Marilyn Baxter shows some of the special decor items she puts on her painted furniture. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Marilyn Baxter shows some of the special decor items she puts on her painted furniture. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

OTTAWA — Marilyn Baxter does not ignore the old pieces of battered furniture you often see at garage sales, auctions and in second hand shops. Instead she looks at the pieces of furniture as possible decorating touches or usable furniture for someone’s home.

Baxter enjoys a trend that has become popular in the United States. She takes old, sometimes battered, pieces of furniture and, with different paints, turns them into usable pieces of furniture for the home.

According to “Better Homes and Gardens” one of the popular trends for 2014 is painted furniture. Those old pieces of battered furniture you see at garage sales and in secondhand shops are not being ignored.

Baxter, who had been a nurse for 17 years, said her interest in the hobby began when she went to auctions with her husband. Then she noted a lot of painted furniture pieces in boutique shops in Perrsyburg and Florida.

“I thought to myself that I could do that,” Baxter said. Thus began her journey of finding old and unique pieces of furniture.

“I learned to do the painting by trial and error,” she said. She studied painted furniture at different shops.

“I like what one store said,” Baxter indicated. “It said you are giving old furniture a new chance of love.”

Baxter said painted furniture is a type of recycling.

After completing a few pieces, Baxter decided to see if she could market the items she had painted.

“I set up a booth in Bluffton and that went over good,” she said.

Then she opened a store on Old SR 65 where she displayed her items.

This year, Baxter said store space became available at 227 E. Main Street in Ottawa.

“It was a better location,” she said. “So I opened a shop on July 1.”

Baxter said she works to make her furniture affordable, yet attractive.

She looks for pieces that are practical for the home.

“I spend the days in the store and work on painting the furniture in the evenings,” she said.

She is always on the lookout for a piece of furniture that can be painted.

One of her favorite pieces of furniture is a dresser she bought that was missing the bottom drawer. Baxter painted the dresser pink, then replaced the bottom drawers with matching painted pink baskets

In addition to the painted furniture, Baxter looks for unique old décor items to place on the furniture.

“I look for pictures, lamps, dishes, and even old dolls that may serve as accent pieces,” she said.