Paint or stain

My grandmother passed her hope chest down to my sister, who is going to pass it to her granddaughter.
I got tasked with repair and renew. This is it stripped. Disagreement on the homestead, should I paint it or stain it?

  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Something else.

0 voters

With a grain like that you definitely should stain it.

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(Bob Vila)

What is that, oak?
Henry: nope, it’s oak.

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I dunno what it is. Cheap is what it is. Not oak.

I agree.
If your sister/niece wants it differently, well, you can them you have other potatoes to fry, and they don’t get any.

I’d say birch because cheap but I don’t think it’s birch.

Well, if it’s Ikea-cheap, then a nice coating of Ace hardware’s finest interior paint will do.

I’m still on the stain it bandwagon though

I’d stick with stain given that’s how it started, but I’m a real pain in the ass about this kind of thing.

It doesn’t look to be a high end piece, so if the new owner wants paint, then I’d at least consider painting it but would caution against it. Once it’s painted, good luck ever going back.

Yeah my daughters hope chest was painted. That was some work to bring it back again.

My son has one too, from his grandfather on my spouse’s side. Gramps claimed ‘it came over on the boat in the late 1700’s’ but I think he was full of crap. Someday I should have someone look at it.

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Post some pics. I’m not an expert but I know a thing or two. Pay attention to how the drawers (maybe not applicable here) and doors/lids are made, and look for clues in fasteners and hardware.

I’ve actually looked at some of those things and iirc, it was inconclusive. There’s fasteners in it in a spot or two that are definitely not that old. Otoh, the lid is one solid price of wood, not joined.

That’s something. After… I want to say the mid 1800s, you really don’t see stock over 12” wide. Still some, but if you’ve got an 18” lid that’s one piece, probably old.

Here’s a guess with little knowledge behind it.

It looks like laminated plywood. The legs have an art deco? Style from the early 20th century. The trim looks machined and tacked. So early to mid 20th century factory made “oak” finished hope chest. Stain it cause it’s easier to go from stain to paint than to go from paint to stain.

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That sounds about 100 percent correct!
The top did have a 1/4 inch sheet of laminated plywood that I pulled off. The sides look like. 1/2 inch but it’s not clear that it was plywood immediately though it sure looks like it externally.

The top sheet I struggled with, eventually borrowed a planer to bring it down. Put new blades in it, was tinkering to get everything aligned, turned it on and the one blade went wild and blew the planer up. So, bil is getting a new planer.

Did you check it for secret compartments?

Are you going to add any?

Definitely a stain, unless there is some hidden damage or something.

Ok I stained it dark walnut.
I’ll put a few coats of satin poly once it dries.