Sunday, July 25, 2010

Paint Dilemma

Garage sales were a bust this past week, and I really didn't find anything worth showing. So I thought I'd share an ongoing dilemma I've been having.

I'll admit it. When it comes to decorating, I'm a real dummy. And choosing paint colors? Forget it! Here's my dilemma:

I want to paint this. Really bad. Have for a couple of years now. My family doesn't want me to. Let's just forget about that for now! Ever since I discovered Daisy Cottage, I've admired Kim's love of color. And when I last visited Common Ground, I saw Debra's painted pie safe, and new it was time. The question is, what color? By the way, this is in the dining room. Do I paint it white? Or a sagey green? Do I use satin or semi-gloss?

I want to paint this secretary hutch too. Again, what color? Pretty much anything goes in this room. I've got pastels and primary colors in here.

This bookcase is the only light-colored piece of furniture in here.

The dining room chairs are dark wood, but the table is always covered by a vintage tablecloth.

There's also this dark clock in there. The wall almost looks pink in this picture, but it's actually a cream color. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated! I guess I'm having such a hard time because once I paint them, that's it. I WILL NOT strip them back to the wood if I don't like it. Please help!!!


Tete said...

If you can't make up your mind you can always go white first on the cabinet. The walls would look good with a sage green to the gray tones. I put that in my living room and every color and wood grain looks good against it. I prefer satin over semi gloss because it doesn't shine as much and is still very washable.
Go back to the blog you like and find something that you love and do that color!
Hope that helps some- let us know how it comes out!
hugs- tete

Debby said...

Hi. I have the same dilema. I love the different woods, except the dark cherry - like your second picture....I'll get back to that. I see all the blogs with color and think that's me. But then I see the cream blogs and think that's me. I have just come to the conclusion that I am a cream with color accents...I think. I really want to paint my grandma's cabinet....similar to your second picture. I would never sell it. I think even though it is old there must have been a mass production of these. But those wooden things in the glass. How can we paint those????? Let me know what you decide. Have I confused you even more. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Carol! I'd go with White but I'm clueless when it comes to types of paint. I understand your hesitation. I waited years before painting a minuture chair of mine but I've never regreted painting it Pink! ♥

Unknown said...

If you're gonna keep the walls cream..if ya paint the furniture the same pale color it'll just fade into the wall and won't be seen. The chest with the pottery on top could be painted a sagey green with the insets on the door panels that golden yellow of the pottery to make it pop. The hutch could be left it woodtone outside, but the inside of the hutch could be painted the the cream of the walls to make the inside seem brighter and the shelves the sagey green. The little blookshelf would be great the sagey green..the clock...I'd leave alone The value of a Granfather clock matters..anyway since your table and chairs are the same dark cherry or mahogany it keeps it cohesive. You could even redo your chair seat a sagey green to math the curtains.

Sarah and Jack said...

Well, here's my "assvice" - paint it whatever color you want. I do NOT believe you have to strip it if you want to repaint it. I paint over paint.all.the.time. It's fine really. And I have a crazy 5 year old running amok!

As far as finish goes, if you use a good quality paint a satin finish is plenty durable (read: wipeable). I really do like the Martha paints at home depot, her satin rocks. But her colors might not suit you.

P.S. I also think you could just paint the furniture white and the walls a color, but painting the walls is almost more work than painting furniture. Almost.

Dawn said...

Anything but white! Any of the cool vingtage items you have can be your inspiriation. Look how good your collections look with all the different colors. If colored furniture pieces work anywhere it's with your style! think about the old kitchen appliances and tiles from the 50's. They even had pink stoves and aqua toilets.

...remember the hutch I bought at the estate sale and I was so sure I would paint it white...I couldn't do it! When I cleaned it up to paint it looked so good I just couldn't do it! But my style is more traditional than yours so the dark wood works fine. I do have some fun tables that are red and old benches with the original soft minty green paint and I love them!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am not one advise you as I'm in the same boat as you. I think white and then go from there but others have very interesting advice. Good luck and I look forward to you choices.

Nanette Merrill said...

I wouldn't touch the clock. It is classic. The chairs could be sprayed. It is hard to know. I"m not much help.

