To Paint or Not to Paint….That is the Question?

To Paint or Not to Paint….That is the Question?


Wooden Chairs with Brick Wall

So I went to an auction.

Don’t you love a post that starts like this?

It sounds like a really good country song.

Or a Dr. Seuss poem.

Or an updated version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

But I digress.  So I went to this auction where I planned on buying a bed and a hutch and a table….

….and I came home with a filing cabinet and these chairs.

Of course I did.


The bed didn’t have side rails and was too small.

The hutch was too expensive and too big.

And the table?  Don’t even get me started.

But these chairs?  These wonderful, amazing, one-of-a-kind caned chairs with a back with spindles and that cute carving….

….they were just right.

Brick Wall With Chair

I saw them in the corner when I arrived at the auction and patiently waited for the clock bidding and the quilt bidding and the pick-a-box-full-of-absolute-junk-that-might-have-a-treasure bidding to finish.

And then finally….after a diet coke and extra finger tapping….the chairs were up for bid.

They were sold as a pair.

I started at $2.00.

Someone else bid $3.00.

I went to $5.00.

Someone else bid $7.50.

I dug deep into my cash reserves….took a breath….crossed my fingers….

….and bid $10.00.

Wood Chair

They over-bid me to $12.00.

I put my number down and stared at the chairs.  I didn’t really need them.  But that carved detail?  And that piece of molding next to the spindles that I totally missed before?  And the cane seats? Seriously?  Don’t they look like something from the pages of Country Living.

Should I?

Shouldn’t I?

And while I was thinking and wondering and pondering and deciding and totally about to raise my number, I heard the auctioneer say, “SOLD.”

To the other bidder…..for $12.00.

I know….right.  That’s $6.00 a piece.  That’s cheap.  That’s an appetizer at Chili’s or a meal at a really expensive McDonald’s in New York City.

Can we all say it together?


Caned Chair

And here’s the part of the story where you are immediately going to buy a empty trailer and move to Kentucky just for the auctions.

The other bidder?

She turned around and realized it was me.

She’s my friend.  My auction buddy.  She’s creative and funny and full of joy and together we have sighed over many a box of milk glass or the bookcases or tables or chairs that went for $5.00 and should have come home with us or the giant steel work table from two years ago that we should have bid on except we would have needed a crane to move it.

She looked at the chairs and she looked at me and she immediately told me I needed those chairs.  They were meant for something wonderful.  Something amazing.  Something fit for an almost 100-year-old-farmhouse in the middle of the country.

And I was the one to do it.

Wood Chair Brick Wall

That is a lot of pressure…the whole responsibility of these chairs.

So I’m turning to you.

Who else could I turn to in my hour of need?

Who else would truly answer taking into account the gravity and seriousness of the situation?

Who would truly listen and understand the dilemma of the ages?

To paint or not to paint…..

….that truly is the question. 🙂

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  1. I swear you just have the funniest way of telling a story. I was on the edge of my sofa wondering how you got the dang chairs! Also as another double-named gal I think we could be soul sisters. But I digress. The chairs are kind of stunning NOT painted and I am a BIGGGGG fan of painting. I vote no paint! 🙂

    • Connie Callahan :

      I agree, no paint. They tell a story just as they are. To pain them would be to cover up who they really are and their history.

  2. Oh the suspense of the fate of a pair of chairs…so glad they found their forever home….perfect just as they are.

  3. Francis C. Moore :

    no paint

  4. With the cane seating, I think paint would totally take away from that. They’re perfect as they are.

  5. Follow your bliss. If paint is in your heart, do it. 🙂
    Only you know where they’ll be and how they’ll shine best. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
    They are lovely!

  6. Michelle Rudis :

    Please, please, please, please, please no paint. The patina on those chairs is so wonderful. It only enhances the beauty of those delicate hand carvings that paint could never do.

  7. Debbie Klausing :

    Love the patina! No paint,
    although I love paint!

  8. I would not paint the chairs!! I love paint but in reality….I would get colorful cushions and be able to change the material when I wanted….I am sure they will be able to mingle with what ever room they go in!!

