Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To Paint or Not to Paint

People many times ask me how I go about deciding whether to paint a particular piece of antique or vintage furniture. Although I prefer to purchase antiques that have original paint finishes on them, there are times when an otherwise bland piece can be absolutely transformed and become breathtaking by giving it an authentic (or as authentic as possible) paint finish as I have done with these pieces.

For me, whether or not to refinish a piece depends not only on the aesthetics of the piece itself, but also, most significantly, on the type of wood from which the piece was made. The rarer the wood, the less inclined I am to want to paint it. Like the swedes did during the gustavian period, if a piece of furniture is made out of a less refined, less exotic and more common wood (like oak or pine), painting it brings out the beauty of detailed carvings and, frankly, brings more attention to an otherwise common piece.

However, if you are fortunate enough to come across antiques of a more fine wood (like rosewood or french walnut), please, please don't consider painting it but rather consider restoring by waxing it and bringing out the natural beauty of the wood.

Hence, when looking at my inventory, you will understand why, these pieces were fully restored and finished with a painstaking hand wax and polish.

Have a wonderful evening wherever this post finds you.

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