DIY – How To Patina Copper

Southern Accents has an incredibly talented team of artists and craftsmen who are constantly coming up with creative ideas. Recently, we decided to add a bit more interest to a four panel, round top door that we custom built from cypress wood. SA Team member Josh Howe came up with the idea of covering the panels with patina’d copper. He had several scrap pieces of shiny copper in the wood shop. All that was needed was a method of aging the copper. Josh did a little experimenting and the end result was so fantastic that we decided to share his recipe!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The process of aging the copper so that it gives off that lovely blue/green hue is fairly simple. It is a matter of treating the copper with an acid then allowing it to oxidize. The specific form of acid used will result in different color changes within the copper. While there are several chemical compounds you could purchase, Josh used a mixture of common household ingredients: vinegar, ammonia, and kosher salt.

Josh started with a clean, quart sized spray bottle purchased at our local hardware store. He filled the bottle with approximately 1/2 inch of salt. He then added equal parts of vinegar and ammonia to the bottle, leaving enough room at the top to be able to throughly shake the mixture until the salt was completely dissolved. The copper was cleaned and degreased using a lacquer thinner. The cleaned sheets were then taken outside and sprayed with the acid mixture and placed in the sun to dry. Heating the treated copper speeds up the oxidation process. While we took advantage of a sunny day you could use something as simple as a hair dryer to heat the metal. Depending on the desired result, the copper may need more than one treatment. Once the desired color was achieved, the copper was rinsed with warm water, dried, and sealed. If the copper is to be used outdoors we recommend a spar urethan which offers UV protection. For interior use, any clear sealant will do. When treating the copper, if the desired color change is not achieved with multiple treatments, scuffing the copper just a bit with a piece of steel wool will open up the metal pores allowing it to more readily absorb the acid mixture.

The copper we used was originally purchased from a local air conditioning company and was approximately 1/16″ thick. You can also use copper flashing from the hardware store. Do not however use the copper foils commonly found in craft stores as these are too thin and the acid will likely eat a hole right through these sheets.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe method we used is one of many that could be used to create a lovely patina on copper. This process is not limited for use on copper sheets, but can be used to antique any copper item. Old copper pots, pans, pennies, bowls and other finds you may want to use as decorative items can be treated using this method.

To add another dimension to your creation, before you treat the copper with the acid solution, paint on a design using a cotton swab and petroleum jelly. Every spot covered in the petroleum jelly should remain shiny!

Copper is such a versatile metal. In addition to the beautiful colors it emits when oxidized, it can be etched, hammered, and molded into almost any shape. We’ve added a board to our Pinterest page filled with crafting and DIY projects using copper as well as a few pins on additional ways to add a gorgeous patina to this fabulous metal!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Salvage Design & Dine!

One of the things that Southern Accents enjoys most is the opportunity to collaborate with businesses who have an interest in incorporating salvaged materials into the design of their establishment. While we have worked with a variety of businesses, the past several years we have been given the opportunity to work with a number of restaurants. We’ve done everything from just supplying materials to participating in the design process. This week we are delivering finished products to one of our latest customer collaborations: PoFolks Restaurant in Pensacola, Florida.

Salvaged wood booth table tops custom built by Southern Accents for PoFolks in Pensacola, Florida.

Salvaged wood booth table tops custom built by Southern Accents for PoFolks in Pensacola, Florida.

Recently, interior designer Lori Bates traveled from Panama City Beach, Florida to Cullman, Alabama to meet with Southern Accents owner, Garlan Gudger. Lori had scheduled an appointment specifically to browse our selection of salvaged materials and discuss design options for PoFolks in Pensacola. After Lori shared her design concept with Garlan, a trip to SA’s wood warehouse resulted in the selection of the perfect stack of salvaged wood that would be used to create booth table tops for the restaurant. SA team members Josh and Tyler worked hard to transform the wood stack into these gorgeous table tops. The aged wood was cleaned, cut, assembled, framed and then finished with a thick coat of epoxy. One end of each top will be mounted directly to the wall with a supporting leg attached to the other end.

