I shared this dresser on Facebook yesterday, stating that I would be painting it and I didn’t expect the freak-out that resulted.
I didn’t feel like I needed to defend myself or anything, but I wanted to explain why I was painting it to educate a little and to keep wood-lovers from losing sleep. Here was my reply…
“I had no idea I was going to cause such a stir with the dresser I posted a picture of yesterday! It’s now sanded and yes, ready to paint. Sorry! Here’s why -
1.) The wood grain on the top three drawers is lovely, but the bottom drawer looks a little strange, like it doesn’t belong.
2.) It has a very orange look about it and I don’t like orange wood.
3.) It’s a piece from the 1920′s at the earliest, so everyone can stop panicking about devaluing a high end antique. I’ve painted pieces from the 1800′s before with hand made dove-tails and have slept okay after doing it. This is a machine made piece that’s pretty, yes, but not some rare piece that needs to be appraised.
4.) When I try to sell pieces that I don’t paint, they don’t sell. People want to buy pieces that are “Mustard Seed” originals, so I look specifically for pieces I’m okay with painting.
5.) In my mind’s eye, this piece looks better painted.
I do appreciate the feedback and am not offended at all by those who wouldn’t paint this piece if it was in their possession. A difference in opinion is what makes the world go ’round and everyone was very polite. But, just relax. He’s in good hands and won’t be painted aqua.
Now, I bought the matching dresser and vanity, so if it pains you to see these pieces painted, you might want to look away for a few weeks…”
I do think it’s a common misconception that because I paint pieces, I’m not a wood lover. Quite the opposite. I only buy pieces that are made of 100% wood. I get excited over beautiful graining like bird’s eye maple and woods that has the glow of an amazing patina. I don’t paint pieces like that and, this might surprise you, but I have more unpainted pieces in my home than painted ones. Really.
I would never, ever paint a pristine antique if it would devalue the piece. I will paint pieces that I get from used furniture stores and thrift shops that need a little help (sometimes a lot) or that I know will look better once painted.
In the comments, a lot of people mentioned the furniture stripping fad in the 1970′s and I remember my mother-in-law telling me that when she was younger, it was the prevailing thought that painted furniture looked cheap. Obviously, we’re in a painting fad right now and I’m sure a decade or two down the road, people will be cursing DIY bloggers and Pinterst as they’re painstakingly stripping a piece. You know what, though? I’m okay with that and I might even join them if that’s the trend. But, I’m not going to make my decisions about what I paint or don’t paint on “what if’s” or “someone in the future might…”
So, if you’re waffling about painting a wood piece or not, here are some things to think about…
- Do you love the piece as it is? If you don’t, paint it.
- Do you want to paint it, but other people are talking you out of it? If so, paint it!
- How old and valuable is the piece? If we’re talking about a museum quality heirloom…don’t paint it.
My rule of thumb is – if I’m not 100% sure about painting it, I don’t. I can always paint it later when inspiration strikes, but I know I won’t want to strip it if I change my mind.
So where are you on the hot to-paint-or-not-to-paint issue?
Speaking of paint, yesterday I spent some time doing another MMSMP photo shoot. I usually take over my dining room, since the light is the prettiest in there and I make quite a mess of it.
I was shooting one of my new colors that will be release with Apron Strings (a coral) and Curio (a walnut brown) late this fall. Here it is…
(Note to self. Don’t wear a bright blue shirt on photo shoot days. See the reflection in the spoon handle?)
(I took this picture with my teeth. Really. It’s hard to be a hand model and the photographer at the same time. Just don’t ever ask to bother my shutter remote, because it’s been in my mouth!)
The color is called Trophy. It’s a warm gray that has a pewter/aged silver feel to it, but leans more “greige” than the blue-grays I usually go for. And, it looks a lot like the color of some of the old trophies in my home, hence the name.
Or like these tarnished umbrella handles…
Here’s how it looks (I’ll be painting a piece in it tomorrow, so this is just a preview)…
It was a hard color to photograph, because it kept looking more blue in the photos, but it’s definitely a gray, not a blue. I’m really excited about this color and how nice it’s going to be to mix with others as well as to use on its own.
So, while this is not the official unveiling of the color – say “hello” to Trophy!
Today, I’m headed out to do some shopping and to check out a personal ironstone collection that’s for sale! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!