U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House > Home Interior Design and Decorating
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-30-2014, 07:58 AM
 
Location: NC
7,191 posts, read 8,874,895 times
Reputation: 15181

Advertisements

In my house are several vintage maple furniture pieces that may have been used for china or display at one time. I would say they are 'apartment sized'. They are a warm honey tone with somewhat darker tones in grooves and where trim joins. They have a certain out dated charm and are fairly simple in design.

To update them, and frankly to lighten the style, I would like to do some kind of painting magic such as creating a driftwood or more weathered look. The question is, should I? I'm wondering if down the line sometime I can reverse the look if I get tired of it. I don't want the surface to look 'dirty' like some of the chalk paint treatments, so am guessing I'll need to use real paint and real primer. The house itself is 1920's. My floors are southern pine if that makes a difference. What would you guys suggest?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-30-2014, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
25,326 posts, read 16,297,798 times
Reputation: 37838
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
In my house are several vintage maple furniture pieces that may have been used for china or display at one time. I would say they are 'apartment sized'. They are a warm honey tone with somewhat darker tones in grooves and where trim joins. They have a certain out dated charm and are fairly simple in design.

To update them, and frankly to lighten the style, I would like to do some kind of painting magic such as creating a driftwood or more weathered look. The question is, should I? I'm wondering if down the line sometime I can reverse the look if I get tired of it. I don't want the surface to look 'dirty' like some of the chalk paint treatments, so am guessing I'll need to use real paint and real primer. The house itself is 1920's. My floors are southern pine if that makes a difference. What would you guys suggest?
If you like the style for your and your home, then I'd paint them in a heartbeat. I don't know about driftwood because I can't visualize what you are thinking of with that term. I would not paint them if they are not functional, and you would really like to replace them. But if they serve a function, paint them.

What I am seeing on blogs is old furniture painted in soft pastels. Sometimes they are painted in brighter colors. And I am impressed with all the new products available. I just saw on a blog some new furniture paint put out by Folk Art, the craft paint people. They have a chalk paint and a wax. Apparently the wax is used over the paint, and it might be a different color than the base coat.

When I painted furniture, several years ago, I used paint mixed for that purpose at my paint store. I then sanded the edges to simulate wear. I think there must be all sorts of techniques and products now that I didn't have access to. I'd investigate by searching Google, and looking at YouTube videos.

Painting is permanent. The easiest way to renew a paint job is to sand lightly and repaint. If you want a wood finish, then you would have to strip or sand away the paint. The finish underneath will not preserved. You would have to refinish it, probably using stain and some sort of varnish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
33,066 posts, read 61,882,928 times
Reputation: 55480
Don't do it!

Once the piece is painted, there's no going back.

Chalk paint should be damned to the chapter of "history's worst decorating ideas". If you want updated furniture (whatever that is), buy new furniture, and sell your stuff to someone who will appreciate it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
25,326 posts, read 16,297,798 times
Reputation: 37838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Don't do it!

Once the piece is painted, there's no going back.

Chalk paint should be damned to the chapter of "history's worst decorating ideas". If you want updated furniture (whatever that is), buy new furniture, and sell your stuff to someone who will appreciate it.
I don't agree. I certainly would not paint a valuable antique, but I'd paint old maple pieces from the fifties. Why not? They aren't valuable, and the finish is probably deteriorated anyway. A coat of paint freshens up old furniture.

If the OP really would prefer newer pieces, then painting is a waste of time, unless she can't afford new pieces in the near future, IMO.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 10:50 AM
 
1,167 posts, read 1,148,010 times
Reputation: 2150
If they're truly vintage and of any value, sell them and buy something more your style (I'm guessing you prefer the Restoration Hardware look). If they're just old, then strip and refinish them. Unless you want a painted look, consider some other kind of finishing treatment to get a different look from them.

Either way, buy a few planks of maple from the hardware store and try out a few different techniques until you find something you really like. It would be a shame to ruin good furniture with bad faux techniques.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
33,066 posts, read 61,882,928 times
Reputation: 55480
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I don't agree. I certainly would not paint a valuable antique, but I'd paint old maple pieces from the fifties. Why not? They aren't valuable, and the finish is probably deteriorated anyway.
Today's 60-year-old pieces are tomorrow's antiques, and maple is extremely sturdy and valuable.

Quote:
A coat of paint freshens up old furniture.
No. It ruins old furniture.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 02:45 PM
 
3,763 posts, read 10,974,220 times
Reputation: 6760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Don't do it!

