Monday, February 25, 2013

Classic, Timeless Furniture...Putting Away the Paintbrush

Although I've been painting furniture for my home and vintage shows/shops around six years now, I will always appreciate the classic beauty of wood.  To me, there is nothing more timeless in home decor than a solid-built, beautifully-maintained, piece of antique furniture.  They just don't make them like they used to!

Even if your style isn't traditional, I believe that a beautiful antique can coincide with so many looks... from cottage to modern.  A bit of the past with the present...
I'm always on the hunt for reasonably priced wood pieces that I can put in my booth or in my home since I personally love to mix classic wood beauties with painted furniture.  These are a few of the wood pieces that I've incorporated in the house...
  ...like my dining room hutch and my antique library table that I scored for $75 that greets visitors in my foyer...
I like to mix the darker tones of wood with lighter furnishings as well as mix the new with the old to keep it looking "too antique"...if that makes sense?  Most of my re-habbed furniture projects are painted pieces purely because of the condition in which they were found, or the particular outdated style of a piece, makes painting an easy and affordable way to bring them back to life...
But when I come across pieces like the Empire dresser above and some other recent finds below, I put away the paintbrush because it's getting harder to find some of these in such great condition.  Don't get me wrong...I'm far from the "don't paint an antique" camp.  It's that I choose to leave some alone...
 Instead, I carefully clean and polish with either some wax or Pledge...
...and hope that someone out there shopping in my booth will love the wood tones too.
What about you?
Do you love a good ol' fashioned antique with great lines?
Or do you whip out that paintbrush for everything?  Maybe you like the mix like me?
Let me know...I'd love to hear!

Kristen

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37 comments:

Erin~Just*Grand said...

I'm totally with you on this. Some things are not meant to be painted. And some really need paint to sing.

Kirby Dunton Carespodi said...

I definitely agree with you--I try to keep beautiful wood (esp. if a piece was built pre-WWII) unpainted. My faves to paint are the mass-produced mahogany pieces from the post-war era. Only because there are so many out there, and they tend to be rather ugly. Love your cabinet!!) Do you mind if I link back to this post at some point?

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

I definitely love a beautiful antique with gorgeous wood that is in good shape. You have some truly nice pieces.

Marsha said...

I have several antique pieces that I can't imagine painting. I have a pre-Civil War chest in my foyer that will always be unpainted But, I got some ASCP samples the other day and can't wait to try them on a small table this week. I've been refinishing furniture since I was 12, and I'm excited to try something new.

Lady Courtney said...

There are pieces that could use a good paint job and then there are pieces that need a good cleaning and refreshing. I cringe when I see a nice old piece of furniture painted. A quality antique actually loses value when the finish is altered, by refinishing or painting. Glad these all survived! :)

My Cozy Casita said...

Hi Sophia, I agree with you that I can't painting my antique furniture
I love all your wood furniture it is in good shape.
Blessing
IsoraXO
:-)

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

love all the gorgeous wood pieces you have!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

I love to mix wood with painted pieces also. You have beautiful wood pieces! I LOVE your hutch and that table you have in your entry!!

Anne Boykin said...

I agree with you and your photographs prove that some pieces are beautiful just as they are. Thanks for your lovely blog.

The Refeathered Roost said...

The piece is beautiful just the way it is. You're also making me feel better about not painting our dining room furniture which was my great grandmothers. I've looked at it a lot while painting our dining room...but it just feels...wrong to paint it.
melinda

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Gorgeous pieces Kristen..I agree...if they are in great shape...don't paint...now where are those beauties going?

Karina Russell said...

I am so glad to hear you say that! Too many are slapping paint on everything because it is easier than refinishing. Well made furniture is increasingly hard to find. I do like a painted piece here and there, but good wood should be preserved. You have some lovely pieces.

Rachel said...

I love antique wood furniture and have several pieces, but I wouldn't dream of painting any of them.

Beckie @ Infarrantly Creative said...

Those pieces are so classy they don't need a paint to look like one! Great idea on preserving the natural beauty of those wood pieces!Thanks for sharing Kristen!

westernreservebutlerspantry said...

I agree. I recall when I was young there was a wave of people painting furniture. I love painted furniture when the wood is beyond repair or just wasn't a quality piece to start with. Then it seemed like the fad ended and then we were all working like mad to bring back the beauty that was under many coats of paint. I kind of think history is repeating itself. That's such a warm dresser with all that lovely patina that takes years to acquire.

Katie {Miss Dixie} said...

Everything cant be painted- I love to mix wood tones! The pieces you have are beautiful the way they are.

