Buffet Makeover

I’ve been super excited to share today’s post with you. Almost as excited as I’ve been that this project is finished! You may have seen a few peeks of the progress on Instagram along the way, and I’m thrilled to finally get to show you the finished product.

You see, Wyatt has needed a new dresser for quite some time. I had been wanting to put the green dresser in his room (part of the de-greening I’m doing in my living room), but since we’ve been using it as a buffet for our tv, I was waiting until I found something to replace it.

I searched Craigslist for months waiting for the perfect project to come along, and luckily I found this beaute one day for $40. Joel was not one bit thrilled about the whole idea of it all, and was sure that it had no hope. But of course I knew better, as wives usually do :). I was so excited to start sanding that I almost forgot the always-important before photos.

I loved the lines and details, and functionally it was perfect. And guess what else? It was clean!!! At least until I got my hands on it. I don’t know how a 30+ year old piece of furniture could be so clean, but let me tell you, it was. And I was happy.

Want to see what it looks like now (please say yes :))?

Here’s the rundown on what I did… First, I lightly sanded the entire buffet, and then primed it. With all the details, I didn’t want to risk not priming it, and used Kilz Oil Based Spray Primer.
KILZ 13 oz. Original Primer Sealer Spray (6-Pack)
After two coats and six cans of primer, I painted two coats with a paint sprayer. In the past I’ve used a $15 paint sprayer from Harbor Freight that attached to our air compressor, but it recently bit the dust (and we have some still half-painted chairs to prove it). I debated whether to get a new similar sprayer, or get a stand alone unit instead. In the end, we bought the Wagner Control Spray Max HLVP Sprayer. It had really great reviews on Amazon, and worked really well for me. The learning curve was small and it did a great job, even with latex paint. Many decent priced sprayers aren’t suited for latex paint, but it handled it beautifully with just a little thinning.
After painting, I distressed it enough to allow the original stain to peek through around the edges.
I also sprayed it with three coats of water based Polyurethane (sometimes called Polyacrylic) for protection. If you’re painting a piece white, the rule of thumb is to always use a water based Polyurethane, as oil based will yellow over time. Somehow, my white paint still changed a bit in color to be slightly creamy, which I cannot for the life of me figure out. Thank goodness though, I actually prefer the new color to the original white. It’s just a little bit warmer and takes the edge off the white.
I went back and forth a lot on what pulls to put on the finished buffet, but in the end I really love these. They give the buffet just the look that I had envisioned, and fit my style perfectly.
I’m also happy to report that I was successful in changing Joel’s mind. He’s just as happy with it now as I am :).


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  1. Awesome Job. I used to so custom wood work for a living. Have you ever looked into Lacquer. We used it on all our wood work included painted wood work. IT protects from yellowing and is a harder finish than Polyurethane.

  2. Wow! That is a stunning piece. You must be very proud. I have a chair that has been waiting to be recovered for a year……it’s so hard to find the time for those home projects, so I bet getting this one complete, makes you feel great!

  3. Wow, that is gorgeous! You did a really great job. It’s so great to see something being lovely restored rather than being thrown on the scrapheap.

  4. love it!!! great to hear that my husband is not the only doubter…i have a big bedroom redo in the works for next weekend….of course it will look fabulous but he won’t believe until he sees!!
    thanks for sharing!!

  5. I am jealous of this piece! It looks amazing. I want to refinish a million things and never find the time… one day.

  6. It totally changes it! Love it. Great job. Aren’t you glad you took the time to do it. I’m thinking about a project like that here.

  7. looks great! where did you find the drawer pulls? I have a similar piece I’m going to refinish, and I was thinking I’d need to keep the originals as it would be hard to find any new ones that were proportioned right…but those look perfect!

  8. This turned out a-mazing!!! It’s so fresh and clean. What a difference paint can make:) good job, girl!


  9. That is incredible!!
    I have always wanted to save a piece of furniture like this. I may have to try now!

  10. Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop. You have a super cute blog, I can’t wait to read more. You can find me at meandmr.com

    -Melanie @meandmr.com

  11. wow abby that looks great. i never have the patience to do it the right way and it never turns out looking nice. great job!
    p.s. i am SO bad at spray painting. I think i need a sprayer if I’m ever going to try it again.

  12. That came out fabulous! I want to redo one of our dressers and you just gave me the courage to do so once we move! Pinned.

  13. What an awesome piece of furniture! It looks great and I think the pulls are perfect—the black in them makes the modern tv on top look perfectly natural on that rad piece of vintage goodness.

  14. It looks just wonderful !! I love it, honestly !
    I have always wanted to do something like this, what a great way to recycle.

  15. Wow! I am super impressed!!! This makes me want to redo our hutch in our dinning room. It would be much cuter like this!
    I am excited to be linking up with your blog for the first time too today :)

  16. Fabulous job!! I have an old dresser from a thrift store that I plan to do this same way! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  17. Pingback: 12 DIY Small Home Decor Projects | NewNist

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