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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Re-finish antique buffet help

alwftwJanuary 21, 2013
Some of you might shudder to think of what I want to do!
My father bought this piece for a lot of money and has since given it to me. I have NO interest in this piece, but want to "make it my own", because it IS well-made.
Some background: I have a large wall that I am stressing out over what to do. (this is my first home) The walls are light blue, couches are beige, and the current furniture is black/brown. I am going for a more eclectic look (mainly becuase I have no idea how to follow a design style)
I want to paint (yes, not strip and stain) this. Should I paint it to match the current furniture (sort of a satin finish black/brown or black)? Or go with a white color? (not thinking a distressed look)
I will change the hardware to a more modern style, but also wondering if it would look better with visible shelves instead of doors.
If any of you have any osuggestions I would love to hear them!
Thank you so much!
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How about giving it back? The piece will lose significant monetary value if painted. If your father bought it for its style, he will probably not be delighted if you ruin its value by painting over it. If he doesn't care, sell it and buy something you like.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:35PM
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I would steer away from modernising this piece. The beauty of furniture like this is in its style and hardware. If you want to create an eclectic style, then a piece like this combined with modern furniture and a few more vintage pieces will give you the look you want. I would take the walls back to a neutral tone, paint the skirting a lighter step again and play up the flooring. Let the uniqueness of the sideboard/whatever it is be a feature. If you don't want to do that, I would sell the piece and get a modern alternative. I have always, always regretted the modernising of older pieces and have learned from my mistakes.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:36PM
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What about placing a short modern geometric runner over the top of it, down the middle, to spruce it up?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:42PM
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I'm all about painting furniture, but this piece has such lovely details and looks to be in good shape. I'd recommend leaving it it as is. If you want to paint something, find a piece on Craigslist.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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please do not paint this piece,the inlaid wood tells it is a real antique,buy a piece of furniture that is from the 80's or 90's,they are cheap enough now and there are so many that painting them is oke,if you really dont like the cupboard take it to a valuer and then decide what you want to do with it
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I would paint it a terra cotta or coppery red. My office has light blue walls, drk brown furniture, a beige rug accented with a terra cotta HM Mirra chair, and I just love it! The touches of warm really finished the space. I think the best thing to do for a piece that you aren't crazy about, it to make it an eclectic, stand out point of interest. Bring attention to it and make it pop!
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:22PM
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I have a suggestion: Give it back, sell it or keep it in storage until you find somewhere it will fit as is. This is a well made piece of furniture. It really shouldn't be changed in any way.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:42PM
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OK you have no interest in the piece. Why not find out the value of it as is?

If it were worth let's say $1200 in its current condition, would you sell it? If it were worth $3500 in its current condition, would you sell it? If you painted it and then tried to sell and found was worth $200 would you regret painting it?

I don't know how much it is worth, but I can tell you that collectors want original condition. If you've ever watched Antique Roadshow, you'd know that even polishing some pieces destroys the value to a collector. Pieces that were once worth 5 to 6 figures come down to a couple of thousand. Would it be better to see if you can get good money for it and buy pieces you really have an interest in (or are suitable to make your own) or just go ahead and paint it?

