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How to Refinish a Wood Buffet | Easy DIY

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The dining room was in need of a buffet and week 4 of the One Room Challenge was all about finding the perfect piece. When I couldn’t find the perfect buffet online, I decided to go thrifting and refinish a piece myself. We blew past the halfway point of this 6 week challenge and I love putting this room back together!

Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge

For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! This is my first time participating in the Better Homes and Gardens One Room Challenge and I can honestly say that I am having a blast! I have thoroughly been enjoying the community aspect of this challenge and love watching all of the other projects the participants are taking on.

Check out week 1, week 2 and week 3 of this challenge to see everything from my initial dining room design concept to wallpaper removal and paint!

Now that the base layer of the dining room is complete I can start bringing furniture and decor back into the space!

One Room Challenge dining room progress

Finding a Dining Room Buffet

The dining room definitely needs a buffet for storage and a surface to set up food/drinks. There are so many fun credenzas online, but completely out of my price range. The buffets that I found in my price range were made of particle board and I really wanted one that was solid wood. I had two options:

  • Purchase a new cabinet that was my style but may not hold up over the years
  • Thrift a solid wood buffet & refinish it to my liking

When we moved into our new home, I made a promise to bring quality pieces into the house. This includes furniture and artwork I hang on the walls. New home, new me (or something like that)! With this in mind, I decided to go thrift shopping.

I visited a local thrift shop called, Consign-It, and I found so many fabulous buffet options! The one I chose was the perfect size for my dining room and had similar legs to the Arhaus dining table. The buffet has great storage and a fun silverware drawer (I was way too excited about this). Oh, and it was only $300!

Thrifting and refinishing the buffet

How to Refinish a Wood Buffet with Paint

To go with the moody, modern feel of the dining room, I decided to paint the credenza black. I ran to my local Home Depot and picked up Rust-oleum furniture paint. When I saw that this kit required no sanding or primer, I was sold! Another benefit of this paint kit – it cures in 24 hours! This means I can move it in right away and start putting the space back together.

Rust-oleum furniture paint kit to refinish the buffet

1 | Remove Hardware & Deglaze the Wood

First I removed all of the hardware and took off the doors and drawers.

Next, I cleaned the buffet and wiped it down as best I could. I applied the deglazing liquid on every surface of the buffet that would be painted. The deglazing liquid allows the paint to adhere to the wood so that we don’t have to pull out a sanding block!

2 | Apply the Base Coat

The refinishing kit was super easy to use and I followed the directions on the box – including the recommended 2″ brush to apply the products. Initially, I applied the base coat with an ultra-smooth roller but quickly realized this was not the best tool.

Because the base coat is actually a stain and not paint, the roller created air bubbles. Applying with a brush gave the appropriate finish that I wanted. I spent the weekend deglazing, applying 2 coats of the black bond coat, and then finishing with the protective top coat.

3 | Clean the Brass Hardware

The original hardware was dirty and a little dated, but I wanted to make them work. I decided to polish the brass hardware and really make them shine. I had heard that the acid in ketchup and tomato paste works well for cleaning brass so I gave it a try!

If anything, it was a fun project for the kiddos, but the brass needed something a little stronger to really get them clean. I grabbed some Brasso and it worked like a charm. The hardware looks better than I could have imagined and I am so happy I kept the antique look!

Refinishing a vintage buffet and painting it black | Building Bluebird

Refinished Buffet in Modern Black Paint

I absolutely love how the buffet it turned out!

Refinishing a vintage buffet and painting it black | Building Bluebird

Who else gets pumped about a silverware drawer?! I have had my china silverware from my wedding in a bag for 10 years, so putting it away in an official spot was really exciting.

Refinishing a vintage buffet and painting it black | Building Bluebird

More ORC Week 4 Progress

Window Treatments

One of my favorite designers/bloggers is Jenny Komenda. I used all of her window treatment tips on Instagram in the space. Unfortunately, I installed the rod incorrectly and am in the process of fixing my mistake! I also only purchased one curtain panel that was the wrong fabric and had to order new curtains. I am hoping to have the window treatments complete by the end of the week.

The curtain length that I need is 85″. Because curtains only come in 84″ and 95″, I purchased 95″ length and will adjust each panel. Jenny recommended iron fabric tape to achieve the desired length and that is exactly what I plan to do! I purchased a french rod and rings to get the look I want – AKA a “Jenny Komenda look” haha!

Here is a real-life progress shot – repairing holes after the rod placement was uneven!

One Room Challenge progress

Two weeks left until the end of the challenge and I am struggling to finalize the artwork! My husband gifted me a beautiful piece of art that I know will be perfect in the dining room. I am thinking about doing a DIY project for the artwork on the back wall. Check in next week to see what I came up with!

If you have a chance, check out the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge and give them some love. A six-week renovation is a huge undertaking and this is the time when participants need a little encouragement to make it to the finish line.

Pin the Image Below!

Want to save this buffet transformation to reference later? I’ve got you covered! Add the pin below to your Pinterest boards to reference easily in the future!

How to transform an old and dated buffet into a masterpiece | Building Bluebird


Thursday 24th of October 2019

That's an incredible transformation - and how fun that your kids got to help!


Friday 25th of October 2019

Thank you! Haha, yes my daughter was quite amused putting ketchup on drawer pulls :)


Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Your buffet looks so elegant and classic! Nice work. I love rehabbing old pieces versus buying something new. There are so many advantages to doing that. I'm looking forward to seeing how your room turns out. It looks lovely so far.


Thursday 24th of October 2019

First time here and glad I popped over to see the progress. Normally I cringe on painting antiques but man o man.. that black really gave this piece a classy new look!! Great job giving it the glam appeal


Thursday 24th of October 2019

Thank you so much! I am so happy with how it turned out. I want to refinish another piece now, its so rewarding! :)

Susie | Chelsea Project

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Beautiful buffet, Lindsey. Love the new color! Your space is looking so good!


Thursday 24th of October 2019

Thank you so much! I am so happy I bought old rather than new and refinished it.

Angela Nickerson

Wednesday 23rd of October 2019

Love the buffet! It is glorious!


Thursday 24th of October 2019

Thanks so much!