Anonymous said...

Try white first.. on the cabinet.. White normally goes with anything!! Post it on here.. and wait to see comments... But dark is gorgeous as well.. Love that clock!

Unknown said...

you know me...first piece I would paint a fun red! But I love red....the other piece I think like Tete...start white and use a stain....you can always do it again!!!!! Love the pieces....very pretty!

Melissa said...

Sweetheart, sweetheart, SWEETHEART ... DON'T for the love all things old and awesome paint your furniture! :) Have you considered painting the walls a vintage-y color? Go to the Lowe's or Home Depot and pick out all the paint cards of colors you like. Bring 'em home and tape 'em up and just look at them for a few days. Let some creativity brew.

I am a rearranger to no end, painting walls and rearranging will perk up any gal I think.

Your blog is a treat, many thanks!

At Home in English Valley said...

I lived with dark paneled walls for years because "you shouldn't paint wood!" That's boring! I would paint whatever you want any color you really like. I ruff things up with a sanding sponge, wipe everything well with a damp cloth and when dry, PAINT. I personally like a latex enamel. Take your time, don't be discouraged, you may need a couple of coats. I use a brush and a small roller. Have fun, you'll be surprised how much better you'll like your old things.

Shelley said...

Well, you asked for opinions and boy did you get them! They only thing I think we all agree on is using satin paint. The boring/safe part of me paints furniture white or cream. Well, if it's a piece that may travel...from room to room, that way it always works into the decor. If you leave your walls cream go with some color! You can always paint it again! Not that I've ever done that...it takes me long enough to paint it the first time! Good luck with your decision!

BTW-I really had planned on asking some of the same advice...for a tray, so why am I giving advice! Stay tuned...I may still ask!

Pink Roses and Teacups said...


I know what you mean. I am in the same boat! lol! I love the pink and white of shabby chic, but my kitchen is kind of country retro.
I want to paint some of my pieces white, but don't know how it will look. I would go with a satin finish. The pieces would look great in sage greens, pale yellows, and even white. I would go for more ivory color, instead of stark white. Cindy, of My Romantic Home has a tutorial on her sidebar for painting techniques. If you don't like the color, paint over it. I have visited Daisy College, and love her style. Good luck, and be sure to show us the results.


Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

I'm completely clueless so I'm just going to wait and see what you choose and how it turns out!!! lol. Real helpful comment, hunh???!!! Anyways all I ever do is paint everything RED.

Anonymous said...

You sound like me trying to pick paint colors. I can't make up my mind, and then end up changing it later. I agree with everybody on the satin. Take the plunge, and GOOD LUCK! I'm sure it'll be gorgeous.

Mona Kay Gorman said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one with this dilemma!! I say PAINT IT!!! I love the idea of a sage green...so soothing & tranquil. I also re-paint without stripping...not only when I don't like the color...when I get bored! Please take pictures!!

Maureen said...

Well I thought I would add my 2 cents. One thing that I picked up on is that you always have a tablecloth on the table. I'm guessing you have several nice vintage, retro type tablecloths. Probably with a common color theme.

What I like to do is take the inspiration piece (comforter, tablecloth or whatever) to a local paint shop (no big box stores!) and have them help me pick colors. My experience has been that the little local stores have well trained people to help you pick colors. You could even bring your pictures to show them.

In the fall, I intend to take on a bedroom set that I inherited from my parents when I got married in 1983! I've never really loved it but it has good bones so I intend to shabby it up to match my taste. At long last! If you stop and think about it, any perceived value is diminished if you're living with something you don't love! Go for it girl! Live with things you love!

Jenny Lou Who said...

I'm known in my family as the go-to gal for decorating advice. Here we go.
Cabinet: pale yellow. Alternately, paint it white, then crackle, then yellow.
Secretary: white with the accent pieces covered in pretty contact paper in a pastel color and pattern, like polka dots or gingam.
Book case: pale yellow, with the back (behind the books) white. No crackle. And make sure you don't paint the metal on the legs.
Chairs: too beautiful to paint. But if you must do something to them, you could recover the seats or come up with a slipcover for the tops.
Grandfather clock: whatever you do, DO NOT paint this! This is worth a lot of money and will be worth squat if you paint it. Plus it will look like crap. To lighten it up, put a light-colored display on the top, or move it to a less prominent place in the room.