Salvaged wood wall art, custom built for PoFolks in Pensacola, Florida.

Salvaged wood wall art, custom built for PoFolks in Pensacola, Florida.

In addition to the table tops, Lori had a design that Tyler and local artist Leldon Maxcy, worked together to build. This unique artwork will hang on PoFolks wall. Leldon scrolled the large State of Florida cutout that was then attached to a framed canvas, all made from salvaged wood trim and beadboard from Southern Accents.

Cornice board built from salvaged trim and industrial wood thread spools.

Cornice board built from salvaged trim and industrial wood thread spools.

One other custom creation that is on it’s way to PoFolks in Pensacola is this fabulous cornice board! Salvaged industrial wooden thread spools were cut and attached to a piece of salvaged trim to create this gorgeous board. The wood pegs will hold custom burlap curtains over a large window.

Curtain tie backs built to match the cornice board.

Curtain tie backs built to match the cornice board.

Curtain pull backs were made to match using one of the wood spools. We can’t wait to see pictures from PoFolks of their finished project!

Salvaged industrial wood thread spools.

Salvaged industrial wood thread spools.

Interested in the industrial wood spools? We currently have about 1,000 of them! Each solid wood spool is approximately 9″ long. They are available in a variety of colors for only $8 each. Stop by the showroom or give us a call… we ship!

If you are looking to incorporate salvaged materials in your next project and are interested in a one-on-one consultation, give us a call. We can be reached at 877 737-0554 during regular business hours. Makenzie will take your request and contact information and get back with you to schedule your appointment!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Knobs Of A Different Color

Knobs Of A Different Color

Southern Accents owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr., has a fascination with door knobs. He’s been collecting them since he was a child. Much of his prized collection is on display in the SA showroom in Cullman, Alabama. While Garlan is passionate about salvaging architectural antiques, question him about the door knobs and you will discover that he has a wealth of information along with many interesting stories about them. One such story is a tale about porcelain knobs that serves as a stark reminder of a period in American history that will never be forgotten.

blog-coloredknobs

In the early 1850’s, a variety of mineral knobs were patented in black, white, and brown colors. The knobs were made of porcelain mixed with minerals which created a material that was harder and more durable than its wooden predecessors. These knobs were commonly used in rural farm homes, as well as the service areas of wealthy plantation homes. The tale that has been passed down through door knob collectors is that the color of the door knob indicated who was allowed to enter. People of color were allowed to enter if the door knob was black. White knobs designated “white only” entrances and a brown knob symbolized an entry accessible to both skin tones. If you visit an architectural salvage store, there are always more black and white porcelain knobs than brown, a fact that lends credence to this tale.

History is written for those yet to come. The accurate recording of historical events is important lest we forget. While we do not know if the tale of the colored porcelain knobs is factual, it does serve as a reminder. A reminder that we live in a country made up of a remarkable diversity of creative people. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The beautiful brown porcelain door knob shown above is known as a Bennington knob. These knobs were created in a factory in Bennington, Vermont. A mineral was swirled with a brown clay mixture to create a unique pattern. While all brown knobs with this swirl pattern are known as a Bennington, a true Bennington knob has a cream base and is a nice, rare find!

Written by: Lisa Jones

 


Road Trip!

Southern Accents was on the road last week on a “picking” trip! A “picking” trip, unlike a salvage mission, is when we go in search of vintage and antique architectural items that have already been salvaged. This trip took us north around the Philly area. These areas are rich, in history and architecture, because they were home to some of the first English settlements in the 1600’s. Several days on the road with many stops along the way left us with a truck full of fabulous finds!

A few of our fabulous finds from Philly!

A few of our fabulous finds from Philly!

Check our New Arrivals page. We’ve already added tons of awesome finds from this trip with more to come!

 


#Hashtag This!

It’s been said that a picture paints a thousand words. We agree… pictures tell stories. They capture a moment in time, preserving them for future generations. We love telling stories, preserving history and the part that pictures play in doing both. This is one of the reasons why we love Instagram. If you are on Instagram we would like for you to follow our Southern Accents adventures! If you are not on Instagram… what are you waiting for?

