Painting Antique Furniture – Or not?

Painting Antique Furniture – Or not?

It has happened to most of us.  You are at an estate sale and find a wonderful vintage/antique furniture piece and ask yourself…..do I just polish it up and enjoy it in the original state?  Or….do I slap a coat of gorgeous paint on it and enjoy a “new” creation?  This is also a question many of us agonize over when we are lucky enough to inherit a family heirloom.

Painting Antique Furniture Ideas: Things to Consider

This question is often a topic of discussion in the junking community.  There are those who just stop short of saying it is a crime to paint an old piece of furniture, while others do not hesitate to cover Grandma’s old cedar chest in a vibrant hue of pink!  In talking to many devoted junkers, there seems to be somewhat of a consensus in that it really depends on the piece.  There are many things to consider when trying to determine to paint or not to paint.  For instance, is it a sentimental piece?  If so, you must ask yourself if a paint transformation could cause regret.  If painting Grandma’s cedar chest will cause you to “miss” the piece the way it is burned into your childhood memory, you might not want to paint it.  Many of us have experienced “painter’s remorse,” and it isn’t pretty!  On the other hand, if you have no firm emotional attachment to the piece, then you just have to ask yourself if painting will bring a more versatile function or perhaps make it more appealing.  For those of us who sell wonderful old treasures, it is also a decision that affects our bottom line. 

Condition, Type of Wood to Consider When Painting Antique Furniture with Chalk Paint

 Many of us would be less likely to paint a walnut or mahogany piece, but might not mind painting a more common one made from pine (I’m not hating on pine, it is just a less expensive wood!)  There are some amazing paint products out there that can reduce and, in some instances, eliminate the need to sand and/or strip before painting.  A personal favorite of mine is Dixie Belle paint.  Safety could also be something to consider because many older pieces have a lead-based finish and could be harmful to small children and/or animals.  In that case, you might want to enlist the services of a professional. 

Antique stained wooden Hall Tree

Antique stained wooden Hall Tree

Popular Antique Furniture Painting Techniques, Trends May Not Last

You might want to be cautious of furniture redo trends that have come and gone throughout the years.  Some are good and some are memorable, but not necessarily in a good way.  For those of us who were around in the 1970s, “antiquing” furniture in avocado green and harvest gold was all the rage.  That is a trend that I personally hope never comes back!  I’ve seen some pretty cool pieces with stenciling and gold leafing, but just know what is popular now, might not be something you will love a few years down the road. 

Best of Both World Options: Paint some, Leave some Original on the Antique Piece

If making this decision stresses you out, consider the options of painting, then distressing to let some of the original wood show through.  This allows you to enjoy the new as well as the old.  Or, before you make the leap to paint, try a product such as “Restor-A-Finish or my favorite, olive oil to spruce up a wood finish.  This will allow you to judge the piece more adequately by viewing a cleaned-up version.  I really struggled with this decision with my farm table and chairs, so I opted for both!  I left the original stained wood on the table top and the seats of the chairs, but painted the table base and the backs/legs of the chairs.  Yes, this is an option!  It is “the best of both worlds.”  However, I would never even consider painting my hall tree.  And if any of my kids paint it after I kick the bucket, I will come back to haunt them!  A few years back, I had a weak moment and let my daughter paint my great-grandmother’s brass bedframe, silver.  I do regret agreeing to that, but it is okay.  It is still a family heirloom and I love it just the same!

Farmhouse table and chairs

Original stained wood farmhouse tabletop. seats of the chairs, painted table base and backs/legs chairs

Of course, if you choose to paint an old piece and experience “painter’s remorse,” you can most likely strip it and re-stain, but understand that stripping (especially multiple stripping), is very hard on furniture and may cause damage in some instances.  Sanding is often a necessary evil when it comes to redoing a piece and it can also be very hard on furniture, especially antiques. 

Just give some careful thought to gage your emotional attachment, the condition of the item and the desired function of the piece.  I personally have painted some antiques, left some of them in their original state and have certainly experienced some regrets along the way.  You will make the right decision!  And if you don’t, it is okay!  You will find more treasures on your junking journey.      

