Henredon Dresser + Do you paint everything white?

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“My husband says I paint everything white,” she nervously whispered to me, like she was almost embarrassed or even ashamed.

And it was true – as I looked around, everything in her market space was white.  The entire inventory of vintage furniture and hand-built pieces were all the color of freshly fallen snow and delicious vanilla ice cream.

I nervously laughed and whispered back, “So does mine!” like we shared this secret that would bond us from husbands who playfully teased and from opinionated bystanders who criticized our neutral paint choices.

So what if you paint everything white?  Or just stick with neutrals?   Does that mean you hate color, or you’re not an adventurous person?   Ummm, heck no.

Henredon dresser makeover in Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan - Girl in the Garage

Beat-up small Henredon dresser, before painting.

First, neutral furniture goes with any kind of decor in any type of room.  And that means if you’re painting to sell, then you’ll have more potential customers interested in your piece than if you had painted it a bright color that’s difficult to match up with decor.

Henredon dresser makeover in Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan - Girl in the Garage

New pulls on clearance from Hobby Lobby – must paint!

Second, lighter colors automatically make a room feel cleaner and larger.  A dark piece can really bring a room down (visually) and make it feel heavy.

Henredon dresser makeover in Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan - Girl in the Garage

Dresser and drawer pulls painted in Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.

Third, even if you love neutrals, there are plenty of ways to add some personality with stencils, hardware, distressing, dry brushing, nailheads, bright colors or design inside, fabric, and even more.  There are examples of many of these below.

Fourth, don’t let anyone criticize your paint color choices.  If you love white, paint it white!  If you love color, then experiment and have fun with color.  Whatever you do, be proud of your decision and stand by it.

Henredon dresser makeover in Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan - Girl in the Garage

After: Henredon small dresser makeover, stunning in Old White Chalk Paint.

If you’re still not convinced that neutral furniture can rock a space, or if you’re like me and “paint everything white” (allegedly, ha) but need more ideas to make your pieces more interesting, here are thirteen more examples…

14 Ways to paint neutral furniture so it isn't boring - Girl in the Garage

Click the title below each photo to be taken to the full tutorial.

French Provincial Desk Makeover with Pink Drawers - Girl in the Garage

French Provincial desk (with surprise pink drawers inside!) – A fun way to keep it neutral outside and still add some color

Cherry Blossom Dresser Makeover - Girl in the Garage

Cherry Blossom Dresser – Add some character with a stenciled design on the front

Midcentury Record Cabinet Makeover - Girl in the Garage

Midcentury Record Cabinet – with unexpected gold polka dots inside

Do you tend to stick with neutrals like white and cream, or are you passionate about painting with bold colors?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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8 Comments on Henredon Dresser + Do you paint everything white?

  1. Tara C
    October 27, 2016 at 1:12 pm (2 years ago)

    I paint most of my pieces in Old White or a gray shade, but I like to keep the top part of a desk, table, etc. stained wood. I really like the combination of medium to dark stained wood with neutral paint.

  2. Mary Vitullo
    October 27, 2016 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m with you on this. I love any shade of white or greys and these are all beautiful examples, Jen.
    Mary Vitullo recently posted…WHITEWASH, LIME WAX, PAINT?My Profile

  3. Robyn
    October 27, 2016 at 3:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I love each and every one of your pieces Jen! U can tell the time and attention you put into each one. I also love soft neutral furniture!

  4. Mariann
    October 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm (2 years ago)

    I love all of them, everything old is new again when I was in my 20’s (1970’s) we were stripping old painted furniture back to wood as painted was out acid baths sanding etc etc, fashions come and go I think the really lovely part of all the old well made furniture is it can go thru multiple transformations and still be beautiful and useful for decades, and furniture from say the 80 and 90 also can be given a whole new look and look fantastic keep on painting its inspiring

  5. Jan Cole
    October 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm (2 years ago)

    I have just started painting with chalk paint and love it! I will be starting on 4 antique chairs for my small antique dining table. I want to paint them white. Most of my colors are off white. I have a lot of antique stuff; bedroom suite, etc and want to paint it all white! I see your stuff and am blown away by what you do! I love all white with a splash of color here and there–depending on the room. I want to paint like you, Jen! I love the stenciled cherry blossom! Where can I get one? Thanks for all you do and share!

  6. Mary Kaiser
    October 28, 2016 at 3:42 am (2 years ago)

    I LOVE WHITE!!! What I love most about white is how it looks great with anything.

  7. Wendi
    October 28, 2016 at 6:40 am (2 years ago)

    Jen, This is just fabulous. Until “meeting” you recently, I would have never really thought about painting this old wonderful furniture. I’m seeing just how wonderful this furniture can be with your updates! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Jaime
    October 28, 2016 at 7:02 am (2 years ago)

    I love white, but most of my furniture collected over the years tends to be brown or earth tones. I especially love white with pops of color!


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