I have an amazing mother. She has a gift for repair and restoration, and she can do just about anything: restore a Model T, re-key a vintage gumball machine, reupholster a Victorian sofa, rewire an old lamp, or refinish an antique oak bookcase (all projects she's completed). That she's doing these things in her 60s is even more remarkable to me.
Earlier in the summer, I bought an old coin operated kiddie ride horse at an antique fair. It had been sloppily re-painted in very drab colors, including a heavy coat of black paint over the entire base, and mom was just itching to tackle it. I could see her looking appraisingly at it the first time she saw it, and after that, every time she stopped by, I heard, "You know, I could rewire that thing in a few minutes, and then we wouldn't have to worry about it catching the place on fire when you run it. And, while I'm at it, it would be nothing, nothing, I tell you, to just go ahead, strip it, and repaint it." This went on all summer. Finally last weekend I agreed I was ready to let him go, and before I knew it he was gone, whisked away to mom's workshop of wonders, where he was completely disassembled in mere moments.
Within a day, she had painstakingly stripped all the nasty black repaint off the base to reveal the original colors and even the lettering. The base was originally red with yellow trim and the words "PONY RIDE 5 c" stencilled on the side. It was so exciting to discover this had survived! We debated whether to completely restore the base by repainting and restencilling, but decided to leave it as is, showing all its use and wear. This horse was ridden by a LOT of kiddies back in the day (1940s), as the paint is worn almost completely away on the base top, where they would have been climbing on and off. To me, this wear is an important part of its history, and I enjoy seeing it. How someone could have just slapped all that nasty black paint over it is beyond me...
The next day it was reported that the mechanism had been thoroughly cleaned and regreased. And the rewiring job was finished, complete with a new electrical switch (mom: "like I told you, it took less than 20 minutes!").
Yesterday the primer was applied, and we picked out the paint colors. The first picture below shows the stripped horse, followed by the primer stage. The next picture shows his first coat of paint, and the final image is the finished project. He's a black circus pony now!