This installment of Sustainable Style is timely, as I am about to paint a couple of pieces of furniture for West End Avenue. I was sold on the power of paint after I painted a ho-hum, second hand desk bright glossy green while in college. I put it in the sun room of my apartment, which was in an old Victorian home, and it totally made that room. And I didn't stop there. The latest piece of furniture to be given a new lease on life via a bucket of paint was this old china cabinet that now serves as my pantry. I used Ivy Coatings, eco-friendly paint that is locally made in Brooklyn.
The green credenza used in the top image is actually a new piece from reGeneration, which began as and still is a purveyor of fine mid-century furniture. I used it in the mock-up because this is the color that I was looking for. However, the idea is to find a piece of vintage, old, thrift, flea market furniture, like this guy on eBay, and spruce it up a bit. I would search locally on craigslist, because unless it is a great deal or a great piece it is probably not going to be worth the cost of shipping. Then, if you have a decent budget and the piece is in fairly good shape, you could take it to get lacquered - or at least professionally sprayed. That will probably look the best. Otherwise, sand it a bit, prime it and paint away.
I found a fairly good quality dresser by Lane for the bedroom in West End Avenue. We did have a shipper deliver it because it was in nearby Connecticut, we had two other pick ups for him in the vicinity and the dresser was only $75 - a pretty great deal.
As you can see, I am still deciding on the color. I am leaning toward blue. Here are a couple of inspiration photos.
I am also planning on taking my paint brush to some not so old furniture. It is still sustainable, made from mango wood, so I will include it here. I've long been a fan of these carved African tables...
I used a couple of them in this sunroom design plan...
I had seen them lacquered white before, but never red, which I liked. I think I might try it in a pumpkin orange for the West End Avenue living room. No spray lacquering is in our budget, so I will be rolling up the sleeves and conquering these projects on my own. I have had some clients look at me as if I'd asked them to perform brain surgery when I suggest they go this route to save a little money. By all means folks, if you have more money than time, there are loads of people selling vintage furniture that has already been painted for you. Or I am happy to find a great piece for you and send it out to be lacquered, it is just as sustainable either way. But if you want to give it a try and you aren't sure about your skills, start small, look for a little side table and give it a pop of color before you tackle a bigger piece. Good luck!