Painting furniture is a cardinal sin to some and a no-brainer to others. Obviously there are some pieces that should stay far, far away from a paintbrush due to their expense, heritage, or history. Others……not so much.

I have owned some pieces of furniture that I would never dream of painting, but, for the most part, I have never had a piece that was a downright major mistake to paint. Some pieces take awhile to decide about, however. These are the ones that languish for years in their state of yellowing varnish while I think about what to do with them, get stuck on a decision, and put them on the back burner for yet another year.

Such is the case of an old library card catalog that has been sitting in my den for seven years now. It must be from the 60’s, and it’s blond varnish has grown more orangey-yellow than I could handle, so the decision was made to sand her down, polish up her real brass hardware, and re-stain or paint her. Of course, this is where the waffling came into play. To paint or not to paint? Hmmmmm…………..I would have the decision made by the time she was sanded down.

Because I just couldn’t get a good feeling for a stain color that I would want in that room with all of the other finishes and hardwood floors, the obvious decision was made to paint. There really weren’t too many colors that would do the brass hardware justice and go with my other choices in the room, so I went with Sherwin Williams “greenblack”. It looks exactly like its name. Sometimes it appears to be very dark green, and sometimes it appears to be black. Both work well with the rest of the room, and I love the contrast to my super white walls.

So….. seven years later, my card catalog is looking pretty fresh. It might actually look a little too fresh at the moment, as the hardware shined up a bit more than anticipated, but time will give it the patina that it deserves, and it will age gracefully until someone (me?) decides to give it another facelift.

So, to paint or not to paint? If you need to get another opinion from someone who knows about furniture, then do that! If not, then I say do whatever will make you happy. Although I suppose there are some steadfast “rules” for some pieces, others are just waiting for your imagination and creativity to give them a new story.