Amy Ellis said...

Hi Kristen, I found your post on Hometalk and wanted to come over and tell you that these pieces are beautiful, and I agree there way too stunning to paint. From what I've read, you can't even get your hands on some of the wood types that were used back then. Thank you!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

This piece is truly a classic. You are so right about this piece... a paintbrush could not improve on this beauty! A rare piece, indeed!

Jenny@thelavendermagnolia said...

I love that cabinet. Would you call it Gothic since it had doors that look like Gothic windows? Is it just a plain cabinet or is there something mysterious going on inside? Don't know why I am so fascinated other than it is just stunning!

Jenny

pogonip said...

I love the natural beauty and warmth of wood. But I'll cheerfully paint certain older pieces. Usually the wood isn't very special or I know it can be easily stripped down the road. And I love to decorate with both!

Danielle said...

I love painting furniture but totally agree that some things aren't meant to be. Love mixing great wood finds with my painted ones. I'd love for you to share this at Silver Pennies Sundays - http://www.findingsilverpennies.com/2013/02/silver-pennies-sundays-link-party_24.html

Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge said...

Thanks for this great post. As much as I love the look of painted pieces, sometimes it's best just to just leave a piece as it is and enjoy the beauty of the wood. Great styling. Your home is just beautiful. ~ Angie

Ellie VanCaster said...

I am with you 100 percent-I love beautiful old wood items but I'm alright with painting them if it's functional but not too pretty anymore.
Have a great week.

Storywood Designs said...

Some pieces are too pretty to paint! Yours are gorgeous.

Dottie said...

Well said!

lynn cockrell said...

Yep, some things are better left alone or just spiffed up with a little polish.
Such pretty pieces!

Heather SettingforFour said...

I love a mix too! Your pieces have such beautiful tones and graining - it really would be a shame to paint it - especially considering how great a condition they are! I have a question...we bought an antique chest with doors and a bottom drawer however the inside smells like mothballs/musty! Is there anythign that can remove that smell? We tried coffee grounds, javex and water...still it has that odor! Thanks!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love the look and feel of beautiful fine wood, so I don't usually paint anything. Refinishing a piece to it's original grandeur is my cup of tea. Hugs, Marty

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

I mix too and am SO GLAD you don't paint everything.

Too much of anything is too much.

I love your pieces and wish you the best success in your shop!

Denise at PinkPostcard. said...

I am loving (more and more) a nice mix of wood and painted pieces. I also love that more of us furniture rehabbers are doing partial paint on pieces and leaving the tops or drawers in natural. Every room needs a bit of warmth, and showing great pieces in their natural beauty is always a plus! You have featured some stunners here. Love that cabinet with the cathedral peaked doors especially! I have a question for you though: I have an Art Deco armoire that I have tried selling in it's natural wood color. It's not in great shape, and I have considered painting it to see if it would move....I've not seen much for inspiration sake around the web. What would you do? If I do paint, I would definitely try and do neutrals but keeping in line with the colors from the era... suggestions?

chateau chic said...

I really like to mix antique pieces with painted. You have some beautiful pieces and I'm glad you've chosen not to paint them.
Mary Alice

Between Blue and Yellow said...

I LOVE real wood pieces. I have many throughout my home as well as painted ones. Your furniture is beautiful.

melsfunnyfarm.com said...

I cannot bring myself to paint antique walnut pieces. I love the dark, fine grain too much. Veneered pieces, and pieces that are in very rough shape are fair game for painting.

lindsay said...

What a great post! I agree... If you have a beautiful wood piece in good condition- leave it! But like you I like to paint pieces to "bring them back to life" if they need some love.

www.themilkweedpods.blogspot.com

Michelle Helsel said...

I just started following your blog and love your style. I love real wood furniture and can't bring myself to paint any of mine. I love your library table that your scored for $75.00. Your have beautiful furniture. I also love your collection of clocks in your office/craft room. Where on earth did you find all of them? I have been searching for months and have not found a single one. I look forward to following your blog.

Denise said...

I have never seen a room I liked that didn't have a mix. When all the furniture is painted, even in rooms done in the all white look, it doesn't look right. And mixing the wood types / colors is a must for me, too. The beauty is in the mix. You have some beautiful wood pieces!

sugarcreek said...

Love, love, LOVE all your wood pieces. My children tease me because of my zeal for wooden furniture. The grain patterns and feel of unpainted pieces are irresistible to me. I've bought things thinking I'll paint them but once I start cleaning them up I can't resist the "naked" look.

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