Antique Tables

Last week my husband and I went to Texas to pick up some of his grandparents furniture that no one else wanted. We knew that some of it was not in the best condition, but my husband wanted it anyway. We were able to get two small antique dressers that are in pretty good shape. I will try to post pictures of those next week.

We also got these tables.

There is one coffee table and two end tables. I really do not know how old they are. I am guessing from the 50’s or 60’s but they might be newer than that. They are still pretty sturdy but they have been used a lot. They have quite a few marks and are missing a few decorative pieces from the sides.

I do not like to paint antiques. In fact I don’t paint old furniture. We like the wood to show. We usually like the wear that old furniture shows. The only old piece of furniture that I have painted was one that had already been painted. But I am actually thinking of painting these. My husband really wants to use them and I do like them, but not like they are. I am thinking they would be much cuter and match my house better if they were black. I just can’t decide. Part of me says paint them, you will love them. But the other part says don’t paint them, you will regret it.

I figure they may be worth painting because they are not in that great of shape, but than I think I may regret it. What do you all think? Paint or no paint?

For more great ideas see Antique Thingies Thursday and Show and Tell Fridays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Grandma Faith says:

    Good luck with the tables, whatever you decide. I usually prefer to keep the wood, but I have seen some painted pieces that really look great.

  2. marianedwardsdreamweaver says:

    I do prefer the natural wood look but if these tables aren’t in the best condition I say paint them to match in with your decor…I’m sure you’ll love them either way :)

  3. Vintage Mommy says:

    I always say don’t paint antiques, but that’s just me.

  4. Joie at Canned Laughter says:

    You might try rubbing them with Tung Oil to see how the finish comes back before deciding. I swear by it for repairing water stains and finish scratches without covering up the natural color.

  5. Penless Thoughts says:

    I would probably paint them. But then I really like painted furniture. I gave our oldest daughter an old buffet from the 60’s and they had it repainted in a blue and put new hardware on it. It looks lovely and suits the spot they put it in well.

  6. I vote paint ’em. If they’re not in great condition, they’ll LOOK like they are when painted.

  7. Coloradolady says:

    The first thing I thought was paint them and either tile, slate or mosaic the tops. Very cute tables. You could do a lot with these. Nice Post.

  8. I think I would paint them since they aren’t in the best condition…I too usually don’t paint but I have done it and always was glad in the end.

  9. I vote for sanding them down and restaining them! You could even use black stain if you decided to go that route.

  10. Nice!

    I would paint ’em. With that little wavy lip around the edge, I’d go a step further and paint ’em then sand ’em to give them a distressed look. But that’s just me 😉 I’m sure they’ll turn out great no matter what you do!

  11. I prefer wood also, but my daughter has spruded up some extremely ugly tables with paint (not that yours are ugly!) and they turned out so cute I’m kinda changing my mind–so paint ’em–have some fun!

  12. Jan and Tom's Place says:

    The tables would look pretty either way…but I would choose to paint them if they were mine. I love the painted furniture!!

  13. Melissa Wertz says:

    I have seen painted pieces that look great, but this is my rule of thumb with old pieces. If it is a solid oak, pecan, mahogany, etc or a very well made veneer, it is worth redoing and keeping in it’s as near original condition. If it is sweet gum wood with an oak, pecan, etc veneer and a dark dark stain on top (to hide the sweet gum wood) paint and distress it. Sweet gum wood is a great hard wood, but very fine grain. Not as pretty as oak. It is plentiful and inexpensive. Used in the early 1900’s for less expensive quality furniture. Then covered with a nice veneer and stain.

    Pine is another I would paint unless it is heart of pine.

    Congrats on the tables. They look really nice. What ever you do with them, you will love.

  14. I usually don’t lean toward painting old furniture, but you know whether you will be happy with them in their condition. I think black would also be very nice! Wonderful to have family pieces!

  15. If they aren’t in good shape, you could sand them and varnish them again. I have no problem painting things and you could surely coordinate the paint with your decor.
    My entry will be published at 3:35 am, at the time of my son’s birth 22 yrs ago. The Show and Tell is under the first part of the post.

  16. What a wonderful treasure. I love to restore old furniture, But don’t do it at all any more.
    Have a great week,

  17. Hootin' Anni says:

    For me it would be NOT paint. They just aren’t the right ‘cut’ or form for painting. Not “victorian” enough. My personal opinion would be to lightly sand them, stain them…then lightly sand them again with the new stain and accent them with a grayer stain to make them look ‘distressed’ then…put a satin coat on them and decorate them with doilies. LOLOLOL Sorry you asked?

    My Show n Tell is now posted…come on over if you can! I’d love to have you visit with me this fine Friday!!! Happy weekend to you too.

  18. Chez Nous says:

    I’m with mub – no paint, sand and restain instead. They are lovely tables and I think they would look best with just a natural finish.

  19. Constance says:

    I vote NO PAINT (stop by and you'll know why!) It might be a lot of work but if you start with one you might decide that it's worth it. I love old furniture. I'm thnking your dating is probably correct. Blone wood like that was really popular back then!

    Last week I shared about my Grandma's trunk, the "before restoration" photos. I got it back and I have posted its transformation on today's S&T.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I like the style of those tables, especially the lip around the tops. I always say don’t paint, but what about a really dark ebony stain?

  21. I am definitely a don’t paint person :).

  22. I think they would look great painted especially if you do black.

  23. I’m sure what ever you decide will be perfect! Please share your decision!

  24. Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ says:

    That style would look great painted or restored. I actually like to paint older pieces, especially if they need repair or are “worn”.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  25. Mrs. Miles says:

    gosh, I could not hazard, never having painted anything myself, though I do plan on painting a tray I picked up. These would sure be good to experiment on, though.

    Thanks for sharing.

  26. Lady Katherine says:

    I think if you are going to use them, paint them, I love the black. funny I have some in a different style and can’t decide whether to paint or restain.

  27. Frazzled Mom says:

    If they are not valuable pieces, painting would be pretty. It would really bring out the piecrust edges if you painted a dark color underneath and a lighter color on top and sanded down a bit to show the dark underpaint.

  28. fitty's pinky rose cottage says:

    Paint it if is not in good condition.. and thanks for sharing.. have a great weekend..

  29. Susie Homemaker says:

    Paint them! Shake things up! They have the perfect shape for paint. Classic black…nice…can’t wait to find out what you do!

    Best Wishes,

  30. I like the wood to show too!
    Can’t wait to see the next furniture

  31. I don’t paint antiques as long as the wood looks pretty good – but I also think either way would look good. Thanks for sharing!
    Linda C

  32. Nice tables, Lynn, but my vote is to paint! I have one very similar table and I painted it white. I love it now. You’ll probably love them in black!

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