is painted furniture going out of style?

Every once in a while I wonder to myself ‘is painted furniture going out of style?  and if so, what will I do?’ and then I feel a little panicky.

First of all, our whole house is full of painted furniture …

I certainly can’t replace it all.  Or at least not all at once.  And would I even want to?

I still really love my own pieces of painted furniture whether they are ‘in style’ or not.

But the bigger question is ‘what about my hobby?’  I call it a hobby because I haven’t come up with a better word to describe what I do here.

/ˈhɑːbi/ (plural hobbies) ​an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working.

‘Hobby’ doesn’t really quite do it justice, but based on the Oxford Dictionary definition, it does fit.

Hobbies have come and gone from my life over the years.  One of the first hobbies I took up after we bought our house way, way back in 1988, was making stained glass windows.  I wasn’t going to be satisfied with just making those little doo-dads that you hang inside a regular window, I wanted to make full blown windows.  But you have to start somewhere, and I did start with making those suncatcher type things.  And after I had developed some still very rudimentary skills, I made the window that is in our piano room.

But I eventually grew bored with that hobby and I moved on to cross stitch.  Who else remembers the hey day of cross stitch?  I even belonged to a club, the Stitch and Bitch club.  We spent weekends at a friend’s cabin listening to the oldies station and stitching and bitching away.

But cross stitch went out of style and I replaced it with scrapbooking.

I loved scrapbooking.  But after years of doing it, I have 30 or so scrapbooks in the guestroom closet that I rarely ever look at.  And really, scrapbooking has gone out of style too, although on occasion I still enjoy creating scrapbook alternatives like the index cards

Painting furniture and otherwise refurbishing vintage finds has really stuck with me though.  I started this particular hobby way back in the 90’s when the shabby chic movement was all the rage.

Back in the day I painted everything in the Rachel Ashwell palette of white, pink, pale green or pale aqua.  And I did all of that lettering by hand!  Isn’t that crazy?

Eventually I moved on and added more saturated colors into my work, like Miss Mustard Seeds’ Kitchen Scale.

Sometimes I cringe now when I look back at some of the pieces I painted in the early days of my blog though.

I mean really?  What was I thinking painting those trim pieces white?  I want to go back and paint them in the same color as the rest of the dresser so that they blend rather than pop now.  And by the way, that is Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Artissimo on that one.

But even though I’m cringing when I look back at some of my earlier work, what I’m also realizing is that my style has definitely evolved over the past 25 years.

Ahhh, so much better without that contrasting trim, don’t you think?

And stencils are so much better than my old hand painted lettering.

Yes, these pieces are still painted, but they are painted in a more current style than those shabby chic pieces from two decades ago.

And I’ve gradually leaned towards leaving more things unpainted, like knobs, and tops …

or even an entire chair …

So in the end, maybe it doesn’t really matter whether or not painted furniture is going ‘out of style.’  We can all just continue to grow and let our styles evolve naturally over time.  That’s my plan anyway.  How about you?

39 thoughts on “is painted furniture going out of style?

  1. I think that if we could live another 100 years we would be surprised at what is considered stylish again. When I think about hair styles in the past years of my life, those painted pieces of trim are nothing😱😱. Talk about a what was I thinking moment🤣🤣. I think all are lovely and painted furniture will never be out! Love this blog!

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  2. The best style is what makes you feel good in your home. When your house reflects “you” others will automatically feel comfortable and welcomed. I’ve tried having a trendy “put together” look. Haha. Can’t hold it together! Painted furniture has stood the test of time and will never disappear.

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  3. Your smashing work will never go out of style! Yours is the gold standard I compare all the “amateur” pieces to. Please carry on. XO

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  4. What a timely topic,I have asked the same question myself. I do like the furniture with exposed wood and suppose time will tell where we go from here but do believe staying true to your own style is the most satisfying.

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  5. I think that some people follow trends, so you may loose some customers. I know I buy what I like and if I like something, I keep it, even if it isn’t in style. So,it is hard to say what the future will bring for you. Have you noticed that pieces are selling more slowly? I am surprised the painted trend has lasted this long, but I think if may always have a place. Maybe not a whole house look, but for certain pieces, perhaps. Just as your decorative style has evolved, you may be able to keep up with current trends. Best of luck, love your blog!

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  6. I doubt it will ever go out of style, but I still have a box of cross stitch stuff and scads of scrapbooking stuff, so who knows. For as long as I’ve known you, I can’t believe I didn’t know you did that stained glass yourself! Always thought it was original to the house. I love all your painted furniture and hope you keep painting….❤

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  7. OMG Quandie! Back in the late 70’s, early 80’s a group of my coworkers and I would get together doing counted cross stitch and we called our group “stitch and bitch” also. Small world!
    My house is full of only things I love, trendy or not. And I love all my painted pieces. Your technique is always evolving and you do beautiful work. Continue your hobby for as long as you enjoy it.

