Asked on Mar 15, 2018

"To paint or not to paint?" That is my question.

Susan SwineyCindyNaomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey, Castaic CA


I have an antique bedroom set that is supposedly 100 years old. It is stained a medium shade, but needs refinishing. I have heard that redoing old furniture diminishes the value of the antique. (I watch Antiques Roadshow). It was given to me, and I don't have anyone to pass it on to who would care about its antique value. I have had it for some time, and it's aged imperfections are becoming less appealing to me, so I am seriously considering painting it using one of the many great ideas on this site.
I think I am just wanting someone to give me permission to do this, and know there are others who would say to leave it as is. Also, what can I do about the mirror on the dresser which has lost most of its silver?
Input, please.

6 answers
  • Laura Cooper
    on Mar 15, 2018

    That's a loaded question! And every advisor is going to have a different opinion. I personally like antiques to be refinished with only a linseed oil finish, but at the end of the day.... It's just furniture and YOU are living with it. Really, furniture is not a great investment with a very few exceptions. The question is..... What will make you love it? Sell it quick and buy new? Refinish with a loving hand? Or paint it for a fun shabby chic? There's no wrong answer.... If you love it. 😃
  • Dfm
    on Mar 15, 2018

    old does not necessarily mean valuable. have the piece appraised by 3 dealers, and go from there.
  • Dfm
    on Mar 15, 2018

    ps would you like a friendly black cat? a mirror can be re-silvered- let a pro do that one.
  • Then by all means paint it. But, first, I would determine its value. You might get a pretty penny for it, worth looking into. Then if not, paint it anyway you wish. For the mirror you can replace it or have it professionally re silvered. They do sell kits, but I have never used one so can not testify as to results. I have no heirs, so I am doing the same thing, reworking pieces to make me happy now.
  • Cindy
    on Mar 15, 2018

    Hi Susan, Let me start by saying that it's yourself that will be living with this antique. You should live with furniture that you enjoy, no matter what color it is. Personally, my vote is no, don't paint it. I believe it has survived 100 years because of how it was originally built and stained. I think paint would take away from the antique's value and beauty.
  • Susan Swiney
    on Mar 15, 2018

    I want to thank all of you for your suggestions. It is always good to get other people's ideas when you are planning a project, ultimately having to make the decision yourself. I am still thinking, but getting an appraisal would help. I would hate to devalue something that someone who truly loves antiques would love to own. I will let you know when I finally decide.

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