  9. Nannette Wadkins :

    I like painted furniture, but these are so pretty as they are……I vote no paint. : )

  10. I think with the decor that you have in your beautifully decorated Farmhouse that these would go perfectly with it, just as they are. It would give a pop just like a few other pieces of wood that I have noticed in your home. A throw or small pillow is all these need.
    When I need decorating ideas I go to your website. Your the Best!

  11. No Paint!! The aged patina on the wood is too good. If there has been damage and had been repaired poorly, paint away, otherwise, leave them to age naturally.
    Good luck from a fellow chair lover!

  12. Pleez no paint! They’re too gorgeous the way they are. Maybe just something to preserve the wood to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

  13. Please don’t paint them. I picked up 4 very similar chairs at the Canton 1st Mondays here in Texas about 25 years ago and they have improved with time. With the use of lemon oil when I dust, they have achieved a patina that paint cannot match.

    You were so fortunate to find them at such an incredible price. May you enjoy them for years to come.

    • Wow! I believe your fans are in agreement with the No Paint! Live with them as they are and if you find your dreams filled with color, then go for a change. I can’t see trying to paint around the cane. I’m sure your new chairs are just happy to be in your home and that you accept them as is. It’s great for their self esteem and character. Lol

  14. a good dose of mineral spirits and a wonderful cushion

  15. Don’t paint! They are with you in all of their beautiful glory

  16. At this point I am ready to paint almost everything in my house but please, please do not paint those sweet little chairs. The patina is priceless and it would be gone if you painted them. I have stripped a lot of furniture and those chairs are in a different league all to themselves. Just enjoy the fact that you stole them at an auction. You are the most entertaining blogger that I look at out of over 100 a day. Keep up the good work….Rebecca

  17. I vote no paint! I love the natural wood color and it’s making a comeback!

  18. Oh my! When I find myself in such a quandary I think ‘WWKAD’ and say to myself, “Self , What Would Kari-Anne Do”? Then I usually check your blog for advice

  19. I vote no paint…for now. The chairs are beautiful in their wood patina. After a few years then transform them into a painted beauty that you are so talented at.

  20. The only thing these beauties needed was a home. I can’t imagine a better place than your 100 year old farmhouse. PLEASE, no paint. Just love and appreciation!

  21. No paint – but the right size throw cushion could be just right.

  22. Nan, Odessa, DE :

    Enjoy them as they are – when iin doubt do NOT do it! You can always paint later.
    Dust these babies off and use and enjoy them!!

    They were meant to be yours.

  23. Jennifer Ferrell :

    (((Me chanting)))) No paint! No paint! No paint!
    Seriously, they are beautiful! And I absolutely LOVE that brick wall!

  24. Ugh… I have the same dilemma…sweet dining room chairs with the carving in the back and cane seats…and I LOVE paint. But I just can’t paint them. I think it would make them very sad. Plus they look great with my unpainted Robbins dining table. I vote no paint as well. We’ll probably see the day soon when the “wood” look returns and we’ll regret everything we’ve taken a paint brush to. 😉

  25. I also vote for no paint. They are perfect.

  26. This is so tricky! They look beautiful the way they are, but some Chalk Paint® could make them jump off the magazine page. What if you dipped the legs in paint and left the rest alone? Then you could have the best of both worlds.

    I am thinking of doing that to a wooden “phone” chair {you know the tall thin chair that used to sit under the phone in the kitchen that had a really long cord that we twisted around our finger while we talked} that my grandpa gave me. We could be dipped leg chair buddies!

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!
    xoxo, Trina

  27. Lovely story as always

  28. ….I would definitely never paint these beauties! They are so lovely, rich in patina, detail and history! They will be so stunningly beautiful just “as is!”

  29. I’m also in the “no paint” party on this one. I love how paint can change up an item, but you can paint any ole time…I say live with these chairs, as they are and then you’ll know whether it’s the right decision down the road. It’s only two chairs…it’s not like you’ll be staring at a grouping of ten wooden chairs in a room…and it fits right in with your love of “mismatched chairs”. What a sweet friend you have who let you buy them too!

  30. I paint everything, almost, but these are beautiful just the way they are. After looking at your house tour they’d fit in perfectly, particularly near that big wood door.

  31. When in doubt……..don’t. This works well throughout life……should I color my hair? Should I splurge on a designer purse? Should I allow my girls to go wherever? Should I paint these chairs? Don’t!!!

