To Paint, Or Not To Paint

That is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the original finish of an antique piece,
Or to take arms against it by painting over the stained wood.

Last week I blogged about my little $7.29 waterfall table redo.

I received some nice comments, which I very much appreciate. One comment mentioned that at a time when so many people are painting old furniture, it's nice to see me go the other direction.

Now, I don't dislike painted furniture. In fact, I have painted -- and will paint -- a number of pieces. And I have -- and will -- share them at A Joyful Cottage. But I like stained wood furniture, too. Especially vintage and antique pieces with beautiful grains, like my waterfall table, and like this $7.50 chest of drawers, which was part of the truckload of yard sale furniture my hubby picked up.

At first glance the chest didn't seem like much, and could have been a candidate for paint. But closer inspection revealed it's 100% solid wood (walnut?), with a beautiful grain,

Queen Anne legs on the front.

and unique vertical handles. I love their design; like a delicate silverware pattern.

Amazingly, the drawers are so thick that the hardware attachments don't show on the inside of the drawer. And there is no evidence that the handles were once horizontal. These vertical handles appear to be original to the chest. (Is this boring to you? If so, I apologize. But for someone like me who has an appreciation for antiques, this is fascinating.)

Ok, let me get to the point. I could have painted this chest in a French blue or gray, or white, and I'm sure it would have been stunning. But I just couldn't do it. Not this time.

So, I cleaned the chest and used Howard's Restor-A -Finish on it.

Followed by a polish with Howard's Feed-N-Wax.

And the chest thanked me.

Now the chest sits in our entryway. And it works perfectly with my husband's oil painting "Waiting for You" above it, and his sculpture "The Awakening" perched on top, along with a few of my other favorite things.

I think the chest is beautiful. I only wish I knew its history.

Now my question for you is:

Would you have painted this piece? (There's no right or wrong answer; I'm just curious.)

If you haven't entered my giveaway, there's still time. I'm giving away a 5x7 print of my husband's original watercolor "Pumpkin". Click on the pumpkin to go to the giveaway post and enter.

Click on the pumpkin to enter my giveaway.
Hope you have a super week.

I'm joining
Inspired Sunday at Sunday View
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House


  1. No, I wouldn't have painted either piece. I love the stain . . . I like some painted pieces but I have some "old school" in me and it says loud and clear . . . stain.
    (Away right now, in NYC . . . haven't answered emails but wanted to answer yours to let you know I loved each of the pieces you stained. Very nice!)

    1. I know you're having a great time in NYC, Lynne. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

  2. Gorgeous piece, I too love the wood grain! No, I would never paint a piece that was in good condition with pretty wood. Prefer to paint pieces that are in bad shape and needing to be refinished but the wood isn't all that great. Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

    1. Thanks for hosting, Cindy. And thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. Much appreciated.

  3. It has beautiful wood and I probably would not have painted it either. I have a couple of antique pieces of furniture that I will never paint and then I have painted some pieces.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Barb. Have a great week.

  4. You did a fabulous job, it's beautiful!

  5. Hi Nancy! I featured you today on Inspired Sunday. There's a badge on my blog that you can display on yours. Great post! (BTW: I am also married to an artist--a composer!)


    1. Ahhhh, wonderful to have a composer in the family. Art and music are two of the greatest joys in life. Thanks for featuring me, Laura.

  6. I paint furniture every week but my home is filled with antique oak pieces I have found or stripped to return to their natural beauty. Each piece "tells" me what it wants to be so I would agree that your beautiful little chest is perfect as is!

    1. I like the mix of painted and finished furniture. Odds and ends on their own, but pulled together somehow they work. Thanks for visiting. :)


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