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  8. I love your style evolution! Your skills are so good. I have an eclectic home that I love . Lots of painted pieces. All old, curb pickup or inherited . One of the only styles I follows was cross stitch. I hope you continue with your painted creations, they are wonderful! I enjoy you blog so much!
    Smiles, Alice

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  9. Your stained glass window is beautiful! I loved seeing how your style has evolved over time. Maybe instead of “hobby” it’s your “passion”. Your pieces are works of art.

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  10. Whatever comes along next I am sure you will adapt to it, although I hope painted items never go out of style. I look forward to EVERY item you post – I copy some of the items you have done because I don’t live close enough to buy your things. My husband thought I was crazy when I went out in the middle of Covid in a rainstorm to buy a Craftsman toolbox to copy yours. I even told my daughter I want to go to Minnesota so I can meet you! She said I would look like a stalker! 🙂
    I just want you to know that my day is always a little brighter when you post as your items are beautiful and inspiring.

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    1. Well … yeah, that might be a little stalker-y. Just don’t show up at my front door unannounced. I rarely wear makeup at home, my clothes are covered in paint, and some days I barely even get a brush through my hair before I head out to my workshop. It’s a scary sight!

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  11. In the end, I think most people buy what they love. And few people can afford to refurnish their home every time a particular style comes in or goes out of style. The style of painted furniture may change – farmhouse distressed is far less popular in my big city than a more sleek finish – but people looking for a particular piece of furniture for a particular purpose or spot in their home will buy what they like, what goes with what they already have, and what they can afford. Your work is gorgeous. Your pieces are not frivolous. And from what I have seen, they are reasonably priced. Follow your passion. Do what you love. And let the rest take care of itself.
    And that window is absolutely gorgeous. That is not rudimentary skills. That is skill and talent.

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  12. You will do what happens with every change. I’ve done it myself. You start stripping all those painted things and turn it back into w-o-o-d. I lived through the avocado and glaze look of the 70s and 80s. Beautiful old oak chairs were covered with the stuff by my older sister. Then they got left in my parents basement where I found them, and in the ’90s I stripped them all and I now have beautiful old oak unpainted wood chairs at my dining room table. If you turn them over you can see the remnants of the avocado green….

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    1. So true Mary. I once wallpapered every room in my house. And then I stripped wallpaper from every room in my house. And lately I’ve found myself thinking ‘you know, wallpaper would be gorgeous in that room!’

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  13. Your furniture is so nice and you like it, that is what matters. We bought our first home in 1988 and when I look at pictures with all of the country blue, geese, etc. I just cringe.
    My decorating is no particular style, just things I like. So that being said, follow your passion and all will be well.

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  14. IMHO – Swedish, French and Italian painted antique pieces with fading paint now called patina are always in favor. I also think we have come to the point in home decor like clothing in the fashion industry. Any skirt length is now acceptable. I’m old enough to remember when hem lengths vacillated. I prefer vintage items to new for instance I’d take one of your vintage toolboxes metal or wood any day before a reproduction from Hobby Lobby. I think it’s safe to say your hobby has longevity. To your fans they are works of art.

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  15. I hope you don’t get rid of a single piece of your furniture!! I’m not. Painted furniture is the only furniture as far as I’m concerned. Look at how many throw-away pieces you made beautiful! Besides in twenty years everyone will say of you “She is really ahead of the times!!”
    Do you think recycling, salvaging and repurposing will ever go out of style? I don’t. Just keep on keeping on, girlie.

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    1. I sure hope that those things never go out of style! And in so many cases the quality of those old pieces of furniture surpasses anything you can buy new. Well, anything affordable anyway. Good points Kaye!

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  16. I too have done al of those crafts(hobbies). Add pottery to my list. I feel like things do go full circle eventually. I believe also that you should do what you love. Your furniture is beautiful. Your ideas are awesome. Whether it be a furniture piece, a tool box, a sign, or a sled. All of them are artistically awesome. Keep creating! 😊

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  17. I have wondered the exact same thing, what will happen with all my painted furniture? I’ve had painted furniture since the early 80’s, Since I have always loved “cottage style”, and still do to this day. Don’t get me wrong, I have numerous natural pieces of antique and vintage furniture. My furniture will remain painted antique white! Keep on painting!

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  18. While I love a good piece of wood furniture…and I have several pieces left natural, I love love painted furniture. I love color and neutrals….it depends on the piece and the place. I think rather than focusing on what’s in style…we just need to focus on what’s our style. You are very talented and an inspiration…stick with it and thank you!

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