Three years after Back in Time first brought upcycled treasures to downtown Farmingdale, husband-and-wife owners Laura and Joseph Napolitano have expanded with the addition of a new workshop area. Back in Time now stretches into the next-door space that was last Well Strung Guitars.

“It’s not just a shop,” Laura says. “It’s an experience when you come here. You step back in time,” between the oldies tunes playing, nostalgic conversations happening and the shop’s offerings. And there are plenty of them, such as blankets, candles, pillows, frames and many other home accents — set up within the two storefronts and a barn out back.

Workshops take place in the newly expanded area, neighboring the main storefront. The shop’s paint specialists Jennifer Vollmuth and Lynne Biondo spearhead the 3 to 3 1/2 hour workshops where crafters bring in a small piece of furniture to repurpose using Annie Sloan chalk paint, which Back in Time stocks. The item has to be small enough to carry in and out alone.

The class entails a one-on-one session with a specialist. Classes max out at two people; during warmer months, workshops can be brought outside and up to four people can participate. Crafters will learn how to prepare their furniture — from cleaning it to adding its finishing touches, whether it be waxing, glazing or distressing.

Inbetween coats, participants can browse the store and its cafe, Elise’s Niece’s Cafe, which was recently opened by the owners’ daughter, Jenna, 26. Crafters will receive a baked good and beverage as part of the workshop package. By taking part in a class, customers also receive a 10% off discount on paint purchases made on the same day.

One of the first workshop partakers, Jen Valente, 43, of Seaford, brought in a black end table and walked out with a white distressed version of it. “I wanted to paint a few things in my house. I know that using chalk paint is supposed to be really easy.” She looked up YouTube videos, but because Back in Time offers workshops on the subject, she, being a regular, took a class. The goal, she says, was to learn how to use the paint, then go home and “paint a few things in my house.”

Valente says she normally doesn’t paint, but the workshop was easy to follow and “a great time. Anybody that likes do that sort of stuff or anything arts and crafts would enjoy it.”

Reservations are required and are on a first come, first served basis. You can sign up for a workshop by calling the store or by stopping in.

Eventually, the plan is to incorporate paint and wine nights, too, where customers would paint an item provided by the store, such as a sign, accompanied by light bites.


Price: $175 per person, per class

Workshop hours: Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.

Info: 441 Main St., Farmingdale; open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 516-586-8443;

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