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

In the past few months, Southern Accents has traveled to Nashville, Atlanta, Asheville, Washington D.C. and all over the state of Alabama. We’ve been featured in ALABAMA and NO’ALA Magazine, was a curator for Southern Makers, built a stage for “NASA On The Square” and created awards for Main Street Alabama. And… we’ve salvaged some pretty cool structures along the way! Following our Instagram feed gives you instant access via pictures to our latest travels, events, and salvage finds. To make it even more interesting… we are going to have a contest!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Follow Southern Accents on Instagram! You will find us at@saaa1969
  2. Tag us! @saaa1969
    • If you visit our showroom, see us at an event or out on the road, make sure you snap a pic, post and tag.
    • If you have purchased from us in the past, we want you to post pictures of your finished projects.
    • We love gorgeous architecture. Snap a picture of your favs and tag us so we can enjoy the view as well.
    • We also love pictures of “forgotten” structures. Beautiful old homes, barns, and buildings that are time worn and have a story to tell.
  3. Each week we will pick one winner from all pictures tagged @saaa1969 and notify you by commenting on your post. Prizes will vary. The first prize is a $25 gift certificate. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 30th.If your picture screams Southern Accents… we want to see it! Ready, set, SNAP!!

SA #Hashtags

Southern Accents has several hashtags that we use on a regular basis. In addition to following @saaa1969, look up our frequently used hashtags!

  • #digmygig
  • #lovesomething
  • #ceaselesssearch
  • #architecturaladventure
  • #passionisourcommonthread
  • #wesaveoldstuff
  • #salvage
  • #create
  • #passion
  • #imagination
  • #inspire

Written by: Lisa Jones


And The Award Goes To…

Southern Accents has a very talented, creative team who are always ready for a challenge! A couple of months ago we were approached by Main Street Alabama and asked to design, and then create, an “award” for their upcoming Awards Of Excellence Conference. Main Street Alabama is an organization focused on bringing jobs, dollars and people back to Alabama’s historic communities by revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods from Dothan to Florence. Main Street Alabama requested that the award be made of salvaged materials. We decided that we wanted to come up with something very unique using mixed medias. Our creative juices started flowing and pencils began sketching as ideas flowed at one of our weekly team meetings. As Josh and Roger began work on prototypes in the wood shop, little by little the creative ideas began taking shape. Finally a finished product was built and the result was nothing short of stunning!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Salvaged brass shavings and crushed red brick were inlayed into the front of the award and covered with clear resin

Salvaged black walnut was used for the back of the award. The live edge of the wood and natural curves of the grain dictated the shape of each individual award. To add interest, and incorporate commonly found materials you would see in a street scape, Southern Accents obtained salvaged brass shavings and crushed red brick which were inlayed into the front of the award and covered with clear resin. We then had aluminum bases designed in an abstract shape as a stand for the award which added further interest to the overall design. The metal bases were built by Fuller Precision Machining. Plates were then engraved and attached to each award. Creating the awards were very time intensive but they were finished and hand delivered in time for the August 26th ceremony. The end result was even more spectacular than we had hoped!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

Our mission is to rescue, restore and protect architectural elements of historical significance. Opportunities that allow us to use our creativity to come up with ways to repurpose some of the salvaged goods that we rescue is a bonus! Our team of talented artists and wood workers are always up for a challenge. Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 877 737-0554 and let us help you with your next project.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

“Main Street Alabama was proud to present the awards Southern Accents made for our Awards of Excellence Luncheon. The Southern Accents team designed and produced awards that were true to what we do, revitalize downtowns across the state, by repurposing building materials from old commercial buildings. Like downtowns, each award was unique and will be displayed with pride in the Main Street communities across the state.”

