Not everything we carry at the Maine Country Home, or everything in my house is painted. Any good antique, one with patina and parentage, is lovingly cared for and kept in its original state.

Historically, country and American furniture was often painted, as was French and Swedish. This year we had a great painted piece in the store that was original paint. A lovely six plank chest painted in blue. I would have never have dreamed of painting that.

My lovely French country pieces have great patina and I would never paint them. However, I do have a set of 20 year old shaker chairs from Crate and Barrel that are definitely on the to-paint list.

Historically, windsor chairs were painted black, only in recent times have we taken to making them in glossy varnished wood. I would definitely use MMS Typewriter for a set of newish windsor chairs. (Unless they were great new hand made wood) Often painted furniture had lovely patterns hand painted on the piece, but if you don’t feel like you’re artistic enough you can always stencil a similar design on a piece to make it look vintage.

Most of us can not afford to have only antiques in our homes. We want to have style on a budget and that is where repurposing by repainting comes into play.  Remembering that a mix of old and new, repainted and original is always fun and stylish. And even with painted furniture, in any one room, you can have too much of Martha’s good thing.

Life on the coast of Maine

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