Share your pics (and your techniques) of your painted furniture!

polly929September 13, 2013

I want to paint 2 pieces of mahogany furniture. They went really well in my first house, but not so much with the direction I've gone in with our current home.
Do I use the chalk paint, or is it a bad idea? And I'm wondering if I should paint them a color. I originally was going to do black, but now I'm thinking either a gray/green or a light blue. My dining room is open to my kitchen and the dark mahogany just doesn't match well with my medium stained wood cabinets.

Share your pics and techniques, and what colors you would recommend for mahogany. I'll put pics in the next post, posting from my iPhone.

Thanks in advance. Looking forward to seeing what others have done.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is the wall it will go on and you can see my kitchen cabs on the right. Excuse all my canning supplies, just finished my tomatoes!

The chairs are normally in my living room and will not stay there.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Before painting, which is a pity for something as well-made of mahogany as that buffet, I would try changing the interior with a color and putting bright accessories in it.

It's hard to get a finish that looks that good with paint, and it's usually an irreversible step.

You can test the color change by taping fabric or tissue paper to the interior.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest pics of painted insides on china cabinets

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get a beverage, and some time and sit down and read this. She has tutorials on painting. I believe there is even one section on painting mahogany and how it is difficult due to the red coming through.

Here is a link that might be useful: I entered

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

polly, it's hard to see your first photo well as it's quite dark, but if that was mine, as much as I love to paint furniture, I wouldn't do it.

Because it looks so beautiful from what I can see of it, I'd leave it as is. I love to paint furniture, but those are old or vintage pieces, usually inexpensive, that I buy as they need some help to look well.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your responses. i should have been more clear in my original post. I know it's a "sin" to paint wood, but I've lived with it for 6 years in this house. It just doesn't go with anything here. Yes it's pretty, but it doesn't fit in well with what I have now.

My home is very relaxed and laid back. The cabinet is very formal. I have 3 young children and as my family has grown my tastes have evolved around them. The furniture doesn't hold any sentimental value but rather than buy something new I'd rather give what I have a makeover. Painting them might not work for you. But it does for me and I still plan on doing it.

Here it is with more light:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with my3dogs, word for word. I really think this lovely piece would look wonderful in your room, even with the cabinets being the tone they are. I paint a lot if furniture, but I have a similar China Cabinet to yours, and it's such a gorgeous finish, I couldn't paint it.

I so hope I don't hurt your feelings posting my thoughts. I just wanted to show you mine, how it looks with the different wood tone (floors), and with white decor in it.

Excuse my cell phone pics, made the colors a bit funky. :)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

#2 pic:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry again, didn't see your last post before posting mine!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think if you do paint it I would make it a soft cream. I think black will be too harsh and overpowering on that wall. And with a cream color you can use it in other places/rooms in the future which may not work so well if you do a color like blue or green---accessorize it with those colors instead.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, and meant to say...before you dive into painting this...I would go get some small, cheap thrift store items in mahogany to experiment on first.

I would love to try the chalk paint technique and we are in the process of cleaning out our basement and I have purposely saved some old mahogany (probably veneer) end tables to practice on. Wouldnt want to mess up the piece I really want to use.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is the piece I started out with, I had two of them...the bottom edge, drawer front, and top edge were mahogany veneer, which I chipped off, and sanded down. You can see on the bottom in front where I had already started to chip away at it.

The front of the drawer was really crackled, and in rough shape, so that made it super easy to take the old veneer off,

I then sanded down the whole piece, primed it, painted it, and stained the top, along with a few coats of polyurethane.

The next picture will show the finished nightstand, only because I have yet to figure out just how to post more than one picture in a post!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't remember the name of the paint I used, because I did these 3 years ago. I think it was one of those "Olde Colonial Colours"(lol).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a similar issue with formal furniture that is mismatched to my new space. I have resisted the urge to repaint. Instead, I have stored away the hutch and am using the bottom as a server. Your piece has such lovely grain detail and hardware, but I understand the dilemma because I am living with it.

