Dresser turned Buffet – DIY Transformation

A few months ago Matt and I got a dresser, an armoire and a nightstand all for $150 on craigslist.  I wanted to use the armoire for a school supply closet, the nightstand for the guest room and the dresser for me.  Since I am not one to keep perfectly good (though possibly ugly) furniture in my basement or garage until I can refinish it, I had Matt bring them all in the house to be put to use until I could get around to making them beautiful.

I didn’t want him to take my super heavy dresser upstairs just to be brought down again in a few weeks, so I had him keep that in the kitchen.

We decided we kind of liked it there (not to mention the fact that the drawers were a bit too shallow to be used for clothes), so we now have a buffet and I am still dresser-less.

I was thinking that I would paint it a reddish orange and paint the hardware black.  I mentioned orange to Matt and while he didn’t love the idea, he was ok with it once I showed him some pictures of what I was going for.  In that “less freaked out” state of mind he helped me pick out a very bold orange paint color.

Anyway, these pieces are solid wood and well built.  My only complaint is they all have this weird indentation on the front.

I didn’t like it.  Elmer’s Wood Filler to the rescue again!  Over the course of several days I filled in the dent (a little at a time).

There she sat.  For weeks.  It got very boring.

Then in a burst of nesting instinct I sanded…

and primed…

and painted…

I know.  You don’t need to tell me.  Lets just say that while I was trying to bring “warmth” into the kitchen, I didn’t necessarily want to burn it down.  I tried to tone it down with some black paint mixed in with the orange (you know what a cheapskate I am) but that ended up making look less like a pumpkin and more like a pumpkin’s vomit.

I went back to Home Depot and picked up a quart of Behr flat paint in the color of “New Brick”.  I pulled out my HVLP spray paint gun, took it out to the deck and after two coats had  managed to cover up the pumpkin vomit.

I wasn’t in LOVE with the color.  It was a little pinker than I had envisioned, but I wasn’t going to spend any more money on it.  I was determined to be happy with it.

Then I made a big mistake.

In my zeal to get it finished I grabbed a can of spray on crystal clear enamel to use as a top coat.  BIG mistake!  It was splotchy and just horrible!  Then I made another mistake.  I thought I could blend the splotchiness by using a top coat of polyurethane.  Nope.

My mistake did end up being good in the end.  I realized that the yellow tint to the polyurethane gave the paint job just what it needed to temper the “pink” and turn it into exactly the color that I had wanted in the first place (this is the second time the yellow of polyurethane has saved a project of mine)!

I spray painted the hardware.  I accidentally bought black enamel.  It was able to get the job done, but it took several more coats than it should have (the enamel didn’t want to adhere to the metal).  Next time I’ll make sure I get the right stuff.

After I attacked the top of the buffet with the sander and paint gun I used a glazing technique that I saw on www.allthingsthrifty.com.

I painted black glaze onto the surfaces and wiped it off just like she told me to.  The glaze stuck in all of the nooks and crannies giving it an antiqued look (by the way, I used flat paint like I always do and the glaze still wiped off really well).  It worked perfectly and I love how it turned out!

I couldn’t be happier with the final product!  The new color is just what I wanted, the glaze has given it a wonderful antique look and the HVLP spray gun gave it a fabulous brush stroke free finish!  It looks like fall to me.

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  1. Heather B says:

    Whew! I was a little worried there at that bright orange :) But it looks fabulous in the end!!!!

  2. That looks so hot. Love it.

  3. all that work and it finally turned out beautifully! it certainly was a learning experience! :)

  4. Yet again, another amazing transformation. You rock!

  5. WOW! This really speaks volume in Warmth! Its a real beauty,wonderful job!

    • Thank you! It matches my kitchen really well even though it’s a totally different color than anything else in there.

  6. Wow, that was alot of work but so worth it. Beautiful job! Dee from My Painted Stuff

    • Thank you! It actually seems like more work than it actually was. The hardest part was getting it out onto the deck (my pregnant belly didn’t want to cooperate).

    • Thank you. It is so cozy in my kitchen. But honestly not as much work as you would think. The HVLP spray gun was a life saver :)

  7. How cool. I so wish I had such vision. What an amazing buffet. And I love the color you chose.
    Thanks for sharing. You’ve given me inspiration!

  8. Love your dresser turned buffet. The color is gorgeous. You have done a great job. Thanks for sharing. Karie

    • Thank you! I’m really pleased with the color too. It’s a little less bright in person.

  9. Oh my goodness. I think this is the ugly sister to the ulgy cr@p “before” version of my Pottery Barn Wannabe Dresser. You did a fabulous job on yours, loving the color! Come over and check mine out. http://tamicurbalert.blogspot.com/2012/10/pottery-barn-wannabe-dresser-reveal.html
    I am also going to share yours on my facebook page as well…https://www.facebook.com/CurbAlert
    So glad I found your blog.
    Tami @ Curb Alert!

  10. I always love a good before/after! It’s amazing what some paint and a little elbow grease can do! Thanks so much for sharing with us :)

  11. Great job. Love the final color, and the pop of yellow on the inside. Looks like all the hard work and mistakes paid off. Thanks for sharing. Found you through a link party.

  12. Such a gorgeous color you chose for this piece! It really pops and makes an impact. Found you at Craftionary :) Megan

  13. I think your buffet looks great – love the colour, and the glazing, it’s a great way to finish a piece of furniture and now you have a fantastic feature piece.

  14. I love this! I love how it will brighten any room, and the fact that your nesting instinct kicked in. 😉 Cant wait to follow along!

    Bethany http://www.thislittleestate@blogspot.ca

  15. Great Transformation! I’d like to invite you to share it at my party, Twirl & Take a Bow at http://www.houseontheway.com. I hope you can join in the fun!

  16. It turned out wonderful! I love the color and the black hardware. You did an wonderful job. I’m a new follower. I hope you will come by my blog and enter your link in Totally Transformed Tuesday. I know my readers would to see. http://pjhdesignsoneofakind.blogspot.com I hope to see you there. Hugs, Peggy

    • Thanks for the invite! Unfortunately Sandy has curbed my abilities to have any more linky fun for a while :(

  17. super transformation Courtney! a lot of work, but worth it in the end?


  18. Love the final redo, fab! Great Color!

  19. love the color and blk looks fab with it. just to tell u, the weird indent is a “eye” of the wood-it is pine. Pine naturally has brown spots (eyes) so when the wood is cut, if it goes through it-it sort of “falls out” creating a natural indent. I personally love it and would have kept it,