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Naturally Perfect

Perhaps it is because I grew up in a pine forest, but I have a preference for pine furniture. I love knotty pine with a dark stain and a lacquer finish. Always I want the natural wood to shine through.

When my friend Craig made it to Vice-Principal, he was given an empty 10×12 office and told he would have to supply his own furniture. He went all out and bought a mega desk with a side table and a fancy hutch. He also bought matching file cabinets, a matching conference table and 6 chairs. They were all in beautiful knotty pine.

Craig invited his friends in to see his new office and we arrived with appropriate “desk warming” gifts — I took an assortment of sticky notes. As we sat at the table “blessing” the office with a soft-drink toasts, Kirk said, “It’s too bad they didn’t provide you with better furniture. We could have another party and paint all this stuff white for you.” Suddenly there was silence in the room, we all stared at Kirk. He realized he’d said something wrong and queried, “What? We could do black if you’d rather, but I think that would make the room look smaller.”

So, what about you? Are you into natural wood, or do you want your furniture painted?


  1. For the most part I’d prefer natural, but there are some pieces that look pretty darned nice painted.

    I’ve done numerous remodels for customers with older homes and I’m always amazed when I see beautiful woodwork covered in paint. I’ve uncovered mantles and crown moldings that were painted over and over again. In every instance, the clients loooooove seeing the original wood again.

    1. Jeff, I am not surprised. I was appalled when my former MIL painted her dovetailed natural pine paneling white. She said those lovely golden-brown walls were depressing! Her house had been built in the late 1800’s and, happily, when she sold it the people who bought it had it restored and placed on the National Registry because it was one of the first permanent structures built in Lewiston, Idaho.

  2. Natural by far- I even by real wood sculptures! However, I must add that we have tiny bedrooms so when we found furniture for our kid’s room and one office space, we used “already painted white” and it opened up the space wonderfully- The room would have felt claustrophobic from dark furniture, but we’re talking tiny and no time to wait for natural light furniture and hubs is not a carpenter. I would have FAR preferred natural light wood, but that was not an option. – I adore the markings of natural wood, the textures and different light patterns. We have some wood that is now endangered like rosewood and I adore it. (I also wish it wasn’t endangered and hope that the companies I bought furniture from years ago didn’t add to that. Sigh.)

  3. Hi Quilly,dropped in to say hi from Gigi’s.I live in an area known for its wood and cane furniture so it is always the natural wood color for me.

  4. Natural. I however painted our fence white when we move in here. It didn’t look very nice, but it had to be washed before painting. After the wash it looked great,but we had bought the paint.

  5. Ooooh…. Ouch! Definitely a faux pas. I prefer the natural look. I’m not sure knotty pine is for me though. I prefer maple and maybe birch. I also don’t like my furniture stained. I like it with just a sealer.

    1. Kay, my grandfather was a woodworker and he worked primarily with knotty pine since that’s what grew on his property! That’s where I get my preference.

  6. I like natural wood… MOST of the time. I do have a few painted pieces – and I like them too! I painted them myself! LOL! I’m NOT a big fan of pine though… it’s very soft and mars so easily. Our waterbed is the dark stained pine and after 20 years it is NOT pretty anymore! I prefer maple or … lol… mahogany! I do like oak too!

    1. Ah, Melli, just coat the pine in Urethane varnish. I had a TV stand, book case and desk hand made by my FIL all in pine and they held up well for 10 years and then I sold them.

  7. I love natural wood, and we live in a house now that’s all stone and wood and wrought iron.

    But I like painted wood too, as long as it’s folk-art style or ‘distressed’ sort of painted. Not shiny-glossy painted, or too polished, no.

  8. I actually don’t like knotty pine all that much, but give me mahogany and I’m in heaven! I love hand carving with it too; there’s just something so very rich about it… and when you oil it and the grain comes up? Wowww… nothing like it.

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