1.30.2015

When to Paint Your Stained Wood Furniture

For a good mix, every home should have some painted furniture.  We bought this 1860's French bookcase when we lived in Paris.  We need it to store dishes in our dining room.
Since it's an antique, I struggled whether or not to paint the inside until one day it struck me…lots of French furniture is painted.  Bottom line: I knew I would like it better (and I would still have the stain on the outside).  I used the Annie Sloan French Linen.

The lamps below were also painted.
 Years ago, before chalk paint's popularity, I painted the base of the French demi-lune table that my mother gave us and have never regretted it.
Painting less expensive pieces of furniture like these bedside chests (formerly a reddish brown veneer) can improve the look.
These were painted with Annie Sloan Old White.

These bistro chairs were bright green before, but easy to paint with Rustoleum Satin Slate Blue spray paint.
Right after I painted the inside of our French bookcase, I read Emily A. Clark's post about when to paint furniture.  She is all for painting dated oak (me too, to mix it up) and for leaving rattan/bamboo unpainted for texture.
Note:  Leave pieces with beautiful wood grains (Grandma's mahogany dining table), stains or texture (your reclaimed wood coffee table) unpainted to add richness to you overall furniture mix.


 Do you have furniture that could have new life with a couple coats of paint?

30 comments:

  1. Great post...love seeing the before and afters, amazing what a bucket of paint can do along with great taste!

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  2. I do not have painted pieces. One would be fine with me. I just do not want to do it myself. I do not like to paint. Your pieces look GREAT! xo

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    1. I don't enjoy it either, Ron. But you get a sense of accomplishment.

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  3. I recently painted/restained two old antique pieces and they are now my favorite pieces in the house. I say 'go for it'- it is amazing what a coat of paint can do for a tired old piece!

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  4. I agree with you Mary Ann. I have a mix of painted as well as beautiful wood stained pieces which really works!

    xoxo
    Karena
    French Artist Frederique Chemin

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  5. very nice...love the french linen inside...one of my favorite colors....have a great day, Mariaelena...come on by & visit...:)

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  6. Mary Ann: Oh, I do agree: some pieces just need….to be painted. Here is the post I had done on repainting an old dark wood piece with Annie Sloan Paints: http://www.libbywilkiedesigns.com/2012/06/using-annie-sloan-chalk-paint.html
    It made such a huge difference; don't know how we lived with it for so long! The interior of your sideboard is just perfect;love it!

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  7. For interior such as yours, I've also just painted a separate piece of masonite if i didn't want to paint the actual piece itself. That way it's easy to change and even cover with fabric or paper.

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  8. You know I love painted furniture. Good idea painting the inside of that cabinet in French Linen.

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  9. I love how the bookcase turned out. And I do have a few furniture pieces screaming "Please paint me." Have a GREAT weekend!

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  10. GREAT post. I totally agree you need to have a nice mix of wood and painted pieces! And I always say paint out the ugly! if your piece is dated paint can refurbish anything!

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    1. Good one, Stephanie…"paint out the ugly!"

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  11. My motto has always been "a can of paint can change your life"! Hopefully for the better! I paint anything that doesn't move. Chalk paint is so forgiving, and easy to use. Your pieces came out lovley!
    Sharon
    The House of Hampton

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  12. I love to paint over wood furniture and cabinets. Some people would have a heart attack, but if it's not a valuable antique, which it probably isn't...then go for it! I love the mix of wood pieces with painted pieces in a room, so much more interesting than a room full of matching wood furniture! I do have several pieces in our house right now that are crying out to me..."paint me...paint me"! One of these days!!!
    xoxo Gail

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  13. Gail…you are the master at painting furniture…that is for sure!

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  14. Great post. I've debated over and over whether to paint the inside of the china cabinet and i really should do it. I put some wallpaper on boards at the back which helped, but they curled slightly so it isn't perfect. I do struggle with what to paint and what to keep as there is no going back.

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  15. When I am in France I buy furniture in the Brocantes and paint them. I have furnished our flat there with my Brocante finds and have even bought a couple of pieces back to London.

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  16. I also like a mix of painted and unpainted wood furniture, but I have just noticed that we don't have any painted furniture! I think I may try painting the bedside table in our bedroom this spring. It was just an unfinished piece that has no value. On the other hand, I am not in favor of painting antiques. I watch too many Antiques Roadshow episodes to know how paint devalues a piece. I sort of get a sick feeling when I see a beautiful wooden piece of furniture that is an antique painted. But that's just me.
    Claudia

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  17. I love the chest painted inside...the dishes now show up...looks so pretty! I have so many things to paint and a garage filled with projects...if I bring one more thing home the hubby will have my head!

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  18. What a difference, Mary Ann - love the chest, but like you, I think the bamboo chair looks amazing just as it is. Hope you've had a great weekend!

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  19. I'm all for painting furniture and like a mixture of painted and unpainted wood so it doesn't look too matchy. I am desperate to paint the inside of my mahogany cupboard holding all my crockery, but my husband is not convinced! Will show him your picture to boost my case! xx Sharon

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  20. Thank you for the great tips and the beautiful pictures. I really like how the console table turned out. What a pretty piece. I have recently painted my desk from dark brown to white. I love what difference it made in the room and how it gave new life to the furniture piece. Definitely a great alternative to buying new pieces.

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  21. I love everything! The mix of painted base and marble top and the inside of your bookcase! beautiful! As always, your posts make me want to get busy on a project or two!

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  22. This is such a timely post. I found a darling bamboo etagere at the junk shop. I have been debating whether to paint it black or leave it. I still can't decide!!

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  23. Love this! You just inspired me to paint a desk! I was going to get rid of it! Thanks!!

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  24. I totally agree....plus if it isn't a priceless antique....paint away! When you have a dark piece and the inside is dark also....it just looks like a dark whole....so nice to lighten it up and see all of you cream pieces!

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  25. Goodness. It's seem like you'll be painting no stop a least the next month. It does make a big difference though and i would do it also. I like the new all color you have picked out. Thank you for shearing...

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  26. The painted interior of your cupboard looks like it always wanted to be like that. Thanks for this helpful post.

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  27. I'm a furniture painting girl too, and I just wanted to say that I love your style!

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  28. Your opinions are quite interesting, I enjoy reading what you write. Hope to hear more from you.

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It's SO nice to hear from you!

 
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