Sunday, August 9, 2009

The "Art" of Buying Vintage Painted Cottage Style Furniture

Many collectors of cottage style furniture are enamored with painting older dressers and end tables white. It seems that everywhere I go, painted furniture is the norm. But when you really look at some of these painted pieces you will notice that everyone's style of painting is really quite different.

Some cottage or furniture dealers in an effort to sell their items quickly, do what I would call "a smear on ". Others take their time and really fuss with their painted pieces, as you will note in the examples shown here done by Michele's Cottage Antiques of Plantsville, CT.

Next time you are shopping around for these charming and nostalgic furnishings, take a closer look at how the paint is applied. Does the application look sloppy or quite evenly and carefully applied? And when you find a talented painter do you prefer an even coat or an antiqued look with different shades of paint?

While many people who sell cottage style furniture do a lovely job of painting their treasures, they may still prefer very simple furniture. Cottage after all is a style which encourages a casual
and relaxed look. There are however other folks who like to make the process of re painting furniture a journey.

These dealers of cottage make an art out of the task of re-purposing furniture. In fact their process begins from the very beginning. These individuals consider themselves "artists " who hunt for furniture that inspires them. Perhaps it is a dresser with lots of carvings or ornaments or one with unusual legs or compartments. Furniture with a lot of detail requires a lot of patience when painting.

You can of course coat these detailed pieces with all the same color, or you can use another color, perhaps gold or silver to accent the furniture. So the next time you are in the market for painted cottage furnishings, think about the style you are after, plain and simple or detailed and unique.
And be sure to check out the way the paint is applied. By all means, you should evaluate the price of the piece and the quality and uniqueness of the item you are buying.

Be sure to see my book "Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes" ( for so much more on the subject of cotttage furniture.

Photographs courtesy of Michele's Cottage Antiques in Plantsville, CT

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

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1 comment:

  1. I saw so many peices over the week end that were painted quite oddly. Maybe it was one of those quick jobs! ♥