Need help in choosing color to paint my furniture

I want to paint this old cabinet and bench. I have painted many pieces of furniture, using chalk paint, distressing, and dark wax. I am thinking of using the same type of treatment on this piece...the walls are a very neutral yellowish, tan color...I love Annie Sloan Arles, a darkish yellow, but I am not sure it will show up well enough against the walls, I have considered orange, an olive green, possibly a Chinese type of red, more than likely I will be distressing and adding dark wax (or an equivalent) for an antiquing affect. I am open to other painting techniques and colors...I have included the picture that hangs above the cabinet, which reflects the colors in my room.
What do you think?
q need help in choosing color, paint colors, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q need help in choosing color, paint colors, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
  24 answers
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jan 18, 2016
    That olive green in the artwork above the cabinet and bench looks great against the wall colour and I think that would be a perfect colour for the set. It's not an 'in-your-face' colour but would certainly brighten up the bench and cabinet. BTW ... the set is so pretty. I've not ever seen one even similar to it.
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    • Bonnie Bonnie on Jan 18, 2016
      @Nancy Nice to keep it in the family and once you update it, you will probably enjoy it even more.
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Jan 18, 2016
    Why am I thinking blue? It's not on your color palette so why? I think it's because it's unexpected - and it just might provide the wow factor. What do you think? It would have to be the right shade of course. It's a lovely piece.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 18, 2016
    Personally I would choose a lighter shade of the red out of the picture.
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    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 18, 2016
      @Nancy I love those colors as well. I have all different earthy tones all through my house. Every room has a accent wall with popped color. It makes the whole house alive.
  • Maryann Decostanza Maryann Decostanza on Jan 18, 2016
    Hi want to do something to my hardwood old floors that have never been touched
  • Mikkigirl Mikkigirl on Jan 18, 2016
    I'm wondering why you want to paint it. . . . .give it a good oil treatment and wax it :-)
    • Nancy Nancy on Jan 18, 2016
      @Mikkigirl I have done that for many years, and I am just loving painted furniture, and I think the detail will actually stand out better after painted...
  • Deborah Deborah on Jan 18, 2016
    I agree with Janet Pizaro. A light shade of red.
  • Teresa Teresa on Jan 18, 2016
    I can see why you are thinking olive green the painting above it would be a good inspiration.
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Jan 18, 2016
    Always consider the other pieces in your room. If you want it to show contrast a lighter red will make it the focal point of the room. If you are just looking for accent to what you have the green may be a better choice with possible touches of the red as accent in the piece(trim for example) or visa versa. but don't go overboard. (maybe wipe on wipe off technique, known as antiquing)
    • Nancy Nancy on Jan 18, 2016
      @Lynn Palmatier this is in the entryway there are no other pieces of furniture close.... you round the corner and it's a sitting room, library, with darker wood pieces, however there is a rug that has most of the colors of the picture I have shown in it... and then about 18' away is the open living room... and I have a ton of darker wood, which I hope to be changing some of that out... it's a hard decision for me, because I love all the colors in the painting above
  • Daw3000588 Daw3000588 on Jan 18, 2016
    I would use a combination of your colors Like paint the cabinet one color, the door inserts another color and the ladies head another.
  • Julia Scott Julia Scott on Jan 18, 2016
    Beautiful as it is. Don't paint it.
    • Gladys Gladys on Jan 18, 2016
      @Julia Scott Amen to that! I'll gladly take the piece off your hands.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 18, 2016
    If you already have other painted pieces I personally would give this a good polishing and leave it as is. It's a beautiful piece and the wood stands out against your wall color nicely. Sometimes painted pieces are the accent to a room . In this case, I would use the wood as the accent and maybe add a red cushion to the bench
    • Gladys Gladys on Jan 18, 2016
      @MN Mom I'd gladly take this piece off your hands, Nancy! Please don't destroy it by painting it.
  • Pat Runstadler Beever Pat Runstadler Beever on Jan 18, 2016
    With such a strong color above this piece I would paint it a very Neutral color or pick up the softer color from the painting.. That would highlight your painting. Unless you want that wall to be a major focal in the room... Good luck
  • Gladys Gladys on Jan 18, 2016
    Raw wooden furniture and cheaply manufactured furniture with a sprayed finish are the only types of furniture that should be painted. This is one of the best examples I've seen where paint will destroy this piece. You are so lucky to have it!
