Quality & Craftsmanship – Wood Furniture Trash Finds

A frequent trash finding topic of discussion is quality trash, specifically furniture. I often find beautiful, solid wood, well-made in the USA, pieces of furniture in the trash, and it can only be assumed the trasher replaced it with some new, particleboard, made in China item. I don’t like to assume things, but, I lean toward the mindset that if someone is throwing out a solid maple end table, or beautiful oak dining set, they don’t care aesthetically all that much (I say this, as often, these items are accompanied in the trash by boxes from the ‘new’ item). Sure, we all have different things we like or find attractive, but regardless of what it looks like, I don’t understand why someone would choose poorly made ‘new’, over good quality & craftsmanship.

Adding to the subject of quality & taste, is when someone paints over a beautiful, solid wood piece of furniture. I’m much more forgiving in this area than my boyfriend the carpenter/fine-woodworker. When we have a yard sale & someone purchases one of our awesome finds and starts telling us how they want to paint it, etc, he has to exit the conversation. I understand where he’s coming from and I certainly wouldn’t paint over a nice real wood grain, but I’m just happy their not buying new. I also consider that a teachable moment, and rather than try to talk them out of it, I’ll point out some of the characteristics of the wood that I like – a knot, the coloring, or the grain for example. He tends to forget many people just don’t understand, or have never had the opportunity to see the beauty of wood from a different perspective.

How about you? Have you ever altered or painted an item that you came to regret? What did you do?

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3 Responses to Quality & Craftsmanship – Wood Furniture Trash Finds

  1. Pingback: Trashfinds

  2. knottywood says:

    I give people benefit of the doubt and think of them as just ignorant… but sometimes they are stupid.

  3. jenna says:

    I am funny about painting as well, but really it depends on the item. Value or future value doesn’t really matter much to me, since I have and keep what I love, I don’t acquire for resale. As for my family making a buck on all my junk after I am gone, well, there will be plenty of jewelry they can sell.

    If a wood piece is very old and still looks good, I will leave it alone. If it really needs painting to look good, then I will paint. Some things I probably would not want in their original state, I may buy knowing that I will have to paint it to live with it. In these cases, it’s no big deal. Then there are some pieces, they may be solid wood, but they are not that old, or have that 70’s or 80’s look that is awful in it’s natural state, but may be really fun/funky painted, lets say, bright turquoise or lemon yellow….of course, I rarely have the guts to actually paint something those colors, so I don’t buy many of those styles. But I do love the pics I see online of brightly painted semi old furniture. I am currently searching for the perfect wood chair, with or without some upholstry on it, to try this look on.

    My current painting dilemmas – I have 2 pieces I just can’t decide on whether to paint. An old Queen Ann reproduction flip top desk from around 1900. I loved it when I bought it in the 80’s, but now it seems so dark and dreary… I just feel paralyzed when it comes to painting it, I guess because it is technically an antique. The other item I am not sure of the age, its a beautiful “bar” – you know, a piece of furniture, hidden wheels, cabinet on the front with felt lined drawers for bar tools, shelves for booze. Solid wood, Thomasville, maybe mid century, with gorgeous carved doors on the front. A freebie from a beach house in north jersey that my ex was remodeling. Again, dark brown wood, gloomy. What to do, what to do…

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