When to Refinish and When to Paint
We’ve been refinishing and painting wood for more than 30 years so you can imagine we are often faced with the decision of whether to refinish or paint the wood furniture that comes our way. The decision isn’t always easy and as a furniture flipper you have many options to consider.
- Is the wood in good enough shape to be sanded down and stained?
- What is the market for this type of furniture?
- Will I be destroying the value of an antique by painting it?
- How hard will it be for my customer to take care of the final finish?
- Which is going to take me more time and will I get my investment back?
- Do I have the products and the skills to do the job right?
- Which will look best and give the piece character, charm and durability?
In the most recent past, most of the furniture that was getting refinished was getting stripped down and re-stained and then top coated with poly urethane. But that was before the diy furniture painting explosion and all the great products that then became available to those of us who love to paint furniture. Now we have lots of choices and easy access to wonderful products once only available to big companies.
You might think as furniture painters that we love painted finishes more than wood but the opposite is the truth. We love wood. My husband is a carpenter so wood is a very present material in our lifestyle. Most of the pieces we find to repurpose however need to be painted because the wood isn’t in good enough shape to refinish and the effort needed to do so wouldn’t be cost-effective or they are already painted with many coats of paint. I think that is why the re-finished tops have become so popular. The best of both worlds. Beautiful Wood and a Beautiful Painted Finish.
Antique Cedar Chest Painted and Stained
This antique cedar chest was recently refinished with Fusion Mineral Paint color Casement and the NEW Homestead House Stain and Finishing Oil all in one. The wood was very old, dry and a little bit damaged but we wanted to highlight the vintage-ness [Is that a word?] of the wood shades and the wonderful engraved design on the front. We really wanted to give it a “Primitive Farmhouse Finish” but leave the wood as natural looking as possible. Each piece of this antique cedar chest was made from a different kind of wood giving it lots of very unique charm.
- First we sanded it really well with 150 grit and then 220 grit
- Then I diluted the casement paint 4 parts water-1 part paint
- Painted the whole chest with the diluted paint and while it was drying I wiped some off so it looked like a limed finish.
- The next day a super light sand and then 1st coat of Stain & Finishing Oil color Natural
- 12 hours after the first coat we applied the 2nd coat of Stain & Finishing Oil color natural. The 2nd coat gave it a soft sheen which we love!
- When it was completely dry we attached these cute feet to get the chest off the ground and make it more functional.
- I had sanded the feet down and then stained them with the Stain & Finishing Oil all in one color white.
The feet are actually old finials from wooden flagpoles I purchased at auction years ago. Love to re-purpose!
When you are refinishing and painting wood furniture, the time and effort are so worth it as you preserve a piece from the past and give it New-Life and hopefully if you are selling it a new home.
Stay Tuned for Refinishing or Painting Wood Furniture Part 2 – The Rippled Veneer