Friday, January 27, 2012

Federal Style Buffet - Before & After

Remember awhile back when I mentioned a few projects that I've been working on? Here's one of several.

A very thoughtful aunt of mine called my parents to tell them she had a buffet in her house that needed a new home, and I was free to do whatever I liked to it (paint it).

No kidding, I've been debating styles for awhile but pretty much settled on this one.  Didja' see Michelle Adams's (the editor of Lonny) buffet last year?

Enter federal-style buffet / sideboard.  Thank you, Aunt B!

Lovely bones. A little worn. But that's why we wear makeup, right gals?  That's all she needed...

So that's what I gave 'er. :)  My sweet dad sanded the top of it for me where he noticed some deep scratches, and I appreciated this head-start for sure.  But don't get too jealous, because (like any DIY project) I inevitably ran into some obstacles.  Durn obstacles!

The first of which was this...  I kept getting distracted with all these adorable pets that were enjoying beautiful weather with me on the deck.  Case in point: Sammy. A.K.A. Sambo or "Crybaby Sam" (because she's always meow-ing about something, even if it's to say "hello").
By the way, don't mind her beat up ears and nose.  It's not because she's neglected. It's because she tries to attack the birds and they attack her back.  

Obstacle to conquering project #2: My wonderful mom with Scooter-man! (Funny story... Scooter recently went into the vet for a teeth cleaning and came out with his top front teeth gone. My mom had no idea until she was back home.)  It's not often that I get to spend one-on-one time with my Mama anymore so it was hard to focus on the project at hand.  
Obstacle #3: To make matters worse for my short attention span (but much better for my afternoon), my wonderful dad joined us for a few minutes. You remember this super-DIY-er from awhile back? I'm lucky daughter.)

But back to the buffet.  (See what I mean? I couldn't focus with all this family action.)  

I bought a spray painter for this job because I was working outside of our condo for once and was eager to see how it might speed things, but it was no good.  I really had my hopes up, but here's how my initial "test spray" ended:

(*Wop, Woooop*) So I primed and painted it the way I've done before, with some flocked rollers that are not as quick as a super-high-end sprayer, but are great for creating a beautiful finish.

I've tried a couple different kinds of rollers for furniture, but these are the best!  They're the same ones I used to refinish the dresser last year. The guy at the store where I purchased them, who mostly does work for decorators and contractors, said one of the contractors asked him to stop using them for samples because the customers were complaining about the finished product (without the special rollers) not looking as good as the samples (that my paint guy made with the flocked paint rollers)!  They look like this. (If you need to know the brand name, leave a comment and I'll try to get in touch with my guy at the store.  I tossed the wrapper.).

After sanding everything down with sandpaper, wiping it down, and priming it, the buffet looked  bit like this:

Now for the paint color.  Interesting reasoning for the choice here, I think.  I realized it was getting colder this fall and I had a very limited time frame to paint this buffet outdoors (on my parents' deck).  If I dilly-dallied around choosing a paint color, it could get really cold outside and the paint would be drying in not-so-ideal conditions.  So I decided to jump in, without thinking much about it, and use some paint I had on hand from painting our bedroom accent wall. 

Kind of a weird angle (for a reason... I was trying to hide the new dining room table... which we'll get to soon), but here it is.  Sanding, priming, two coats of painting and some polishin' later:

I have to admit: this is a really bad "after" shot/angle. I'm kinda' mad at myself. But you'll see why.  I'm saving another reveal (hint: it may or may not  be a successful project) that was in the way of getting a better shot.
So I want to know what you think.  Liking this makeover?  Do you love some DIY projects but find it super easy to get distracted like I do sometimes? Any painting or projects going with you? What do you think of the color?  


  1. LOVE the color - such great lines! I might have done black or silver hardware though, but that's just me.

    I have an end table I really need to paint but I am sooo intimidated by the idea of painting furniture! What's your advice on sanding?

  2. @ The Langhams - thank you!

    @ Ericka - I decided to keep the original hardware, and I kinda' think it adds some of the original character to the piece, but I can certainly see what you're talking about! And I may consider something like white hardware down the road (but who knows). :)

    Oh girl, paint it! Not sure exactly what it is (finished wood furniture?). Buy a good fine sandpaper and sand it along the grain of the wood, just enough to make it kinda' rough to the touch (that helps the paint to hold on to the wood). Don't go crazy and sand all the way past the finish completely or anything (we did that with the first piece we painted - hilarious in retrospect, we spent days sanding!). That'll actually make it more difficult to get a nice smooth finish.

    Remember, you're just roughin' it up a bit.

    Does that help at all? Comment with more questions. :)

    - Erin

  3. Oh WHITE! I didn't even think of that! There are so many hardware options... it's exciting and overwhelming all at once! Someday I should add more gold/brass to my home. I am slowly adding it into my jewelry and really loving it!

    That is great advice with the sanding! Thank you! I was definitely thinking I had to sand it completely down. Need to try to find those rollers and maybe a small paintbrush (there are some carved out places that would need some detailing I'm afraid) and go for it. It's a beautiful little end table with lots of interesting details, including pewter looking lion "door knocker" hardware on 2 sides (hard to explain but I love them!) I think it would look amazing in gray, but will have to go with distressed black for the room it's going in. I will try to take pics and post it when I'm done! :)

  4. I LOVE THIS!It turned out great and the color choice was fantastic. I happen to be a bit of a furniture painting junky and yes, I can relate to getting distracted. I wrote a blog post about a secretary desk that I painted that I am so proud of. One thing I didn't mention in the post was that it took me almost two months to finish the darn thing!

    1. Thank you Joy! Can't wait to check out the secretary you painted. :)

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