Should I paint or repair

I've inherited this bedroom set from my late MIL. My husband doesn't want to get rid of it because it good quality furniture. I figured I could use it in a guest bedroom but I'm not sure what to do with it. I tend to lean to both modern and Queen Anne style (yup that's me). Anyway I thought about using chalk paint and while I don't mind the look of that I don't know if I should be introducing a third style in the house. This has a marble slab insert in the night tables. Would doing chalk paint (cream or blue) suit this French Provincial furniture or should I just paint it a solid cream or maybe black color? What about the lamps? Any ideas would be welcome to help steer me in the right direction.
q should i paint or repair, bedroom ideas, chalk paint, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q should i paint or repair, bedroom ideas, chalk paint, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q should i paint or repair, bedroom ideas, chalk paint, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q should i paint or repair, bedroom ideas, chalk paint, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
q should i paint or repair, bedroom ideas, chalk paint, painted furniture, painting wood furniture
  35 answers
  • Gail Martin Gail Martin on May 20, 2016
    I would chalk paint it.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 20, 2016
    I honestly don't think it looks bad the way it is. But if you want to change it, chalk paint would be the way to go. There will be wood lovers who just cringe at the thought of it but you have to please yourself.

  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 20, 2016
    Not gonna lie but I actually like that room exactly the way it is in the photo! Especially a guest room...could be a fun retro nod to MIL and keep your husband happy at the same time. Win-win

  • Pat Pat on May 20, 2016
    The furniture is fine. But oh my, that bedspread has got to go! The blue carpet? Ugh. Get rid of all that is blue in that room and do something in grey and white. That alone would update the look. If you like modern...definitely change the colors!

  • Shari Shari on May 20, 2016
    I would keep and use the night stands, the chest and the dresser. They could be used "as is," and mixed with more modern decor, lamps, fabrics and colors for an updated look but, personally, I would probably update the furniture with paint. I think the headboard and mirror make the furniture look very dated so I wouldn't use them at all--either donate, sell or put in storage if you don't want to separate the *set*. If you don't have a clear-cut idea of how you want to paint the furniture, I would suggest you search images of "painted french provincial furniture" on the internet, here on HomeTalk, or on Pinterest. I know there are many gorgeous examples of painted pieces that will inspire you.

  • Lori Jackson Lori Jackson on May 20, 2016
    I think white would be lovely. Beautiful lines and good bones are always a plus.

  • William William on May 20, 2016
    I agree! The furniture looks too good to paint! Not much of a fan of the pulls and knobs, though. Maybe change those out with something with cleaner lines. The leaf motif just doesn't fit. Possibly on brushed nickel.

  • Pamela Field Pamela Field on May 20, 2016
    This style adapts well to chalk paint, but there's no need to limit yourself because that's what everybody else does. Keeping in the style of your other furnishings, why not paint it a gloss black, or white? It's a lovely, quality set. I'd love to get my hands on it! :D With all due respect you to your late MIL (may she rest in peace), it looks like grandma's room to me. I'd change it.

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on May 21, 2016
    Wow, some great responses. Thank you. The room is actually my late MIL's. The furniture we've brought to our place, so I'm able to start from scratch with colours. Thought I'd start first with the furniture itself.

  • Bink Bink on May 21, 2016
    What is chalk paint? What is the difference between chalk paint and regular paint? Where did it all of a sudden become so popular?

  • Sha3898107 Sha3898107 on May 21, 2016
    Do both repair and paint like maybe the nobs paint or some simple stencils

  • Elizabeth Dion Elizabeth Dion on May 21, 2016
    I would paint the set in a cream colored paint, then wipe on some antique stain to the desired tone and then wipe off. I Would change out the knobs on the dresser and nightstand to either black or hammered copper. I would change out the bedding and curtains to blend with the beautiful floral chair and go for a softer, more updated look for your curtains with some pretty metal tie backs that match your knobs. An oval floral throw rug at the end of the bed with a small fabric covered bench would help add some warmth to this outdated room. BTW, I love the bedroom set!

  • Robbie Robbie on May 21, 2016
    The curves on the fronts of the pieces are lovely!! It will look gorgeous painted!

  • Trudy Trudy on May 21, 2016
    Love the curves too! Paint with cream, use the marble inserts as a guide when choosing your color. The lamps are too clunky and overpowering. You need something less heavy looking (maybe metallic?) and definitely not cream colored if you decide to go with cream paint.

  • Trudy Trudy on May 21, 2016
    PS I like the knobs, they go with the style of the dresser.

  • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on May 21, 2016
    I think it's beautiful as it is. The pieces are in beautiful shape. I would say, play up the French provincial feel and make it a "themed guest room". Many B&Bs have themed rooms and it's a great way to honor the style your MIL loved and it gives the furniture purpose if you embrace it and style the room to suit those pieces.

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on May 21, 2016
    So many great responses and different opinions. I think I'll try painting it cream and spray paint the knobs. If I don't like how that turns out, I'll replace the knobs with something fitting.

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Mar 05, 2017
      I was raised with antique and repro French Provincial, and many of the pieces had similar hardware, so yes there are fitting. However, if you don't like them, that is a different story. My childhood bedroom suite was off white with gold accents (highlights on raised and recessed parts).
      I have painted a repro china buffet in a warm white, and painted the inside and the recessed and raised details in purple, to tie in colours in my cottage. It is fun and homey.
      Go for it and have fun!!!

  • Lynn Palmatier Lynn Palmatier on May 21, 2016
    Is that your room or MIL? If it is your room I certainly give the walls a makeover. For those rough spots in the nightstand tops You might consider the chalk paint as an accent on the pieces. Love the floral chair colors. Pick another color if it is yours to use as an accent color if you paint with chalk paint. I consider a green a neutral color. Painting the whole set will be a LOT of work if your willing to do it, but accenting tops and the grooves and the grids in the nightstand would not be a lot of work, and still give it a new look. If the grids can be replaced with a nice fabric may also be an option. Let your creative juices flow... Lots of good ideas coming to you.....

  • Debi53 Debi53 on May 21, 2016
    I have a similar type of furniture that has been with me for over 40 years. The stain was dark like yours. I finally took the plunge and painted it first with chalk paint, but didn't like the country flavor of it with the lines of the furniture so I went over the chalk paint with a coat of semigloss. I kept the original handles and first painted them a solid pretty spring green (one of the accent colors in my room). That was OK, but not quite right for the soft look I was going for. Then I repainted them Sherwin William's Sea Salt (a green/aqua color) and antiqued them with AS dark wax. I painted the mirror above the chest the same as the knobs. I am including a few pics hopefully will help you make the right decision for you.

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    • Debi53 Debi53 on May 21, 2016
      @Sonia Burrows I have a professional sprayer, so that is what I used. It allows me to choose my color and gives a factory finish. You could use regular spray paint also. For the handles, I just used a small artists brush for the paint and a cloth for the dark wax.

  • Bar822173 Bar822173 on May 21, 2016
    There is no reason to have the same period of furniture room room to room unless it's important to you. I happen to think it would chalk paint beautifully. Lighter colors (with or without the addition of a second color) will show off the graceful curves. It is difficult to get a true black in the world of chalk paint and I think it would make the furniture suite look heavy. If there is an Annie Sloan chalk paint dealer near you, you can see samples of the various colors combined with the various colors of wax finishes that they offer. Might give you some inspiration. Also, Pinterest is full of beautiful examples of chalk painted pieces. Good luck. I will soon be doing exactly the same thing with my grandmother's bedroom suite. Post pictures of the final project so that we can see it.

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    • Bar822173 Bar822173 on May 21, 2016
      Here is a very good guide that will answer most of your questions about chalk paint and wax. Areas that will be subject to heavy use (tabletop ) may need more than one coat of wax and be mindful of the "cure time" between coats of wax. If you notice loss of sheen or wear you can always rewax. I've never had to.

  • 512181 512181 on May 21, 2016
    I agree that it looks like nice quality furniture. It would take a lot of time to paint the furniture correctly. I would freshen the room first. Light walls, light floor, updated accessories, and fresh bedding might make you love the room. Look in top left hand drawers and see if you see a brand of the furniture. Good brands need not be painted, I think. If it is not a high end brand, then go ahead and paint away. As I get older, I realize what a relentless task it is to always keep up with what is latest and greatest. Embrace the nice lines, good wood, and quality construction. I think it could be a beautiful room.

  • Geri Ann Geri Ann on May 21, 2016
    The curves on these pieces are beautiful and romantic looking. I would chalk paint them just like Debi53 recommended above... I think you'll be happy with the results... Good luck Sonia...

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on May 21, 2016
    Thanks everyone. Some great advice here. I have to explain that the first picture is my MIL's bedroom. The room this furniture will be going into in my house has light blue/green walls and a light grey brown vinyl plank. This wood has a honey color to it and I don't think it goes with the flooring that's why I'm thinking about painting it. I realize it will be a huge job but my understanding is that there isn't as much prep work when using chalk paint as using a latex paint.

