A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Wood Furniture: to paint or not to paint?

When I'm searching for furniture to paint, sometimes I run into the conundrum of deciding if a piece is too nice to paint.  Some furniture is really brought to life with paint and color, while other pieces are best left as they are in their original finish.  How do you decide?  Here are a few pieces I saw on an antiquing trip last weekend.

This dresser had a few issues, particularly with the lower drawers, but the natural wood grain is so beautiful, so it wouldn't make sense to hide its best feature with paint.

This had to be the world's most adorable little desk and chair set.  It has such lovely cabriolet legs and just enough carving for interest. I could see this painted or restored.

These are lovely, but a bit boring and dated.  Spraying them in a glossy lacquer finish would be really fun.  I could easily reupholster these, or even paint the fabric!

This is already painted [who paints wood furniture brown?!] so it's a must paint.  I would do a textured finish similar to this blue desk, to make up for the lack of detail.

This rocker has has such beautiful, intricate carvings in the top.  If painted a light color, and distressed with dark wax and some sanding, this would be incredible. Plus it was 50% off, and I love a bargain!

Here's a tricky one; I've painted very similar dressers and they look fantastic! But they've always been in rough shape, so it was an easy choice. This dresser looks pristine, so I'm torn.  What would you do?


Here's a roll top desk I would NEVER paint in a million years! I found this a couple months ago, and desperately wanted to buy it, but didn't have a spot for it in my house, and it was a little too pricey for me to resell.  When a piece looks this pristine, the decision NOT to paint is about as easy as it gets.  The next time you're at an antique store, or on Craigslist, or at Scott's Antique Market [which is THIS weekend, want to come with?], keep in mind you always have the option to paint or not, it just depends on the individual piece of furniture.  If you're ever unsure, you can always shoot me an email with photos; I'm always happy to offer my two cents! Happy weekend! -Jo