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Here is a pic of the Ercol Court Cabinet that I told you about.

As you can see, it’s very dark and very shiny! Not at all a popular combination for the current market. You can also see where I’ve started to sand it down. Sometimes I use an electric sander, but I did this piece by hand because there are quite a few awkward corners to work round, and I do prefer to hand sand if possible. I find that I get a better feel for the item, and more importantly, I’m less likely to sand away too much and end up with something sterile. There needs to be a bit of the item’s previous life left on show to give it a bit of character.

I’ve seen a few Ercol Court Cabinets for sale in the past and they are always described as being made of elm. Mmm, the wood sure looks like oak from where I’m standing, which is pretty close up.

I’m undecided whether to sand back the chunky bolts and leave them unpainted, or whether to paint them and accept that they will get rubbed. I shall make an executive decision tomorrow.

I had more or less decided to paint it Duck Egg Blue, but perhaps one my favourites, ‘Old Ochre’ Annie Sloan paint is just the touch needed to add warmth to the cabinet. I’ll sleep on that one too.

Ercol items do seem to wear well, this item is 40 odd years old and is still very sturdy. There’s some nice craftmanship to with the dovetail joints, and the fittings are as good as new, however the varnishing leaves a lot to be desired – it was put on very thickly and has vintage runs down the sides. They were all sanded off before evening and tomorrow I shall wash it down thoroughly and give it the first coat of primer. You never know, if the weather stays fine, I might even manage a second coat before sunset.