  32. My comment was cut off….
    OK, I am the type who would paint her kids if they stood still long enough but I would not paint these chairs. The patina is amazing and they are small enough that they won’t darken up your room.
    I’ve been through Kentucky many times and I swear, the people are ever so sweet!

  33. Love the story! I’m usually a fan of paint but this time…they are just too perfect as is.

  34. LOL, when I opened this post in my email I thought you were going to ask about paining the brick wall. And I was thinking ” Where did she get a brick wall, don’t tell me she managed to buy a brick wall….?” Ha ha, I hadn’t finished my coffee yet.

  35. I’m in the “No Paint” group!!! They are just perfect the way they are. Once painted, you really can’t go back, so enjoy them ‘au naturel’. You can always enjoy them painted some time in the future if you want the change!

  36. Don’t paint!!!!

  37. My vote…….. NO paint! They’re gorgeous as they are!! The wood is beautiful….beautiful patina!
    I think by the carvings they might be Eastlake…I wouldn’t paint them!

  38. That patina is too wonderful to cover. These chairs tell a story just as they are! I am a huge fan of painted furniture, and you have to consider what they would look like with the existing furniture.
    I don’t have a problem mixing wood finishes, so save the time and money. You’ll always find something at the next auction to paint!

  39. No paint! They are fabulous the way they are, but obviously do what works for your decor and your life.

  40. Hi! My vote is for “not to paint”. If you have a really nice piece of furniture in front of you better to keep it trying to clean it and preserve it as it is. For me only cheap furniture or furniture that isn’t that important to you might be painted. Well, just my opinion. Love!!

  41. They are sweet beautiful little chairs! I would not paint them. You are so creative, I am sure you will find the best little spot for them. And…..what a nice gift from your friend.

  42. Oh Gosh!!!! I am actually afraid to answer.
    They were really lovely in their time………and are still lovely.
    But I would love to see some spackle on their face and a great base foundation and lightly applied makeup to enhance their beauty. What lady doesn’t look better with a little enhancement and color?
    Oh man………I am going to answer and then run for dem far hills.
    I would enhance their beauty…………so that everyone would take that second and third look and then whistle at them.
    See? I did not use the P word.
    I was afraid to.

  43. I vote NO PAINT !!! That beautiful old wood just wants to tell you story after story of the lives that they have led. I could never paint over such beautiful wood. I’m always a fan of wood and like to save the paint for items that truly need a “make over” !!!

  44. Wonderful story! No paint! Enough said! 😉

  45. NO paintttttttttttt !!!

  46. I vote to not paint those lovely chairs! The wood patina is so nice but perhaps choose a lightweight fabric to do a long ruffle that starts below the seat and wraps and ties in the back — something sheer and light to dress them up like the lovely ladies they are!

  47. Oh…no paint. That’d be like putting a veil on the Statue of Liberty…or building a bridge across the Grand Canyon. Some things are just better left the way nature intended…. 🙂 ….. May 2 cents. XOXO Suz

  48. oh no…as in No paint! They are from another time…and their history needs to shine. sheila

  49. I hate to paint anything that hasn’t been painted before. So I would leave them. But…… could paint the inside of the carved detail at the top of the chairs. Nothing extravagant…….just something that would bring out the prettiness of the chairs. Just a thought………………..

  50. Hi , ABsolutely No Paint , from another Chair Lover !!! Patina is just as beautiful as Paint. Just sit an Old e Teddy Bear on them and call it a day !

  51. Didn’t someone say to “follow your heart”? And if that’s not enough, then look at ALL the NO PAINT responses you have (including mine) from your followers! The chairs are gorgeous as they are, although the one lady’s suggestion I loved; dipping the legs in paint! I’ll be watching you KariAnn!!! Good luck with this decision.

  52. OMG, no paint. paint would ruin the beauty of the chairs.

  53. I too vote no paint. I would find cute little pillows to prop up on them, or fold a small quilt and set on the edge or perhaps a little glass vase hung by ribbon with flowers hanging from one? Too cute!

  54. I want to say no paint but I have thought that before and then seen the after and been pleasantly surprised by how beautifully something turned out. Also I am not sure but I think I might have seen small signs of not age but damage that would be better covered by paint. I am sure you will do them right whatever you decide.

