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Put the paint can DOWN

I will readily admit that I am not a design guru; my skills at decorating are simple, classic and minimal.  I do, however, have a sense of style. More importantly, I have a deep respect for the pieces my family have selected for our home.

We upcycle, we refinish and we renovate. I have spent endless hours sanding and finishing furniture for my children as keepsakes and I have a “special touch” with all things wood.

But this new craze of pulling out the paint can is killing me. I once posted a picture on a design site of an antique sideboard we were given and was aghast at the comments and suggestions for “perking” it up.

I had posted the piece because I loved the detail on it and the history it showed. This beast has been around a while so naturally my historical mind thought of the holidays it has experienced and the life it has lived. But the design folks, they wanted me to take out the beveled glass and paint it.

“Strip it down and paint it white,” they said.

I backed out of that conversation with fear for my sideboard. Nightmares ensued of design-crazy bloggers hunting me down and tearing this beautiful piece from my arms to slather it in (gasp) gold paint.

I just don’t get it.

These wood pieces are their natural selves. They have character and personality. They tell us stories and show our family’s history over the years. Why would we want to cover that up?

I love seeing a person’s true self. Dealing with people who cover up their personality with flash and falsehoods isn’t my style. I bring this same value to my garden, my home and my upcycling.

I will never love the paint trend. I will continue to invest in sandpaper, natural stains, wax and finishes. I will continue to find hours (and hours) to preserve the true meaning of the wood and the piece of furniture it became…because with authenticity comes beauty.

How do you feel about the paint trend in wood?  Are you investing in brushes and gallons, or staying true and appreciating the natural beauty of wood?

Useful links

Whether you paint or preserve is up to you!

Antique furniture


Julie is a mom of 3 attempting to live an extraordinary life on Salt Spring Island. A blogger, a consultant and a publisher, she works from her 3 sunny acres, watching over her free range hens and enjoying the balance of life she has been striving for. You can find her at

4 Responses to “Put the paint can DOWN”


Great post, Julie! We have this buffet listed on our site right now and our first reaction was “this would be fantastic painted out”! What are your thoughts on painting out ‘some’ of it? (we thought the legs were a bit churchy for some dining/living rooms.

pic here:



Great post! I love the beveled glass and the tone of wood in your buffet, too.

I have been known to paint my fair share of furniture (!!), but also have natural wooden furniture that I adore. My Dad is a woodworker and I can absolutely appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into well made stuff!

Whatever is going to make you love and treasure a piece of furniture – I say do that.



Hey Julie, have to agree with you about the paint although I do like distressed side boards. The trend in kitchens today with stripping out OAK cabinets and replacing them with modern dark plain cabinet fronts is not appealing to me either. The home shows on TV have basically ruined the home décor industry because everyone wants “clean lines and modern colours” Ug. IT IS OAK people, beautiful lines and wood grains. I don’t get it.



I have seen some drab old coffee tables end tables etc. turned into beautiful very decorative pieces. I love the endless possibilities and how they can coordinate and accent a theme. However, I would only condemn a piece to this process if it were too beat up to be worth re-finishing. I love the rich texture and lines in wood. I just moved in to a condo and found the solid “oak?” cabinets painted! arghhh! What colour you ask? Brown! They painted wood, the colour of wood. The mind boggles on.


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