The House Debates Continue: Painted Woodwork

First off, I want to thanks everyone for their comments about the last post on the house.  I read them all and truly considered them.  All of these decisions are so hard for me to make and input from you truly makes me think about your ideas and our ideas which helps us to come up with the best solution.

Remember this cupboard we liked….I fretted that I didn’t think the wood work would match.  Some of the suggestion about the cupboard we like and wood work made mention of painting some of the cabinets.

Painting anything wood is something that I really won’t do.  I know it’s popular.  I know it’s on Pinterest and Houzz sites but I’ve also lived with painted wood work and it’s just not for me.  I love the look of wood..I love the lower maintenance of wood.  I just love wood…unpainted wood.

In other houses that we’ve lived in all the wood work was dream was always to have a house of wood…wood everywhere.  I love wood so much that I’ve even told the kids I want a wood casket when I die…for me it’s WOOD-WOOD-WOOD.  Even though this house isn’t huge…isn’t totally amazing or anything like that, it’s still my dream house and my dream is wood.  Wood floors, wood trim, wood furniture…all glorious wood!!

A couple weeks ago I told you about the website that features old house, Old House Dreams.  I periodically go and look at the old houses on the site.  I almost cry when I see that people have painted all the old wood work.

I know many of you suggested that we run not walk to buy the cupboards but we let them go.  The wood work didn’t match and we want matching wood work.  The section was honestly to big and we’d miss counter space.  We’re holding out hoping something else will com along.

Today I did some calculations trying to figure out how much trim, how many doors and how many square feet of flooring we need.  We need lots more than we have so if any of you know of anyone who works in architectural salvage in either Iowa, southern Minnesota or western Wisconsin, drop me a note…We’re looking for fir wood work…LOTS of fir/douglas fir/southern pine (there are lots of names for it) wood work, crown molding, flooring, door and window trim, kitchen cupboards…lot and lost of wood so I can be surrounded by wood work.

12 thoughts on “The House Debates Continue: Painted Woodwork”

  1. I love wood too. I gasped in horror watching one of those HGTV shows where they not only painted the (antique) trim, but painted it BLACK. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone talk you into doing something because “you should consider resale value”. That drives me crazy — it needs to fit your lifestyle and aesthetics, not some unknown future buyer years down the road.

  2. Jo, there are some places popping up called Restore. They are like a building materials thrift store. Have left over stuff from habitat for humanity and where people can bring in used stuff from their remodeling projects. Just like Goodwill the stuff always changes but it might be right up your alley. I know of one in La Crosse and Madison, Wisconsin, if your up for a road trip otherwise you could Goggle it.

  3. I also love wood, but I am glad you didn’t get that cabinet for all the reasons you mentioned. We had a house in IL that was built in 1926. When we bought it, all the wood trim was painted — even the brick fireplace was painted. The oak floor was covered with carpet. Many years later the woodwork had been striped and refinished, and the carpet was removed and the oak flooring refinished, My husband even sandblasted the paint off the brick fireplace. In 2000 we did a huge addition instructing the archetect that we wanted to maintain the caracter of the original house. We moved the tiny kitchen into the addition and had all new cabinets. We used a shaker style which matched the hutch in the breakfast nook in the original house. All this is to say that you can have the best of both worlds — new cabinets with the pantry giving you the counter space, etc and it still have the old flavor. Sorry for being so wordy, but just wanted to encourage you in your selection.

  4. Am also happy you passed on the old cabinets…there is never enough counter space in a kitchen . We have a relative who rehabbed an old fire hall, they got their flooring at a habitat for humanity store, the floor came from an old school gym. It might pay to do some serious searching. The floor was refinished and is quite beautiful ! I recently got an old hoosier cupboard, looking for one might be a good thought

  5. Jo, There is a ReStore store in Cedar Rapids. Your daughter who lives in this area could check it out for you. Don’t know if they have a web site.

  6. I love the things you are doing to your new house. Just let your heart be your guide and do the things that you love. Practical is great, but if you don’t love “it” (whatever “it” happens to be) you won’t be happy with it!

  7. I am 100% with you on this one. We bought this place with brand new white painted kitchen cabinets and I would love to rip them out. I want wood. I love the low maintenance of wood and an old victorian would have had wood.

  8. Even though the cabinet was cool, I think you were smart not to get it…for me, I prefer lots of counter space!!! I don’t think you can ever have too much counter space in a kitchen!!! I’m also with you and the painted wood…makes me so sad :( I live in an 85 year old house that has some lovely woodwork, all stained mahogany. Love it! Thanks to you, I now get to check out Old House Dreams every day :) Love old homes and how individual they are while sharing so many similarities.

  9. I love wood too. In the evening I like to just type antique oak into Craigslist to see what I can find. Sometimes I type in oak cabinets or just oak. Maybe try this with the types of wood you are looking for. Good Luck!

  10. Jo, there is a store in Minneapolis called Bauer Bros. they sell everything from old houses, etc. It might be worth a trip to the cities or at least a phone call. They maybe able to steer you in the right direction for things. Also, I follow : she and her husband (and other family members) are building a duplex (they call it the Momplex) in Alaska for their mom’s. They recently finished one kitchen with cabinets they built themselves. She has plans on the site and seeing how handy your husband is maybe he could build the base cabinets and you could order doors to match the uppers you already have. Check out her site if you have time. I realize they painted the wood for their cabinets but you wouldn’t have to. At least this gives you some ideas for sourcing things like doors and drawers, etc. Good luck, I’m sure everything will turn out great:)

  11. I agree with you about wood and can never figure out why people paint it and cover up all the beautiful grain. When we built our current house we chose not to have a stain put in whatever it was they put on the wood and the grain shows through beautifully. You are the one living in the house and should definitely do it the way you want and not worry about resale value.

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