  55. Love your stories!! The chairs are beautiful the way they are. I wouldn’t paint them.

  56. I, like your friend, see them EXACTLY as they are in your home. I vote for NO PAINT!

  57. NO PAINT!! I am obsessed with chairs and have plenty of orphans in my basement. (Don’t get me wrong, I loved painted furniture – *MMS Milk Paint” comes to mind.) These are beautiful and I wouldn’t touch them for except for a light dusting.

    PS – I live in Northern Kentucky and would love to know where you are finding all your goodies down in Southern KY! Hope you are enjoying the snow today!!!

  58. I had to go get another cup of coffee and stop laughing! I OK now, but it took a minute… You know I love some good paint! However, this time vote NO PAINT! Put some pretty seat cushions on if you want some pattern or color Keep that old, well earned patina.

  59. Coconut oil to moisturize, clean and shine!

  60. Hey,

    i just love your Blog….and i think i am one of your furthest-from fans…i’m from Hamburg, Germany.

    No way you should paint those beauties. They have character and charme so don’t give them a cosmetic operation.

  61. I have really enjoyed your posts!
    Live with the chairs as they are. As time goes by you will know if you need to paint them or keep them as is. I believe either way they will be a beautiful addition to your home.

  62. Funny story…. You’re a lucky lady to have such a nice friend. I say NO PAINT!!

  63. No!! The wood is beautiful and will be a lovely contrast to all of the white in your gorgeous home.

  64. Oh my!….all these comments…..I feel like the last person out of the Super Bowl Stadium
    after the game!
    What a wonderful friend you have to have bid on those chairs then turn around and give
    them to you! You are truly blessed!
    As far as leaving a comment to paint or not to paint…..
    that’s totally up to you as to where you fore-see them being placed in your house.
    You’re an incredible artist so I know with what ever you do with them we are all
    going to stare at your pictures of them when you’re through and be totally
    Just Saying!!!

  65. I vote for “no paint” for now…, If in doubt, live with them for a while!

  66. Hey Kari Anne, don’t paint!!! The chairs are beautiful just as they are…. The Keno Brothers would say never paint and most times they are right. This time they are definitely right!!!!!

  67. Oh I know the question well, Kari Anne
    Here is what I would do… I would take the photo into Photoshop or any photo retouch program and play with colours, there. I also love the suggestion of dipping the bottom 1/3 into something think and rich!

  68. I’m new at painting furniture, so I’m just going to wait and see what you do with the chairs. I have a question regarding card table chairs though. The chairs are metal with an “oilcloth/plastic” covering and are splitting on the back edge. Any suggestions as to how to replace this material? The underside has screws on sides of the chair and not on the bottom. Thanks. Good luck with your decision!

    • Oh my gosh, Judy. The cardtable and chairs are soooo easy to recover. Find a wonderful fabric….I chose to do a vinyl since my set goes thru a lot of abuse. Turn each piece upside down and take out the screws and the pads themselves will come off. Figure out how much fabric you need to cover it all. Stretch the fabric over each piece, pulling it tight and staple down the salvage under the chairs and the table. Sooo easy. Then put everything back together again as you took it off. I like to mark my underside corners A, B, C, D so the holes all go where they came from. I redid all my cardtable sets and they look great. I’m thinking of doing some old TV trays this summer. Spray paint them gold again since they’r looking cruddy and then chalk painting the tops and sealing them. (That is unless I find a steal on nice TV tables at a yard sale this spring).

  69. I think the chairs would be absolutely adorable painted! Yet, I think it depends more on where you want to use them. It will be fun to see where you eventually place them. Good find and nice of your auction buddy to consider your “need”, LOL. We know you’ll enjoy them!

  70. I would NOT paint the chairs. Maybe at a point way in the future you might paint them — only after consulting all of us again about it. Love your stories.

  71. I vote leave them alone for now. Just because it was an inexpensive chair doesn’t mean it isn’t worth much more. The problem with paint is that if once you go there you will never be able to replicate that patina later if you decide to take it off.

  72. Not this time…no paint…the story is in the loveliness of the wood as it is…
    Love, L

  73. NO! No, no, no, no, no paint! Paint items that need to hide something. You do not want to hide the character in those chairs.

