Hello and welcome to Flawed yet Functional! It’s the first week of the month, and I have challenged myself to dedicate the first week of each month to home decor posts. You may remember, I think pursuing hobbies is part of a healthy, joy-filled life. For me, my go-to hobbies are painting and sewing all the things to make my house beautiful. Today I’d like to show you another piece of my master bedroom update: why you should paint wood furniture instead of buying new.
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The topic of today’s post came to mind as I worked to give a quick redo to the nightstands in our master bedroom. These nightstands were originally purchased for my living room, and they’ve made their way into our bedroom as nightstands. The style of the tables is much more contemporary than the rest of the room. I decided to do a quick nightstand redo by spray painting them a new color to help them flow with the room. It’s a great intermediate step while I wait to buy new nightstands. If purchasing new isn’t in your budget, I recommend learning how to paint furniture! Let’s answer the questions of “Should I?” and “Why?” about painting wood furniture. It is good exercise for your emotional health as well as good for your home!
Should You Paint Wood Furniture?
Painting wood furniture is a hot topic in the home decor community. There are fierce advocates for and against painting wood furniture. If you’d asked 20-something me, I would have probably been on the “paint everything!” side of the argument. However, as I have matured and been influenced by other bloggers who love traditional looks (Addicted 2 Decorating being the primary one), I am more in the middle of the argument now.
I have a deep love and appreciation for well-made wood furniture, regardless of style. Now I think long and hard before I paint a piece of wood. The craftsmanship that goes into truly beautiful, long-lasting wood furniture is demanding of respect and appreciation.
Paint Wood Furniture that Is Not Unique
For me, I choose to paint wood furniture that is mass-produced. Most new wood furniture that is in my range of affordability is not unique and is available everywhere. The nightstands that I painted in my bedroom are actually end tables from Pier One. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing furniture from Pier One, that type of furniture is produced for the masses. Meaning you can find many identical pieces in other homes and stores. So when a piece is easily replaced with an identical item, there’s no reason to preserve it for posterity’s sake.
Since there was nothing particularly unique or rare about these nightstands, I felt no shame in grabbing a quart of paint to change the look.
Paint Wood Furniture that Is Not Well Made
Going along with furniture that is mass-produced, if it is not a well-crafted piece of furniture, don’t think twice about changing the look of it. If there’s a chance the item may not last more than a few years, why not change the look right now so that it fits with your decor? It might not be around for long, so make it enjoyable today!
Embrace what you have and use it as best you can in your home right now. Don’t wait for someday. If a coat of paint will make you love that table right now, then, by all means, paint it!
Think Twice Before Painting Antiques or Family Heirlooms
I hesitate to paint wood furniture when the piece is antique or passed down from a family member. I have learned to truly love old pieces of wood furniture, even if they have the dreaded orangy oak tint to it! If I don’t love the style or wood tone, I will paint it but only after long reflection and checking with the family member to make sure they are not offended.
Really, I believe wood furniture is neutral and can fit with any decor. It is not necessary to paint a piece of wood furniture to make it fit with your color scheme in your home. An eclectic style, or “pieced together over time” look, is much more real, warm, and welcoming than a room filled with furniture of all the same style or color.
As you can probably tell in our master bedroom, I am going for the “collected over time” style. While none of the pieces match, I am purposefully pulling the pieces together through wall paint, art, and textiles. The result is a room that looks beautiful and intentional. Take some time to contemplate changing textiles before painting furniture. It’s easier, more cost-effective, and keeps family members happy.
Why Should You Paint Wood Furniture?
Now you’ve decided the piece of furniture in your home is not precious or a family heirloom, why should you paint wood furniture?
Paint Brings Cohesiveness to Mismatched Furniture
When you are working with hand-me-down or thrift store furniture, it is easy for rooms to take on a haphazard, chaotic look. That is never the goal of a purposeful, functional home! Paint furniture pieces with the intention to improve the flow and cohesiveness of mismatched furniture.
The nightstands in my bedroom stand out in terms of style and wood tone. They do not blend with the rest of the room. It is not in my budget right now to replace them, although that is the eventual goal. Deciding to give them a quick redo with a coat of paint helps them blend better with the rest of the room.
A coat of paint obviously does not change the style of the tables, which in this case does not flow with the rest of the room. However, I’m planning on this as a step 1 fix, not a long-term solution. When trying to make a piece of furniture fit with the rest of the room, I think a coat of paint is a great place to start. If replacing the furniture piece is not in the works, then paint away!
Paint Adds Life With a Splash of Color
Furniture that stands the test of time and children is often old, wood furniture. Families just starting out or on a budget will find wood furniture accumulating in their homes. Embrace it! Add life to a room filled with wood furniture by selectively painting some pieces in colors that complement and contrast the rest of the room.
I went back and forth as I examined the paint chips trying to decide on the perfect color for these side tables. As I discovered when beginning this room refresh that I needed to stick to warm colors, I was struggling a bit. I really wanted a green or blue for the tables as I think that reads the best with these orangy wood tones in the bed and wardrobe. In the end, I determined that the nightstand color did not need to be a warm tone like the walls, rather it just needed to blend with the current furniture. So I went with the color I wanted!
The final color selection was Sherwin Williams Still Water. I used their Pro Classic line which is made for painting wood trim. The quality of paint and the smooth finish are perfect. One key to a smooth finish is spray painting wood furniture. On Wednesday, I’ll show you an economical choice for a spray painter that will give a professional finish with very little investment in tools. Stay tuned for that!
Paint Adds Character
In my mind, the biggest danger in ordering from a catalog or one store to instantly decorate your home is ending up with a bunch of matchy-matchy furniture. It’s too perfect, not real life with imperfections and interesting pieces. On the flipside, all hand-me-down furniture can have too much uniqueness. Every piece is different! Strike a balance between old and new, sterile and eclectic by using paint to freshen up those old pieces you’ve got lying around so that they flow with the greater style and color scheme you’ve chosen for your home.
You Will Love Your Furniture More
My last reason for why you should paint wood furniture is simply this: you will love your furniture more if you put effort into making it yours. One of my goals in life is to love everything I own. How do I love an ugly coffee table or a side chair that’s just not my style? I paint it!
I love my home, and I want to encourage you to do the same. My number one way to love my home more is to work on it. If you want to love the furniture you have, why not change the pieces with a coat of paint? It’s a small investment project that yields great rewards. Give it a try!
The next time you’re stuck with a decorating dilemma, take a step back and see if you can find an intermediate solution by putting a fresh coat of paint on wood furniture. Don’t be ashamed of an intermediate solution! Put some sweat into your home decor. “Sweat equity” will increase your love and appreciation for what you do have. Paint wood furniture to help your odds and ends furniture flow together to make a beautiful, functional space for your family.
Catch Up on All the Master Bedroom Refresh Posts!
- A New Cannonball Bed
- Fresh Wall Paint
- Refreshed Side Lamps + Accessories
- Homemade Euro Shams
- Vintage Frames + New Art