Tuesday, July 3

oh my buffet!

Some people call it a sideboard but I call it a buffet. No matter what you call it, it's such a great piece of furniture. Those legs! The designs! The storage without overcrowding the space! It's perfect and I wanted one. But they don't make them like they used to and even if "they" did, I wouldn't spend $500+ on one. I also knew no one would have it in the color I pictured for my gray & white dining room.

here's the style I like:

but I wanted it to look like this buffet painted by European Paint Finishes

I just love it and wanted to do something similar. So I searched. And searched. And searched for probably 2 months for a buffet on Craigslist that met my budget. I got bupkis. I didn't give up. Then one day in a town 40 minutes away there was an old buffet in someone's storage unit that called my name. It was darker than I wanted and in rougher shape than I imagined. But it had wheels!! I went. I loved. I painted.


But first I did something only a rookie would do. I tried to take off the veneer. I know you just winced and maybe got a little angry. I get that way too just thinking about it. But if you only saw the shape it was in you would try to fix it too. Okay, maybe not. I took off about 25% of the top before realizing it was a bad idea. Then it sat in our garage for about 3 weeks before I tackled it again.

I headed over to my local hardware store for some wood filler and a sander. While browsing through hand sanders I heard someone ask "whacha lookin' for?" Paranoid and distrustful I brushed off the older gentleman with the long fuzzy gray beard and said "just some sandpaper."

He continued, "what are you working on?"
"Just a piece of furniture." Leave me alone.
"Oh, well I refinish furniture too, maybe I can help."


He then proceeded to explain to me everything and anything I could know about sanding manually. I casually said I was using a bit of wood filler to fix some problem areas. He asked what problems. I hesitated. He was a wood purist and I knew what his reaction would be if he found out I defaced a perfectly nice veneered buffet from the 1930's. I told him that the top veneer had been partially removed. The curious old man pressed further, "how did that happen?" I'm a pitiful liar.

"I did it." I frowned shamefully.

"Oh, I see" he kindly stated, "well I won't chastise you for that, but you probably should have left it alone".

I knew very well he was right and that's why I was standing in the sandpaper aisle, trying to find a remedy for my mistake. He gave me very useful information on how I should approach my boo-boo and then wished me the best of luck. I saw the doubt in his eyes. I thanked him and grabbed my supplies and headed home.

My first step was filling in the spots I took off the veneer then sanding it as smooth as possible. It wasn't easy. I did my best. You can judge me if you must.

After I sanded it down really good I vacuumed and cleaned the piece really well. I wanted to keep some wood detailing because I love when pieces have some of their original character mixed with paint. I cleaned up the hardware, which was REALLY nasty before scrubbing it with silver cleaner and lemon juice.

I wanted to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Florence but it wasn't at my local shop when I painted this piece. Because I have such great luck it was made available a week after I completed this buffet. Oh well. I made do with Benjamin Moore Paint & Primer in 1 in Juniper. What a color!!!! I used 2 coats on the body and 3 coats on the top surface. I love it. It adds so much character to the dining room!