  74. No paint! They are beautiful chairs.

  75. Please do not paint these chairs. They are so beautiful and have so much character just the way that they are. They will just look very generic, if you paint them. I rarely comment, but I had to speak up when I saw these.

  76. KariAnne, I too am one to paint almost everything! And I vote you leave these just the way they are. They are beautiful.

  77. OH NO …..Please don’t paint them…….some pieces are worth painting to bring out their inner beauty …but these, well, they are just perfect……xxx

  78. As I read your story and looked at your pictures, I kept asking myself how this could even possibly be a question? Please, don’t paint them. Everyone is painting everything that isn’t nailed down and many things that are. I have nothing against painting furniture that has seen better days and when painting gives the piece in question a renewed sense of life by living in your home in all it’s painted glory. However, your chairs are absolutely perfect as they are. They have so much charm and a patina that only comes from being loved and cherished by other like-minded people who saw their unique character and wanted them to live happily in their home just the way they are.

  79. No paint in my opinion. They’re gorgeous as is. And I loved your reference to McDonald’s in NY. My husband and I went for New Year’s Eve in NYC before we married…and guess where we ate. We split a cheeseburger and fries, so we spent way less than your lovely chairs.

  80. I love to paint furniture but if the patina is as beautiful and rich as it looks in the pictures I say DON’T paint! They are absolutely beautiful already. 🙂

  81. I remember a post a while back where you were contemplating ‘not’ painting every piece of furniture. I would definitely let these two gems be among those unpainted, chosen pieces. And, if you had painter’s remorse, they would be a bear to strip. Shivers! They look stunning as is. Maybe if you really wanted some color on them, throws over one side of the backs and down the same side of the seat may soften them up a bit….or a basket of throws sitting between them may be drawing and punctuate them nicely. Beautiful pieces…and what a beautiful friend to pass them to you.

  82. Sometimes it’s just too much beautiful
    character to cover. I say “NO PAINT”.
    And I like paint a lot… as a matter of
    fact I am on a paint project as we speak.
    But these are so beautiful just as they are.

  83. Well, I guess you are getting the message! No Paint!! Been following your blog only a short time. Love it! You are so creative and a great writer. These chairs would go for 10 times that in my area! Western North Carolina.

  84. Great story!! Just say no to paint 🙂

  85. NO paint. Don’t do it! Don’t fall prey to the craze of paniting everything to age and add character which is so there already on these wonderful chairs. Stay warm, Linda

  86. I love painted furniture…especially chairs but the wood tone is nothing short of fantastical

  87. Well, I like wood furniture and I like painted furniture. I think you need a combination of both to have a really warm welcoming home. By the look of the wood on these the patina looks amazing. You can’t duplicate that, so I say no paint on these. You have such a beautiful home and your style is amazing. these will look great in your house paired with some painted pieces. I hope you share some pictures of where you decide to use them too.

  88. Sometimes when we bring something “new” into our home we want so badly want to make it ours that we do things to it…what about instead of doing something to these lovely chairs likes paint to make them “yours” what if you name them…twins do run in your family!

  89. You are the decorating genius, so I know they would look awesome painted, IF that is your decision…but…I vote NO PAINT. In a 100 year old farm house they fit perfectly “as is”. Just sayin’.

  90. Paint, paint,paint….imagine how the those pretty little flowers will shine with a soft beautiful shade of colour!

  91. When I read your post, my first instinct was, “Oh, how fun could you make those chairs with a really fun paint color!? And just think of the possibilities for them with your daughters!!” But then, I started reading the comments, and I was swayed… the crowd was just too overwhelming to defeat. So, my vote NOW is to leave them unpainted and to live with them for a while. If they fit in and find that perfect place in your fabulous farmhouse, just as they are, then you’ll know you made the right choice. If, say, sometime this fall, they haven’t spoken to you in that special way, then take the spray-gun to them and give them new life (like the trim and shutters on the window), because either way, these two are fabulous little finds!

