I found this old buffet at a garage sale a couple weekends ago. It was sitting in the back not with all the other garage sale items and was looking very dejected. When I asked about it they said that they were just going to take it out front so that the garbage people would take it... It was in too bad of shape.
I couldn't let them throw away something that had that much potential so I convinced them to give it to me instead.
I got it home and put it in the garage with all my other great finds of the day and finally got to it about a week later.
As I removed the top drawers I realized that this was not only home to mold from sitting outside - but also home to cockroaches.... EEEEWWWWWWW
I am NOT a fan of cockroaches. Out came the cockroach spray and down went the cockroaches. Thank fully it wasn't a huge nest it was only 5-6 of the nasty things. I got them all. I could not let them live and get out. EEggghhh... So gross!!!
Don't worry. I didn't take pictures of them to show you. No one wants to see that. GROSS!!!
Anyways.... After successfully ridding the piece and then my garage of gross bugs I then went back to work on the buffet.
The second drawer was completely stuck and wouldn't come out no matter what I did. It had gotten wet and expanded inside and nothing was going to make it come back out.
After fighting with it for way too long I finally was able to break the drawer apart (just at the seams to it was completely fixable!) and then I was able to force it to come out.
As is clear in the pics they had painted it... Black for the base and then done a terrible painting job of white on the drawers and the top.
The top was in such bad condition that it wasn't salvageable. I had to toss it. But its ok. It wasn't real wood anyway so I didn't feel bad about having to replace it. Real wood can usually be salvaged - even after being neglected like this guy was. But this top was not real wood and after having been outside it had no hope of ever coming back. So I bought a new piece of wood and cut it to size for the top.
I decided that I wanted the buffet stained though and so I proceeded in stripping it.
It didn't want to lose its black paint. That stuff was on there!
Several iterations of stripping and scraping and stripping and scraping later I had enough paint off that I was able to sand it.
Because it had been so neglected I was worried about water damage to the wood - that might have sunk in and actually hurt the wood.. But I was lucky. All that super thick paint had actually protected the wood some - so after a good sand it was looking good as new!
Ok... well maybe not good as new - but I decided that I liked the dark edges where some of the paint didn't quite come off - I felt it gave it a antique feel... Not like it really needed more to make it antique but still. I like it.
Then I stained it. I used a light stain mixed with a little grey stain in order to preserve the natural color of the wood but allow it to keep the antiquey look. I ended up adding a touch of the dark stain to it as well - it needed a little depth to the color.
When I stained the sides though they turned redish... Apparently when it was built they used completely different wood for the sides than for the frame. I guess they had planned on painting it from the get go! Now this left me wondering... do I leave it and embrace the multiple colors? Or do I change my plan and go back and paint it?
I decided to embrace it. After all that work to clean the black paint off - I didn't want to cover it back up again. Plus I decided that there are lots of examples where mixing different colors of stained wood is now embraced...
Here are some quick examples that I found on pinterest...
Do you feel like I am justifying this? I think that you're probably right.
BUT I decided that if I was going to keep multiple stain colors that I could still go with my original plan of doing the top dark. The idea was that with the dark edges showing in the frame a dark top would help accent those. Plus I knew that I couldn't get the top to match the frame and although I might have been able to get it to match the sides - I didn't really want a red-ish top... So I went with full on embracing the multiple stain look!
I'm treading down new paths here... its ok. its good for me. :)
All this time on the frame - time to work on the drawers.
They had peeling veneer all over the place. I pulled off anything that was loose and then sanded down all the edges so that there wasn't anything sticking up. I wanted the drawers to be vintagey looking too! So I decided to embrace their flaws in my painting scheme.
After the trash that this was... I was starting to get excited that it was starting to come together and kept trying to get an idea of what it would look like...New knobs were definitely needed and Hobby Lobby had some cute ones! The knobs helped determine the color of the drawers...
Paint dry - I sanded the edges and roughed up the paint job a bit. I was going for vintage after all... And then sealed that. And added knobs. Well - only added them to the top drawers so I could get a better idea what it was going to look like...
I still had to rebuild that drawer I took apart and sand it down so it would fit where it belonged.
Plus I wanted to line all the drawers. They needed it. But again I wanted to see what it was looking like. I was starting to get excited. It was looking good!
Rebuilding, cleaning, sealing, and lining later I put it all together! It was looking good!! So last but not least I attached the top and did one final sand to smooth everything out after putting on the seal and she was done!!!
From trash bound, cockroach ridden grossness - to awesomeness!! It looks soo much better and can now live on for another several generations. :)
How do you feel about the multiple colors of wood? do you like it? Is it not really for you? Let me know! I want to know your opinions!