"WOOD you tell a homeowner to paint the cabinets?"

by Maureen McCabe on August 15, 2007

blue houseOhhhh she’s not in Central Ohio or I’d be asking this stager to guest blog on ColumbusBestBlog in a minute.  Painting oak cabinets… Rachel Backus is an authority and on Rachel’s Hudson Ohio blog MyStagedLife.com  gives an even higher authority… for painting oak.  Gee somehow “higher authority”   reminds me of a hot dog commercial…  back to staging.

“Oak is out!”  Rachel say it isn’t so?blue window

What happens when maple goes out or cherry goes out?  Do we slap paint on those beautiful woods to get the house sold too? 

I had a house listed in Dayton Ohio, long, long ago built in the 20′s or 30′s where  my seller had bought the house from a member of the original family.  It had the original cabinets in the kitchen… My seller was widowed shortly after buying the home and was relocating to be closer to family.  An agent in my office sold the home in it’s original condition with original cabinets (which were painted)  and lots of great wood trim throughout the house to some fellas with great taste. 

I personally had relocated to Columbus a year or so later but I heard from an agent in Dayton who was listing the house and had some questions (the selling agent when I had the house listed had died…) sorry for the morbid details of people dying.  They do. 

Whenever I think about homes being updated for the latest rage in home decor or to get the house sold because the details of the original home have gone out of style I think of those cabinets and the toile wallpaper in the foyer of that home that had been there for longer than I have been alive and the preservationist in me screams “STOP the madness…”  

Then the real etate agent in me says “every home is not THAT home” there are lots of homes that are  not going to be original.  People update.  People make changes for their lifestyle or to sell.  Dark stained oak cabinets do date a home.      

I found Rachel’s entry on her blog via an entry on ActiveRain which she entitled “WOOD you tell a homeowner to paint the cabinets?”

Staging is getting a home to look it’s best for the sale of the home.  In a sellers market you can put your house on the market in some areas and the buyer is going to snap it up and paint the cabinets themselves if that is their taste.  Or not paint the cabinets themselves if they like them as is.  In a buyers market with lots of competition buyers just go look for a house where the seller has painted the cabinets or made upgrades that suit their taste. 

In a buyers market seller’s have to make moral decisions like things about painting oak.  Or painting brick? 

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1 Rachel - Staged Makeovers August 15, 2007 at 03:15 pm

Thanks for backing me up. I have to admit, I love historical homes and love really great wood trim (cherry is my favorite). There just comes a point when something is too old to be in and too new to be in style again…like the 80′s. Let’s face it, oak is cheap and 3″ oak trim doesn’t compare to a 8″ walnut base molding. Homes for sale in this rough market must appeal to the as many buyers as possible and they must compete with the surplus of new builds.

2 MaureenMcCabe August 15, 2007 at 04:35 pm

What do you think about painting brick?

I am thrilled to have you stop by Rachel. And to have taken me back to having THAT listing, red brick Georgian with a screened porch. We had the blue prints from when it was built and it described the different woods in the different rooms. The original owner was a physician. It was a stately home in it’s day and he must have had some interest in wood because he had such details about all the different trim throughout the house. It was all there and no one had ever tried to modernize it. I had another listing down the street that had more space, gum woodwork but the kitchen had been updated in the 60′s or 70′s and it was a tacky kitchen by the late 80′s.

The late 80′s when the homes that now have outdated dark stained oak kitchen’s were brand new houses.

Thanks for the comment.

3 Clintonville Big Momma August 19, 2007 at 11:02 pm

I am against painting/altering wood and brick. I moved into a Clintonville house 3 years ago. They covered the fireplace brick (which ends up being an entire wall that goes from my living room into the den) with stucco. They actually replaced real wood floors with Pergo. What idiots!

4 MaureenMcCabe August 20, 2007 at 02:11 am

Thanks Clintonville Big Momma! I wonder what kind of condition the real wood floors were in… putting Pergo over wood does sound like an “idiot” move.

I sold a brick house where they’ve covered the brick fireplace with slate tile, they thought the brick was too informal. I love the people and it is their house but I bet someday someone will be taking the slate off the brick. I wondered how it is adhered. They also altered another fireplace in the house but I can’t even talk about that. An agent in my office who I snuck in to see the house while these people were in contract goes into depression at the thought of that fireplace modification.

I guess it all keeps the remodelers busy. Putting slate on, taking slate off, stuccoing a fireplace, chiseling stucco off a fireplace (I wonder how you would remove the stucco.

Stucco on your brick fireplace sounds “WRONG.” My first house the red brick fireplace was painted white.

There’s a really cute house locally that I see a lot ( I went by it two three times on Sunday where the chimney on the front exterior of the house was painted black. Why???? Why??? WHY????

5 Marcie October 25, 2008 at 07:40 pm

Brick is ugly and dated, as much as 80′s oak, 80′s brick is just as bad. Not an agent, just a buyers opinion

6 Maureen McCabe October 26, 2008 at 07:04 am

I had a buyer a couple of years ago who wanted “exposed brick.”
He did not get that in the house he bought… It was tough to find in his price range in the area he wanted. He’s an architect.

A matter of personal taste/

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