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Furniture and Art with Tin

December 16, 2013


One of our more unusual applications, Green Oak Antiques is an Indiana-based family business that incorporates tin tiles into their handcrafted antique furniture and wall art. Passed down from generation to generation since 1978, they have created both standard pieces for their showroom and custom commissioned designs. Shabby chic, country, and industrial describe their unique architectural salvage home projects that range from $500-1200 for furniture and $110 for framed art.

We caught up with owner/designers Jon and Terri to discuss how they use tin.

How did you find out about tin as a material?
I was exposed to tin when I was young and later again in the antique business and seeing it in the ceilings of old buildings. When I was growing up in the 1970s I tried to line my chicken coop floor with it to make it rat proof— it didn’t work.

What types of pieces do you use it in?
We’ve used the tin on table aprons, frames, headboards, mirrors, kitchen islands, birdhouse roofs, showcase tops, in cabinets, kitchen islands, bars, for a concrete mold, and wall art. We have a wide variety of customers: men, women, new homeowners, and retail businesses from all over the US and Canada.

Did you consider any other materials? If so, which ones?
We use wood or tin for our panels. I prefer tin and we use a lot of old panels, but they’re hard to find.

Which patterns/colors do you use the most of? Which are the most popular?
Non-geometrical patterns that are fancy copies of old designs are popular. We use a lot panels in the 12 x 12 size that is good for cabinet doors. We always use a multi-color design when we paint the tin to pull out the pattern.

How did you find out about the American Tin Ceiling Company?
We were having problems getting old tin out of Chicago and Detroit so I started looking for other vendors. We had been sourcing it from India, but it was thicker, had few pattern options and would rust. I started looking online and was glad to find American Tin Ceiling Company and that it was made in Florida.

Is any installation required for your art?
We cut it to fit in panels for our furniture.

What has the customer response/feedback been like?
I’ve been designing furniture with tin for 20 years so I know what works and what women like. A lot of ladies like new tin but want it to look old, so we antique it all.

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