A question I get asked a lot, is whether or not I think it's okay for people to paint an antique piece of furniture. The answer to this is a definite: It Depends! It depends on many factors about the antique. Starting off with the type of wood, the style and value of the piece. There are some formal, traditional styles of wooden antiques that just don't lend themselves to a painted look. I think the paint gives an antique a more casual, sometimes quaint, look – so it just doesn't suit some formal styles. For example, I have some beautiful family antiques I would never paint, I like the colour and style of the piece the way it is. But there are other pieces, that I have no problem painting. The ones I paint tend to fall into one of these categories: it was already painted, or I will use it because if it's painted it works in my house or it was really inexpensive and I don't think a coat of paint will diminish it's value. For example the hall table in entry (shown above) was already painted, so a fresh coat of white paint on it doesn't really alter the piece.
Each case is very different, but if you think a coat of paint will mean you love the piece and will use it – I say go for it. The idea is to enjoy the antique, so if it's sitting in the basement, maybe a coat of paint is the answer!
Here are some tables that have been painted white – I think these all look fabulous and highlight how great a coat of paint can look.