Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Naked Truth

A fresh coat of paint. A clean start. When it's on the ceiling and walls it brings atmosphere and warmth. It will preserve and protect the outside of your house. When it's on a piece of furniture it adds charm and personality. On canvas it becomes a masterpiece. It gives a punch of color where needed. No matter what colors are on your palette a fresh coat of paint does wonders.
I absolutely love painted furniture. I don't have any trouble changing an already been painted piece to suit my taste. My favorite style is folk painting or peasant style. I like old world, old fashioned....old! Pennsylvania Dutch is sweet. I just love any piece by the artisit Peter Hunt .
So, if I like paint so much then will somebody please tell me why I feel so guilty painting the grain of wood? There's this feeling of remorse that succumbs me when I get the urge to paint wood. First, I think about what color I would choose "IF" I painted it, and that makes me happy thinking of the possiblities. Next comes the guilt of perhaps ruining antiquity or disturbing it's history, or just plain hiding the grain. It's as if I'm not really the owner but merely a custodian or curator of a rare artifact. Soon... I dismiss the urge. It's silly because the fact is, that the things I'm wanting to save from paint would never be aired on the Antique Roadshow.
I look around and see various shades of brown. Some of these things are begging for a splash of color. Things I've always wanted to paint but never had the nerve to. For example, an antique wooden medecine cabinet missing it's glass from the door. It hangs in my kitchen and holds spices. Thank-goodness somebody had the courage to paint the inside of it a pretty robin's egg blue. I love it. I haven't replaced the glass because it's more convenient (read lazy) to reach in and grab my seasonings. But if I can muster up the gumption... it will be painted. The glass door will be repaired. Inside the door a sheer curtain will hang tight. It might be nice to actually use the door with it's little brass hardware. It hangs right over an old jelly cabinet that has lost it's door. Again...unpainted. I keep my pots and pans there.
In fact instead of painting things I've gone to the other extreme and I've stripped paint off of some furniture. This takes time ... a lot of time, and to tell ya the truth, I can't say all this restraint and preservation is worth it. So I will make some changes soon and paint those 2 pieces as a start. Will I share the before and after pictures with you then? Of course I will. Bbye for now. ~Elaine


Kitty said...

Oooh, can't wait to see. I used to have worries about painting furniture, but something's changed. I now think 'sod it - that's how I want it, it'll look much better' ... and I paint it. I love the table I did, every time I look at it, I realise how much more I love it now than I did before.

You go for it!


Anonymous said...


That was written so beautifully that I felt as though I could see the cabinet and the missing glass. I really do not need to see a photograph.

I also have the same reservations on painting wood. Almost always, I opt for something that will help the grain "pop". Maybe a little walnut oil, or perhaps some Shellac.

When the occasion does call for some paint, it is a pure joy to choose a color. Blues and grays tend to be my on my palette. But perhaps my next project will have yellow.

My motto on painting wood is: "if's it's pine then its fine"

AHH I tried to come up with something clever and I am too tired to finish it. Basically, If is a soft wood, then its OK to paint it and if it's a hardwood then FORGET ABOUT IT.

You too can be like Mr Hunt... just embellish stories on how you acquired these pieces and perhaps you too can be a self made celebrity. We all know you already have the artistic talent ;)


elaine said...

Kitty - Thank-you for the vote of confidence. Now we'll see how long it is before I get to this idea. But..I'm actually excited to get started. xox

DN - You've made it an easy decision too because guess what? They're both pine. So it's Fine! By the way...thank-you for visiting my blog. *