I like painting wood. Especially dark, dreary wood.
This buffet threw me for a loop, though.
What seemed like an obvious decision to paint quickly became an idea to strip the whole thing and re-stain.
It was in good condition, but needed some help.
BEFORE – Vintage Buffet
Because of what I had found in the buffet, I thought preserving the wood would be the best option to honor the buffet.
In fact, I was so convinced that I was going to strip and re-stain this vintage buffet that I took all day off work and got down and dirty and stripped the whole thing. I’m talking hours of scraping gunky stuff into a nasty little “junk box.” ICK!
But then I started to question how stylish the piece would be with just stain…….
I planned to sell this piece, and wanted to make sure that it was relevant and eye-catching instead of just a classic piece sitting there waiting for a person with classic taste to come and scoop it up. I was worried it wouldn’t sell.
I even asked for your opinions on what I should do (big shout out to all those that weighed in!).
Finally, I decided that indeed a paint job with a re-stained top was be more time-efficient and hip. And this is what resulted:
AFTER – Vintage Buffet
Addicted to Duck Egg
For this vintage buffet I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Blue (I also painted my blogging desk I found next to a dumpster in this same Duck Egg shade. Love it!) . It’s such a soft, soothing color. I wanted the drawers to stand out, so I mixed in a little Pure White to create lighter shade. I used Old White on the arches.
I Hated It….
I love how it turned out, but I have to admit, I didn’t always feel so affectionate for this vintage buffet.
In fact, I hated it.
When I first painted it, I regretted painting it. It had no “umphf” to it.
I tried to re-use the old knobs after wiping them with some gold Rub n’ Buff, but they ended up looking like a nipple. HA!
And the color of the knobs was all wrong.
The Right Hardware
It’s true what they say that hardware makes all the difference! I had found these vintage knobs last fall at Sweet Clover, the vintage barn where I now happen to have a booth. I never knew what piece of furniture I would use them on, but somehow the stars aligned and this vintage buffet was PERFECT!
It as if these knobs were made for this buffet, down to the circles!
You Readers ROCK!
It was soooo nice hearing so many of you weighing in on what I should do with this piece– re-stain or paint? You all had so many good points. And it was great having your support!! Thanks a million!
Armed with your feedback, and weighing how many hours I had already sank into the piece, I decided I couldn’t bear to waste any more time trying to strip the gunk off these detailed legs.
So the paint won.
It’s a shame I ended up wasting so much time stripping the whole thing and then ending up painting it. However, it was some good experience, right? I’m like a Stripping Ninja now, baby!
Stripping Is a Messy Job
I haven’t done that many stripping jobs, but I can tell you that each stripping job I start, I always end up feeling desperate about half-way through.
“WHY the heck am I doing this again, instead of not painting???”
Especially when you start removing the old finish in a gunk box like this……..with splatters that look like a collection of discarded blood clots or something.
But stained tops with painted bodies are soooooo gorgeous. They’re really worth the effort.
And this buffet really needed improvement, too. You can see here the finish on top started to crack and chip.
And there was some chipping on the front. Those were easily fixed with stainable wood filler.
Strip-X stripper has become my favorite brand of stripping agent. It works instantly! I used an old can to put it in while working.
You have to scrap through layers and layers.
Even when all the finish is off, you’ve only just gotten started.
After getting as much of the finish off as possible, I used Odorless Mineral Spirits to help remove the left over stripper.
Then I sanded it out.
I loved using the Ryobi One+ Corner Cat Finish Sander for all the hard to reach areas! That little thing is zippy and powerful! Don’t let its size fool you. 😉
I used Miniwax Espresso stain for the top, and did some very light distressing of the wood with super fine sandpaper around the edges to give it a little character and to match the vintage-y feel of the knobs. Plus, the dark stain was sooooo dark, the sanding actually helped to lighten it up a little.
You can really see the wood grain on this top, which I love! It’s now as smooth as a baby’s butt :).
Sign Your Name!
I consider myself an artist.
Most people that paint furniture would consider themselves artists. So why not sign your name to your pieces of work? 🙂
As an artist, I also can’t walk away from a piece without painting the back. I know many people do leave the back unfinished and consider it a waste of paint, but seriously, without painting it, it would make a piece look very unfinished.
Do yourself a favor. Paint the back 🙂 It just makes them look finished, you know?
A Final Look
Checking out these pics as I complete this post, I’m so glad I painted this vintage buffet. It feels more fresh, prettier, and it’s been been given another opportunity at life. Not that stain wouldn’t have given new life. But I just love this look so much better! 🙂
So what do you think??