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Wood Furniture: To Paint or Not to Paint?: That Is the Question

Posted by SCF on

There is an ongoing debate in DIY camps regarding painting wood furniture. Some folks give painting wood the green light while others consider the practice taboo under all circumstances. Since there is such a great divide, it is worth exploring the instances when it is okay to paint your wood furniture and when it is best to leave it alone.

Do not paint it:
Furniture purists believe that wood furniture should remain looking like wood, and should only be treated with stains that let the original wood grain shine through. There are plenty of good reasons why the purists feel this way. Here are some great reasons to leave wood furniture alone.
– If the furniture is a family heirloom
– If a piece of furniture has been in your family for generations, it is best to leave it alone. If the furniture came from a beloved family member, try to think about how that person would react to the new look of the furniture. If changing the look would hurt the feelings of others in your family, take the high road. Slapping a coat of paint on a family heirloom is not worth the hurt feelings and family squabbles that can result from it.
– If you do not have the right paint
– If you are planning on painting furniture, do not do it just for the sake of doing it. Slapping any old paint on the furniture can turn into a disaster. Take time to consider what your best paint options are, or leave the furniture as it is.
– If you do not know what you are doing
– Painting furniture is a skill that takes time to master. It is a bad idea to simply attack a piece of wood furniture with a paintbrush or spray can. Although you can find videos on YouTube, you truly need more than a three-minute explanation of how to do it. People who rely on the Internet to help them paint furniture almost always end up with furniture they do not want to keep.
– If you are trying to be trendy or cool
– Although it is currently trendy to paint furniture, trends tend to change with the wind. Something that seems to look good now can easily seem dated in a few years. At that point, you are either stuck with your “handy work” or in for a huge refinishing job.

Go ahead and paint it:
If your wood furniture is starting to look tired and old, and you are considering painting it as a means of giving it a much-needed facelift. Do not let the naysayers get to you. There are plenty of good reasons for painting your wood furniture. The following are just a few of them.

– Furniture is no longer made like it used to be
– Back in the day, wooden furniture was built to last for years. Some pieces were capable of lasting an entire century or more. Pieces with that much quality should probably be left alone. However, these days you can buy new furniture for a few hundred dollars and expect that they will last far less than one decade. So, painting them once they start to look old and ragged will certainly bring new life to them. Also, these days many people are buying previously-owned wooden furniture from thrift stores. These pieces can be purchased at a great deal, but often do not look great. In these instances, a simple coat of paint can make an old piece look like it is showroom new.
– Painting is trendy and not permanent
– Not everyone likes the look of wood grain furniture. Some folks truly prefer the look of painted wood. Painting wood furniture is an economical way to get the look you desire without destrThere is an ongoing debate in DIY camps regarding painting wood furniture. Some folks give painting wood the green light while others consider the practice taboo under all circumstances. Since there is such a great divide, it is worth exploring the instances when it is okay to paint your wood furniture and when it is best to leave it alone.

Do not paint it
Furniture purists believe that wood furniture should remain looking like wood, and should only be treated with stains that let the original wood grain shine through. There are plenty of good reasons why the purists feel this way. Here are some great reasons to leave wood furniture alone.
– If the furniture is a family heirloom
– If a piece of furniture has been in your family for generations, it is best to leave it alone. If the furniture came from a beloved family member, try to think about how that person would react to the new look of the furniture. If changing the look would hurt the feelings of others in your family, take the high road. Slapping a coat of paint on a family heirloom is not worth the hurt feelings and family squabbles that can result from it.
– If you do not have the right paint
– If you are planning on painting furniture, do not do it just for the sake of doing it. Slapping any old paint on the furniture can turn into a disaster. Take time to consider what your best paint options are, or leave the furniture as it is.
– If you do not know what you are doing
– Painting furniture is a skill that takes time to master. It is a bad idea to simply attack a piece of wood furniture with a paintbrush or spray can. Although you can find videos on YouTube, you truly need more than a three-minute explanation of how to do it. People who rely on the Internet to help them paint furniture almost always end up with furniture they do not want to keep.
– If you are trying to be trendy or cool
– Although it is currently trendy to paint furniture, trends tend to change with the wind. Something that seems to look good now can easily seem dated in a few years. At that point, you are either stuck with your “handy work” or in for a huge refinishing job.

Go ahead and paint it
If your wood furniture is starting to look tired and old, and you are considering painting it as a means of giving it a much-needed facelift. Do not let the naysayers get to you. There are plenty of good reasons for painting your wood furniture. The following are just a few of them.

– Furniture is no longer made like it used to be
– Back in the day, wooden furniture was built to last for years. Some pieces were capable of lasting an entire century or more. Pieces with that much quality should probably be left alone. However, these days you can buy new furniture for a few hundred dollars and expect that they will last far less than one decade. So, painting them once they start to look old and ragged will certainly bring new life to them. Also, these days many people are buying previously-owned wooden furniture from thrift stores. These pieces can be purchased at a great deal, but often do not look great. In these instances, a simple coat of paint can make an old piece look like it is showroom new.
– Painting is trendy and not permanent
– Not everyone likes the look of wood grain furniture. Some folks truly prefer the look of painted wood. Painting wood furniture is an economical way to get the look you desire without destroying the integrity of the materials. If after a few years you no longer care for the color you chose to paint your furniture, you can easily strip the paint and change the color or decide to stain it.
– Painting furniture is easy
– Many people avoid painting their wood furniture because they are afraid it is too difficult. However, if you use a spray primer and spray paint, it is as easy as one, two, three.
– Painting furniture saves money
– Too often people give away good, strong pieces of furniture and replace them with newer, lower-quality pieces. This practice is foolhardy. It is far better to spend a little bit of money on some paint to bring new life the an old piece of furniture than to spend hundreds of dollars on new furniture that will need to be replaced in a few years.
– Painting furniture provides a valuable skill
– Not many people are adept at furniture painting. So, if you paint your furniture and develop a skill for it, you will have a valuable skill that you can turn into a moneymaker for yourself. Before long, you might be able to begin your own cottage industry by painting furniture for your family and friends.

Painting wood furniture is a personal decision, but not one that should be taken lightly. Before you take on a wood furniture painting project, weigh all of the pros and cons and go with the decision that makes the most sense to you.
oying the integrity of the materials. If after a few years you no longer care for the color you chose to paint your furniture, you can easily strip the paint and change the color or decide to stain it.
– Painting furniture is easy
– Many people avoid painting their wood furniture because they are afraid it is too difficult. However, if you use a spray primer and spray paint, it is as easy as one, two, three.
– Painting furniture saves money
– Too often people give away good, strong pieces of furniture and replace them with newer, lower-quality pieces. This practice is foolhardy. It is far better to spend a little bit of money on some paint to bring new life the an old piece of furniture than to spend hundreds of dollars on new furniture that will need to be replaced in a few years.
– Painting furniture provides a valuable skill
– Not many people are adept at furniture painting. So, if you paint your furniture and develop a skill for it, you will have a valuable skill that you can turn into a moneymaker for yourself. Before long, you might be able to begin your own cottage industry by painting furniture for your family and friends.

Painting wood furniture is a personal decision, but not one that should be taken lightly. Before you take on a wood furniture painting project, weigh all of the pros and cons and go with the decision that makes the most sense to you.