Friday, March 11, 2011

These before and after photos are amazing!!

This is the before photo of a buffet that I picked up on craigslist for $100. It is SOLID pine and took three of us to move it. All of the drawers and cabinets are in perfect working condition and it was love at first sight! It is just over 6 feet long and although the finish was in pristine condition, I had a plan.
Befor I show you the after, I want to explain what I did. The little tray in the photo below was my inspiration for the color on the buffet. I wanted something that look sort of old world and emulated a feeling of history. The pine was too western looking for me so I found this little tray and fell in love.

I love this patina. It looks aged to me. Interesting choice since I don't usually incorporate blue into my decorating colors. But I was just drawn to this.
I usually start a piece by just digging in but I took my time on this one because I wasn't quite sure how to create that sort of blue patina finish or what colors were going to work so I started on a drawer. I based it in a robin's egg blue. Notice how the hutch had naturally aged to a lighter finish. You can see the original finish was much darker under the hardware that I took off. Just a creative note...I don't base paint my pieces that I distress because when you go back for sanding sometimes you can't get back to the original wood and then you have white or grey showing through. I just started painting this one without an undercoat.
I then took a denim blue and did what I call a dry coat over it. Just take a dry paint brush and dip it in to the new color and start painting.
I used sort of a limey green color to add texture. I also used dry brush technique on this one.
Then I made a very thin mixture of a deep army greenish/brown color and painted it on with a brush and then wiped away the excess to give it a warm finish. Just wait to see what I did next!
After I knew I was going to like the color, I decided to make a huge change to the architecture of the piece. I was not going to have a hutch in our dining room because of the lack of available wall space so this buffet was going to have to hold a lot of dishes and the side cabinets were not going to provide ample space, so I jumped right in and knocked out the drawer support that held the third drawer down. This also opened up the space where the bottom drawer had been. It wasn't hard. I just started beating on the supports with a hammer and they came loose fairly easily. I had to take the back of the buffet off in order to reach the back side of the supports. It was held by staples so that was pretty simple as well. I used a hammer to loosen it from the back. I then measured for a shelf bottom to put along the drawer support at the very bottom of the piece and also to put in a new back on the shelf opening I had just created.
I went to Home Depot and picked out some unfinished beaded board paneling. They cut two pieces my dimensions and I screwed them in when I got home. For a second I thought I might just leave it natural or paint it off white, but I didn't want a country look so I decided to stain the paneling instead. My dishes are white and off white so they would show better against them anyway. Here is result.
This was after the first coat of stain. I used a darker stain to "antique" the inside applying it heavier in the corners and along the edges. In the final photo you can see what it turned out like. I looked at Home Depot for new pulls for the drawers and cabinets but I couldn't find any that exactly matched the holes where the old ones were and since I'm lazy...yes I said it...I decided to just put a new finish on the ones that came with the piece. I painted them a bronzy color with some gold flecks. They turned out nicely. Are you ready...Here is the finished piece!
Voila! A new piece of furniture that functions well for our dining room. It looks like it's been around the world a couple of times and has so much character. To finish the piece, I used a satin Polycrylic all over just to give it a nice finished look. I kept the original wood top because it was in great shape and to paint it would have changed the character that I was trying to accomplish. I love this buffet. I will post some photos in tomorrow's blog of my dishes and things in it. I wanted it to get a good drying time before I did that. I started this project yesterday afternoon at about 2:00 and finished even with errands, kids, cooking, working and life today at around 3:45. Anyone can do this. It's not hard. Cost of the project with paint and buffet was $154.50. The most expensive part except for the buffet itself at $100 was the beaded board paneling. I also purchased paint and stain. If I were to put this in my booth, I would price it around $1200. To me it is priceless! 
I have a story about our dining room table as well. It was thrift...of course and I haven't found chairs for it yet so I can't show you the entire room, but soon...Keep on looking for those great deals!
XOXO the thrift addict.
Let's check out those before and after pics closer together!

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