Have you considered selling this via CL or consignment? It may fetch a good price, and you can apply the funds to something that you may ultimately be more happy with.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sandy...nice job! Question....why did you have to chip off veneer...couldn't you have painted over it?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gooster has a point -if the furniture doesn't have sentimental value, maybe you could sell it and use the proceeds to find something more to your liking, rather than possibly painting and maybe still not being happy.

A year ago I purchased a black secretary with the idea of painting it, but I kind of liked the striking effect of the black. As an intermediate step I painted the interior a warm golden yellow, which did help quite a lot to lighten the heavy black piece. I still want to paint though, as it is worn and has some areas needing repair. And even with the interior facelift, it feels very somber to me, so I want to paint. Like you I am stuck on colors. I would love to go kind of crazy and paint it blue (it will be in a room with other blues, greens and golds) Cream would be safest, but it seems a little like a cop-out and I am afraid it might look like those old faux-french girls' bedroom sets in white and gold.

I am planning to use chalk paint. I went to a class at a local studio where we used the paint to redo one of our own (small) pieces. It was a great way to get introduced to the product and learn some of the "tips and tricks" to get the best result. I did a small sewing cabinet that I use as a side table in my bedroom. I am not sure what kind of wood it is, but the table top was definitely a plastic-y veneer and the chalk paint adhered beautifully. I did need two coats to cover the dark wood with the lighter yellow, but love the final result.

I wish I could help you with colors, but there aren't many cues in your pictures, other than the wood. I would go with a lighter cream - more like your trim if you want to go that direction. You can always paint the interior a bright color for fun like in the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: blue and white hutch

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another idea is to only paint a portion of the china cabinet, leaving some of the lovely wood showing.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joaniepoanie, I really couldn't just paint over the veneer because it was already in such rough shape. It was cracked, and peeling off in most spots, there was no way to make it smooth again, so the easiest solution was to continue to peel off what I could, and then sand it down.

I figured I couldn't ruin it anymore than it already was, so it was worth trying what I did, and I'm glad I did!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The reason I don't want to sell and buy new is two-fold. If I put it on Craigslist, I have to let a stranger into my house to look at it, and that means working around DHs schedule, And it's so big and heavy I don't really want to move it. The other reason is I don't want to buy new, everything is so large scale and never really fits right in my 110 year old home. I've already bought and sold a dining room table I wasn't really in love with and a Stanley youth furniture bedroom set. It was a real pain in the butt dealing with people not showing when they said they would or them getting here and deciding they didn't want it. I like the furniture, it just doesn't fit my life anymore in the dark mahogany.

I understand why you're all trying to convince me not to paint. I'd probably say the same thing and I have tried to convince myself too. But, I've lived with it for 6 years. And it just isn't working for me. I like the piece but, not in the dark color. It fits all my Waterford china beautifully and all my table linens and good silverware, so I'd like to keep it, just with a facelift.

Now back to my OP....please share your pics and your techniques. Thanks to all of you that have. I like the pic of the cream cabinet with some wood left intact, I'm just not sure it would work on this piece.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really have a different opinion on this..
I would not dare to show the "heirlooms" I have painted.
Believe me I took a long hard look at what I was about to do.

It just didn't fit into my life.
My style,be it as it may, did not fit what my grandmothers was.

I could leave it as-is and NOT enjoy it....
I could leave it as-is and let my children sell it when I go...

If it were something of historical value ,such as the play kitchen an Asian man in Montana made for my mom in the 1930's ,I would keep it as-is and hope my grandchildren would play with it.(plus my doll and rocking chair)
Not having knowledge on what IS history.What should be saved ...I don't know...
Are we preserving history,value or beauty???

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Forboystoo, can you post some pics of your painted furniture?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427 (zone 7)

Polly, I say go ahead and paint it. We have a breakfront almost exactly like yours. It was my husband's. Over the years, I have moved it from wall to wall, room to room and have always hated it. He thinks it would be an abomination to paint it, but it sucks the light out of every room in which we try it. It is now down in his workroom. He is happy and I am happy. Still, I think it would look amazing painted.

Please share pictures once you are finished! I will live vicariously through you. ;)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Polly, I agree paint it. I absolutely love painted furniture, I do.