  • Shari Shari on May 21, 2016
    Your flooring is BEAUTIFUL! Love it! Here's a few photos I pulled together that might give you some additional ideas beyond just white. You might want to consider using light gray, charcoal or even (matte) black when you paint. Those colors could look gorgeous with your flooring. I'm no fan of chalk paint but just to clear up a misconception many people have about painting furniture, little to no prep work can also be achieved if you want to use latex paint. Just wipe the furniture down first with a "liquid sandpaper" product (also known as deglosser) and that will eliminate the need for sanding, as long as the finish on your furniture is in okay condition. Regardless of whether you use chalk paint, milk paint or latex paint, I always think it is a good idea to use a primer. First, a thin coat or two of primer gives you good smooth base to work with (like applying a base coat before polishing your nails) and results in a more professional finish. (Of course, if you are going for the heavily distressed/rustic look instead of a smooth, professional finish, you might want to skip the primer. ) Another advantage of primer is if you are using a light color paint over dark furniture, you won't have to apply as many coats of paint to get good coverage if you use primer first.

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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Mar 05, 2017
      I love the 1st one in charcoal grey!

  • Shabby Paints Shabby Paints on May 21, 2016
    Clean well with vinegar and water and a kitchen scrubby. Rinse, then paint with two coats of Shabby Paints Chalk Acrylic in Ice and Tiffany. Used a damp applicator Sponge to apply two coats of VAX. That is it no buffing, earth friendly, non toxic and easy for beginners. Check out our private support group for more ideas and help. Great group.

  • Shabby Paints Shabby Paints on May 21, 2016
    Sorry here is the pic

  • Denise Denise on May 21, 2016
    Annie Sloan chalk paint is the easiest way to go. Clean with denatured alcohol then paint and wax (you could put a polyurethane on the top.) Paint in colors suggested by Shari in Tampa. The headboard could be painted around the edge and upholstered in a linen fabric over the whole center section. Another way to paint, leave the top and edge of headboard as is and chalk paint the body of the furniture but still upholster the center of the headboard. It will be beautiful!

  • Bink Bink on May 22, 2016
    Please tell me who made the piece that looks like a texture of wallpaper that has been embossed? I must do on my furniture! Please tell me who. I can't wait!

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    • B. Enne B. Enne on Mar 05, 2017
      This looks so glam!

  • Geri Ann Geri Ann on May 22, 2016
    You've received a wealth of great advice. I'd like to suggest starting with a smaller piece of furniture like one of the nightstands or the headboard, if you hate it, you can always start over. Please post pix of the final products 'cause by then you'll be the expert!!!

  • Bink Bink on May 22, 2016
    Sonia.....are you saying that you know who made the wallpaper one? I will cry if I can't find who did this! Just kidding, but I really, really want to find that person!

    • Shari Shari on May 22, 2016
      @B.s.nelson I think I found who did that embossed wallpaper dresser! Looks like it might be Daniella Burnett / daniscustomdesigns. She has a board over on Pinterest called "My Very Own DIY" which shows that dresser as well as many others using embossed wallpaper. Oh my gosh, if these are all done by her, she sure does beautiful work! You can probably contact her through Pinterest. Hope you will let us know what you find out. :)

  • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on May 22, 2016
    I so, so have to thank everyone for your responses. Not only great ideas, but pictures as well to help me understand what you're saying. I think I've found the wallpaper to use on the nightstands and will be ordering it from H.D. A little whitewash and I think it will work. I'm so excited to get started!!!

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    • Sonia Burrows Sonia Burrows on May 22, 2016
      Darn, that's too bad because I love the deep blue color. Do you remember what the color was called?

  • B. Enne B. Enne on Mar 05, 2017
    FYI I just saw this if you like metallics, and haven't done your project yet...or if someone else is interested...

  • Venetia Venetia on Oct 29, 2020

    First of all I LOVE French Provincial furniture. This is beautiful as it is. I love wood but I am not oppsosed to painting furniture. For those who say the headboard and mirror make it look dated they are wrong. I have seen some beautiful FP furniture painted that look just as regal as the wood. You could change out the pulls and knobs, but once again I love them they keep with the ornate lines of the furniture. I have seen some beautiful pieces done in glossy white, some with painted with stained tops, have seen glossy black, have seen amazing gray, and some in almost a navy blue. Choose have a beautiful set. I am envious. Good luck.

  • Janice Janice on Dec 21, 2020

    I think Geri Ann has the best idea of all; to redo one piece first to see if you like the look. Personally, I'd start with the headboard and paint it in a deep metallic grey or a metallic rose gold. That may add enough pizzaz to the room. I'd also suggest having the headboard customized in such a way that it is taller when attached to the mattress/springs. That will lgive it more presence in your gust room. The set is actually beautiful!