Painted furniture dates back to the beginning of time and has quite an interesting history! We have found that people have very strong opinions about painting antique furniture! We, as antique lovers, are certainly purists at heart when it comes to beautiful antiques, but there are times when painting a piece of furniture can actually make it look better!
When I was a young child, there was a popular process used in the 70’s called “Antiquing”. These kits included two steps, starting with a colored base. The colors were Americana red, mustard yellow, avocado green, aqua blue and may other bright colors! After painting, a distressed look was given to the furniture with a glaze that was either rubbed or painted on. It was a big deal and many beautiful pieces of furniture were “antiqued”! My mother was one of these people that loved these “antiqued” pieces of furniture! She painted a family heirloom, a circa 1800s cedar chest, avocado green! She was so proud of it! Thirty years later, I spent a great deal of time and effort stripping it and restoring it to its original glory!!
Move the clock ahead to the 21st century and an exciting new paint hit the market! The new painting process is done with chalk paint. Chalk paint is a decorative furniture paint specifically designed to be easy to use, quick and reliable. Chalk paint very rarely requires any preparation, such as sanding or priming, and can be used indoors or outside, on about any surface. Thus–why chalk paint is so popular!! Chalk painted furniture has a vintage-inspired look to it and people love it!
Consider the following when trying to decide whether to paint or not to paint:
How old is the piece of furniture?
What is the monetary value of the piece?
What is the emotional value of the piece?
What is the design of the piece? How will it look painted?
Will the piece of furniture be difficult to paint?
What is the condition of the piece? Excellent? Poor?
Is there someone in your family that you plan to pass the antique on to in later years?
Although we can’t make the decision for you about painting a piece of furniture, we hope these ideas will help you decide whether to paint or not to paint! Good luck with with your restoration project!