  92. What a wonderful gift you have of telling a story and writing. I too, agree with the majority, no paint.

  93. My vote is not to paint. But I’m marveling at the fact that the caning on the seat is till intact! That’s amazing. My dining room chairs have caning on the backs and all my boys just thought it was the funnest thing to stick their fingers through the holes which resulted in big old gaping holes. They are a mess, now. So I wouldn’t do a thing to those lovely chairs.

  94. I would NOT paint. Years ago I found in someone’s attic a headboard/footboard for a bed, with that same type of carving. The bed had been painted white and it was a project to even attempt to remove the paint from all of the carving. The pieces are still sitting in our cellar….

  95. I’m no expert! Please. Don’t. Paint.

  96. What a good friend you have! Lucky you!

    Many old wood pieces can be enhanced by painting … but these are NOT those pieces. Just enjoy.

  97. no paint!! at least for now…maybe some time in the future? xoxo

  98. Friends say Im opionated. So here it goes. I don’t know! I really don’t know!!!!

  99. I am a person who loves painted furniture. My husband is a “Wood Purist”. Oh yes, we have an interesting household, lol. That said I would NOT paint these chairs. The patina is amazing! They are beautiful.

  100. Something about the stain on those chairs says, “Your house” with no paint.

  101. Totally paint. Milk paint. MMS’s European colors would work amazing for the chairs and your home. Do it! The patina is beautiful no doubt. Still a fresh coat of marzipan ….. oh chills.

    I think when your friend offered you the chairs, her hopes were for a transformation.

    It will be fun to follow the progression.

  102. I vote no paint!! They are GORGEOUS! And I always want to paint everything and my husband doesn’t want to ! I could see you putting pillows on them!

  103. If you want color place them against a beautifully painted wall. They are perfect just the way they are. Don’t erase their story.

  104. KariAnne, it is a rare occasion nowadays when you can find hand caning in such beautiful shape. For that reason, I would absolutely not paint. Keep some kind of oil on the caning or it will dry out and break very easily. When, and if, that happens then I would say paint..They are beautiful chairs and perfect for an old farmhouse…Happy Monday..Judy

  105. No paint!

  106. The patina on that wood is wonderful. DO NOT PAINT!

  107. Not familiar with the care of caning, but wondering if you could stain a pop of color just on the caning itself? (So perhaps it can continue to be oiled?) To showcase it and zhoosh it up a bit? Love the finish on the chairs “as is” though.

  108. Did the friend that let you have the chairs think they needed painting or did she love them the way they were? I would do what she had in mind for them as a way of thanking her!

  109. Don’t paint! They’re so beautiful!

  110. I vote for a “Getting to Know You”( sing it with me, sista!) period. You know, when you bring them into the house and move them from room to room for a few months and then have that Aha! moment when you suddenly know what is just right. At least that is how I operate…

  111. The chairs are great just as they are; you, on the other hand are a treasure!!! What a joy to read and re read your posts. You have such a wonderful, entertaining perspective.

  112. Like the song says, “I love you just the way you are”.

  113. Ok KariAnne, “no paint” wins hands down. We all know that Rock Star KariAnne will transform these chairs in your rock star fashion and add more beauty to your home. Now aside from these noted chairs, when are you writing your first decorating with love stories book? I know it would be a best seller!

  114. The wood has too much character to be covered with paint. And I am a paint fan!

  115. I also went to an auction this weekend and was out bid. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t a friend that walked away with a picture that I had the perfect spot for in my home. It was perfect. It was a panoramic shot of a neighboring town in the late 20’s and the frame was to die for. I could just kick myself for letting him win the bid. Oh well there will be plenty more auctions.
    I have to agree with your other readers. Not to paint is the answer. Those chairs are beautiful just the way they are.
    I just love your stories. They always put a smile on my face.

  116. I say PAINT! They are screaming for some paint.

  117. You’ve heard of the horse whisperer? And I think there is a dog whisperer. Well I think furniture talks. They don’t tell jokes or anything but I think they will tell you what they want. I think you should live with them a while — see what there personality reveals. Are they shy? Are they bold? Perhaps they want to be a sexy splashy color or perhaps they are a shy wallflower. You won’t know that until you live with them. And once they reveal what they want you’ll know what to do . I’m sure whatever it is it will be fabulous cuz they may just want a wax and polish.

