What color to paint this old library table desk

by Ginger
I bought this table / desk at Goodwill for $10. I want to sell it as I don't have room to keep it. What would be the best color to paint it? Would you use a chalk paint or something with a primer?
  21 answers
  • Wendy Tuch Wendy Tuch on Jun 09, 2015
    So many folks continue to love 'shabby chic' so I would paint it white. You can use chalk paint or craft paint or Behr. After I sand it, I might rub areas that would wear naturally (the edges, the curves of the legs) with wax. Then, I would paint, and lightly sand off the areas where you applied wax. Some of the original brown will show through. That's called Wax Resist.
  • Vickik Vickik on Jun 09, 2015
    I wouldn't paint it at all. a buyer might want to finish it to their taste.
  • Angel Angel on Jun 10, 2015
    I think it looks beautiful the way it is. Maybe clean it up or use a deeper, richer stain. I myself would only paint it if there was too much damage to it.
  • Wanda.ll Wanda.ll on Jun 10, 2015
    Try using a product called Restore on it. You might be surprised at how great it will look. I( don't like painting real wood myself. I think it is a passing phase and will soon come to and end. They you won't be able to get that paint/chalk or milk paint off ever. All the antique dealrs use it on their stuff they buy and resale. Can get at one of their shops most of the time if you can't find locally. Here is link to place you can get too .http://www.happyhandyman.com/product-p/454906.htm
  • Daniel Knoll Daniel Knoll on Jun 10, 2015
    leave it as is..the wood is a solid and true grain, not any veneer or such otherwise poor material taht would warrant covering up such good quailty of wood...either strip it of the current finsih and then put a fresh medium to dark stain or let it be .
  • Marion Lansford Marion Lansford on Jun 10, 2015
    Well, I think I would leave it as it is too. Although repainting furniture is TRENDY right now, I see people covering beautiful and sometimes valuable pieces in chalk paint! This looks to be a piece of furniture that has value, and as Daniel says above, don't mess with it. If you want to sell it, let the piece speak for itself. If I saw this painted, my thoughts would be, why would anyone want to paint a possible solid mahogany, cherry, or walnut!
  • Dylanthomasp Dylanthomasp on Jun 10, 2015
    DONT PAINT IT! Get some Old English furniture polish and polish it up then sell as is. If the next owner wants to paint it, and I hope not, they can choose the color.
  • Joanna Carrisal Joanna Carrisal on Jun 10, 2015
    Call me crazy, but I think it would look beautiful stripped and clear coated. Let the beauty of the wood be seen.
  • 9530106 9530106 on Jun 10, 2015
    You are so lucky, our GW would put $100 on that beauty! I agree, do not paint it. The wood is beautiful, and meant to be seen!
  • Heathernskinner Heathernskinner on Jun 10, 2015
    Don't paint it! You can polish it up and resell it like it is but if you paint it, especially a funky color it's going to narrow down who it appeals to. It's beautiful just the way it is.
  • Lori T Lori T on Jun 10, 2015
    Why paint it? Apply some Old English Stain and then wipe down. The table doesn't look like it's in bad shape so why screw it up by painting it?
  • OhSally OhSally on Jun 10, 2015
    NICE table...and $10??? WOW! Great find! I love it as is, but since you asked for paint suggestions, here's mine: I would paint everything except the top a dark hunter green. Sand the whole piece first to get the shine off so the paint will stick well, wipe it down well with a tack cloth, then paint with a flat paint. After the paint is well dried, rub Linseed Oil over the paint...it will dry to a nice finish. I wouldn't paint the top (or sides of the top) at all. I'd sand it, fill any imperfections, stain it, then add a coat of Linseed oil on the top as well. 2 or 3 coats of Linseed oil dried between coats gives a really nice finish! I wouldn't use chalk paint as I think it limits the type of decor it would go in and limit your sales potential. To be safe, double check with your paint expert to be sure the paint you use won't be negatively affected by the Linseed oil, and if he/she says it's a problem, ask for their suggestion for your seal coat. I'd go with a fairly low gloss as I think high gloss on furniture looks "plastic" and that makes it look cheap.
  • Lisa Whitaker Lisa Whitaker on Jun 11, 2015
    I'd go with a dark green under then over with a lighter green with some wax resist in those cute little swirls and eggs to accentuate them. Strip the top to make it lighter. I like simple wood pieces too but this ones darkness makes it a bit dated.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Jun 11, 2015
    Hi! Lovely table-if that was at our local Salvation Army it wouldn't be $10!!! If you are planning on reselling it, then neutral is the answer. I would keep the top the natural wood color - just clean it up with some Old English Scratch Cover to bring back the luster- then paint and distress the rest in a very light pastel blue light Duck Egg by Annie Sloan or just a creamy white. Distressing it enhances the natural wood top.
  • Bet1762490 Bet1762490 on Jun 11, 2015
  • Charlotte Ray Charlotte Ray on Jun 11, 2015
    Beautiful table with awesome details. I agree with keeping it as is. Clean it up and bring it back to life.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jun 14, 2015
    I like it the way it is, just clean it.
  • Denise white Denise white on Jun 14, 2015
    I would make a covered bench and place at the foot of a bed
  • Tricia Tricia on Jan 16, 2016
    I think a medium grey chalk paint would be great and is a popular look right now.
  • June byrd June byrd on Feb 23, 2016
    As is! Try mixing 2 parts canola oil to 1 part white vinegar. "Slop" (slather) it on the table with a soft cloth. Leave for about an hour, then wipe well to remove the oily mixture. Continue changing to different clean dry soft cotton cloth and wiping until no oily residue left. Simple, easy, very low cost. If you have doubts, try first on lower legs of the table. :)
  • CJ CJ on May 13, 2020

    If you are going for a modern theme, you could go with white. If you want a farm house theme, you could give it a new coat of brow, black, or you could try a tan wood color.Hope this helped!