A Buffet Makeover using Latex Paint

How to Refinish a Buffet using Latex Paint

I saw this buffet on Kijiji and couldn’t drive there fast enough,  I didn’t realize it would need a buffet makeover.  It was out on a farm in a big red barn with different types of old furniture.  Its solid wood and I loved the French provincial style of it.  And then I made a mistake that happens to me all too often, falling in love with a piece before you buy it?   Please tell me that happens to you too?

Unfortunately, the light in the barn was not good and with my special I got to get it blinders on.  I did not notice how horrible the black paint was.

It was obviously spray painted and there were nicks and scratches on it.  With the drawers removed you can see the horrible paint overspray that was throughout the interior of the cabinet.
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The buffet is solid wood and I love the bones of this piece so much I used it for over a year before tackling refinishing it.  I had to be in the frame of mind to start as the finish I want on this buffet was going to take a few days to complete.

In the end it was worth every minute of time it took me to complete the buffet makeover,  Here us the process I used.

Strip the Buffet

You will need the following supplies to strip and prepare the buffet for refinishing.

Chemical Stripper

A paint scraper

Old or cheap paintbrushes

Plastic wrap

Goggles for eye protection

Rubber gloves

80, 120 and 220 grit sandpaper

Chemically Stripping

The first step was to remove as much of the paint as possible with a chemical stripper.  Follow the directions on the can.   I put on goggles, gloves and a long sleeve shirt before using a dollar store brush to stroke on a thick layer of the stripper.  Then immediately cover the buffet with plastic wrap.

The plastic wrap prevents the stripper from evaporating and drying out. You will use about half the stripper that you would use without the plastic wrap.

Leave for at least 10 minutes and if the paint is bubbling, use a paint scraper and remove the paint.  Please be careful while working with the chemical stripper it can really burn.

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Once the majority of the paint has been removed,  remove the remainder of the paint with steel wool., this works very well, especially in any dips and grooves.  Dip the steel wool into the stripper and then rub the rest of the paint off.   The next photo shows the difference the steel wool made on the top of the drawer.

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Strip off as much of the previous paint as possible.

 

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Repeat the process for the buffet and all the drawers.  I took my time and finished stripping the dresser over two days.

Sanding the Buffet

Thoroughly sand the wood, starting with  80, then 120, and finally 220 grit sanding paper.   It is okay to use a sander for this but sand by hand to get in corners and grooves.  This part took me three days to do, it is lots of work, but I am sure you can do it in less time as I needed lots of breaks.

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Repainting the Buffet

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To  refinish the buffet you will need:

Primer

White latex paint.  (Benjamin Moore – Linen White)

Clean paint brushes

220 and 280 grit sandpaper

Polyurethane coating

Once the wood is sanded, apply a coat of primer, then lightly hand sand with first 120        and then 220 grit sandpaper.  Wipe the dust off with a soft cloth.

Repeat with three coats of paint, lightly sanding between each coat with  220 sandpaper.  This picture shows how the paint gathers.  It is so much smoother when you sand the paint layers.
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Before applying the next coat of paint, run your hand over all the surfaces and resand any rough spots with the 220 grit sandpaper.  The rough portions from early coats transfer through to the next coat where you can’t sand them off.

After you have painted the buffet with three coats your buffet makeover is almost done.

Apply the Final Coating

This buffet is going to be used regularly so I top coated it with polyurethane instead of using wax.

 

Apply one coat of polyurethane and let dry very well.  Sand with 280 sandpaper wipe with a soft cloth and then repeat.  The shine is wonderful and the surfaces are so sandy smooth.

 

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Updating the Hardware

Spray paint all the hardware with gold metallic spray paint.  Apply it lightly on one side, check for runs and let dry very well.  Flip the handled hardware over and paint any unpainted sections.  Let dry overnight before reattaching to the buffet.

I admit this is a significant amount of work, but I love the outcome.  This buffet is exactly how I wanted it, its bright, shiny and best of all solid wood.  To me its worth every hour.

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Have a great week and I hope I convinced you that working with latex is worth the final result.

 

 

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15 thoughts on “A Buffet Makeover using Latex Paint

    1. Hi Debra. I agree, this buffet is one of those pieces you keep forever, I just had to be in the right mood to tackle it.

  1. This buffet is beautiful. I found one at an auction that is similar, minus the black paint lol. Your instructions are perfect. I’ll be Pinning your post. Hope to see this on Sunday’s Best.

    1. Hi Laura. I get sore muscles from sanding but I prefer sanding to painting. I love seeing the wood grain appear. Thank you for commenting.

  2. Hi Leanna,
    Nice to meet you hear in blogland, this is my first time to run across your blog.
    Love your buffet….you did a splendid job on her, she is really beautiful…..hope you get lots of
    great enjoyment out of her……and great use as well.
    Blessings, Nellie
    Come visit me sometime….

    1. Hi Nellie. I am enjoying the buffet, I have already filled her with all kinds of tall glassware and linens. Storage never goes wasted in our home. I will drop by. Thank you for finding Faeries and Fauna.

    1. Thank you very much, Megan. I love the smooth finish and it was worth the effort on such a traditional solid wood piece of furniture.

  3. Leanna, this is so beautiful. Congrats on tackling such a hard project. I will admit that I don’t attempt as many makeovers as I used to because it is a ton of work–but the end result speaks for itself. Beautiful.

    1. Its when my age shows, unfortunately, ten years ago I would have done it in half the time. It was still worth it though. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Leanna,
    What a great buffet, I love it’s woodwork details and you did a fabulous job refinishing it and painting it. Thanks so much for joining our Friday Friends Parade Linky Party!

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