduction of an old store sign that I remembered seeing on the Ballard Designs website.
That gave me the idea to turn my pediment into wall decor, too.
Unfortunately the wood on my pediment had split after sitting in the rain for so long , and the top left side broke off completely while I was working on it.
By this point, I was on a mission, though, and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a break in the wood stop me from removing the veneer and restoring the pediment.
Loosening the glue under the veneer
To deal with the stubborn spots where the veneer didn’t want to come off, I soaked a couple of rags in hot water and laid them over the wood.
I let the water soak into the veneer for 15 minutes or so. Then I removed the rags and started scraping again.
The water loosened up the glue and made it possible to wedge my knife under the veneer and pry it up. I had to re-wet the rags and repeat the process a couple times, but eventually I was able to get all of the veneer off.
The trim pieces did not have veneer on them, so I just had to sand those to remove the walnut stain to make them match the rest of the pediment. Fortunately the wood was really soft and easy to sand.
Honestly, I think it took me less than 10 minutes to sand the entire piece.
Repairing and restoring the wood
Once I was done sanding, I got my husband to re-attach the two sections that had separated, as carpentry repair is not among my skill set.
The repair job (pictured below) isn’t perfect. You can still see where the crack was. But it doesn’t bother me. It just gives the piece a little character.
To finish off the pediment, I wiped it down with hemp oil to add some moisture to the dry wood.
I left the hemp oil sit and soak in for about 15 minutes. Then I wiped off the excess.
The salvaged furniture pediment today
The last thing I did was a pound a sawtooth hanger into the back of my salvaged furniture pediment so I could hang it on a wall.
What do you think? It was worth saving, right? Any other ideas for what I could have done with it? Let me know in the comments below!