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Minwax rewards owners of neglected furniture

Minwax, a manufacturer of wood finishing products, and This Old House magazine have announced the winners of their "From Attic to Awesome" makeover contest. The contest invited entrants to submit a photo and background information on a furniture piece in need of a transformation.

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After poring over more than 230 entries, the judges selected Mark Cowart of Indianola, Miss., as the grand-prize winner. Cowart's compelling entry highlights a classic heirloom secretary, once owned by his grandfather, and was the only piece of furniture to survive a 1927 house fire. The prize includes a professional restoration of the piece and a behind-the-scenes trip for two to the "This Old House" television show.

First-prize winners were Carol McBryde of Bryan, Texas, and Kathleen Clute of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Clute entered her husband's carpenter's chest, hand-built by his grandfather, and McBryde submitted a well-worn rolltop desk that once belonged to the Texas treasury secretary.

The contest also honored 25 second-place winners.

For a complete list, visit

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