  118. Love paint, but not this time. No paint!

  119. No paint. DIY a couple of fabulous wreaths to hang on them for Spring and call it a day.

  120. I love how unique these chairs are and the beautiful wood grain. No paint!! I love the above idea of some pretty wreaths to decorate them or some beautiful cushions. Enjoy!!

  121. Oh, absolutely, no paint. It would take away from the lovely caning.

  122. I think they’re beautiful just the way they are. After seeing these beauties at an auction I think I’ll move to Kentucky just for the great furniture you always seem to find 🙂

  123. Oh, please do not paint! Find something colorful to place between them. Whatever it is will only draw attention to the fact that they are a pair of very special chairs!

  124. I love the chairs just as they are….NO PAINT, please.♥

  125. Girl – I’ve been this quiet admirer for a long long time now. Your website is a complete joy! Your style, your pictures, your stories . . . you. I love love love everything you do! Thank you for making the online world a better place. As for the chairs . . . oh the anguish. They would be lovely painted, I’m sure of it. But, they are lovely just the way they are too. Not helping, am I? Ha! Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  126. Leave as is… They are beautiful.

  127. :)since I am not mainstream I vote PAINT them. Just do it!!
    Like a cute hot pink on the cane part and the rest black or vice versa?! They would look lovely in the craft room!
    Jenny from Renovar

  128. They’re gorgeous! Pleeeeeze. Don’t. Paint. Pleeeeze!

  129. I love painted furniture, but I think they look great as they are. You can always paint them down the road if you like.

  130. I know I am alone but I say yes to the paint.

  131. I’m sure you’d style them beautifully with or without paint. I think it depends on where you will place them? You have many beautiful wooden pieces in your home so they would fit right in. I like Miss Mustard’s Seeds contrast of paint and wood tone (in her painted furniture and her home). Wood adds so much warmth. So my vote is to ask what their purpose would be first, then decide from there 🙂

  132. No to the paint -they are great the way they are 🙂

  133. Live with them I can see them stacked with antique linens dripping with lace ! love them just the way they are but……after you had them a while see how you feel…….good luck Lorriane

  134. NO PAINT!!!! REPEAT AFTER ME——NO PAINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  135. AGAIN……………REPEAT Do not paint these chairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  136. Elizabeth Sellon :

    Okay my computer was in the shop for a long time! What did you decide about your bedroom floor? I like the chairs both ways, I agree it would be nice to let them get to know your house before you change them up! I love the comment about just painting the cane… I strongly recommend milk paint and dark wax, once the cane is painted and no cushion! Have a blast!

  137. Everybody says “NO” paint. Normally I would … I worry about cane seats taking paint. But I saw chairs almost like these in a little store in Savannah with wooden bottoms. They were painted a beautiful shade of green. I almost died for them. They were so expensive and I left the store without. Whatever you decide will be right.

  138. No paint!! These chairs are perfect as they are and I see them fitting in beautifully in your home. Again, no paint!!

  139. NO PAINT! They are beautiful just as they are……………………………..Kentucky is almost ‘my hometown’…………………………..just across the Ohio River in Indiana!!!
    Look forward to reading/viewing your site…………………love it and love you…………..feel like we are almost ‘kissin cousins’!!!

  140. “Nope”…

  141. I have four chairs much like these, and have gone back and forth on this question for the past 4 years! I also have an oak table that they go beautifully with that has not yet been painted either. I am now leaning toward painting the legs of the table (lovely barley-twist legs!) and leaving the top natural wood like the chars….. It’s 3 months until summer, so we shall see! 😀

  142. Beautiful as they are!!

  143. I thought “paint” until you showed us the patina. NO PAINT. They’re beautiful.

  144. I, like many of those who have commented, am a big fan of painting furniture. But it would be a crime to paint these beauties. Their patina is beautiful and will only grow more so over time.

  145. They are so rich and warm looking that I vote no paint!!

  146. Please, no paint. They are beautiful as they are. I bought two similar chairs in England and paid a whole lot more for them you did. Lucky you!

  147. MY LORD … it took forever to get down here! No No No No No … PLEASE … NO PAINT!

  148. Kari Anne….THEY ARE ALREADY PAINTED….with years of stories, history, charm and patina……don’t cover that up……you’ll regret it…..because then they won’t shine the same!