Explore Antique Shopping Abilene, Texas

Explore Antique Shopping Abilene, Texas

Abilene, Texas is a town often overlooked when it comes to choosing a destination for a vintage shopping trip.  But, you will definitely want to include it! The first 9 shops, out of a total of 31 shops, to be showcased are located in close proximity to one another because we know you do not want to waste precious shopping time driving in all different directions!  South 1st Street offers an opportunity to visit five interesting shops.  Living Chic has 8,000 square feet of high quality, high-end European and American antiques as well as home decor.  If you are looking for a specific vintage or antique furniture piece, you will find it here. They have a wide variety of items that will transform your home into a showplace. Right next door to Living Chic, you will find Vintage Marketplace.  This antique mall is 13,000 square feet with a very large eclectic variety of retro, vintage and antique items.  There are 67 vendors and they also carry local honey, Yoder’s Good Health Recipe as well as DIY paints for your own home projects. 

Abilene, Texas Living Chic Storefront


Antique Shopping Abilene, Texas Offers Vintage Shopping Adventure

Just a little further down the street, you will want to visit The Furniture Junk-It and Junker’s AlleyThe Furniture Junk-It has been in business for several years and specializes in the custom painting of quality furniture pieces that they sell or you can bring in your own piece for them to transform according to your specifications.  They have recently added Junker’s Alley which is a 10,000 square foot storefront where you can find interesting retro, vintage, and antique items.  Further down South 1st Street is a vintage shopping adventure you will not want to miss! La Villa is a 16,000 square foot experience on 2.7 acres.  You can find just about anything you are looking for plus some things you didn’t even know you needed!  The variety is vast and encompasses new to used, to very old. They specialize in decorative ornamental iron and pottery and have a huge inventory.  If you are in the market for yard art/decor, this store should definitely make the list.

Abilene, Texas Vintage Repainted Dresser Pink Vases Plant Stands Decor

Abilene, Texas Vintage Repainted Dresser Pink Vases Plant Stands Decor

Antique Shopping Abilene, Texas Presents Authentic Time-Period Pieces

Butternut Street in Abilene is the location of 3 shops you will want to add to your itinerary.  Classic Collections has moved directly across from their previous location.  When you visit Classic Collections, you will enjoy shopping in a charming 1917 house.  This charming old home offers 2200 square feet of fresh, vintage/antique items ranging from romantic and unique home decor to man cave marvels as well as wearable clothing items.  In the spring, you will find many yard art/yard decor treasures in the courtyard. Directly across from Classic Collections, you can shop at Rust and Roses.  This antique mall has 6,500 square feet with 28 vendors offering a wide variety of retro, vintage and antique, as well as popular farmhouse decor, unique man cave items, and German antiques.  A little further down Butternut Street, be sure to stop in to shop at Bunny Run Antiques  This shop was newly opened in 2018.  The folks at Bunny Run Antiques will help you find treasures that are sure to please in this 3,000 square foot shop.  They specialize in vintage/antique furniture/decor, jewelry, collectibles, shabby chic and vintage clothing. Closer to downtown, you will want to visit Antique Station.  This is an impressive, traditional antique store that has 4,000 square feet of American oak antique furniture, vintage advertising, glassware, and china as well as a large variety of authentic-time period collectibles.

Abilene, Texas Classic Collections 1917 Charming Old Home

Abilene, Texas Classic Collections 1917 Charming Old Home

All of this shopping will no doubt leave you famished. If so, you will want to dine at Cypress Street Station, located at 158 Cypress St, Abilene, TX 79601 This restaurant is located in a historic building in downtown Abilene.  With a 4.4 star rating and a menu full of delicious choices, it will be the perfect ending to a day of vintage shopping. Cypress Street Station is a chill hangout offering American eats & house-brewed beers in a historic Downtown building. A Landmark Restaurant in the heart of downtown Abilene,TX.

Abilene, Texas Cypress Street Restaurant

Abilene, Texas Cypress Street Restaurant Featuring House-Brewed Beers

The Compton Building was constructed in 1924. The original use was as a general store/ drugstore downstairs with doctor offices upstairs. In October 2009, Abilene’s first brewpub Abilene Brewing Co. was opened- at Cypress Street Station. Featuring three, 5 barrel tanks, and serving a variety of unique brews, Abilene’s first Micro-Brewery was born. The master behind Abilene Brewing Co. was Brian Green who passed away in 2015. Understanding that the craft of brewing good beer takes an enormous amount of talent…Cypress Street Station has decided to leave the beer brewing up to the professionals. The tanks were sold to Sockdolager a local brewery. The Bar at Cypress Street Station now has 14 craft draft beers that are constantly in seasonal rotation.      

 Explore Downtown for More Abilene, Texas Antique Shops

You will want to make sure you visit Elmwood Antique Center They have one of the largest selections of authentic vintage and antique items.  You will find a highly organized, clean store with 15 dealers. This store takes consignment items and they also conduct estate sales.  If you find that perfect item that you want to put on layaway, no problem; they can assist you with that.

