Painted woodwork? The great debate

Published February 13, 2012 by housecrazy

A friend of mine forwarded this stately house to me that is currently for sale in my home town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (thanks Marie!).

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It was originally built in the early 1900’s for the company president of Algoma Steel – the major industry in the Sault area.

Marie was actually involved in drawing up the plans for the renovations of this old house. It is marvelous – they did a fantastic job.

Check out the dreamy kitchen:

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The thing that caught my attention was the painted woodwork in the house. You can see that even the pocket doors have been painted white:

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Marie says that it was still natural stained/varnished wood when she was first working on the house but the homeowners opted to paint all the woodwork white. I actually like the way it looks but I know a lot of people who would gasp at the original woodwork being painted over. (It’s sacrosanct for old house purists!)

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I think the white trim looks fresh and airy, especially in contrast to the dark wood floors. So I really like the overall effect. Sometimes these old houses can get weighted down with dark woodwork and they look dense and dark.

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Perhaps the next owner will not agree and will endeavor to strip all that paint to once again expose the original woodwork.

That would be one heck of a job.

What do you think – paint or not to paint?


4 comments on “Painted woodwork? The great debate

  • I totally love painted trim, especially white painted trim. I’m not a fan of wood tones, personally, so I’m all for painting wood. But hey, that’s just me and my love of the crisp, blank space.

  • I like both…I would find it hard to make a decsion one way or the other! It all depends on the overall decor.
    I might also add, the wood floor on the main floor was originally maple and it was replaced with the dark wood (not sure of the type, but it may be pine), which was made from logs recovered from the Ottawa River. The logs sank years ago during the big log driving days, and since you just don’t get this quality of wood (the trees are not large enough anymore), it has become feasibilty do-able to reclaim them from the bottom of the river. The pictures don’t show it, but some of the lengths are variable dark and light (all in one piece), looks fantastic when you see in person.

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