Elegant Gray Buffet



Merry Christmas Friends!  I am writing and posting this on Christmas Eve eve, as my kids call it.  After so many preparations this season, it seems like the actual day has snuck up on me.  I haven’t been buying much furniture lately because I’ve had custom work or been working through my stash, but I was online one day and spotted this piece for $20.  Even at that amazing price, I cancelled on the day I was supposed to pick it up due to rain.  I just didn’t feel like schlepping heavy furniture through the slippery rain to my van.  I thought I had lost my chance, but a week later I heard from the seller.  Did I want to pick it up now in the nicer weather?  Yes, I totally did!

gray buffet before

I put this “before” picture up for pre-sell on my Facebook page, and a loyal client of mine called dibs on it.  She’s so easy-going, and pretty much wanted me to do “my thing” with it.  We agreed on gray with a walnut stained top.  I also wanted to do some shading and experiment with a new black glaze I had never tried before.  But before I could start with the fun stuff, first my husband did some repairs to the doors and drawers.  Neither were closing correctly.  He planed the inside edge of the doors and the tops of the drawers until they were all operational.  Then I took over and gave the piece a light sanding.

I have to admit, stripping furniture is my least favorite part of refurbishing,  But I love the final look of a stained top and painted base, so I power through and just try to get it done as quickly and easily as I can.  I use Citristrip stain remover, and I apply a thick layer of this orange goo with a chip brush.  Then I cover it with plastic wrap, and leave it for several hours or overnight.  When I come back to it, I peel off the plastic wrap, and use a scraper to remove all the stain and goo.  Yes, that’s the technical term.  I usually have a small cardboard box nearby to scrape all of it into, and later I can toss the whole mess.  After a light sanding, I apply the gel stain with another chip brush, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping away any excess with a shop towel.  You can repeat this process after each coat dries as many times as you want to achieve a darker finish.  Then I sealed it with Clear Coat in Satin, and my handy blue sponge applicator.  Dixie Belle’s top coats are self-leveling, and really easy to use.  I love that they clean up with soap and water.

Then it was time for the fun part – paint!  I chose Dixie Belle Gravel Road, and gave it 2 coats with my favorite synthetic brush.  The black glaze was easy to use and I thought the shading really bumped  this piece up a notch.  And the best part is, you can totally do this!  Again I used an inexpensive chip brush, and lightly brushed and blended it around the edges and details of the woodwork.  The key here is just taking the time to blend it out seamlessly into the non-glazed areas, so there aren’t any harsh edges.  The final step was adding the 3” oil rubbed bronze cup pulls from D Lawless Hardware.  With the little copper highlights, these just added so much to the piece.

gray buffet detail

I had fun staging this one, just pulling Christmas decorations from around my house.  I thought the barn red really popped against the gray.

gray buffet collage

When we delivered it to Sherry earlier this week, she invited me to look around her home.  She not only had the china cabinet/game hutch and black stools I had painted for her previously, she had tons of painted furniture all over the place!  It felt like the environment I want to live in when I grow up!  The mother ship!  Seriously, though, she does farmhouse style beautifully.

gray buffet before & after

Last, but not least, I want to wish you and yours the very best Christmas and the happiest new year!  May your 2019 be full of joy and new experiences and accomplishments.

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