MARYLON H. BARKAN
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Main Street Alabama

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The making of an award!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesWritten by: Lisa Jones

 


A “Light” Goodbye

A topic of conversation at this week’s team meeting was how each of us have become more observant and more appreciative of antiques and architectural elements since we have been working at Southern Accents. We discussed how we now notice structures that never caught our attention before. We laughed about how, when traveling out of town, we feel this strange urge to stop at every little antique store along the way, even if only for a moment, to browse their collections. Being a part of the SA team has given each of us a new appreciation for things of the past. Working here has taught us how to recognize the art and beauty of hand craftsmanship and how to value the historical aspect of these items. It has also helped to define our idea of beauty and has made us more aware of the need for preservation.

This 3-tier iron chandelier, hung over the staircase in front of our huge American flag, has been one of the most photographed pieces in our showroom!

This 3-tier iron chandelier, hung over the staircase in front of our huge American flag, has been one of the most photographed pieces in our showroom!

This new found awareness is one of the reasons we often become attached to specific items that we bring to our showroom. Certain pieces breed a sense of comfort and familiarity as they evoke fond memories of simpler times. When these pieces sell, there is a sadness that comes with seeing them leave coupled with the delight of knowing they are going to a good home. Two favorites currently residing in our showroom are the huge American flag that hangs above the staircase and the magnificent three tier cast iron chandelier that hangs in front of it. This week we began dismantling the chandelier, preparing it for delivery to it’s new home.

The light as it was disassembled one arm at a time.

The light as it was disassembled one arm at a time.

The chandelier has been a mainstay at Southern Accents for a number of years and is one of the most photographed items in our showroom. Measuring 40″ wide by 80″ tall, this light is a beast! Originally a kerosene chandelier, it spent the bulk of it’s life hanging in a church built around 1887 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The light was converted from kerosene to electric in 1963. After arriving at our showroom, the original glass globes were removed, carefully wrapped, and stored to protect them. Yesterday, the globes were retrieved, the original canisters removed, and preparations began to crate the body.

Each piece of the light was carefully wrapped and boxed. The large base was securely crated, wrapped, loaded, and delivered to it's new home!

Each piece of the light was carefully wrapped and boxed. The large base was securely crated, wrapped, loaded, and delivered to it’s new home!

Next week the walk up the stairs to our team meeting will seem a little ‘off’. The absence of this beautiful piece will be noticeable. We will however wait in anticipation of what will take it’s place, because for every “favorite” that passes through our showroom, we know there is another one to follow!

Globes and canisters removed, this is the last picture taken of the light fixture before  it was removed and crated for shipping.

Globes and canisters removed, this is the last picture taken of the light fixture before it was removed and crated for shipping.

We’re always on the ‘hunt’ for that next awesome piece! Whether we’re junking on the weekends or simply stumble across a fantastic find, you can share in the excitement by following us on all our excursions through our various social media accounts! They are all listed to the right!

This archived photo shows the light with the original globes attached.

This archived photo shows the light with the original globes attached.

Written by: Lisa Jones


Five Dollar (And Under) Finds!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents is an architectural salvage store, but walk in our showroom or visit our website and you will quickly see that we are SO much more! We have a fantastic collection of small salvage items that lend themselves perfectly to creative DIY or salvage art projects. All of the items shown above are $5 or LESS!!

When on a salvage mission, quite often there are unique, small items that we are able to rescue. There are also a lot of small items that are architectural in nature that we remove directly from the house or structure whenever possible. Salvaged door knobs and hardware, skeleton keys, tin shingles, staircase spindles, small trim pieces, even salvaged wood scraps… all of these small items can be repurposed. We’ve seen so many creative ideas from our customers and others who have turned these items into everything from beautiful jewelry to unbelievable works of art.

The holiday season is just around the corner. Unique, handmade items are a great way to give a gift that has meaning. Now is the time to start planning for and creating those gift items! Stop by our showroom or visit our website and take a look at all of our unique finds. Our “$5 and under items” typically go quickly and are only available while supplies last! And, when you finish your work of art… send us a picture! We LOVE to see what our customers do with our treasures and would love to share your creations on our Pinterest and Facebook page for others to see! Send pictures to info@sa1969.com


Barn Doors Remain “Stable” In Decorating

As children, most of us have been asked at some point, “Were you raised in a barn?” This question typically comes from a mother upon discovering a door that was left wide open invariably by the child! Whether open or closed, there is a fascination with barn doors. Perhaps it is the barn door that evokes fond memories for those who grew up around or on a family farm or maybe it is just a reminder of more simple times. Whatever the appeal, barn doors are currently a popular decorating trend in homes and businesses.

