April 7, 2014

the love and hate of painted furniture

Start your engines people, the week has begun. Hopefully y'all enjoyed some good times this weekend. We were busy beavers with track meets, home projects, ORC check ins and several trips to the park. And in between all of that I was able to go out to a huge flea market that is new to the St. Louis area.

It was an amazing turn out in a beautiful (and muddy) location and I saw tons of great accessories and fabulous booths. But as I walked deeper and deeper into the market there was one thing that started to bum me out. Everyone had great furniture but all. of. it. was painted. Some of it was just slopped with white paint, and some of it was beautifully done in fab colors.

And to be honest, it really bummed me out. Does everything have to be painted? What about refinishing the furniture instead? It would involve the same prep time and the same amount of work (to do it right). Don't ruin a beautiful secretary by drowning it in gallon of cheap paint.


And then I turned the corner and saw this. Beautiful. Amazing. Head spinning console. I thought of a million places this could go and a dozen people who needed it in their home.


Obviously you know I love painted furniture as I've shown here, here and here. And I'm not suggesting it goes away entirely, but I think we need more pieces in their original state.

via
via
via
via

What do you think? Would you consider refinishing your next vintage find rather than painting it? Would you be more likely to buy something that was refinished or painted?

59 comments:

  1. Elizabeth I totally agree...some furniture needs to be painted but I love the warmth of wood in a space!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, Elizabeth. You can have too much paint in a room.
    Teresa
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm with ya! I am kinda over pairing every piece of Craigslist furniture!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amen, Elizabeth. I feel the same way. People have gone WAY overboard with painting everything. Sometimes it's tragic. And I think painted and "distressed" pieces are even more of an eyesore. Why? Why????

    Learn to love wood, people. Different textures and tones are necessary. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great topic! A piece of painted furniture well done can add a pop, but the warmth of wood is necessary. I'm looking for classic pieces with beautiful original stained tones.
    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you, if the finish is still good, I would feel bad painting over it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so with you on this. I live in the Kansas City area and over the past couple of years the West Bottoms have become a popular thrifting spot the first weekend of every month. This past Friday I stopped in to look for a few things I've been wanting and the paintind furniture everywhere was driving me crazy. I agree with you also though, that red console is killer!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I couldn't agree more. I love a mix of metal, wood, and painted furniture in a space. I have been wanting to add a burled wood piece somewhere. Now I just have to find the right piece ;) xo Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  9. I feel like a lot of this painting craze is Pinterest's fault (well, that, and the decor blogs'), because of all the before-afters. I mean, what's more striking to show in pictures - the dull scratched wood of the before vs. the nice lustre of the after OR the dull scratched wood of the before vs. the OMG SHINY PAINT of the after?
    I am not saying that the bloggers are doing it for the views, but visually, the paint just attracts the eye more. Not to mention, lots of new houses (or rentals) have white walls, and it's easier to paint a piece of furniture (and sometimes the only option) than to paint the walls.

    For myself, I ADORE looking at all the painted furniture before-after posts, but for my own home, I don't have a single piece of furniture that's been painted. I keep meaning to do it, but don't love the look enough to figure out how to work it in my style.

    ReplyDelete
  10. YES. It's overdone for sure. I picked up a piece intending to paint in and then tried it in the room as is. It's gorgeous and I haven't touched it with a paintbrush. There's a time and place for painted furniture but it's not all the time and everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great topic! I love a mix of painted and natural wood finishes. We probably have an equal share of each.

    XOXO,
    The Glam Pad

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is a woman on Craigslist here in Detroit who is always posting gorgeous antique buffets and hutches that she then destroys with some shabby chic (god I hate those words) white distressed paint. Part of me feels it's my civic duty to stop her somehow lol. That being said, I do love a good piece of lacquered furniture!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love this post b/c I do a lot of painting of furniture just finished a piece actually! But I agree, I found a mid century dutch buffet that I'm sanding down and bringing back to it's original b/c it is too beautiful to paint