Please please don't take this wrong. It is a beautiful piece of furniture, it truly is. However, it's not a 200 year old piece that after painting it would make you want to take your husbands life.

Like you said, you've evolved and it doesn't fit your life style or your house now. Isn't it better to have it like you want it rather than just tolerate it because it's beautiful wood?

I vote for the paint job. I think it will look stunning.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another vote to paint.

I HATE the idea of leaving something the way it is if you don't really enjoy it, just because it is old (unless it is a valuable antique and you can just call the local antique store and they will come get it on consignment or give you cash).
Just because something is old, or for instance, it's oak or mahogany, we are supposed to sentence ourselves to living with it and be miserable when we could be happy if it was redone?
I've painted furniture and been very happy with the results.
Decorating is all about making our surroundings beautiful; beauty is subjective and to me, if I live in a house I want it to be decorated in the way I love.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 5:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jumping in here. I just painted the top of an antique dining table with chalk paint, which I made myself and which costs a tiny fraction of the price of Annie Sloan's. Next step will be stenciling, then waxing..........who knows after that. I may use a very diluted dark wax.

The room looks worlds better. Had too much dark furniture. If it were my choice, I'd be painting the pieces you have. Hope you'll share results if you do!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the color of this painted hutch on AM Dolce Vita. I think she said it's BM Cloud White.

Here is a link that might be useful: hutch

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I say paint it. It's beautiful as is, but you've considered this for years and aren't making a hasty decision. It will definitely be transformed and in a sense given new life. It may respond well to the joy it brings you.

I do agree with others that it's a good idea to try out your technique on a little test piece from a thrift store. Yours is big and a bit complex. I recently refinished a small student desk and I ran out of inconspicuous spots to test my colors. Even now, I open drawers and see splotches on the inside of the drawer fronts.

Can someone point me to a link about chalk paint? At first I thought you all were talking about chalkboard paint and I thought, oh for love the love of God, no. Clearly it's something else.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Polly, while your china cabinet is beautiful as is; painting it as Sandy's (love the soft cream color) and jrueter's and leaving a little of the wood exposed will look really nice. I would agree that painting it black will give it too much of a 'heavy' feel that I think you're wanting to move away from?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

linelle, think I've read fifty things about chalk paint - try the link below.

There are a lot of DIY recipes. I found a lot of discrepencies with the ones using calcium carbonate. The one I used, rated #1 by lots of bloggers is:

2 T calcium carbonate powder, mixed with 1T water, added to 1 cup latex paint.

Others were giving huge proportions of the calcium carbonate. Can't imagine.

The powder can be ordered online. I lucked out and found it at a beer brewing shop 3 miles away. Cost me $2.01, enough to mix a whole lot of different batches. And the chalk paint goes a long way.

HTH, Rosie

Here is a link that might be useful: Chalk Paint information

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Didn't realize this was resurrected.

The verdict: I didn't paint it, only because once my kids went back to school my schedule was completely booked solid and I just didn't have the time to invest into it. The white china is back in it so its not that dark. I may eventually paint it, if I have the time, but now it is way down on the list of priorities.

Thanks for all your responses. They are greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

rosiew, thanks very much. I had no idea!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the update! I do think it's fine as-is, especially the wood grain on the bottom piece.

Have you considered something like making cardboard or thin wood panels that fit inside the back of the hutch, and covering them with batting and fabric? I think a bright color or exciting print would be a lovely background for inside the piece (and won't be much work). There are some amazing fabrics available if you look around :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: hutch with print

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love painted china cabinets. Below is a site with directions for doing it and also, you may want to google painted china cabinets and then click on images up above the google logo. Lots of inspiration there.

Here is a link that might be useful: painted pieces

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 12:43AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
sectional sofa help
hi cross posting this from furniture b/c I really could...
Please Post Pics of your 5' wide floors or 3.25' wide floors
Please post pics of your 5" wide hardwood floors...
Have rounded drywall corners, do I do rounded baseboard?
We are redoing the millwork in our 1995 house. We...
Is this a great statement or a great ugly mess?
Hello to all I could use your input here I have a mid...
Budget kitchen remodel
We relocated to a new state, and bought this home last...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™