Jun 10 2019

FURNITURE MAKEOVER: PAINT OR STAIN?

Who doesn’t love a good furniture makeover? Here at Meg Made, that is what we LIVE for. Taking an older piece, and making it look brand new, or enhancing its already beautiful style… that’s the best part of what we do. But before establishing a look for the furniture makeover, we first need to think about whether or not we are going to paint or stain the piece. Whether you paint or stain your furniture, it will come out beautiful, but, you’ve got to think about the look you want for your piece. Both stain and paint provide protection to your piece, and allow you to add color … but that’s about it with the similarities! So if you’re thinking about redoing some furniture and bringing life back to it, let’s consider the advantages of each technique!

Picture Credit: Unpatterned

COLOR

One of my favorite aspects of using paint is the wide range of colors you can choose from. The greens, the blues, the pinks… all those fun colors can be used on your furniture plus they come in different sheens like : flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, piano gloss! With paint, you can be a little more daring when it comes to color because not only is there a ton more to choose from, but it’s much easier to change if you’re not in love with how it comes out. The thing with paint is that the color sits on the surface and doesn’t seep into the original grain. Now, if that’s the look you are going for, then paint is definitely for you! But, if you want to maintain the original graininess, stain is the better option.  Stains come in a wide range of colors, but the colors available are the typical colors that you would see with natural wood. They also only come in a flat sheen, so it’s something to think about when envisioning the finish you want for your piece. You definitely can find different washes and shades of stain, like a whitewash or weathered color, but keep in mind that whatever color you choose will be combined with the color of the wood that you are staining… and may look different once applied. Testing it on the furniture piece is a must before diving in and staining the entire piece.

DURABILITY & PREPARATION

Staining a piece takes a lot more prep on vintage pieces. You must strip the piece all the way down to the raw wood and ensure you don’t accidentally sand through any veneer. While we do the same with painting, staining requires a lot more work because you cannot sand too far. With both paint and stain, we fill in all cracks and scratches to make the piece look as fresh as possible. Although both have the same durability because they are painted with the same product (stain gets clear), stained pieces do stand up to knicks and scratches better than paint because the stain goes all the way through the wood where as the paint sits on the surface. 

IF YOU WANT A CHANGE

The great thing about paint is that you can always paint over it if you don’t like the color. The thing with stain is that it’s very hard to get the stain color out of the wood if you wish to change the color of the stain or add some paint. With paint, if you don’t love the color, you can’t just stain it either. If you want to change the paint to stain, you have to re-strip the wood and start from scratch.

THE LOOK YOU ARE GOING FOR

Stain gives you the chance to really enhance the piece, and bring it to life, all while preserving its natural grain. Stain protects and preserves the original beauty of the piece while giving it that little something its been missing. Some grains are so gorgeous that it’s hard to paint over it…  but we do it because it depends on the overall story that the piece is going to tell. Paint transforms the piece and can give it a completely different look than its original. Since paint sits on top of the wood, it typically covers the natural elements of the piece, making it opaque. But if you’re going for a drastic change, paint is the better option!

*Picture Credit JaziPhoto

PAINT OR STAIN

Whichever you choose, both paint and stain are great options. They both preserve and protect your furniture pieces, and can transform and help create the overall look that you are going for. More than anything, painting and staining your furniture is an awesome project that you can spend time on and be proud of. No matter what, it’s always fun to customize and transform a piece of furniture! Why do you think we love it so much?

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