Friday 7 October 2011

Do I Cover It Or Not?

When I first moved into my house, the staircase and upper hall were adorned in wallpaper designed to look like panelling.  It didn't really look like panelling; more like a drawing of panelling.  Odder still, panelling is fake wood made to take the place of real wood.  It doesn't look like real wood either.

I scraped the wallpaper off the staircase and found (get ready for this) real wood. ~

That was encouraging enough to move on to the hallway.  I stripped more paper and found (you guessed it) more wood!

I've never understood the rationale that has someone take it into their head to replace real with fake.

In the 60's, we would have stripped the paint to reveal the pine.  By the 90's we would pay a fortune for anything that retained it's original milk paint. Oops!  The reason we go to all that trouble with chalk paint is to duplicate the look of aged milk paint.  Sigh.

In this case, I go with the fact that the baseboards and walls would have been painted to reflect as much light as possible (remember there was no electricity) and to disguise that it is a cheap (pine) wood.

A total gut of the dining room revealed the original beams. ~

I think those have more presence left in their natural state.

An old door lintel was given a new lease on life as a shelf.  It was very dingy looking and got a paint treatment that looks old but isn't.

As a decorator, the fastest way to upset a client is to suggest they paint wood.  It takes a lot of tact to help someone realize their solid wood, shiny, Mediterranean style china cabinet is not real wood.  The same goes for much of the hardwood flooring they don't want obscured by an area carpet.  Rarely is it real wood.

I would never suggest painting a hand crafted piece of vintage furniture that is in good condition.  A mass produced, Victorian era dresser, in poor condition, is fair game to me! Anything mass produced, from that era on, falls prey to my paintbrush.

What should always, always be painted is this. ~

These are my kitchen cupboards, installed in 1985.  They are paint splattered which is a good start.  Honestly, I'm going to paint them just as soon as I can psyche myself up for the work and kitchen devastation! 

It's so much easier to be the decorator than the handyman!!!


  1. How lucky to find those 'treasures' underneath, and I am so envious of those beams!

    I'd love to paint the orange, knotty pine panelling and/or red brick in our den, but sadly, I already know what hubs would have to say about that!

  2. We try to trade the hubby something - big screen TV often works! You could say you need to paint the panelling for your blog!

  3. Not sure how to email you back on a comment you left on my pictures, with the question if they are for sale... please email me