Oh, the things I do in the name of research! Like traveling far and wide, through sleet and snow, into bizarre stores, all in search of the latest salvage. I’d probably be up for sainthood if it weren’t for the fact that sniffing out good old stuff is my favorite activity after sunbathing. (Where did the sun go, BTW?)
And, where did my perambulations take me this week? Longview, Washington. Yes, folks, you read that right. And I took poor old mom with me. Two times in the last few weeks I had heard about a store called Ye Olde Paint Box. I knew nothing about it, so set off to investigate. Longview, FYI, is about 40 miles north into Washington. That’s perfect for a day trip or an afternoon of shopping, if there’s enough shopping to be found. Good news—there is.
If you’re a shopper, you probably have experienced walking into a store and immediately getting a good vibe: you know when it’s your kind of store. Conversely, you’ve probably walked into a store and thought, Eeeew. Gotta get out of here now.
Well, Ye Old Paint Box is my kind of store. I liked it when I first saw the building. It’s in an old paint warehouse/manufacturing facility, which has been in the proprietor’s family for decades. The store itself has been there for almost twenty years. How did I not know about this?
Next, this place is ginormous. The merchandise meanders back, back, and back some more into the old facility. Multiple vendors showcase their goods, so the selection is impressive. And here’s the cream: good prices! I bought two vintage metal signs and a huge bird book for my dad for $80 total (got 10% off on the signs due to the multiple purchase from that vendor). Pricing barometers for me are gas cans, old buckets, and ladders. All were good prices: $8 to $10 for a small gas can, $10 for a pail, $55 for a big ladder. An adorable but rickety ladder right inside the door was only $12. That would be perfect for holding towels or books as rickety is not an issue for towel storage.
The crocks above were $40; the old school desk was $75; the industrial cart in was $425. That industrial cart is interesting. I regularly see vintage carts in the $1000 range, so this alone is worth the gas money to Longview if you’re in the market for a cart. I saw only one item in the store I considered to be overpriced, and that’s normal. There’s always a price to dispute – where’s the fun in agreeing with everything?
Make the trip to Longview if only for this store—I sure will. If you’re on the fence about driving for an hour for one store, here are a few more places to hit:
Banda’s Bouquets: While this is a florist, the store showcases vintage collectibles. Also, it has a great gift shop collection.
Commerce Corner Collectibles: This is across the street from Banda’s, and it’s worth the stop. It’s a small space, and you may have to hunt a bit for a good price, but there’s fun stuff here.
Here’s another hook: Kalama, Washington is ten miles south of Longview, and it has a great group of antique stores. Here’s a previous post about the town. Combining Longview and Kalama for a day trip would be a good bet for a fun outing.