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Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

Hello readers! I’ve got a really special project this week. It’s an elegant painted buffet makeover and I’m super excited about this one for several reasons. This piece came from a thrift store in Luxembourg and I’m painting it for my friend who is now stationed only a few hours away from me and who really wants a painted piece of furniture from me. I have gotten a ton of requests for something green so that’s what I’m doing today. Plus totally fitting that green it’s the kidney donor awareness color and you may know that I’m a living kidney donor – so this is perfect! Let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need for the Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

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Step 1 of the Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover: Removing Hardware and Cleaning

The first thing I did was remove the handles and the metal keyhole cover which was broken apart in 3 pieces and had put back on with glue. I’ve mentioned before that I keep everything! So I was able to replace this with something from an older piece. This is the exact reason why I reuse and keep everything. You just never know when you might need that little metal keyhole that came off a piece years ago.

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

The new keyhole cover!

Next I cleaned with White Lightening and I didn’t know what I was going to do with the top so I cleaned it really well to assess what I was going to do.  I used a 3M scrubby because it was so dirty and I needed to be able to see what was underneath all the grime.  After cleaning, I went over it with clean water and a clean microfiber cloth to get all the residual off.

I used a thick layer of chemical stripper on the top and let it sit for 15-20 minutes and came back with my plastic scooper and repeated this process twice. I then used 3M scrubby to go around the edges and into the cracks and crevices to get the finish off.

After the chemical stripper I neutralized with mineral spirits (which evaporates really quickly, in less than 5 minutes) and any left over debris can just be wiped off the surface. This also helps open the woodgrain if you decide you want to stain the top.

After cleaning, I used my Surfprep 3×4 Electric Ray and started with 120 grit over the entire piece and then went up to 220 grit to make it a light, smooth surface. Part 1 of the elegant painted buffet makeover is complete.

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

Step 2: Painting the Base Coat and Blending

The blending of this elegant painted buffet makeover is the key step in getting the exact look that I wanted with the different colors of green chalk mineral paint. My base color was Sea Glass which is a really light green, so in order to avoid any possible tannins coming through from the wood, I used Boss in gray which is a blocking primer.  When painting with light paint colors, the blocking primer will keep any bleedthrough from happening that could possibly come through from the tannins in the wood. I recommend this step for anyone painting with light paint colors.

After the blocking primer, I painted a whole coat of Sea Glass over the entire piece. I like to have a base coat of a lighter color first before I start the blending. For this project I used 3 paint colors – Palmetto which is the dark green, Mint Julep which is the medium and Sea Glass which is the light color. You need a brush for each of the 3 colors plus a clean, dry, neutral brush and a mister spray bottle. I wanted a darker paint color on the outside so I started there with the Palmetto. I butted the Mint Julep up against it and then added the Sea Glass where I wanted the lightest areas to be (in the middle).

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

I totally recommend watching the video tutorial for visuals because blending is hard to describe! When you hear what I’m saying and you can see what I’m doing it will really start to make sense and you’ll feel confident trying this for yourself. The link to the elegant buffet makeover video is just below at the end of this post.

Step 3: Sanding and Distressing the Buffet

So many of my military friends that I do pieces for move around a LOT. Furniture can get nicked or scratched in each move, so I like to take my sander and do a light distressing which will make any scratches that happen in a move much less noticeable.

Step 4: Adding Magnolia Flowers to the Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

This buffet needed a little bit of florals to make it feminine and pretty so I used Magnolia Garden transfers. Make sure your paint is thoroughly dry before applying the transfers!

These transfers can be cut into sizes so that you can place wherever you like. You want to burnish it and really well to the wood and then start lifting gently, continuing to burnish to make sure that it’s transferring really well. After you have lifted the plastic film, burnish again with your hand. Transfers need to be sealed so I recommend using the Satin Clear Coat overtop.

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

Step 5: Applying Dark Wax

I decided to add some dark wax to this piece for a bit more dimension.  I applied Easy Peasy Spray wax first and let it dry and which creates a surface that makes it easier to pull the dark wax off if it goes on too dark.  I used Best Dang Wax and went into the cracks and crevices (using the La Petite brush) and then wiped the excess back with a microfiber cloth.  You can spray again with the Spray Wax if you feel like it’s too dark and this will help you wipe it back to get a lighter wax finish.  Play around with it to get the color just the way you want it.

After applying the wax I sealed the entire piece including the transfers with the Clear Coat Satin and this will lock in everything including the wax. I did not seal the top of the piece – that’s coming up next in the elegant painted buffet makeover project.

Step 6: Refreshing the Hardware

Time for a hardware refresh using Gold Gilding Wax which is an oil based wax and will dry within 24 hours and will cure within 21-30 days.  Apply with a small brush and it will not rub off and will become permanent.  It’s a great solution to easily changing up hardware colors.

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

Step 7: Sealing the Wooden Top

The very last step of this makeover was to seal the top with Gator Hide which is a water resistant top coat using a high density foam roller. If something spills on it, it will be fine! If I had left it as raw wood, it would not be protected.

To apply Gator Hide, use very light pressure just going in one direction. Let that dry for a few hours. After it’s dry, you want to do a light scuffing with a very fine Rad Pad which is the equivalent to a 280-380 grit. Go over the surface very lightly (do not take the finish off) and this will allow the second coat to grip onto the first coat. To get any dust off you can use a dusting brush with soft bristles. A Tack Cloth which is a sticky cloth that you can rub across the surface, is also really helpful in picking up any dust or debris left over on the piece. When you’ve done those two steps, you can apply the second coat of Gator Hide, applying it the exact same way as the first coat.

Elegant Painted Buffet Makeover

Super fine sanding paper in between coats of Gator Hide

Dust brush with super soft bristles

The Tack Cloth that helps remove dust or debris

And that is it for this week. I hope that you enjoyed the elegant painted buffet makeover and I loved blending these shades of green!

If you’ve ever wanted to paint a piece of furniture white but aren’t sure how, take a look at this blog post:

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