  149. I agree, no paint. If the urge to paint is too strong, maybe painting the carved detail would be the only changes to make to them

  150. No painting please. These chairs looked loved. I can just picture all of the big family gatherings, pot roast dinners (nudge nudge wink wink), hours poured over homework, late night chats, lost love condolences, and little ones crawling up, over and under them. Too much love lives in those chairs to cover them up.

  151. I vote no paint. Oh, that patina!

  152. My vote is…No Paint. These “sweeties” are begging to catch everyone’s eye just as they are!!

  153. save yourself a lot of time. do NOT paint, enjoy these gorgeous chairs and move on to the next project.

  154. Trying to imagine them painted , but with all the detail I think they are perfect just as they are

  155. PLEASE… No Paint!

  156. Why don’t you put the chairs where you really want to use them… leave them there for a bit and see how you like them as is…… 🙂 … if not… break out the paintbrush!!!

  157. Paint them please! Your friend gave them to you. Only the two of you bid on them. They were only $6 a piece. I can’t believe all these comments for “no paint”. What fun is that. I want, no, I crave a painted chair future blog (I must be evil). I chant….. Paint, paint, paint

  158. I’ve painted most of the woodwork in my home white, but I vote “no paint” on this one. The finish is too beautiful as is.

  159. I get old chairs at auctions that need to have the seats caned. I don’t know how many I have had to get the layers of white paint off of. You are so lucky to find TWO with the seats complete. Please don’t paint them!!

  160. I was thinking – since you have two chairs, why don’t you just paint one? And keep one as is.

  161. When I first saw your blog today, I thought you were talking about the brick wall. But, alas, that was not the case on this one. I am almost afraid to voice my opinion on this one. I must be the only person who reads your blog who would have voted to paint the chairs. (Don’t hate me on this one) I just thought that painted furniture would blend in more with your home decor. I am pressing the Post Comment button with shaking hands.

  162. Marilyn Lunsford :

    First of all, I can’t believe you got them for $12.00. We go to auctions and they would have gone for more than that. Oak is to pretty to paint. Give them a good cleaning instead.

  163. From one Kentucky girl to another, NO PAINT!! There are some pieces that show our real heritage. These show character and cuteness and soul etched right into them. Do not rob these chairs of their true personality and charm. And really, I love your blog, just don’t comment often. However, as a true Kentucky sista, I could not keep my mouth closed on this one. ( wink wink )

  164. Interesting that there is such agreement not to paint the chairs. No paint was my first reaction, too, but I think it may be due to the beautiful photo of them in that stunning space. I love the paint placement on the window, is the entire building that beautiful? I am another western Kentucky farm girl and I want to visit that space. The chairs will tell you what they need once they are in your room. Enjoy the snow.

  165. I say paint, butI’m going to wispher it cause so many say no paint, I don’t want to draw attention to the fact I say paint. 🙂

  166. Normally I would say let the paintbrush fly, but they are lovely as they are and sometimes you need the natural beauty to contrast with all the painted pieces.

  167. Please, please, please, NO PAINT!!!! They are beautiful and tell their story as it was decades ago.

  168. Love the patina. No paint. <3 <3

  169. Live with them for a little bit and let your intuition speak to you… they will great either way. Sometimes paint helps the character of the chair shine through even more but sometimes it’s nice to have some natural wood pieces to break things up. Listen to the whispers of your creativity.

  170. What an amazing price in the chairs! I wouldn’t paint them….I’m just loving the way they look as they are now.
    I have four caned chairs from my great grandmother. They are a bit like the ones you just purchased. Love having them in my kitchen. Good luck on the decision.

  171. Sometimes, some of these women need to learn when to [bullhorn] “Step AWAY from the Paint Brush.”
    This would be one of those times. 🙂

    I love painted furniture, but sometimes the underlying piece is beautiful in its simplicity. A good scrub, yes with water (and Dawn or Murphy’s will do well) will have old sludge just running off incredible wood underneath. I always wash it before I slap on any paint. Sometimes it’s perfect the way it is. Sometimes it’s ready for someone to “give it new life” because it’s total worn out crap underneath the dirt.

    The trick is to have the awareness to decide which state the piece is in.

    These chairs were a beautiful find. Great job with them!