Hi friends, I hope you had a relaxing weekend!
Today’s post is all about a curb-shopped piece I have NOT painted… and I’m reaching out to ask YOUR opinion on whether I should or not.
When you’ve painted as much furniture as I have, it’s instinctual to pick up a paintbrush and start to restyle. And I’m not going to lie, I was itching to stencil the front of this piece. But then I got to thinking, the line on whether to paint or not can easily get blurred… especially when 99% of the time you’re working on salvaged pieces that are in need of some TLC.
But then every once in a while I come across one like this. A piece in beautiful shape and NO repairs needed.
There’s a bit of funny story on how I came across the piece – and it’s one of the few times I was uncomfortable loading a curb-shopped find into my car.
I pulled in front of this large gorgeous home with this MCM cabinet abandoned curbside.
Then Andrea says,”hey, isn’t this the neighborhood Bill Smith our financial advisor lives in?” (fake name btw – and just a little background, before Bill moved into his swanky commercial suite, he worked from his home office that we used to go to.)
And just as my sister was asking me, guess who I see watching us out his front window.
Small world I swear.
Usually, I feel proud and happy stopping for curbside treasures. And if I hadn’t recently switched financial advisors, I might have felt happy and waved… but instead, my face turned red and I just wanted out of there.
Anyway, after cleaning this MCM piece all up, I stood back and looked at how BEAUTIFUL this solid wood cabinet really is. I’m not sure if this is walnut or teak but it’s gorgeous. If anyone knows, feel free to chime in. You’d be helping me brush up on identifying some of my wood grains.
There are a few minor scratches on the top but nothing to ruin the overall look.
The wood is in near perfect condition except for a few minor scratches. I don’t often come across (or work with) pieces that are in this good of shape and I’m sure it will sell as-is.
I think this one is saying “LEAVE ME ALONE”… what do you think?
I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR OPINION AND WHAT YOU WOULD DO…
Wishing you a beautiful day filled with inspiration!
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Mary Bronson says
Girl, I think this Beautiful thing needs no help from you this time! It is just fine as it is. As for you, I say, “have no shame in your game. Go back and thank that x-financial advisor, and ask him what else is he putting curbside💰😉
ha,… “have no shame in your game”… I LOVE this Mary. 🙂 Thanks for chiming in. 🙂
Excellent debate! I like the piece unpainted. This posted has motivated me to refinish a MCM sewing machine cabinet given to me by my father. Wish me luck!
Good luck Scottie and thanks for chiming in. 🙂
Beverly Smith says
There is no reason to paint this cabinet. It looks like it maybe missing brass circular pieces that fit inside the finger slides. However, that cannot be determined from the photos. Otherwise, you may consider a glass topper if the piece is in a high-use part of the house.
It looks gorgeous just as it is. By the way, it looks like it is teak. My husband & I have quite a few similar pieces which are a Scandinavian mid-century. Great find!
Jane Williams says
I don’t care for the style but if you do,leave it as is.
Otherwise, it might be interesting with a decoupage treatment.
Lisa Broussard says
This is one piece I would definitely not paint. Every once and a while you find a piece that is perfect just the way it is. This is one of those pieces. And it’s a nod to mid century modern. Love your projects, keep on inspiring us!!
Aquaguard RO Service says
In order to my opinion, there is no need to paint. This is looking amazing without paint.
Jan Anderson, Northwest Cottage Painted Furniture says
I’d leave it as is, but you may be able to diminish the scratches using some Howard’s RestoreAFinish and the beeswax finish in the same line. I’ve restored MCM wood radios that way and they are beautiful.
I reeeaaaally LOVE your work! But this piece has whispered you something…, LET IT LIVE ON HIS OWN COLOR…
Greetings from Argentina…
Thank you Josefina! xo
Usually, I’m a “to paint” person, but something about this piece tells me “not to paint”. Maybe that it’s in terrific condition, or that this style is so very popular again au naturelle, but this is a beauty that I think should be left as is.
Jeanne D Smith says
Do Nothing except Luv, Luv, Luv It! Looks to be in perfect condition, MCM pieces are nearly one of a kind! Perfect the Way It Is, Enjoy!
Don’t paint it. It will be more valuable to a collector MCM furniture.
I’m one to paint any piece of salvaged furniture I find as well. But wow. This piece screams to be left alone! If you are keeping it, a nice stencil would work well with your style but if you’ll be selling it I would leave it as is. Good luck!
Michelle Green says
This Mid Century piece waited just for you. To recognize how perfect it is with no paint. Truly a special piece!
How about some gold highlights on legs and gold antique handles in the finger holes??
Paint it !
I love mid-century pieces so I’m biased! I have a few pieces at home and would never paint – I just use hemp oil to protect. Everything you do is beautiful but I would be sad to see this one painted. What a find though!
It’s gorgeous! I would have said walnut for this one, I love MCM pieces & have painted many but I generally like to leave some of the natural wood shining through, most of the ones I do have damage so I have no choice. This one is stunning it would be hard for me to paint it but I would definitely leave some unpainted, maybe the doors
Lovely Mid Century Modern piece and what a curb find!! Definitely leave as is – a good soak of conditioner and she will come up beautifully!
It is beautiful AS IS! Enjoy your gorgeous find.
Do NOT paint!
This is a gorgeous mid-century modern piece and the wood is beautiful;
Tasha R says
It’s a BEAUTY ~ Don’t Paint. Enjoy it as it is in it’s original state. You will be happy you did and so will the reloved owners ~
No I believe it’s beautiful as is no to paint
My personal opinion is to leave it as is. It is a lovely piece.. Minor scratches add character.
What a beautiful pice! It is perfect as it is.
