I’ve been looking for a buffet or bar cart for our dining room for several months now. I knew I didn’t want anything too big, as I don’t have a lot of room to work with, so when I stumbled across this piece at the antique store back in our home town, I knew it would be perfect. It was in decent condition, one corner was a little beat up but overall it was sturdy and level.
We happened to have the truck with us because we had taken our old dining room table to my parents so my dad could sell it on craigslist, and we were picking up the lumber to build the new table. I figured it was great timing, plus I was able to talk the guy down 10%, making this gem only $58.50. I was hoping to find something a little cheaper, but honestly I felt like this was it, this was the buffet I had to have.
I paid for the buffet and had them hold it until I could get back with the truck to pick it up and headed up to my brother-in-law’s football game. After the game, Matt and I picked up the buffet and then I met up with my mother-in-law to get some groceries for dinner. My husband took the truck back to the house. When we got back from grocery shopping, my mother-in-law looked in the back of the truck and said “We had that same one years ago!” Well come to find out she didn’t just have the same one, she had the EXACT same one. About ten or so years ago, they just didn’t have a need for it anymore and my father-in-law sold it to the shop for $10.00. I guess there was a reason this buffet was calling my name, it wanted to come back home to it’s family.
My mother-in-law used to keep Matt’s toys in it when he was little, suddenly this old beat up piece in the antique shop has a sentimental value to us. It’s amazing to me how things happen, I believe that I struck out on my previous searches because this buffet was meant for us, our home, and our family, once again. This is the first piece of furniture I’ve had that I refuse to let go of. I know that this piece will continue to be a party of our family’s memories as it was for Matt and his brothers growing up. I hope that our children will know right where to go on Thanksgiving when I ask them for a cake stand, that it will incur new scratches from the countless Barbies and Hot Wheels that are bound to run across it, and I hope that if our children are anything like us, they’ll push their limits and empty it and hide in it when playing hide and seek.
Now on to the details and how I refinished this old piece of treasure. The chairs I am currently working on for the dining room as well as the table I’m building will be a distressed white. I was tempted to paint the buffet with the same colors but ultimately decided that I wanted to make it a statement piece and I didn’t want it to blend in with the other pieces of furniture in the room. I decided to go with a gorgeous color by Behr, Regatta Bay, this photo truly does not do this color justice. There’s just something about this color, it’s bright, but soft, and after being turned into chalk paint and distressed it has the perfect rustic french country look. I used Vermont Cream as the underlying coat, this is the same color I am using on the table and chairs so it will help tie the furniture together nicely.
Painting and Distressing Process:
I sanded the buffet down, using an orbital sander with 80 grade paper on the buffet top and hand sanded the rest using 220 grade. I wanted to get the top really smooth and remove as much of the original finish as possible as I was planning to stain it. Once I finished sanding I wiped the whole thing down using a tack rag to get all of the dust off, and taped off the buffet top. Then it was time to paint it using chalk paint.
Chalk Paint: Making chalk paint is really easy to do and really inexpensive. All you need is the flat paint of your choice and baking soda, using a ratio of 2:1. Therefore, I took a 1/2 cup of paint and 1/4 cup of baking soda and mixed them together with a paint stick. The paint will be grainy and somewhat thick.
I painted the Vermont Cream first because I wanted it to show through when I finished. You don’t have to do this layer perfect because you will be sanding and painting over it. Once the paint dries, which it will do pretty fast, sand with 220 grade paper. I then mixed the Regatta Bay into chalk paint and painted over the Vermont Cream. Once it dried I did another all over sand with the 220 paper to make it nice and smooth. Sand a little harder in the areas in which you want the wood and underlying layer to come through.
Once the base of the buffet was done, I stained the top with Minwax Jacobean. I’ll also be staining the table top this shade as it will help keep a cohesive look throughout the dining room. Finally, I used a cheesecloth to apply a layer of Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to the entire buffet. This was the first time I had used wax on furniture and it was amazing to see all of the imperfections on the top disappear.
I am so in love with how this piece turned out, it’s absolutely perfect for our dining room makeover. You can find my post about the inspiration behind my dining room here. I can’t wait to organize and accessorize it, I also can’t wait to finish my table and chairs and see the whole thing come together. Do you have a piece that holds a special meaning? I’d love to hear about it!
Linked up at: Savvy Southern Style