Painted Woodwork (Gasp!) from Dark to Delightful

Sometimes its hard to make big decisions, like painting your dark woodwork. Here’s the lowdown and why we made this (GASP!) radical choice in our home. 

Competing in the One Room Challenge|Designers Sweet Spot|

Dining room before the One Room Challenge

Painted Woodwork vs Non-Painted

This topic has been weighing on my mind for a while. I love painted woodwork, I also love dark woodwork. One of the things that I liked about our home when we purchased it was the beautiful wood details.

However, 10 out of 13 rooms in our house have painted white wood trim. Being consistent throughout the house is definitely a trend in today’s resale market. After months of consideration, and weighing the options we finally painted our dining room wood trim.

Painted Woodwork (GASP!)|Designers Sweet Spot|

This transformation is part of the One Room Challenge linkup. We are on week 2 this week. Time is flying by! Each week there will be new progress in the re-design of our dining room.


Dining Room Decorating |Designers Sweet Spot|

Mood Board for Dining room renovation by Designers Sweet Spot

You can see last week’s post with the design plans here.

Painted Dining Room Woodwork|Designers Sweet Spot|

Dark and Dreary

The first step in our transformation was to paint the walls a pale shade of aqua. You can see the kitchen is aqua, and I wanted a shade in the dining room with just a whisper of color.  The walls almost look white in this photo. You can’t appreciate just how dark this room was before with the beige walls and dark trim. The dark trim is so hard to work with, it makes everything look yellow. This photo is unedited, you can see how dark and dreary everything looks. Hence, the need for paint!

The kitchen next to the dining room, has painted woodwork. I think the previous owners just never got around to painting the other three rooms in the house. It just makes sense that the woodwork would flow from one room to the next and be the same color, doesn’t it?

By far the biggest project in this room was painting the built in dining hutch. I began painting at the top corner, thinking that I might change my mind once I saw the white color.

I didn’t.

It made me want to paint more.

Painted Dining Room Woodwork|Designers Sweet Spot|

This was a massive undertaking. First we primed everything, then painted two coats of premium paint on top. There were hours and hours involved in this painting project. Not to mention, we had to remove cabinet doors, drawers and dishes to get the job done.

I still haven’t finished all of it. More touch ups are still required.

Painted wood door|Designers Sweet Spot|

The doors and baseboards needed painting too. I’ve got a sore back to prove it.

Painted Dining Room Woodwork|Designers Sweet Spot|

The paint we used was Emerald Urethane Trim by Sherwin Williams. This paint has primer  in it and is especially formulated for woodwork. I highly recommend it, woodwork is hard to cover with old varnish and often bleeds through layers of paint. We loved this premium product and it worked very well for our purposes.

This is after the painting. The room is looking lighter all the time. There is much more in store for this renovation. Be sure and stop back to see how it all works out! Here’s the schedule:

Week 2: Stenciling

Week 3: Window Treatments

Week 4: Table Improvements

Week 5: Wall and Lighting Decor

Week 6: Accessories and Final Reveal

I am linking up to Calling It Home, the inspiration behind this One Room Challenge. Be sure to stop and visit the other fabulous transformations that are going on this week!

This post was sponsored by Sherwin Williams. Any opinions given are completely my own.

Don’t forget to pin this post!

Painted Woodwork (GASP!)|Cozy Traditional Home|


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  1. says

    It will brighten the room so much! I agree with the “whole house” consistency idea. We also bought our house because at the time I thought the oak wood felt so warm and homey. But I’m now ready to paint all the trim, molding and doors white. To lighten up the house. It can be controversial, but there’s plenty of people who like both options for a house to re-sell just fine. I look forward to seeing the progress on your room!

    • designerssweet says

      I agree completely! Thanks for the support! I thought I would get a ton of negative comments for this decision! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. connie says

    You made the right call. Your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.

    Reminds me of when everyone started painting over dark seventies paneling and there were howls of objection. Can you imagine??? I love white!!!

    • designerssweet says

      You are probably right! I still have nightmares about the 70’s style homes. We looked at one and I told my husband no way! Thanks for reading!


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