Tuesday, August 2, 2016

To Paint....or NOT to Paint? That is the Question....

We often get inquiries asking us if a particular piece of furniture should be painted.  
For those who have never painted a piece of furniture, the task can seem daunting, overwhelming, and downright scary!  People are worried they will ruin a piece of furniture or decrease it's value by adding paint.  I guess in some cases this could be true, and I totally understand the fear of the unknown when you haven't taken on a project like this before. 

To be completely honest and up front, 
I don't know that I have the perfect {or right} answer to this question.  
But let me tell you what I have learned over the years through various furniture makeovers....

The most important thing to remember when asking the question of whether or not you should paint a piece is to think about what YOU want!
Don't worry about what the trends are.
Don't worry about what the magazines say.
Don't worry about what other people think.
If it is something YOU like and YOU want......DO IT!!

I'm not much for following the rules....I'm kind of a "just go with it" and "march to the beat of my own drum" type of gal.  If I get an idea in my head sometimes I will mull it around awhile but if the idea sticks, I know that is my cue to give it a go!  

Some people struggle with change, some people struggle with trying something new...so just think of it as a fun new adventure to learn about talents you didn't even realize you had!  You might have to take a little leap to get started, but if it's what YOU want then what's stopping you?

For me it's just that simple.  
YOU have to live in your house and love it.  YOU have to walk through you doors every day to the place you call home.  YOU are the only one who can make your space happy for YOU.

So here are a few questions I encourage people to ask when they are trying to decide whether or not to paint something:

1.  Is it a piece that has sentimental value, but something you are unable to incorporate into your current decor because it doesn't "fit" or "match"?

2.  Is it a piece you can't part with?

3.  Is it a piece that you proudly display in a visible area of your home or have you tucked it away in a basement or other low traffic area of the house?

4.  If outdated, is it still a solid piece of furniture with good bones and structure?

5.  Are you willing to think of a way to display it that is "outside the box" of your normal decor style?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, I would say

One of the things that breaks my heart is when people have fun and unique items that have sentimental value or good bones, but because it doesn't "fit" with your decor, it is hidden away from anyone to see.  In my humble opinion, the reason we keep these items is to use them and share them with others who come into our homes.  So what better way to incorporate those types of pieces than to give them a pretty face lift!

For instance, check out this piano:

It was a piece handed down to our client by her mother.  In it's original condition it resided in her basement but after a clean, crisp white makeover it is now proudly displayed in the main living area of her home!

Or what about this nursery set:
 It was a set that had been used before but needed a cute makeover for a darling little girl.  And this time the client wanted fun shelving from her grandmother's home incorporated.

We love how the set turned out.....looks like it was all just meant to be together from the very beginning!

Or this beautiful dresser that belonged to our client's grandfather:

 Before it's makeover it resided in the garage.

But after it found it's way back into the main living are of the house to provide sweet memories each time my client walked into the room and saw beautiful makeover with years of history peeking through.

I know, I know....there are some who think it is blasphemy to paint over wood furniture or to paint a hand-me-down piece of furniture in a new bright color.  Some even worry that those whose namesake they keep the furniture for would be distraught if the furniture was given a makeover.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this topic and I don't fault those who choose to keep their pieces in their original state.

But for me, I know that items get more "face time" in my home if they can somehow be incorporated into my decor, which often includes a bright and fun color update!  By doing this, not only can pieces be incorporated more easily into my decor, but they instantly become focal or conversation pieces when I have guests.  And I find that by giving an item a simple makeover, I can get years of use out of just one item, because it then becomes transferable to multiple areas of my home and decor.

I LOVE adding colorful touches throughout my house, and I can think of no better way to really make a statement then to incorporate color into the furniture.  

Now I know that not everyone loves color as much as I do, but even if you just have 1-2 statement pieces in a room, it can go a long way to update your look and brighten you decor. 

Another factor that seems to come into play when people are inquiring about painting furniture is that they are incredibly worried they will "ruin" the item.  Well I'm here to tell you that in all of my experience, you can't "ruin" anything!  If you don't like it you just start over!  If it doesn't look the way you want try it again.  Practice makes perfect....believe me!  I've had my fair share of oops and what the crap did I do moments....but there is pretty much nothing that cannot be fixed!   

So ultimately, my answer to the question of 
To paint or not to paint?
As you've probably figured out by now....for me the answer is ALWAYS YES!
It might be scary the first time, but once you do it I promise you'll be hooked!!  

If you're worried, start with something small.  
Test out your skills.  
Buy something from a yard sale or a consignment store and practice on that.  
Once you feel more confident you're ready to move on to something bigger and more involved and before you know it you'll be designing entire rooms around colorful decor!

Good luck taking your leap!  It's a little scary at first sometimes but I promise if you'll just do it, you won't be sorry!!