Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Refinished Furniture: Dining Room Buffet and Table

We've been so busy with home projects around here lately! So excited about all the progress and wanted to share.

I've had this old dresser that was left behind in one of my father-in-law's apartments that I've been holding on to for years. The paint was chipped and covered in dirt and God knows what else. It stunk so bad that we couldn't bring it in the house, so it's been sitting on the front porch  at our old house (I miss that front porch so much!) and in the garage since we moved here.

The thing is, I really like the color and aged look of it and didn't want to change that by just repainting it. So I was thrilled when I came across a technique for keeping that look.

Well, it's refinished and now the centerpiece of our dining room!

Still looks like an antique dresser though, right?? I KNOW!! That's the best part!! I'm SOOO excited about how it turned out. It was a true combined effort on the part of my husband and me. My vision (that he thought was crazy at first!), his work. 

He sanded the whole thing down (and came across a date..1904!!), and put on a couple of coats of white primer. (I'm not allowed to detail paint like that...I have zero follow through to finish big projects and don't have the patience for all the prep work. I would have just thrown on a coat of paint over the old stuff and called it good, ruining the piece in the process. Used to drive my husband crazy, but we've found away to work around it :)

After the primer, he put on 2 coats of some white paint we already had. It's the same paint that I used for the baseboards in the dining room, so the dresser actually started off the same color as the white wall behind it.

THEN..the best part...he just took some Finisher's Glaze in Van Dyke Brown (NOT regular stain, like I orginally thought) and rubbed it on, then rubbed it off, leaving behind a film that gives it that aged look and darkens all the edges.

Stains & Color Products

And here's the finished product:

I. LOVE. IT. I was going to get new hardware, but my husband soaked and scrubbed the original brass ones and I love how they turned out. So we just have to install those and will be all set.

I've been really anxious to finish decorating the dining room. It's been the bane of my existence since we moved in. I almost just went out and bought a whole set from Pottery Barn. But I'm SO glad I waited. I've come to realize that you just can't get that personalized, home-y feel from mass produced furniture.

So we have a dresser/buffet for the dining room...but no table and chairs. We've had an old set in there that my husband bought at a garage sale for our 1st apartment 5 years or so ago for $50.  I've hated it from the moment I saw it and have ever since..but have had to live with it since then because we didn't have the money for something new..and when we did, I couldn't find anything I liked. I spent a ton of time online trying to figure out what I wanted.  I did this Dining Room Inspiration post, way back in April..with no progress since then.

Until I wandered into a Pottery Barn one day and spotted this right up front:

Alternate View
(source: Pottery Barn)

I absolutely fell in love with this distressed, white table. Who would have ever thought to use that for a dining room?? Not me! Definitely not my was a hard sell. But the idea of not spending thousands on a new set was a huge deciding factor. I really fell in love with the idea of not doing the traditional formal dining room, and giving it more of a cozy, cottage-y feel like this:

Okay..a little extreme, but you get the idea. I really wanted to dining room that felt like you would just want to hang out in there all the time, not just a few times a year for formal dinners.

After finding my inspiration pieces I realized...hmm, I really like the legs of the old table. They kind of had that same feel. But the top of the table was SO gross...a fake wood-grain veneer. My husband said he could make a new top so I thought we'd give it a shot.
Here are the legs before:
Kind of a neat shape, yes? 

Here's the first coat of white paint before the finishing glaze.

Here's the old top. Plastic "wood"...gross.

And here's the future new top. Wood planks picked up at Home Depot. I think it was around $50. We're doing a special finish on it, I'll share once it's done. I'll also show you a little of how he put it together

My husband and I are both so excited about how everything is coming together. I learned so much from reading decorating blogs through the years on refinishing furniture. I would NEVER have thought to do that on my own. The biggest thing is to find a good quality piece (ie. real wood) that you like the shape of, then figure out how you want to refinish it. Check out craigslist for great deals or thrift stores...or just look around your house! There are a ton of How To refinish/paint furniture video's on YouTube.

We can't wait to see how it all comes together. I'll share the finished project, hopefully soon.


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