Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Small Buffet Cabinet/ Oversized Nightstand

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I'm always on the look out for furniture that's asking for a make-over. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found this piece at a local thrift store and imagined that it could look sweet painted white for her room. I was not in need of a changing table since I had a dresser in her closet for this purpose, so there were no prerequisites for height or width and when I came across this unusual buffet cabinet I decided it had to me mine. It is now used as an over sized night stand in my bedroom and I love it.

First I removed all the hardware, which was difficult with the hinges since many screws stripped or broke off and required pliers and a lot of elbow grease. Then I cleaned the wood with warm water and a bit of Murphy's Oil Wood Soap. This helped to remove any sticky build up or wax that might clog my sand paper and helped get all the grime out of the corners of the drawers and cabinet.

Using my electric sander and hand sander (from my husband's grandfather), I started with 80 grit paper to rough up the wood and finished off with 200 grit to smooth it out. There are lots of of nooks and crannies on this piece and sometimes I used a pencil wrapped in sandpaper to get into the hard to reach places. After the sanding was complete, I used a tack cloth (sticky cloth, a damp cloth would also work fine) to remove the dust. Next, I primed the entire piece, inside and out, using a water based primer. Oil based primers are probably better, sealing out stains from bleeding through to the finished piece and I would recommend them. However, I used water based for ease of clean up and less fumes (I was pregnant and working on this piece with my two year old). Before painting, I allowed the primer to dry by manufactures instructions, or possibly a little less since I was living in the dry Las Vegas climate. I chose a fresh glossy white paint since her room had a white crib and a white iron bed. When brushing, I completed my strokes at the end of the wood, or by lifting my hand gently mid stroke to minimize paint lines. A high quality brush really helps. Because of the many nooks and crannies, I opted to not use a roller. Two coats of paint were enough since I started with a primer and after giving ample time for drying, I finished it off with a water based polyurethane.

When refinishing furniture it is fun to shop around at places like Anthropologie for cute knobs. However sometimes the originals seem to fit so well with the piece, I keep them after a little makeover. This time I laid cardboard down on the grass in my backyard and spray painted them with Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal Finish in dark grey.
I continued the look by spray painting the hinges and wheels. The wheels needed to be sprayed, rolled, and sprayed again to ensure all parts were covered. I took the pictures of the wheels about four years after the completion of this project and you can see where there has been some wear and tear on the finish. Honestly this doesn't bother me and I think it gives the piece more character. But once again, the oil based primer would have probably helped to prevent some of this. I move my furniture around a lot and with three kids sometimes it gets a lot of "character." I'm okay with this, I have other worries to fill my head.
To add a little bit of fun, I decided I would lay some permanent drawer liners. I cut squares of green and pink printed scrap-booking paper using my roller paper cutter. For the drawers I used 2x2 squares and for the cabinet, 6x6.

With matte mod podge I brushed the inside of the drawers or cabinet in small square foot sections, stuck on the paper and then brushed more of the medium to seal it. Even though this piece of furniture is no longer in my little girl's room, I still love the fun colors I used to line the inside.

In the middle of the top is a square piece of marble which I removed during the refinishing process but left untouched in the final piece.

I'm pleased with how this piece turned out. It works as a perfect oversized nightstand in our master bedroom.


  1. I love your blog! There are so many great ideas on here. I will be stalking your past posts for a long time! :-)

  2. this looks great! thanks for the step by steps.

  3. love this! great idea - so creative and chic :)

    xo - julie

  4. Really cute- I love the insides of the drawers!

    My Frugal Family

  5. Thanks for checking it out! I have a dining room hutch I redid that turned out pretty nice too. I'll be posting about it soon!


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