When Old becomes New

How can one replace beautifully crafted solid wood furniture that has been a part of one’s family for generations? How does one let go of cherished memories and history? How do you throw out the “junky” little bookcase you found on some curb during your college years that’s a treasured memento of your late night study sessions? No need to replace, let go, or throw out—right in Beach Haven, a couple of streets south of the landmark Ferris wheel, is a corner building that houses the solution to your furniture challenges: Artifacts and Company.

Artifacts and Company is owned by artist and businesswoman Amy Haeberlein, the daughter of another accomplished artist, and also a life-long resident of the Long Beach Island, New Jersey community. Amy is a master of the art of restoring and revitalizing your beloved pieces. Amy knows the timeless value and irreplaceable memories of antiquities and old “stuff” one has accumulated or collected through many seasons of one’s life. She also understands the need we all have for change—for letting go of dull, tired, furniture that is chipped or stained: that solid cherry hutch that has deteriorated into an eyesore instead of growing into an admired piece of art and history; that chest of drawers that is missing a pull; that solid, heavy, rusty metal filing cabinet or kitchen cupboard that is stained or sticky from decades of neglect or abuse.

To make this “stuff” whole again, Amy earned her status as a registered, licensed supplier, and stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® (“chalk paint”). To achieve this status, Amy trained with national and international experts who, themselves, are masters of the art of transforming furniture and re-inventing any object with a surface—including mirrors, chairs, lamps, picture frames, even walls—with the most renowned and celebrated chalk paint in Europe and the United States.

Must you understand the intricate transforming techniques of waxing and sanding and “washing” and buffing? No. Must you grasp the uniquely creative layering of an exquisitely original palate of combined hues and textures and the difference between a rustic or smooth finish of paint or a matte or satin sheen to enhance the look of a specific piece? No. Amy explains, “The unique quality and beauty of chalk paint is that it’s self-priming; the process of prepping ‘old’ furniture no longer requires stripping, sanding, or priming. Being able to avoid this labor-intensive work saves time and energy, which can instead be devoted to painting and finishing with a non-latex odorless product with no VOCs, made in the USA.”

The final product will appear veritably new, but the core magnificence of the original piece and the history of the object will remain intact. Amy combines innate talent with an evolving study of disciplined step-by-step mastery of her craft and respectful devotion to the ongoing process. Judy H. of Barnegat, NJ, says, “I have my grandma’s magnificent credenza, but with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Amy created a magnificent, new piece of furniture that better fits my lifestyle and the decor of my home.”

Haeberlein’s work reflects the changing lifestyles and values of an evolving beach population; she appreciates our affinity for vintage coastal furnishings, but also understands that enduring quality requires investment of time and respect for the creative process. Quality requires daring and expertise. Quality also requires using the best product available. Amy is a magician...just bring the rabbit! She will take care of the rest.

For do-it-yourself-ers, instruction in technique and Annie Sloan products are available on-site at Artifacts and Company. Cheryl L. of Paramus, NJ, says, “I make several trips a year to Artifacts and Company on LBI to buy the only chalk paint I’d ever consider using to paint a wall. The mood of an entire room can be transformed! I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it’s the best, and I’m worth it!”

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