Once the piece is painted, there's no going back.

Chalk paint should be damned to the chapter of "history's worst decorating ideas". If you want updated furniture (whatever that is), buy new furniture, and sell your stuff to someone who will appreciate it.
LOL!!!

Chalk paint has invaded the "antique stores" in mine and surrounding towns. One day you walk in and see a beautiful mahogany china cabinet.

2 days later you see a "shabby-chic" robin's egg blue (or hunter's green, or fire-engine red) china cabinet with the same lines.

I've told the shop keep what a travesty it is, but I recognize they've got to do what sells. Its trendy right now, but like most trendy things, it won't last forever.

I would think that the good thing about chalk paint is that they're painting on top of the stain/poly that's already there (i.e. they're not sanding before painting) -- I would think that makes refinishing back to wood possible in the future (if a tremendous amount of work).

Also as far as "old maple pieces from the 50's" not having intrinsic value -- mid-century (which is by definition the '50s) is ridiculously hot right now, so from that perspective if the OP wanted to sell this is probably among the best of times to do so.

I wouldn't (personally) paint an original piece that was not painted unless there were something significantly wrong with it (broken leg, broken drawer) that you were also going to be changing ... because at that point the value is truly gone anyway.

For instance removing drawers and putting in baskets. Removing a door from a china hutch and just using the shelves... at that point its open season to repurpose as desired and if that means painting (rather than a landfill) - have at.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: NC
7,191 posts, read 8,874,895 times
Reputation: 15181
You guys are great. Thanks for your remarks. My pieces are probably from the 50's but I'm not sure they would bring much. I do like them because I have collected 3 similar pieces and they do have a wonderful patina. So I would only be preserving them for their utility and the fact that they are sweet to see. So hear ye, hear ye! They will stay the same.

I just wish I had room for both these and a few of the newer, lighter colored pieces being produced today. Admittedly these newer, lighter colored pieces will never have any historical value and though new are probably crappily made. They are just intriguing in small doses.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
25,326 posts, read 16,297,798 times
Reputation: 37838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Today's 60-year-old pieces are tomorrow's antiques, and maple is extremely sturdy and valuable.


No. It ruins old furniture.
I don't think that mass produced maple from the 'fifties will ever be valued antiques. They might go through a popular phase like the Sears Roebuck catalog oak did, but these pieces are simply not rare enough, or scaled to modern tastes. The typical Ethan Allen maple dining table or hutch might be the exception. But these pieces seem small to us now, as do older dining chairs. And most of the maple is not of the quality of Ethan Allen or Heywood Wakefield.

If you don't love the pieces as is, but a fresh coat of paint would freshen them up, there isn't anything wrong with painting them, IMO. Especially if the finish is degraded.

I would not paint a beautiful reproduction Early American mahogany table. I would not paint an old Duncan Phyfe piece--unless it was truly beat up. But the fifties maple? Eh--its beyond dated, and often not particularly well designed. (step tables anyone?)

However, if you feel that all wood is too precious to cover with paint, that is your right. We simply disagree.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-02-2014, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
25,326 posts, read 16,297,798 times
Reputation: 37838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
LOL!!!

Chalk paint has invaded the "antique stores" in mine and surrounding towns. One day you walk in and see a beautiful mahogany china cabinet.

2 days later you see a "shabby-chic" robin's egg blue (or hunter's green, or fire-engine red) china cabinet with the same lines.

I've told the shop keep what a travesty it is, but I recognize they've got to do what sells. Its trendy right now, but like most trendy things, it won't last forever.

I would think that the good thing about chalk paint is that they're painting on top of the stain/poly that's already there (i.e. they're not sanding before painting) -- I would think that makes refinishing back to wood possible in the future (if a tremendous amount of work).

Also as far as "old maple pieces from the 50's" not having intrinsic value -- mid-century (which is by definition the '50s) is ridiculously hot right now, so from that perspective if the OP wanted to sell this is probably among the best of times to do so.

I wouldn't (personally) paint an original piece that was not painted unless there were something significantly wrong with it (broken leg, broken drawer) that you were also going to be changing ... because at that point the value is truly gone anyway.

For instance removing drawers and putting in baskets. Removing a door from a china hutch and just using the shelves... at that point its open season to repurpose as desired and if that means painting (rather than a landfill) - have at.
I see old maple pieces going begging at thrift stores. Mid century modern--the antithesis of the old maple stuff--is what is hot, hot, hot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House > Home Interior Design and Decorating
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top