Saturday, 25 April 2015

Painted or natural?


It's started again. My annual urge to get the paint brush out has begun, clamouring to be heard. Last year I repainted the second bedroom and the year before that the garden furniture. For a while, I have been wanting to make a change in the dining room. For a room we spend a lot of time in (it is next to the kitchen and opens onto the garden so often acts as an extension of both spaces) it has always struck me a a little wood-heavy.



I have already discounted painting the wooden dresser, an idea I flirted with a few years ago before deciding that to cover up the honey-toned, satin smooth Victorian pine would really be a shame and something that I might come to regret later. I like the idea of a painted staircase, but dislike the maintenance of cleaning pale coloured stair treads every time one of our cats pads upstairs. So my eye has now lighted on the large, varnished wooden fireplace. I know that although the fireplace is original, the surround is not and is in fact cobbled together from bits of wooden moulding by one of the earlier owners of our cottage. This makes me feel less guilty about subjecting it to my brandished paint brush.
The dining room is north-facing, and as a result is one of the darker rooms in the house, I also have an idea that painting the fireplace would help to lighten this room as well. This photo from my Pinterest account is probably the closest photo I could find to what I think our fireplace could look like once painted.



https://www.pinterest.com/pin/117234396523954012/

Since we have repainted the dining room walls a nice warm white "Linen Wash" but Little Greene which we did last year after all the work on our garden room, I was thinking that painting the fireplace surround white might have the effect of making it disappear too much into the wall so I have been looking at very pale taupe/beige shades like "Bath Stone" or "Almond" by Autentico. Using a chalk paint would also mean that I don't have to sand the varnish off before painting. More Pinterest inspiration below, this time featuring a painted dining room fireplace.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/117234396520315052/

But I'm still not 100% sure, that's the one drawback with painting, once it's on it's not so easy to take off! What is your preference? Do you prefer natural wood or painted?

18 comments:

  1. I prefer natural wood but if the wood is a mix of different colours, I think it looks better painted. Originally, the fixtures in your cottage would have been painted.

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  2. How about painting the interior wooden bit and painting the legs on your table and chairs?I adore the fabric on the sofa in the pintrest pic!Pam.

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  3. When we moved into our home we stripped the fireplace of paint so that we could have the natural wood. As it turned out, the stain didn't look that great, and we ended up painting it. I love it! I've never been sorry that I painted. The walls are cream and the trim is a milky white. Very pretty.

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  4. I think the paint colours you are looking at will look very nice. You will still have your beautiful timber dresser, floorboards and dining table so the contrast should look lovely. Chalk paint is also easy to apply. Good luck Charlotte.

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    1. I absolutely adore your cottage!

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  5. I think it will look lovely painted and I think your house is totally gorgeous. I love using chalk paint, it gives a fabulous finish but I have also used it as a base paint and then painted a non-chalk paint colour over the top.

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  6. I guess the fire surround is the most obvious thing to paint and as it's not original but my first line of action would be to cover the table with some lovely pale-ish oilcloth and see if that lightened things enough. Then I would paint the inside of the fire surround - not the tiled part inside but the inner outer....if that make sense - or tile with Delft like tiles.

    But whatever you choose I'm sure it will be lovely.

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  7. Pine, or deal, in Victorian times would've been painted - the idea of 'stripping' pine is a modern one. Indeed, it's not a pretty wood in my eyes, and always looks better painted. But I wouldn't paint fine oak, walnut or mahogany. Yes, I think the room is a little wood-heavy. Could you not lay a rug under the table, to cover some of the floor boards? Again, the modern convention of wood floors is a fashion; years ago anyone without a carpet or rug would've been considered poverty stricken. I'm not suggesting wall-to-wall Wilton, of course, that wouldn't suit your country-style cottage, but just something to soften all that wood.
    Margaret P

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  8. I like your inspirational choices for painting the fireplace. I would paint it. I think you will be happy with it.

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  9. I think painting the fireplace surround is a good idea. A soft, chalk green would look good against the wall.

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  10. Definitely paint it,Charlotte, I think it will look much better!! The fire surround is the most orange of all the woods so I think the rest of the wooden furniture will appear much more mellow as a result. I'm sure you'll make the right decision yourself though. Good luck!

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  13. I would definitely paint the surround a nice sludgy taupey colour. I like the idea of a nice bright oilcloth on the table as suggested in another comment.

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  14. I wonder what you ended up deciding? The fireplace as it is works so well with the natural wood and look of the other things in the room. I hate to see beautiful wood painted. Although, I must say I love the pictures you show so, that's why I wonder what you ended up with
    Janice

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    1. Hi Janice,
      I agree, I also don't like to paint natural wood, but as this is varnished quite dark there isn't really much a nice patina. Plus since the dining room can be quite dingy (as it is north-facing) so I think it will help lighten the room. I'm still looking for the perfect shade just now, but will do an update when I have made the changes!

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  15. Charlotte, if the fireplace were mine I think I would paint the outer bit of pine in a light colour and the inner bit of pine a darkish grey, as it may give the idea that the inner bit is recessed like in your Pinterest picture. I love Autentico almond, it is so soft and easy on the eye. I am sure whatever you decide upon will look well. Love Linda x

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  16. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.

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