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree completely! Some time I find good finds on Craigslist with really bad paint jobs and think it's just unfortunate. I just bought an MCM dresser with the intention of painting it white but once I cleaned it up I felt I owed it to the piece just to let it speak for itself. I think I could use more natural furniture in my house, too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i feel ya! you know i love paint, but i also love a beautiful piece of wood... (and that did not come out like i intended). but give me some rustic wood any day!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Elizabeth I couldn't agree more I am a furniture painter and have lots of painted pieces in my place but I also have lots of pieces in their original state, and if someone painted them it would make me cry! People need to be SELECTIVE about what they paint and for god's sake they need to do a good job, can't count the # of times I've walked by a piece that has been ruined by a bad paint job. BTW. I've still been hanging around here but was a no reply for about a month - so some of those random, over-familiar no-reply comments you were getting - that was me :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think it's a resounding, yes! Some pieces look absolutely fab painted and others should never be touched. I had a girlfriend pick up a gorgeous armoire with beautiful wood grain and the first thing she asks me is "what color should I paint it?" I told her I hoped she didn't touch it, it was beautiful the way it was. It really depends on the piece and how the wood looks if I'm considering painting it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think it's all about balance. I totally agree that a bad paint job can make a piece look even worse, and I certainly don't want a house full of painted furniture. I like to think we have a mix, which keeps us balanced. That red is gorgeous though!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I completely agree! I think the whole DIY movement has helped transform a lot of ugly pieces into gems, but then again, I love natural wood, especially warm, mid tones like you've shown in many of your examples. I'm beginning to think a lot more about traditional design lately, and think I will lean that way in my next apartment.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I so agree as well. I refinished my secretary in stain instead of painting it ;) love that console too

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nothing tops a beautifully finished piece of wood!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh I could not agree more. In my latest thrifting adventures there seems to be more (badly) painted furniture and I can't help but think that I would buy some of it if it were just left in its shabby original state. I would prefer to refinish it myself and if I wanted to paint it I would choose a different color. I hate to paint furniture but I love the refinishing process.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so happy you posted this! I have some antique pieces that I wouldn't dream of painting. I think it just depends on the piece. I like a mix of both but think the painted furniture is getting waaaay out of control!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is a great point and something to keep in mind while decorating! Just because painted furniture is popular right now, doesn't mean that a natural wooden piece no longer has a place in the room at all!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I like a bit of wood in every room, and that's coming from a girl who loves to paint!

    ReplyDelete
  26. If a piece is sitting in a basement corner, neglected and unloved, I'm all for painting it. If that's what it takes for someone to appreciate it again. We have a combo in our house and shop...I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I agree (says the girl who is about to paint a few pieces of furniture). In my defense though they are not quality pieces;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm all about the wood and a while ago I had debated painting my Windsor bench, but I'm SO glad I kept it as is. I was actually thinking about this a lot lately because I knew I was going to have to do something to the desk in my Habitat room. I kept the chair as is and recovered the seat in a fun ikat, but the desk needed something. I decided on a whim to paint it this past weekend and I think it was the right move for the look that I'm going for. I do agree with you though, sometimes it seems like a nice piece of wooden furniture gets painted just because. That should not be the case all the time - depends on the piece and the color of the stain.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I guess it all depends on the quality of the wood...my Crate and barrel armoire..painted....nicer things...refinished for sure. I do think refinishing is a dying art...and paint is in....The pendulum will swing back..no worries.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I love them both... However, if the piece of furniture is in good shape I would be very reluctant to paint it, I would much rather refinish and keep the warmth of the wood.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I totally agree! I've met with a few clients who are "stuck" and can't figure out why their rooms are working. I walk in and every single piece of furniture in the space is painted! Like anything, small doses is what makes it work. I little goes a long way! M.
    Love the console, btw. True statement piece.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sounds like I'm on the same page as everyone else - a painted piece here and there is great but every good room needs the warmth of at least one wood piece!