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Jan 18, 2016
    Then it seems that you need to decide how you want the piece to stand out the red will definitely stand out more than the green. (Contrast vs. Blends) If the piece is red, it and the picture and the vase will be the focal. If you do the olives green the picture and vase will be the focal. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Are you showing the piece or the art? definitely can use the colors you prefer to accent the piece even if you leave the piece as it is. In the picture it has the red hue in the stain. Are the silhouettes painted or natural. There you could use the beige tones or off white to accent them, and either color red or green to accent the trim pieces. Are you able to visualize what it might look like with the suggestions people have given you? It is a beautiful piece and it would be a shame to paint that beautiful wood grain..... My preference would be to leave it and use the colors that you like to dry brush color on the spindle and blocks and leafy accents on the piece. Just pick out the colors you like the most, but do not use more than 2 or 3. Sorry, We can't decide for you. but you have received several good ideas. As an artist I would pick the first color your eyes are drawn to. Just remember that If it is painted in red that becomes the focal point of the entryway and your jar will blend into the piece. You can carry the colors into your living room with either wall color or other accent pieces in the colors you like the most, without having to do a lot of makeover in the living room.
    • Nancy Nancy on Jan 18, 2016
      @Lynn Palmatier Thank you for your thoughts.... I now am second guessing myself on painting this piece... however, I have had it displayed in my home for several years, and to be honest, not very many folks have said one way or another that they like it,so I am not so sure it is being seen, hence the thought of paint.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 19, 2016
    Lovely as is. You might want to give it a drink of oil to nourish it. Just me, but I think the pic is out of scale with the cab. If it were me (and it isn't) I would search out an old framed mirror - fairly long, and the same width as the cab to draw more attention to it.
  • Lynn Lynn on Jan 19, 2016
    NO. PAINT. its lovely.
    • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Jan 19, 2016
      @Lynn I agree. It really is lovely, very unique. Maybe add some funky colorful cushion on the bench
  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on Jan 19, 2016
    I am thinking it is a writing desk, hence the stool. the doors do open, I'm sure. Have you thought of opening it up and doing the inside to make it pop. If it has shelves you could do something colorful inside and utilize the space where there is room. Nice colorful cushion on the bench as well. Making accents will draw the eye to it. It is on the dark side, but using the colors you like will make a difference. Experiment.... with the accents that may help you to decide what you are really looking for. Good luck. Post some pictures when you experiment. Since you are so indecisive taking a bold step in painting is always hard. If it is an antique, painting can devalue it as an antique. If not, the sky is the limit...
    • Nancy Nancy on Jan 20, 2016
      @Lynn Palmatier Yes, it is an antique... it was my mom's... I am just not sure why it would matter if it devalued or not... I believe in the future one of my daughters will take this piece... ??? Yes, I think it is a writing desk too... at one time there were shelves in it, but I think my mom removed them to put her TV in here. So, I could not open it up really to display anything... I could add shelves I suppose...
  • Gladys Gladys on Jan 19, 2016
    If you think the painting is out of scale to the gorgeous cabinet, just anchor it with a red-toned rug.
    • Nancy Nancy on Jan 20, 2016
      @Gladys I like this idea... maybe that would bring in the color I am looking for... would you place the rug in front, underneath, or both?
  • LoriKindler LoriKindler on Jan 19, 2016
    Ooh really? Paint it? It's so pretty as it is. Perhaps you could just paint the inside as Lynn says above. Maybe add a pillow to the bench for color?
  • As much as I love to paint vintage furniture, I will only paint pieces that are worn, damaged or the wood is 'meh'. While this piece would look very nice painted (I would use actual milk paint because of the way it chips on raw wood. They (Real Milk Pain Co) have a gorgeous red. However, this wood is quarter-sawn oak (or tiger oak) and it looks to be in great condition. If you do paint it, please give it a coat of wax free shellac (it comes in a spray can). That way the wood will still be persevered underneath the paint. What does the inside look like? Maybe you could just paint that first and see if you like it. I did an old oak buffet in a turquoise milk paint but left the majority of the wood visible. Maybe you could do something like that as well.
  • Gladys Gladys on Jan 20, 2016
    Either I guess. Maybe it depends on the layout of the rest of the room. Whatever looks right to you. You have natural good taste.
  • Daw3000588 Daw3000588 on Jan 21, 2016
    Painting would devalue it but you said there are shelves missing so that devalues it too. Anyway it is yours to do with what you want. I still think a combination of colors would make it pop.
  • Naydene Cook Naydene Cook on Mar 28, 2016
    I would not paint it. If you want to change the hue of it go check out Unicorn Spit gels and stains. It lets the wood grains show thru. They have some beautiful projects to give you an ideal. I would use a red stain, the piece is beautiful. Good luck.
  • 62q10370829 62q10370829 on Oct 16, 2016
    It's to pretty to paint. Just clean up & just puts clear finish on it. But it's yours. A light blue or light peach would go with your color. Good luck with it.
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