You will want to venture over to Chick n Tree Antiques because they have over 13,000 square feet and 100 booths to whet your junkin appetite!  There are over 30 dealers and this store has been in business for 30 years. You will find a large variety of shabby chic items, furniture, antiques, art and just about anything you could possibly be looking for. 

Make sure to visit the friendly and helpful folks at Fabulous Finds. This store is loaded with wonderful antique dolls, vintage clothing and accessories as well as exquisite glassware and many more items that are sure to please. 

There is a brand-new store in Abilene that you will not want to miss seeing!  Urban Relics is now open and will be having a fantastic grand opening on April 4.  There are 12 vendors and you will find furniture, home décor, farmhouse items and a whole lot more!  They will also redo a piece of furniture for you using your custom specifications! 

If you have not yet visited Yesterdaze Antiques and Collectibles, you are missing a treat!  This store has been in business for 33 years and has 10 vendors.  Be prepared to spend some time here because there are so many wonderful items such as furniture, glassware, tools, household décor and even bikes!  One of the best features about this store is they are open 7 days per week for those of us hopelessly addicted to vintage and antique items! is a perfect choice.  There are many vendors with a large variety of items within 60 booths.  They have everything under the sun AND the kitchen sink! If you are looking for games, toys, movies, records, knives, jewelry and/or man cave items, this is the place to be!  They also offer a unique service of computer repair, which is not always easy to find these days. 

For those of you who enjoy flea markets but don’t want to shop out in the cold, heat or rain elements, The Crossing Indoor Flea Market With all this shopping, you will no doubt want to reward yourself with a sweet treat at Candies by Vleta in the downtown area.  If you are like me and have a weakness for fine chocolates, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Vleta’s!  They have a wide variety of delectable chocolates made in-house for you to enjoy. 

Have you planned your trip to Abilene yet?  If not, do so today. You will find everything you are looking for in vintage and antique items and will be able to satisfy your sweet tooth!


What kind of Emotion does Pyrex Conjure up?

What kind of Emotion does Pyrex Conjure up?

What kind of emotion does the word Pyrex conjure up in your vintage heart?  For me, it takes me back to a time when my grandmother used various Pyrex pieces as a vessel for serving or storing her amazing meals. Long ago, this special glass was called borosilicate and was used in science labs because it stood up nicely when intense heat was applied.  In 1915 this unique glass was acquired by Corning Glassware and the name Pyrex was born. The use of borosilicate glass was used until 1998 until it was replaced with a less costly glass that was even better at performing under heat. Prior to 1947, Pyrex was basically clear.  But, in 1947 colored Pyrex pieces were introduced and their popularity is still strong today! 

Pyrex Perfection

Eventually, the Pyrex market expanded to include various shapes, sizes, and patterns.  Many pieces are considered standard and are still very popular today, but the most sought- after pieces are the ones that are considered “promotional” ones that were in production for a short time.  These promotional pieces are generally more costly to acquire. According to an article at www.shared.com/pyrex-patterns-worth-money/ the following is a list of the top 8 collectible patterns that can be valuable to collectors:

  1.       “Lucky in Love” – (1959) A pink heart and shamrock pattern
  2.       “Butterprint” (1957) also known as “Amish Buttercup”, “Farmer’s Wife” and “Rooster & Corn” –      

     an aqua farm pattern   

  1.       “Atomic Eyes” (1950) – Mid-century vertical eyes pattern
  2.       “Gooseberry” (1957) – A botanical pattern in pink/white, black/white, black/yellow
  3.       “New Dots” (1968) – orange, blue, yellow or green dotted pattern
  4.       “Rainbow Stripe (1965) – Striped set in pink, sandalwood and blue
  5.       “Snowflake” or “Garland” (1972) – Blue and white snowflake with pouring spouts
  6.       “Pink Daisy” (1956) – Pink floral pattern

Look for Pyrex at many of the Wonderful Texas Antique Shops

Luckily for collectors or for those that just enjoy adding some of these lovely Pyrex pieces to their own kitchens, they can be easily found.  Look for Pyrex at many of the wonderful vintage shops found within TexasVintageShopper.com!


Brandon Shinholser, 2009. Vintage Pyrex 101: A Guide to Pyrex, Estatesales.org

Blair, October 5, 2018. 8 Vintage Pyrex Patterns That Are Worth A Lot Of Money Hidden Gems/Vintage