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What to do with old wood moldings and door frames

jshahin's picture
jshahin

We have recently bought a new house built in 1920.  Lots of charm with tons of woodwork.  My wife and I are more partial to white, clean and open spaces and are having a difficult time deciding whether we should paint over the wood (beautiful wood!) moldings and door frames.  We would prefer white but it feels sacriligous.  Advice please!

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jshahin's picture
jshahin

Thanks for the comments.  REally a part of me does love the wood.  Everytime I walk i the house I spend 5 min just starring at the trim and marvelling at the grain and detail.  It really would feel awful to paint it just white.  Yet alot of wood can feel just overwelming sometimes!!  Nevertheless after much discussion with my wife we have agreed to keep it for now as we can always paint it if we really dont like it but it will be much harder to back the other way.  Actually I did think that even if it is painted we could just scrape it and bring it back to its original form.   Good to know that that isnt the case.  I also do feel that to paint the wood would strip this house of what makes it different and it does feel a bit "disrespectful" to the home.  Quick question.  My designer tells me there is no need to touch up the wood (strip varnish) and that it can remain the way it is.  Does one never stain it or varnish it to achieve a different tone.  Clearly new to the wood thing so apologise in advance if question is silly.Thanks

gmcauley's picture
gmcauley

Hello jshahin,

H&H style editor Michael Penney struggled with the same dilemma! Several editors here at the mag advised him to paint it out white, but he decided to leave much of the moulding au naturel. See the gallery for his tips on balancing the warm wood tones with furniture:

http://houseandhome.com/design/photo-gallery-michael-penneys-new-house

And watch the video tour through his living/dining room to see the end result. Even though he left the wood as is, it looks light and fresh!

http://houseandhome.com/tv/segment/michael-penneys-living-dining-room

So I guess painting it out white isn't always the only option :)

Good luck!

Gwen McAuley (gmcauley at hhmedia.com)

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