wf213

Help Painting Chinese Parchment Trunk

wf213
last month

Hi! I want to paint over this red parchment trunk I bought years ago at a flea market. The brick red color doesn't work with my decor anymore. I need help with the following and would appreciate any info !


1. What color?! My home is mostly grey, black, white, natural and warm woods

2. What kind of paint?

3. Technique for painting? I want to keep the distressed, vintage feel.


Thank you!!





Comments (20)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    I am all for no distressed but honestly if you paint that it is just another box . That finish is probably lacquer and please no chalk paint on this piece. I actually think the color is great with what you have going on just not with those cushions. If you really want to get it refinished take it to a pro who can maybe try to match the lacquer and I would for sure keep the piece red.

    wf213 thanked Patricia Colwell Consulting
    Best Answer
  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Chalk paint is said to be easy enough... sanding some on the edges...

    The color depends what wall color is, and what you want to go with it.

    Idk if you'll glam and lacquer - then maybe a dark bronze/pewter/grey.

    Or entry could be spot for a pop of bright red.... etc.

    wf213 thanked everdebz
  • Snaggy
    last month

    Saw one just like this for sale £290.00 ( $376.00 ) maybe sell it ..seems a shame to paint it

    wf213 thanked Snaggy
  • jsbonelli
    last month

    I wouldn’t paint it, it’s so great as is!

    wf213 thanked jsbonelli
  • IdaClaire
    last month

    It has a nice patina that painting will diminish. I would find a way to use it as is. Not all decorative elements in a home need to match a certain color scheme. Some items are best appreciated for their authenticity.

    wf213 thanked IdaClaire
  • TBL from MA
    last month

    Use fabric to make a runner to lay over the top and sides.

    wf213 thanked TBL from MA
  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I re-read, and you want vintage - what about it doesn't fit with your place?

    Just a current discussion:

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/1157138/what-color-should-i-be

    wf213 thanked everdebz
  • btydrvn
    last month

    I would try staining it first..that will reinforce the age element...then if you want you can rub on and rub off some metallic paste for a metallic patina....this will add some highlights with out destroying the aged feel

    wf213 thanked btydrvn
  • btydrvn
    last month

    The metal circle i would rub a little with a metal polish to bring out the detail.as well as any other metal pieces...hinges,etc.

    wf213 thanked btydrvn
  • btydrvn
    last month

    If you like and want to preserve the look ....a light clear spray of a matte finish coat will protect the new finish invisibly..

    wf213 thanked btydrvn
  • wf213
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you everyone for your comments! I think I just am not a red fan in general and have been seeing many Chinese parchment leather chests in like a bone/ivory color instead which I really do like. I don't really think there's a way to achieve that or any w/o ruining it so I'm going to try and change some of the things around it to make it look more clean and modern. I have a black/white cowhide next to it, a Peter Beard print, and some Schumacher leopard linen pillows a vintage gold mirror also nearby and it's all looking a little thematic, heavy and dark. Needs some color although I'm not a color person really! The cushions are yuck! Agree with you @Patricia Colwell Consulting! Any thoughts on what might look better? I'm in a small NYC apt but have a nice sized foyer relatively. See aother view which shows the space in full


  • IdaClaire
    last month

    I love, love, love your cowhide rug! This looks like a nicely put together space. The trunk appears to be a bit large for beneath the table, maybe even a tripping hazard. As one who is currently recovering from a seriously sprained toe from accidentally kicking the metal leg of our weight bench, I'm especially sensitive to that sort of potential hazard right now. I do think letting the space below the table remain clear and open will be a better look overall.

  • wf213
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks! I searched forever for just the right one! I think the perspective is a bit funny in the picture. The table looks very empty without something under it but maybe I don’t like the trunk bc it’s an awkward fit. Thanks for the feedback.

  • btydrvn
    last month

    I agree about the trunk.but i also know people who live in small spaces have a different perspective on space...as the foyer is unusually large it also crossed my mind to wonder how that space could be designed to be more useful...but it is grande entry and that has aesthetic value in a small apartment,too

  • btydrvn
    last month

    Tho’ I would look for a new spot for the trunk as well

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I agree - and then the table and art might look 'leaner'...

    what's above the bench?

  • Jen Osborne
    29 days ago

    I think the colour o the trunk is nice in your room, it adds some warm.

    Maybe a dumb idea, but what if you turned it on it's (long) side? It would fit better under your console.

  • btydrvn
    29 days ago

    Interesting concept Jen...kinda like a suitcase

  • IdaClaire
    29 days ago

    I think Jen's idea is a great one ... at least give it a try and see how it looks. Now that I see the trunk in relation to the rest of the room, I really like the somewhat earthy feel it brings in with that wonderful old color. I would definitely not consider painting it.

  • Lars
    29 days ago

    If you paint it, you will lose the Chinese characters/writing on the front of that. I would want to preserve that. I think putting a clear coat on it might be the best way to go, if you must change it.

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