    ReplyDelete
  33. For an actual antique, I would refinish. But for vintage, I would probably paint it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm actually in the process of refinishing a dresser that was painted. It's more work to take something back to the stained finish, but I am so excited about the results. I think every space needs at least a few natural elements, and yes, I cringe at how much furniture is painted these days, and a lot of it not done well.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm a natural wood gal myself. There aren't too many well painted pieces out there...to have changed my mind. But, I have seen a few that I would consider...never say never! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I live in Nebraska but was in St. Louis this weekend and had no idea about the flea market...Darn! But I totally agree with you that painted furniture is fabulous - in small doses. And I believe that the art is in the mix.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I actually agree. I have quite a few heirloom pieces from my Oma that I would NEVER consider painting. I did paint one...and old bookshelf from the 1920s, but it had already been painted white and desperately needed a touch up. I think if I found pieces at a thrift or vintage shop...I might be more inclined to paint them, depending on what they looked like. The sentimental value isn't there, so I may not have much trouble altering it. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  38. It's all about balance. I love painted furniture, but use it sparingly. I always pair it more rough organic textures, and it seems to turn out great.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I completely agree - I have a few painted pieces in my home but the finish/wood condition wasn't good and I think painting them was the right decision. At the same time, found my beautiful chest of drawers in my bedroom and there was no way a paint brush was going to touch it. I feel a bit guilty now for painting the cabinet in my TV room ;) but the wood finish was really not at all attractive. I think if it's a valuable piece, leave it. If it's destined for the charity shop and a new coat of paint will make it a stand-out piece, then go for it (but please no shabby chic finishes for the love of god). xx

    ReplyDelete
  40. Every room in my house has a peice of painted furniture. But they were all old but not good, and some of them I did myself, some I bought ready painted. I also have lovely peices of wood that I don't want to paint - so like everyone else, it's a good balance that's important, I think!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Times are changing that's for sure, for so long I only had white painted furniture then I started added color painted pieces and selling off the white, now I've been selling off the colored pieces and painting some pieces black or gray and adding wood, I love the mix of painted and wood pieces and there is nothing worse than a badly painted piece of furniture!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I couldn't agree with you more! Great inspiration pics too!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lordy! Judging by the 43 comments before mine, it sounds like tons of people agree with you. Add me to this list. More and more, I get anxiety when I see a perfectly good piece doused with paint. Sure, refinishing takes some effort, but there are so many different wood tones in this world that it's a shame to always cover them up.

    ReplyDelete
  44. such a great topic! You know how much I love a good colorful lacquered piece, BUT I also wouldn't dare touch certain pieces with paint. I think it just takes digression. A good mix is essential.

    ReplyDelete
  45. It would definitely depend for me. I agree that it would be awful to paint some of that wood furniture in the above pictures, since the grain can look so pretty if properly stained. But I have two bright green painted dressers in my bedroom, and I love them.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Whoa, this struck a chord! :) I agreed, a mix of both is most interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I could not agree more!!!! Need to get the scoop on that flea market....

    ReplyDelete
  48. I remember when I first started blogging (when my obsession with design began) I LOVE painted furniture. I wanted to paint everything. I feel like now I've done a complete 180 and don't want anything painted and just want original antique pieces. I have both in my house. Actually been considering painting my kitchen table base & chairs black - they are white. Why? B/c I can't afford to go buy a new antique table & chair set. And, sometimes paint it what you need to freshen it up or make it work with your color scheme. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am right there with you. I'm so sick of seeing furniture that's been spray painted, distressed or had some kind of design taped out and painted on it. Especially if it's an antique. That just kills me to see a beautiful piece ruined.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I completely agree! I definitely a beautifully stained piece more - painted can be great, too, but you definitely need a mixture of the two! I hate seeing gorgeous pieces with hideous paint colors and trendy patterns painted on them!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I forgot "love"*** in the above comment :) And also, is that flea market event only a few times a year - I'd love to go to the next one!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Dude. Yes. I might kill the next person who paints a beautiful Victorian antique in chalkpaint chevron stripes.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I have a mix. Most of my pieces are in their original state though. Great discussion!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Superb work done. I too like painted furniture. Specially with the colour combinations and shades of red, green, blue, white, black, yellow. - Triple glazing manufacturers UK

    ReplyDelete
  55. I definitely love a mix of painted and natural wood pieces. I would actually love to refinish my kitchen nook table and stain it, but just haven't gotten up the energy to do it yet! Me and citristrip do not have a good relationship! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Superb work done. Colorful furniture gives a brighter and colorful shades to your beautiful house.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thank you for sharing this useful information. Keep sharing this kind of information

    Best Home Interior Designers in Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  58. Door Refinishing made Simple Are your doors suffering from exposure to weather or just normal wear and tear Contact Us For a Quote!
    Door Refinishing

    ReplyDelete

I love it when you sweet talk me! It makes my day!
And please make sure you leave an email address so we can keep the convo going.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10 11 12
Blogging tips