To paint or not ? opinions needed!!
August 31, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm leaning towards painting this small (8 x 10) library/office space on the second floor of a 1929 tudor. Not sure if original to the house. The wood trim throughout the house will be painted as there was a 1970s and a 1980s addition put on that both have different casing and baseboards, all new heating and cooling and electrical also. Trying to keep the traditional tudor character of the home but many changes over the years limit that; this room seems as if it should be a nice gray-green or ivory paint finish or possibly even a darker stain?? Any thoughts?
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Andee Photography Fine Art And Digital Design
I would go lighter if it were me. Would make it feel bigger and brighter. That has a 70's feel to it right now.
August 31, 2013 at 4:16pm     
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I think your idea of a grey/green paint would be beautiful!
August 31, 2013 at 4:26pm     
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Ironwood Builders
I have a white painted library. I suggest you stain the oak quite dark and finish with one of the tough waterborne urethanes. The books mar and can stain the paint. I'm stuck with emptying out all the shelving and repainting. Besides, dark wood pretty much defines a Tudor interior.
August 31, 2013 at 4:40pm     
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Sara Parker
Dark wood will be lovely and traditional. But, looking at the photo of the wonderful built ins, I would just wax it and count my lucky stars!
August 31, 2013 at 5:04pm     
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I would find all that wood a bit overwhelming and dark. I would opt for painting it a light color
August 31, 2013 at 5:40pm   
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Stacey Gladman
I would leave it
August 31, 2013 at 5:44pm     
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Foxy Interiors Incorporated
I would keep the wood the same as it is. When you add your books and group your accessory items, try to use light colors to reduce the darkness that all the wood is bringing to this room. It's beautiful, especially since the built-ins are original to the house.
August 31, 2013 at 5:53pm     
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Joseph F. Yencho, Design/Builder
I'm with Foxy Interiors on this one. Maybe 'cause I have a soft spot for custom wood shelves? Or maybe a dismay over the Ikea world we seem to be in. Anyways, I'd hit them with a a semi-gloss varnish to get the light bouncing around. And get the books in. But that's just me. If you decide on painting, ~definetely~ use this product-
I've been painting kitchen cabinets in Boston for 15 years with this stuff...tough as nails, will not get gummy or sticky over time.
Good luck with your project!
August 31, 2013 at 8:45pm     
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Sara Parker
Right, River Valley. I painted a china hutch white years ago and it is still sticky, I almost have to pry china off the shelves. I would keep that beautiful library as it is and as Foxy Interiors said, the books and accessories with lighten and brighten it.
August 31, 2013 at 8:46pm     
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I wouldn't dare paint over that beautiful wood!
August 31, 2013 at 9:08pm   
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Carol Catlin
Chalk paint. Or how about some colourful wallpaper in the back and leave the wood alone. The pattern and color would help break it up.
August 31, 2013 at 9:27pm   
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JILL OF ALL~Kaarisa Blackwell
Hi Julie,

What if you were to only paint the lower portion under the desk and leave the rest as is.

Add some mirrors to a few of the back walls of shelving and display some of your favorite things. Stack some books on their sides, and some upright with some colorful framed photos, pottery, knick knacks, plants, candles, etc. between and on top of. With enough color and objects you love, it will feel and look like ART rather than a wood wall of books.

Also like the idea of using wallpaper for the backs for some interest and dimension. This can be applied with a wee bit of tape on back...for easy removal when you need/want to change the look.

Caution: Just be absolutely positive about painting before doing it is very difficult to undo.
August 31, 2013 at 10:35pm   
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Thank you ALL for your great opinions and insight into some of the issues with painting it. Now I will just take some time to mull it over and decide. Many thanks again.
September 1, 2013 at 6:59pm   
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Circle Goods Reclaimed
Iron wood builders was spot on, also oak really does not paint well it shows lots of grain and pattern through the paint.
September 6, 2013 at 8:16am   
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Patrica Montazeri
Please no paint...once it is filled with books and such it won't show as much wood. Lovely bookcases.
September 6, 2013 at 8:28am   
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Since it looks like your entire house has similar wood throughout I would keep it as is and fill it with books. If you don't have enough then go so your local used bookstore and buy some. You could even buy fake books, just fill it.
September 6, 2013 at 9:20am   
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