Should You Paint Your Crown Molding? A 2-Bedroom at 559 W. Surf in Lakeview

559 w surf approved

This 2-bedroom in the Green Brier at 559 W. Surf in East Lakeview came on the market in early August 2014.

The building was built in 1903 and most of the units, including this one, have many of the vintage features of that era including 10 foot ceilings, thick crown molding and pocket doors.

This unit also has a decorative fireplace.

The kitchen and baths are newer, however.

The kitchen has white cabinets, stone counter tops and stainless steel appliances, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator.

But what struck me about this unit, having done many posts on this building on CribChatter in the past, was that all of the crown molding, including the molding around the windows, and even the pocket doors, was painted white.

We normally don’t discuss the interior of the units much as this isn’t a design blog.

But there have been several discussions over the years in the CribChatter comments about how you should NEVER paint vintage crown molding.

This is the first unit I’ve seen for sale in the Green Brier where someone actually had the guts to do it.

To see what the crown molding looks like unpainted in the building, check out this 1-bedroom unit that is currently available here.

The 1-bedroom also has a beamed ceiling, which the 2-bedroom does not, but the color of the wood around the windows is standard throughout the rest of the building.

Should you ever paint vintage crown molding?

Ronda Fish at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. Check out the pictures, and that painted crown molding, here.

Unit #207: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in August 2002 for $299,000
  • Sold in July 2005 for $353,000
  • Sold in June 2007 for $400,000
  • Currently listed for $429,000
  • Assessments of $529 a month (includes doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $3087
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- but rental is available
  • Listing says the unit is rented until September 2014
  • Bedroom #1: 17×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13
  • Den: 10×5

9 Responses to “Should You Paint Your Crown Molding? A 2-Bedroom at 559 W. Surf in Lakeview”

  1. Ah, but now the posts are gone, and there’s a 45 minute or longer lag. Regression!!

    And the math captcha told me that “__ – 3 = four” should be filled in with something other than 7

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  2. Indeed, even after posting that, I cannot see the latest comments under another post.

    As to the crown molding–it’s certainly more consistent with the aesthetic of the kitchen and bathroom. I could see doing it.

    Am amused that they refer to the unit as a TH in the listing description.

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  3. Never paint crown molding? I’ve heard (and generally agree with) the rule that one shouldn’t paint unpainted wood trim, etc., but I would imagine that this molding had been painted for a long time, no? Everyplace I’ve lived with crown molding seems like it had been painted since before I was alive.

    In our previous place (the ELP two bed) and our current house, we painted the walls sort of a butter/cream color (eggshell), then all of the molding/trim white (semi gloss).

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  4. I personally like the painted molding in this listing. The house retains its vintage charm but in an updated yet traditional style. Like annony, I, too, have a butter/cream wall color with white painted molding; though my condo isnt vintage. Personally, I love vintage units but I much prefer the molding to be white. See 522 W Briar (it was feature here numerous times several years ago) as an example:

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=5713

    BTW, it recently sold. Here is the listing:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/522-W-Briar-Pl-60657/unit-1/home/13373773?utm_source=myredfin&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=listings_update&utm_content=address&reinfo=ZXhwSWQ9MjE2NjA4MyZleHBJbnN0YW5jZUlkPTE5MTA0NTE3NzY3MCZjYXRlZ29yeT1lbWFpbC5saXN0aW5nYWxlcnRzJmNvaG9ydElkPUJ5X1NhdmVkX1NlYXJjaCZ0YXJnZXQ9aG9tZS5hZGRyZXNzJmxvZ2luSWQ9MTc3Njcw

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  5. i also love the throwback look! please keep it like this sabrina!

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  6. “Never paint crown molding? I’ve heard (and generally agree with) the rule that one shouldn’t paint unpainted wood trim, etc., but I would imagine that this molding had been painted for a long time, no? Everyplace I’ve lived with crown molding seems like it had been painted since before I was alive.”

    I’ve been covering this building for 7 years (and the sister building across the street- The Commodore) and I’ve never seen one of these with painted crown molding, window moldings, pocket doors etc. Never!

    I can’t speak for the owner of this unit, but I doubt it’s been painted for a long time (as you see with some rental apartments- where clearly there are 10 layers of paint on the moldings and doors.)

    If you look closely (and at other units) many of these in the Green Brier have wood panels underneath the windows. All of that is original and I’ve never seen it painted (until this unit.)

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  7. I like the white painted molding – I think it really brightens the place up. However, the color of the walls should provide some contrast – pale yellow, sage green – something. As it is, it looks totally boring.

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  8. “As it is, it looks totally boring.”

    Boring, sure, but would you necessarily say “I can’t move in w/o painting the walls, so will demand $4k credit to have painters in”?

    Boring but fine can be pretty ok when trying to sell.

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  9. Laura Louzader on August 28th, 2014 at 5:55 am

    It really depends on the style of the decor, and personal preference. I personally prefer the moldings painted, but not if the style of your furnishings and your palette look better with dark wood moldings.

    My crown moldings came to me painted, while those in the unit directly below mine are not. The woodwork is very beautiful in that unit and I don’t think I’d have the heart to paint it if it were mine. However, the rooms look larger with the moldings painted, and brighter.

    This place looks very good, if a white and bright for my personal taste. But that can be easily amended with paint.

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