To paint or not to paint…

…that is the question. I have a long standing love of wood. My dad was a hobby woodworker and one of my favorite scents is fresh cut wood. He also loved to refinish “antique” wood furniture. He taught me the Homer Formby method–use the special stripper to preserve the patina of the wood rather than sanding the finish off.

In the year between college and my first apartment, I spent a lot of time refinishing furniture– a round oak table I got at a farm auction, and an old dresser from another auction. I did paint an iron sewing machine base and with the addition of a glass top, it became my kitchen table and my dad taught me how to “antique” a hutch my parents saved from a yard sale.

When the shabby chic look came into vogue, I had a hard time with all the painted furniture. It just seemed wrong to paint over beautiful quarter sawn oak tables. Especially given the hours I had spent taking paint off of my wood furniture. I have eased up a bit and I sometimes paint wood items.

3 tier

I got this for a few dollars at an estate sale. It was plain dark maple wood. Not all that pretty–very 50’s. I think painting it was perfect. I’ll use it to hold some of my sewing notions to keep them close at hand.

Shelves Shelves 1

Now this piece is another story. I can tell from the back and the slightly uneven top that it is handmade. The finish looks great after a coat of lemon oil. I can’t imagine painting it. Look how cool the rolls of ribbon will look!

Small wood

One last potential project. While the finish is nothing special, the box has sentimental value. It hung in my parents’ house as long as I can remember. Not sure I can paint it, even though it would look awesome with a coat of white paint. 🙂



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