Arthur E Kellogg says
Thanks Denise ! Yes it’s Teak. I’m a faux wood grainer for forty years. Say that fast.four times. …. ts original form it truly functional and beautiful. “Let it Be ” maybe clean and wax.
TEAK! Thank you Arthur. 🙂
Wow I bet you know some great tricks of the trade for when somebody sands through the veneer. Not that I have ever done that or anything… 😆
From a sales point of view I would NEVER paint an MCM piece which is in good condition. Here In Australia that would destroy the resale value completely! Personally I love the clean lines and beauty of the wood in these pieces and usually rejuvenate with wood conditioning products to bring back the depth of natural colour
I would leave it. But I’m a natural kind of gal. Although I love some of your pieces!
Denise G says
I think it is gorgeous the way it is. But if you wanted to add a bit of something, why not try just a bit of that artisan powder you used a few posts back to give it some “highlights.” Amazing find!
Why would you paint what looks like a perfectly sound piece of Mid Century Modern furniture?
I agree with Monica and Ruth that a stencil would look good. The doors are big and kind of boring but Denise, you are so talented and I love the stencils that you do, and I think a light stencil would work well. I can’t wait to see what you decide to do! Love your blog.
Thanks so much, Cecilia! So kind of you and thanks for chiming in! xo
Anna-Marie Ferreira says
Please do not paint it!
Lydia Prokulevich says
Jusr beautiful as it is! So clean lines… and natural colour! No need to paint at all. Please leave im alone!
I think you’ve answered your own question. 🙂 It’s perfect as it it, a classic in mint condition. Stenciling the piece would be, to make a silly analogy, like putting a silly bumper sticker on a classic antique car. Leave it and enjoy your find!!
Maybe a touch of gold on the legs and in the finger holes on the doors, but otherwise leave it alone!
Kim O. says
I like that idea it needs a little pop
Leave it. Too pretty to paint.
Isobel Conradie says
I totally agree with Anita! Swedish furniture have a character of its own, and once this piece were painted, you’ll lose all that will be gone! Beautiful piece this, I would leave it as is and enjoy the wood!
Rebecca STANEVICH says
Such a nice MCM piece. I’m thinking g that if you paint it, it will have an identity crisis – That will it be them? I say, “Leave it. “
Mary Ann Fielder says
Do NOT touch that beautiful big. Just oil it good, leaving the scratches. I’d love to own it!
Mary E Burke says
Wow! What a dilemma! It’s such a beautiful piece JUST. way it s.! Yet having seen your Artisty, in past pieces you’ve transformed,it’s such a hard call! Fir some reason dark Teal mettalc like past cars from that era is going thru my mind as a potential paint color,but like one stripe across piece or vertical in the middle only…,leaving the rest of the piece, original wood like it is… just my opinion,you asked for it! Gorgeous piece!, have fun…
I agree “Leave me alone”, it is too pretty to paint!
Peggy Zamboni says
My son has a piece just like this but larger, and it’s teak. He’s talking about getting rid of it, so I’ve already told him I want it. I’ll then be in the same position you are – to paint or not to paint. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do before I do mine!
How about a partial stencil on just the doors in a darker colored stain???
Karin cocker says
Lovely well done! It’s a very fine grained wood..quite red?
Not African teak? Teak is HEAVY!!!!!
TEAK is darker. And then teak bleaches bone grey with age and sun.
Leave this one alone!! .
Bye from karin in zambia
The images are showing up more orange/red than it really looks. The close-ups I took are much closer to the ‘real’ color. Thanks for chiming in Karin. I’m going to google where Zambia is now! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Carole Atkins says
Oh Denise, this is definitely a leave-as-it-is piece. It’s stunning. Such clean lines and in beautiful shape. I’m positive you could make it gorgeous if you painted it but I think this is one of “those” special pieces
Looks like everyone is agreeing with you… including me. 🙂 MCM is not quite my style (although I do like and appreciate it) but I think someone who is into MCM will appreciate this gorgeous piece as-is. 🙂
I think you’re right. This piece would lose its appeal if painted. I’m afraid I would have left it kurb side. It really does need the right kind of space or the right kind of home to have it around.. Love the dream catchers and absolutely love your work. Thanks for your tutorials – they truely do inspire me to be more creative than I otherwise would be
It looks like walnut.
Yes, thanks, Shannon! Some grains I recognize right away and others stump me.
Monica Jessup says
I’m all about painted furniture, especially when there is so much surface for creativity. To me, it screams stencil/paint.
Thanks for chiming in Monica. There is great space to get creative, that’s for sure. That was definitely my first instinct. 🙂
Janice Wallop says
I would paint it – it is in good shape but a little bland – at least from my perspective !! I am relatively new to painting furniture but having followed you, I think you could turn this into something amazing !!
Denise – I love MCM furniture A LOT !! I also struggle sometimes with painting these particular pieces.
I do enjoy the clean lines, and simple beauty.
This does need something though. It’s a little too quiet.
I didn’t know you loved MCM furniture!!! And ya, I get it. Pick up a paintbrush is our go-to for sure, but I think I may leave this one…
Please DO NOT PAINT. Anyone looking for MCM will appreciate the original finish. Just polish n put it up for sale.
Agreed, don’t paint. It’s beautiful as is. Having said that, I personally don’t like the red tones as well as oak or darker stains. I might consider the possibility of enhancing with wax or gilding or some other technique, although I’d have to do some serious research first to learn more. It’s a beautiful piece and I’m sure you will do a beautiful job whatever you decide on.
Thanks Teckla! It is showing up more orange/red than it really is. Possibly the lighting when I took the photos. Thanks so much for chiming in. 🙂
Debra Wise says
I always love your painted furniture but I agree with you in this case to leave it as it is. It’s such a gorgeous piece!