Here’s a question I receive over and over again! I thought I’d bring in a real estate expert to chime in as well!
The woodwork in my home is stained. I look in all of the design magazines and see painted woodwork. I’m inclined to paint all of my trim but I’m afraid that I’ll lower the resale value of my home! Please help!
The Real Estate Expert
The Janet Jones Co.
I think painting the 1970s and 1980s style stained wood trim and doors is definitely a more updated look and actually helps homes sell faster. In some cases mahogany, cherry, and maple in an office are still seen as a value. Homes that have a kitchen with Maple cabinets and lighter granite or marble counters are still considered acceptable. I would say that most of my clients do prefer painted with maybe the accent of an island in wood.
I have had the same debate on my house and probably need Tobi to help. I have lighter wood floors and maple cabinets then dark granite. I am considering painting the cabinets because the wood on wood effect with the dark counters presents the kitchen in more of a country light. Before I bought the house I showed it to several clients and the kitchen was the hold back.
This is one of those questions that has staunch supporters on both sides of the fence. The question of “to paint or not to paint” your wood trim is rooted in many people’s long standing personal convictions. From looking at my portfolio, you can tell I’m a huge fan of painted millwork! I feel that it provides a very clean look. That doesn’t mean I never do wood trim either.
In a vintage home (ie Arts & Crafts bungalow) the stained woodwork is an integral part of its historic charm. After the woodwork has made it untouched for so many decades, it can be daunting to lift a brush and start to paint. Other homes from a more recent vintage (1970s/1980s) seem to have miles of stained woodwork. So will it affect the value if you paint? Many new construction luxury homes today have painted trim these days. It’s a perfectly accepted finish in today’s marketplace.
One of the designers in my office lived in a house similar in style to yours when he lived in Pennsylvania. The 100 year old home had miles of original stained woodwork. Although, he loved the look, he did feel he needed a break. He ended up painting the trim, windows, doors and beadboard wainscoting in the kitchen and bathrooms. This provided a relief from all the wood and a few areas to break up the look. Perhaps this is an option for some of you. Just a little painted trim can make a huge difference.