The logo of each Southern Makers 2014 curator was stenciled onto this large barn door and displayed at the event.

The logo of each Southern Makers 2014 curator was stenciled onto this large barn door and displayed at the event.

Salvaged barn doors are being repurposed in a variety of ways. We used several recently as a design element for Southern Makers. The logos of the 2014 Southern Makers curators were stenciled on to a large door and displayed at the event.

Barn door used as a stage marquee at Southern Makers 2014

Barn door used as a stage marquee at Southern Makers 2014

A smaller salvaged barn door was placed to the side of the stage and used to display the days performance schedule. The door was mounted to a set of salvaged box springs outlined with Eidson bulbs to give the appearance of an event marquee. We used colored chalk for the stage display which can be cleaned off, allowing us the ability to reuse this door for future events.

Logos stenciled onto an old barn door and used for marketing purposes.

Logos stenciled onto an old barn door and used for marketing purposes.

A quick search on Pinterest will pull up a long list of creative ideas on how to repurpose old barn doors. Salvaged barn doors are being used as headboards, mantel decorations, wall decor, baby gates and table tops. But mostly, they are being hung and used as interior sliding doors. Sliding doors take up less room, making them an attractive solution for closing off or hiding areas such as pantries, closets and laundry rooms.

Just a few of the salvaged barn doors available at Southern Accents Wood Warehouse.

Just a few of the salvaged barn doors available at Southern Accents Wood Warehouse.

This past week we received around twenty old barn doors of various sizes, colors, and condition. Can’t find an old barn door in the size you need? We can custom build a door using salvaged wood to suit your specific need. The beauty of a custom built door from salvaged material is that you get the rustic, worn, vintage look in the exact dimensions needed for your project! Stop by our wood warehouse and take a look at our selection of salvaged barn doors or talk to us about a custom project. We are available Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm, Monday by appointment only.

This barn door was custom made from salvaged materials for a customer.

This barn door was custom made from salvaged materials for a customer.


Through The “Stained” Looking Glass

Of all the architectural pieces that we salvage, none capture our attention and mesmerize us the way a beautiful piece of stained glass does. Gazing through a multi colored window as the suns rays penetrate the textured glass panes is fascinating. Being makers ourselves, we are awed by the creativity of artists as well as the creative process it takes to produce these works of art. Through the years, we have had many stunning pieces pass through our showroom including this 200 year old window shown below.

This 200 year old stained glass window originated from a church in Wales.

This 200 year old stained glass window originated from a church in Wales.

We love this quote from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” There is a romance between the mediums used in the creation of stained glass. While the fragments of colored glass completely contrast with the copper foil or lead came, they are still dependent on one another… it is the seamless intertwining of the two that creates a stunning work of art.

This jeweled, stained glass window is the most gorgeous piece that we have ever had pass through our showroom.

This jeweled stained glass window is the most gorgeous piece that we have ever had pass through our showroom.

The history of manmade glass dates all the way back to 2625 BC with the discovery of glass Egyptian beads. The earliest surviving example of pictorial stained glass is the 10th century Head of Christ. Fragments were excavated in 1912 from Lorsch Abbey in Germany. In addition to it’s sheer beauty, there is so much rich history surrounding stained glass it is impossible for us not to love it!

This beautiful window is one of 7 that we recently acquired.

This beautiful window is one of 7 that we recently acquired.

We have received several gorgeous pieces of stained glass recently. To view all of our incredible windows and to see more detailed pictures of them, visit our website at www.sa1969.com or stop by our showroom. The stained glass can be found on the Antique Windows page. Our showroom is open Tuesday – Friday from 9am till 5pm and Saturday from 10am till 4pm. Closed Sunday, Monday by appointment only.

Written by: Lisa Jones


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