Hope that helps :)

laurie -magpie ethel said...

My dad always gives me a hard time for painting over wood....I just paint away anyhow!
The nice thing about paint is you can always change the color if you get tired of it or it isn't quite right. I think it gives things a fresher look. (altho I do have a few unpainted pieces, but that is the look in my living room, a painted piece would look out of place there) This is a very wishy washy comment!

Christie said...

Hey Carol,
Oh I just love your blog, what a fun place to vist, your finds are awesome and so are your collections that are in your side bar :) Those furniture pieces that you are debating on painting are beautiuful...they are real treasures. I can surely understand your painting dilema (paint is one of the hardest choices to make for me too, probably because there are so many choices and they always look different on the paint chip lol. And once you paint it...well, it's painted, but I think any of your pieces would be beautiful painted, especially against your nuetral walls...the sagey green for the cabinet would be gorgeous with all of your treasures, and green seems to go with anything. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you decide on...keep us posted.
Hope you have a great day!
Big Hugs,

Unknown said...

I love the Martha Stewart paint...I like the way it goes on and the pretty colors.
I'm going out of the box here a bit. I like the idea of the barn red, and then distress it to make it look old. Think of an old glory flag, the red and cream and tarnished look. That would be my vote. If you want to lighten the home up...soft pink would pop with your reds but I'm not sure if Chick could live with it...smile!

Rose said...

i think i've seen alot of furniture painted on many blogs. i'm not in favor in painting these pieces. they are history beauty within each one.

Marty said...

I've been following you for some time now and really enjoy your blog. I've nominated you for an award and hope you'll stop by my blog to receive it.

Thanks and happy blogging!

Sherrie said...

I am facing a similar dilemma. I have put together some wood pieces for the shop and they are fine pieces, but the wood color dates them in a bad way. I want to update with color but have to be mindful of which room a customer will use them in. I know I am always safe with a good cream/tan but love the aqua colors and greens. Your tall piece would look lovely cream and safe color for the family. But for your little bookcase, I would go a creamy yellow. Not too bright, not pastel, just comfy yellow. That's just my opinion. Anyway, thanks again for your lovely comments about the shop and the photo of me. I really am a little self conscious about photos so your words were so lovely and kind to read. Thank you.

Mimi Sue said...

Do one maybe in a cream. If you like it go for the rest. My motto: Start slow, taper off. Fewer big mistakes are made that way. Mimi


Hi Carol,
I'm thinking an off white for the pie safe and bookcase. I personally wouldn't paint the other pieces...they look in good shape and I like the mix of wood furniture and painted.
Does this help??
deb :)


I use semi-gloss and a paint with a primer in it :) Lots of sanding before painting :)
and then after it's dry...lightly sand to give it a shabby chic look :)

Unknown said...

I'd paint the bookshelf but none of the rest. First, if they are "old" as in antique, you'll ruin the value of them. I'd paint the walls a colour that makes the furniture pop. I'd put the secretary and the cupboard "katycorner". This would show them off better. The chairs, seat cushions would be all I'd do. Can't wait to see what you decide.

Susie Jefferson said...

You need to do a light sanding first, then wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any dust. Once totally dry, use an oil based primer (spray or brush on) and then an eggshell (semi gloss) finish which is subtle, hard wearing and ages beautifully.

From the sound of your colour preferences and with the different shapes and sizes of the furniture, I'd use the same colour throughout - a warm white or very pale cream. Avoid brilliant white like the plague: very harsh and too blue in undertone. It'll fight with anything pastel.

If you like shabby chic use both colours - cream (or pale grey) for the base coat, then rub all areas that would be naturally worn with candle wax (corners, edges, mouldings) to resist paint. Paint the soft white on top - and when totally dry lightly sand the colour off where you have the wax. The base colour will show through as slightly worn.

If you want it to look even more shabby, I'd recommend brown shoe cream! Rub on where you want it, leave a minute or two, then rub off again.

Hope this helps.