Buffet Makeover ~ A Night & Day Difference

Earlier this week in my upholstered footstool post, I told you I would show you the after of a vintage buffet I was doing some custom work on. It seems once my own sideboard(or you can call it a buffet) was refinished, it caused quite a stir. As soon as my own buffet sold from my shop, I have had the blessing of receiving several requests for custom work, and thought it would be fun to share it with you today.

Vintage Custom Buffet Before Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

At first glance, you may think to yourself, “There’s nothing wrong with this buffet.” But, upon closer observation, if you look at the top you’ll see something.

Damaged Top of Vintage Buffet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

*post does contain affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too!

Being that I don’t know the full story, my best guess is that someone tried to refinish the top, but quit. I mean, there’s no topcoat and the wood was dry. Not to mention look at those awful stain strokes. {{gasp}}.

My client was after a piece to help her family celebrate the holidays, and also an accent piece to match their dinette set which was cherry wood mixed with black paint. Naturally she wanted something to compliment her decor and  match her current furniture. Sounds good to me!

To get started, I sanded down the top with my favorite sander to reveal that gorgeous wood. When looking to remove all finish I typically start with an 80 grit paper and work my way up to 150, then 220 or more depending on thickness of layers and what damage there might be.

Sanding Down Wood Buffet Top | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

After that, I lightly sanded the cabinet to give it tooth (something for the paint to stick to), and made some repairs to the damaged veneer using wood filler.

Once the sanding was done, I fulfilled the custom request to give the top a cherry stain finish using this Varathane Traditional Cherry by Rustoleum. This is always one of my favorite parts because I truly love seeing the wood come to life.

Varathane Traditional Cherry Stain by Rustoleum for Buffet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

After staining and curing, I applied a topcoat of Modern Masters Semi-Gloss poly.

Since my client’s dinette set was also in a black paint with light distressing, I did the same to the buffet cabinet. You know I love me some black – check out my other black makeovers HERE.

To seal and protect the black paint finish, I went with this Varathane Matte Polyurethane to give it an aged appeal.

Varathane Matte Polyurethane by Rustoleum for Buffet | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodidgalpieces.com

One little thing I want to share with you. Sometimes wood can look tired and just need a pick-me-up. Take the inside of the buffet for instance. It certainly has seen use, and even though most will never see it, it makes a difference to take care of it too. My go-to for this sort of thing is Old English Scratch Cover.

Revive Old Wood with Old English by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Just clean your surface and wipe on. Easy.

Applying Old English Scratch Cover to Refresh Wood by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Amazing difference, isn’t it?

Inside Buffet After Old English Scratch Cover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Now put all those different techniques together and this is what you get…

Vintage Buffet Gets Black Paint and Cherry Stain Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

A night and day difference, I say. Isn’t it chic?

Corner of Vintage Black Buffet by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

The serpentine style of this piece is always one of my favorites, and who can deny the beauty of the carvings?

Side View of Vintage Black Buffet by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

And how about that top? I seriously am pleased with the results and love that the wood takes center stage.

Cherry Stained Top of Vintage Buffet Refinished by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I bet you’re wondering what my client had to say. Well, here was her response:

WOW!! so beautiful! You did such a great job!  God blessed you with a great talent! Thanks so much for doing such an awesome job on the buffet for me. ~ Miss A

Client's Buffet in their Dining Room | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

courtesy of Miss A

Hearing those compliments is the icing on the cake and makes my day. Thank you, Miss A!

I say it all the time, but I hope you are inspired to see past flaws and are encouraged to not only give your own furniture a try, but don’t be afraid to make it your own in color and style. It is YOURS.

I’d love it if you would pin and share to inspire others too! ♥

Vintage Buffet Gets Night and Day Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Funny thing is that I already have another custom buffet in the works, not to mention working hard on our kitchen remodel, so become a follower to get all the updates. Better yet, subscribe to my posts to get them in your inbox.

Next week, I have the fun opportunity to join up with a group of bloggers for Swap It Like It’s Hot! We each send a thrifted assortment of goodies to another blogger and they have to give it a makeover. Here is what I got in the mail…

Swap It Like It's Hot Thrifted Items "Before" | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

Hmm….Any guesses as to what it will become? Head here to see!

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More of my projects for you like this buffet:

1980's Orange Dresser Gets Prairie Charm Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Gets Volkswagen Bus Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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  • Mary Barber


    March 31, 2016 at 7:46 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Mary! 😀

      March 31, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply
  • Steve Robinson

    It was lovely to start with, now it is truly stunning. I love the look of pieces where the top is stained wood while the rest is painted, like you’ve done here. Not surprised the client was thrilled!

    March 31, 2016 at 8:07 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That is my all-time favorite way to finish. Thank you, Steve!

      March 31, 2016 at 9:23 am Reply
  • gwen

    GORGEOUS as always! did you do something to the hardware as well? it looks a bit different in the after photo. can’t wait to see what you do with those pieces in the Swap It Like It’s Hot challenge!

    (and i do hope you survived the week and all is going better!)

    March 31, 2016 at 9:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Woot! Thank you, Gwen. The hardware was left as-is. 🙂 Yes, all is better and slowing down on some fronts. Thanks for asking!

      April 2, 2016 at 5:59 am Reply
  • Mary-the boondocks blog

    I am a fool for black furniture. And this one is no exception! Beautiful job Larissa!!

    March 31, 2016 at 11:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s so classic and makes such a statement. Thanks for the love, Mary!

      April 2, 2016 at 5:58 am Reply
  • Ellen Braunberger


    March 31, 2016 at 5:40 pm Reply
  • Patty

    Oh my! Absolutely beautiful. Your work is so gorgeous, you truly have a God given talent.

    March 31, 2016 at 8:24 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Awww…that’s wonderful to hear, Patty. 🙂 Thank you!

      April 2, 2016 at 5:57 am Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    What a beautiful transformation. And I love the classic look of the stained top and painted bottom.

    March 31, 2016 at 8:40 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It is my favorite way to finish to that some of the original wood is revealed. Thank you, Debra!

      April 2, 2016 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Marie, The Interior Frigalista

    It’s beautiful Larissa, no surprise your client was thrilled! It looks fabulous with her dining table.

    April 1, 2016 at 1:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Marie! It made her Easter time a pleasurable one. 🙂

      April 2, 2016 at 5:55 am Reply
  • Tom

    We are about to tackle A very similar piece in that exact same color scheme. Can you give some details on the type of paint used on the base and the prep (I.e. priming, etc.)?

    April 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Good for you, Tom. 🙂 I just used a flat black and lightly sanded as mentioned. No priming needed. Hope this helps!

      April 6, 2016 at 10:19 am Reply
  • Daisy

    Absolutely gorgeous and one of my favorite makeovers!

    May 10, 2016 at 10:17 pm Reply
  • Melodie Barrick

    Beautiful you have such a wonderful talent. I enjoy your sight vary much.

    July 17, 2017 at 9:10 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are so kind, Melodie. Thank you!

      July 17, 2017 at 9:23 pm Reply

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