Even though your Dad gave it to you, please, ask him his opinion and what the history of the piece is.
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Ugh. Sorry, I should have been a bit more clear. I am aware some of you won't agree with my choices, and I didn't really want opinions on that.
My father, like most baby boomers, is downsizing, and he doesn't want it. I don't want to sell it, nor will I regret changing it to suit my taste.
I'll post my question elsewhere. Thank you for your time!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 4:59PM
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How about wide horizontal lines of silver then black then repeat.Then pick up some nice glass handles or silver.Make it modern and interesting. ,,
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:05PM
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How about black and hot pink! That would be awsome and go well with your eclectic look! Who cares what it really looks like, what it is worth or who gave it to you. The important thing now is to make it yours! Do polkadots do it for you? Maybe a leopard print? Lime green is a hot color today as well. Make that useless old cabinet POP! Go girl...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:14PM
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you could take out the drawers and change the handles --keeping all original things somewhere in case your style changes again...remove the doors and drawers-with only a shell and a fabulous runner as calilkym said above -you may find you don't have to paint it, it will be changed enough good luck
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:19PM
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This is not really an antique. It is a factory made piece from about 1910. I doubt that many people would find it pretty. The case and the feet were probably from separate pieces and were later joined together. If he paid a lot for it he was robbed.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:24PM
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If you are going to paint it and it is between the options you gave I would say the black/brown.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:32PM
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i would remove the feet. I do not think they are original to the piece. You could give this a cool Asian feel. Remove all the hardware and paint it a lacquer red or black. Now see how the original hardware will look if you replace it. I bet it will be fine. Mid century modern and Asian has a lot in common. Consider it.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Aja Mazin
I think it is time to resume your meds.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Jayme H.
Is this thing some valuable Byzantine relic or something? IDK, just don't think it's that great looking to avoid painting, but I am also all for making a buck..but it's not my piece.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:06PM
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nevadan and judyg may be on to something. Although I'm all for maintaining good wood furniture from the last century, the legs throw the piece off. What about removing them, lacquering it black and mounting directly to a wall for a modern look. It's difficult to tell the hardware quality from the one pic, but if it works after lacquering it, great. If not get new. Just figure that out before laquering so you can patch wholes as needed. It's an odd piece but it might make a super entry hall piece of a console below a flat screen t.v.. Doing a really good metallic finish is another option. The only thing I'd do first if it were mine is try to find out if there is any real value to it as if there was, it might fund several pieces you'd really like.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Aja Mazin
Don't let the feet fool you.

Did you fail to notice the burled wood?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Jayme H.
The more I examine it, the more I do like it, however!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:48PM
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oke,sorry!!was just a comment,ofcourse it is totally up to want you want to do with the piece,if i was to paint it then i would use 3 bright colors and keep some of the wood as is!!and change the feet or as sjkingston suggests,mount it directly on the wall,whatever you decide have fun "making this your own"also a tip,if you paint the top also use a finishing coat over the color,just paint it scratches easily.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Jayme H.
I think the original poster is long gone.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:42AM
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R J Hoppe Inc
The piece appears to me to be true mid century modern, probably made in the middle of the last century. I think the piece is machine made in quantity, the reason it appears to be well made is because it was. The "mass production" machine made of the 1950's and the machine made of today, well there is no comparison. The finish appears to be worn and dirty. I would be the first to ask you to clean it up however, as you said. it's yours. The only sugestion I would have is to keep the center figured section. Because of it's figure it can, if treated right, lose all appearance of wood and become a purly decorative element. The large upper section appears to be slanted back, thats very interesting as well. I think with the right paint choice and pattern you can come up with a peice that is wonderful.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:56AM
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HI - This is a piece of "Depression Furniture " NOT an ANTIQUE - just VINTAGE ! It was probably part of a dining set . Depression furniture was sold in room sets , factory made from the 1920's to about the or late 30's early 40's . They were a cheaper furniture made more affordable for war vets and lower income familys using thin wood vaneers and sometimes parts from other furniture . It is probably worth only a few hundred dollars . SO - do what you want with it . If you paint it , then remember paint is a good wood perservitive ,so all will not be lost. BUT -- there are collectors of this kind of furniture and maybe it would be just what someone is looking for . Remembering what was called cheap in those days ,is not cheap today. If you paint it then go with an off- white . I do think it would be a bit of a shame to cover the details . So paint it , or sell it or keep it as is , it's up to you , - no big deal !!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Be careful painting it, as sometimes dissolves the glue that attaches the veneer. I have struggled with this situation, using both acrylics and oil type paint. I have painted when the veneer was so bad, it could only be filled and painted. I'm wondering what glazes would do with this, unless you want and even color look. Best of wishes.
    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 11:22AM
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