How to Refinish an Old Buffet, Furniture Re-do!

I am shamefully behind on my email submissions so please forgive me, but I got this beautiful buffet re-do that had to be shared with you from The Wannabe Cottage, Jenna thanks for sending this in to me!!  Here is what they did:

A few months ago, Adam found this beautiful buffet on Craigslist.

I loved the details, but for me it was a bit dark.
 I wanted to wait to paint it though until we were in our house so I could decide what would look best with our space. 

(Hey, that’s me!)
Don’t all of those cords look great. 🙂
Anyways, I decided that I wanted it white (of course). 
But after seeing furniture on other blogs that were painted with the tops left wood, I thought maybe that would look good for this piece.
So yesterday I headed to Lowe’s to get the supplies I would need to strip off the paint from the top.

After looking around the paint area for a few minutes I walked right up to two of the guys working there (who happened to be right around my age, early 20’s) and I asked:

“Where is your stripper?”
Maybe I’m a bit immature, but as soon as I said this I had to giggle in my head.

Luckily, they did not laugh out loud. Again, I might just be immature, but I thought it was funny.
Anywho, here is what you need to strip paint off of a flat surface:

1.) Stripper: I used a water based version that smells like oranges. It worked amazingly! 

2.) Mask: While this brand of stripper says that it it safe and can be used indoors, I think it’s best to still use a mask when using a powerful chemical like this. Even if the product you use smells “safe” remember that it is still a strong chemical and therefore you need to take caution.

3.) Gloves: Again, stripper is a chemical and thus you need to protect your skin from contact.

4.) Putty Knife

5.) Sand paper

6 & 7.) Stain and Paint: Stain for the wood and paint for the bottom of the buffet

The first step is to apply the stripper over the area you want stripped.

I used a paint brush and just brushed it all over the top.

The stripper that I used stated to wait 30 minutes, but I could see it working almost immediately. 

I waited about 15 minutes and then I got impatient so I started to remove it.

Once it starts looking like this it is probably ready to be removed.

I was very lucky because the paint came off soooo easily. But it was messy. Make sure you have something to put the gunk in once you take it off. 

Use your putty knife and scrape in the direction of the grain.

Once you get all of the gunk off, use the sandpaper to get any last bits of paint off. 

Then wash the surface off until it is very clean.

Once it is clean and dry, apply your stain.

I used a dark walnut stain because I wanted it to match an antique Grandfather clock we have in the living room.

After I brushed the stain on, I used an old rag and wiped it off. 

Here is the freshly stained top:

I’m loving it. 🙂

But I need to put some polyurethane on it to finish it off.

I also painted the bottom Honeymilk from Valspar, but I want to wait to show you the finished piece until I apply the poly. and get some accessories for the top.

So until tomorrow you will just have to be happy with this sneak preview:

I tried to go shopping yesterday to find some accessories, but I had no success.

So that will have to wait, but the buffet is finished.

Here it is:

I think it turned out great!

The photos make it look really white, but it is more of a creamy white.

I am loving the wood top as well.

I am so glad I decided to strip off the paint! 🙂

I love the details on this thing!

I distressed the white by sanding it.

Not gonna lie, it was sorta tough to sand off the fresh paint I had just labored to put on.

I really liked the original hardware so I decided to keep it.

I think it contrasts nicely with the white and it is the same color as the top now so it works out perfectly!

I think the legs on this buffet are so beautiful!

I really LOVE the way the wood looks with the white 🙂

There is a problem though.

As understanding as my husband is when it comes to my design schemes, there is one thing he will never give up. 

His TV has to be in the living room on full display.

I’m a practical person and I like to watch TV so I understand the need for the TV to be in the room.

However, it is a giant black thing that isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to look at when it’s not being watched.

Anyways the TV happens to be mounted directly above the buffet

Basically, I need to find the perfect accessories to put on top of the buffet on either side of the TV to help this look better.  So I need ideas please! The more ideas the better so please leave me comments on what would make this look better. 🙂
The piece is lovely and while I didn’t mind the first color, the after is stunning!  I love the wood top restored to it’s former glory and I love the distressing.  Didn’t she do a fabulous job? What are your thoughts?
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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >I really really love the wood top, painted bottom trend in furniture lately! It's just so beautiful and such a good compromise between 'to paint or not to paint wood' discussions!
    @ Creative Kristi

  2. >I recently purchased a buffet very similar to yours. It's in the same color family as your original color (more light aqua). I love it. We're using it for my hubby's massive tv as well. We however don't have the option of mounting it on the wall because we still have all the cords associated with our surround sound, Dish, and Wii 🙁 I would love any suggestions you would have to hiding all those unsightly cords. I need to figure out a way to get them up off the floor and hid behind the buffet.

  3. >Love citri-strip! I use it all the time, and the orange smell is a refreshing change of pace from the stain, paint and poly. 🙂 Love the update!

  4. >Looks great! I refinished a dresser last year and didn't know what to do with all the gunk I scrapped off. Do you know what she did with it, and/or what is recommended? Can you just toss it in the trash?

  5. >Cassity, thank you so much for doing this post about my buffet! The past month or so has been crazy for me and I haven't had the time to do my blog, but this has motivated me to start things up again. 🙂 Thanks!

  6. >Wow! This turned out beautiful and so different from the way it started! I love the chippiness and I think the white really makes the buffet's details stand out!

  7. >This is really fantastic. I am a fan of the aged white look but you kept the top dark which is a nice twist.