painted oak furniture
Have you wondered what painted oak furniture looks like? Today, I want to show you how to transform an oak pie safe from the 1980s and bring it into the 2000s!
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Ready? Let’s go!
how to update 80s furniture
It was an era of many craftsmen who were eager to get into their workshops and build stuff! Women from the eighties were filling their homes with handmade country crafts of all sorts and the handmade furniture was definitely in abundance!
But let’s not be too quick to judge the country look of the eighties – remember what I said about how the 80s-90 ushered in the farmhouse style we love so much now? The colors may have been different but the desired atmosphere of the home was the same as we want in today’s farmhouse style – cozy and comfy for our families!
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can oak furniture be painted?
I have a client with grandparents from that era. His grandfather hand-built this pie safe from scraps he had lying around his workshop! The craftsmanship is top-notch.
My client just wanted it updated for their new farmhouse-style home. The yellowing oak just wasn’t going to work in their new home but they wanted to keep the handmade pie safe in the family.
pie safe history
I loved the metal detail in the doors. Back in the day when a piece like this would have been used for pies, the holes in the metal would have allowed air to flow through without the bugs getting to the fresh-baked pies.
Can you imagine having that many pies in your kitchen?? Homemade and fresh – the smells must have been wonderful!
how to update furniture hardware
The hardware on the cabinet needed to be updated – the hinges were the antique brass that was so popular in the eighties and the knobs needed to be changed as well.
After removing the doors from the cabinet, I taped off the area surrounding the hinges and used newspaper to protect the rest of the doors while I spray painted the hinges.
Rust-oleum Hammered finishes are my favorite! I chose Flat Soft Iron for this project. It is a matte finish in soft black. This spray paint comes in so many colors and finishes. I have used this paint on many projects and cannot speak highly enough about it!
how to spray paint furniture hardware
The key to spray painting anything is to not hold the can too close to the project. This will cause running and dripping. Keep a safe distance – 10″-12″ away to get a smooth finish. Also, it is better to do two or three thin coats instead of one heavy coat. Patience my dear!
painting oak furniture white
The main thing to consider when painting oak furniture white is the original color coming through the final coat of paint. I like to prevent this from happening by using a stain-blocking primer and my go-to is Zinsser Shellac Based Primer in White. I usually apply two coats of primer.
best paint for oak furniture
Honestly, there are many amazing paints on the market for oak furniture. I wanted to use one that did not require a topcoat. Which led me to General Finishes. I already had it on hand plus my client saw a previous piece of furniture that I painted in a custom light color of General Finishes Milk Paint.
In my humble opinion, General Finishes Milk Paint is one of the best paints if you want painted oak furniture.
I used General Finishes Milk Paint in Snow White and Linen in approximately 50/50 of each. I didn’t measure the exact amount, I just knew it would look amazing since I already used this combination in a previous makeover.
The addition of the Linen Milk Paint knocks off some of the starkness of the Snow White Milk Paint. The two work together perfectly!
how many coats of paint for furniture?
The painted oak furniture piece only needed two coats of paint. If I had not primed it in a white primer, I might have needed to add a third coat of milk paint.
how to update orange stained wood
Our client also wanted the interior of the pie safe updated. After cleaning the interior well, I re-stained it using a richer brown stain, General Finishes Walnut Water Based Stain, to hide some of the orange tones of the cabinet.
It definitely reduced the orange tones that had been used originally!
how to update 80s furniture
Did you notice the metal inset in the doors of this pie sage? This is one of the details I love about the 80s era of furniture – this galvanized metal look hasn’t gone out of style!
Check out that wheat detail!
Talk about farmhouse style!
Our client wanted new knobs and he said that glass knobs would be his preference. We aim to please!
how to distress milk paint
General Finishes Milk Paint chips easily with my method. I use the flat edge of a small chef’s knife and gently, very gently, run the blade over the paint especially on the high areas like the edges.
I also do this type of distressing in areas where everyday use would happen. See the are just above the drawer in the image below? I can imagine that if silverware were stored in the drawer, over time there would be knicks and chips from the silverware being placed in the drawer.
Click the button below to see more about knife distressing:
painted oak furniture before and after
What do you think of this painted oak furniture after? Isn’t it so pretty?
Let’s chat about where and how to use a pie safe in your home.
I can see it in a bedroom used to store clothing, in a bathroom as a linen cabinet, in a craft room for storage or heck, put it back in the kitchen as a small pantry!
Wherever they choose to use this heirloom piece, I am sure they will enjoy it for generations to come!
how do you makeover old wood furniture?
Hope you enjoyed this project! Do you have any pieces from the 1980s that need updating? Let me know! I would love to hear about it!
Any questions about the projects you have waiting to be completed? Please feel free to ask! You can send me an email or hop over to the socials to ask!
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