You are here:

Antique Furniture/Table and Chairs


Table and chair
Table and chair  
QUESTION: I am wanting to paint my table and chairs but my husband said that they are antique and shouldn't be painted so if we want to sell them down the road they would be worth more. I bought them at an auction and paid $250 for the set but I feel like they are worth more but I would really like them painted.   Do you know the value? and do you think it would hurt the value if I painted them?

ANSWER: This set has the original factory finish.  I would not paint it but it is yours and to be sure, in the future it would lessen the value but if painted by a pro, it would have appeal to a new buyer if the color were not a dated color.  the new buyer might, MIGHT, like it painted therefore keeping the value in dollars the same as unpainted.

here is something to chew on.  It will not have a high value either way only because so many of these 1920s era were made in this Jacobean style using walnut veneers and sweet gum woods.

the set is above average in overall style of this design.

hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: What do you think the value would be as is? Would it be worth having it refinished?

as it sits it does need to be waxed, briwax in a brown color would do wonders on the surfaces.  no oils, just the wax.  doing this would put a retail in shop price on this at 75-125 per chair and 500-600 for the table, without leaves.  with leaves add 100 per leaf.

it does not appear to need refinishing, it has the factory finish and if waxed properly will look great.  if you mean that refinishing equals painting then the value and resale value will be 30-50% less after painting unless you find someone who wants the same color you used and the painting was done by a pro. If you spend for painting by a pro it will cost 8 times what you paid for the set.  if an amateurish job is done on painting then the value will be 30% of what it is now.  understand that painting actually will cost more than the set is worth now or in the future.

but, you only paid 250 for the set so do what ever you want, you will always be able to recover the initial investment.  rarely can you recover full restoration costs and never, almost never painting costs and you limit your resale target.

a one pound can of Briwax will cost $20.  Having it painted will cost $2000++.  Having it stripped and refinished, which it does not look like it needs, would cost as much as painting.

hope this is more clear.  it is a difficult choice as to whether or not to invest more money.  sometimes we have to just go for what we like and want...

if you google '1920s jacobean dining set painted' you will see this done often.  the cost to paint depends on how good of a job you want.  like i said above 2000 for a pro job.  home job with spray cans very inexpensive but not nearly as nice and with no preparation to the surfaces, very quick but adhesion will be a problem.  

so you have a couple of options:
wax it and leave it be.  $20
have it painted professionally.  $2000
have it refinished professionally.  $2000  

Antique Furniture

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


robert klein


Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

Past/Present Clients
They deserve privacy, sorry.

©2017 All rights reserved.