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How to Complement (or Contrast) a Modern Room With an Old Family Heirloom

How to Complement (or Contrast) a Modern Room With an Old Family Heirloom

When you inherit beautiful antique cabinets and furnishings from a loved one, you can make their gift a part of your life and home by featuring it in your decor with thoughtful interior painting. Here are some suggestions for how to make it last for years to come.

Ways to Decorate With an Old Family Heirloom

Decide Whether to Paint or Stain Heirloom Wood

Choosing whether to paint or stain depends on:

  • The condition of the piece you want to feature

  • The look you’re going for (or already have in the rest of the room)

If it’s in mint condition:

  • Antique finishing will bring out the natural beauty of the wood color and grain while protecting it from moisture and wear.

  • Natural wood staining can be applied to match the surface, so the color only gets richer and deeper.

If it’s had some wear and tear:

  • Cabinet painting services can camouflage wear and tear without detracting from the unique character of the piece.

Either approach has the benefit of better protecting your heirloom furniture against dirt, grime, and moisture intrusion. Because it’s important to keep that protection intact, you’ll want to schedule repainting or refinishing if you notice signs of chipping, fading, or discoloration of paints or stains.

Paint Color Selection for Stained Cabinets or Armoires

If you’ve decided on cabinet staining to protect and beautify your heirloom cabinet, chest, or armoire, you still have options when it comes to modern paint colors for the surrounding walls or room.

Interior design and lifestyle brand Simple Home Simple Life has great advice on how to make this work: “Muted tones found in nature like mossy green, sage, cool blue-gray, and seafoam green work well. To keep it simple, I'd stay away from vibrant yellows, very yellowy beiges and reds; these are hard to pull off with all of the warm tones already in the wood.”

Muted natural tones won’t detract from the modern look of your home interior. Greens, greys, and whites on surrounding walls, ceilings, trim, and wainscoting will keep you and your guests grounded in a modern space while making your heirloom the star of the show.

Paint Color Selection for Painted Cabinets and Armoires

One major benefit to painting a family heirloom is that you can seamlessly integrate into the existing color scheme. You can make it a lighter accent or complementary color if you want to bring to mind openness and spaciousness. Or you can go bold with a darker color you love.

Another thing that could update the look of the piece without damaging or changing the surface is simple hardware changes. Adding new door handles and drawer pulls can go a long way toward making an older piece fit in a more modern room.

How Is Painting or Staining Heirloom Pieces Different?

Every piece of furniture and element of a home interior should be painted with care, but heirloom pieces require a special degree of craftsmanship, knowledge of materials, and attention to detail. Surface preparation products and techniques should be as gentle as possible to keep the surface intact. Any surface repairs will take additional effort to match new wood exactly with the existing wood and finish so that surface improvements work seamlessly with the rest of the piece.

Protect Heirlooms with Expertise

Wood refinishing or painting is a delicate process when dealing with a priceless family heirloom. You don't want to risk having to re-stain, re-strip, and repair an antique cabinet, armoire, or other family piece after a failed DIY project. Trico Painting is here to help with cabinet painting, cabinet staining, and natural wood restoration services you can count on.

We’ll prep the heirloom piece you want to feature with care, applying the perfect finish for the look you want. If this task is part of a redecorating project, we’re happy to offer suggestions for complementary colors and finishes. Don't risk a mishap that would damage or degrade a piece of your family history. Contact Trico Painting for your wood painting or staining estimate today.