To paint or not to paint…that is the question.
We’ve all got that one piece of furniture. You know the one. Maybe you bought it years ago when you got your first place - your first real grown up furniture purchase. Maybe you inherited it. Maybe you found it on the side of the road when you were in college and lugged it from place to place so many times you forget where it even came from.
But…it’s just not your style anymore.
So what to do?
Well, there’s always Craigslist; if you want to go through the hassle of posting the pictures, dealing with spam or scam requests, worrying about giving a stranger your address, then working your schedule around having to be home at random times to meet said strangers. Only to have them either change their mind when they see the piece, or give you a low ball offer - but this is the fifth person you’ve had to show it to and at this point you just want the thing gone, so you take it even though it’s half what you posted it for.
You could donate it to a worthy cause, which is always appreciated, but it’s a 6 foot long dresser made of solid wood and you’ve got a 4 door sedan and they DO NOT pick up, so logistically that’s kind of out of the question.
At this point you’re probably ready to drag it out to the trash, knowing that the magical Bermuda Triangle of the curbside will ensure that it disappears before the garbage men even make it to your neighborhood.
But then you still have to find a new piece of furniture to replace the one you just got rid of. Furniture is expensive. And if it’s not expensive, it’s made of cardboard.
And you don’t really want to get rid of it. It’s in pretty good condition. The drawers all slide well. There are no chips, maybe a few scratches, but nothing bad enough to excuse getting rid of it. It’s a perfectly good piece of furniture.
So your best option is to take the piece you have, and make it the piece you want.
The way to do that? Paint it.
“But, it’s….wood!” Everyone will cry, horror on their face, as they clutch their pearls in shock.
Because after all – one should never paint wood. Should one?
One, in fact, should!
People have this idea that wood is sacred. And old wood is especially sacred. But it’s not.
I used to be one of those people. The ones who clutched their metaphorical pearls at even the mention of painting wood. Until I realized I didn’t even like wood. It’s brown. It’s dull. Occasionally it can be pretty, and, depending on the type, it can, dare I say, be beautiful.
Even I would think twice about painting an old Tiger Oak buffet, but at the end of the day, if Tiger Oak doesn’t go in your house, there’s no rule that says you can’t paint it.
The most important thing about a piece of furniture is about what it means to you. That buffet that was passed down from your grandmother isn’t special to you because it’s made out of 100 year old mahogany by some stuffy old English guy. It’s special to you because you used to sit on it and watch your grandmother roll out dough, or because you got to help her put the silver back in the middle drawer every year after Christmas.
That memory won’t change if you put a coat of paint on it.
What will change with a coat of paint? The likelihood of you keeping it in your kitchen long enough for your grandkids to sit on it and watch you roll out cookie dough, or help you put the silver back in the middle drawer every year after Christmas.
People will argue that painting furniture decreases it’s worth. But, here’s a secret I’m going to let you in on. Are you listening?
Furniture isn’t an investment.
It’s a piece of your daily life.
A fixture in your memories.
It should be used. Loved. Scratched and dented. Painted, stripped, and painted again.
It should be whatever you want it to be.
It is yours after all.
So go forth and paint.