Customers at our shop often wonder at the amazing variety of wood on display. Bleached, painted, parquet, fois bois and solid wood – each finish tells its own story and sets the tone for a different kind of style. But which finish is best for you?
Bleached wood furniture is all the rage this year, as it represents a fresh approach to antique pieces. One fantastic, very endearing quality of antique furniture to me is that most of it is made of solid wood. That means each piece has usually been finished and refinished many times in its lifetime. So classic pieces end up being stripped down to their original wood colour, which reveals a beautiful patina enhanced by age. In this form, the grain of the wood gives character to the piece, which starts looking more fresh and modern.
Here you can see how the look of these pieces has truly been enhanced by leaving the natural wood exposed.
And here’s the other great thing about solid wood – it’s durable. Customers always want to know how to incorporate “kid friendly” antiques into their interiors. With two toddler boys at home, this is definitely an important issue for me as well! Solid wood offers the durability for long time wear and tear. And the best part is that the wear and tear adds to the beauty of the piece!
Another great aspect of solid wood is that you get to see the natural beauty of many species, such as walnut wood and oak wood common in French antiques.
Of course, not all antiques are made of solid wood; some are special pieces that have been enhanced with veneer. For the classic French veneer finish, wood is veneered into thin sheets and applied on top of the solid wood drawers or door cabinets. With their high gloss finish, these pieces create instant sophistication and timelessness in any decor.
Another very popular finish is painted furniture. One of my favorite suggestions is to mix both stained and painted pieces to create a very elegant, timeless look.
This is an example of a gesso finish, where a texture is mixed in with the paint to create a beautiful antique finish. I love finding an antique with its original gesso finish, as it’s relatively rare.
Another finish I love on antique pieces is when there are scenes painted into the piece. Sometimes, you will find choinsorie or pastoral scenes painted on a piece.
So decide which direction you want your project to take, and then the right finish will start talking to you! Leave a comment on our Facebook page and tell us which finish appeals to you the most!
Next week – more on another favorite topic, creating tablescapes!
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