Buffet Makeover: Part 2

Our Craigslist buffet is trucking its way towards completion.  We left off with her sanded and ready for paint.DSC02776Okay, so in this picture, she’s not QUITE ready for paint.  Sadly, I didn’t capture her in the buff.

Also, I forgot to mention that we removed all the hardware (knobs, hinges, etc.).  I wasn’t a big fan, so we will probably donate them.

Before we slapped her new coat on, we had to clean her up a bit.  First we used a vacuum hose to get a lot of the sawdust and debris.  Then, gave her a thorough wipe with these tack cloths.DSC02780They are a little sticky (tacky, duh!) so they picked up any dust that we may have missed with the vacuum.  You probably could just use a damp cloth or even some de-glosser to achieve the same result: a clean surface.

After she was wiped down, we moved the buffet back into the living room on top of a couple drop cloths and some “stilts” (a couple of 2×4’s to paint along the bottom).  You’ll see what I mean in the pictures.

The paint we got had built-in primer so we just dove right in.  As I mentioned before, we chose to go with Behr Ultra Semi Gloss (with built-in primer) in Night Owl.  We used a brush for the trim work and along edges.  And on the flat surfaces, we used a small roller.DSC02781You can see in this photo that we didn’t sand the edges.  That would have been a heck of a lot of work by hand and using the electric hand sander could have damaged the trim work.  We did wipe it down with the de-glosser to be sure that our paint would stick.DSC02786Same goes for the drawer fronts.DSC02791Now, I know it looks like Bob did all the work, but that’s only because I’m the one who takes the pictures.  The proof?  My glass of wine, right next to the paint can!

Mmmm...Cab Sav!  Can't DIY without it!

Mmmm…Cab Sav! Can’t DIY without it!

Here’s what she looked like after her first coat.DSC02783 DSC02784See how you can see some of the red peeking through?  We knew we would have to apply at least a second coat.  So we waited about an hour or so and gave it another layer of paint.  Turns out, 2 coats was all we needed.  Thank you, built-in primer!!DSC02804

After everything had dried, we put the drawers back in so that Clark would stop knocking them over and chipping our beautiful work!  BUT, I realized we weren’t quite done.  Here’s a close up where we missed a few places that we thought would be covered by the drawers.


And a couple chips, courtesy of my baby boy!

Oops!  No biggie, I just removed the drawers again (2 days later), and painted those areas.  I also decided to paint the sides of the drawers so they are the same color when pulled out.DSC02817Another place you can see I tackled is behind the cabinet doors.  Let me take you on that journey…

I stared at it like this for a couple days trying to decide what to do with them.


Clark has been using these shelves to play on. I guess he was trying to hide his socks from us.

I thought it would be so cool to have a little surprise when you open the cabinet doors.  Not something cray cray, just something different than the grey.  So I tried white.  We have a lot of semi gloss off the shelf white left over from painting all the trim in our entire house!!  I got to about here and decided it was a bad idea.


BTW…check out my “stilts”

It could have been really cool except for a couple things:

1. The semi gloss white did NOT have a built-in primer, thus making it much harder to cover the “red velvet”. Who knows how many coats it would have taken to get a crisp finish.

2. Speaking of crisp, there wasn’t a definite edge on the side closest to the drawers for me to transition from the white to the grey.  (does that make sense?) Even with a roller, I just wasn’t getting the crisp edge that I envisioned.  So I made it easier on myself (and Bob, who had to listen to me talking/arguing with myself for a solid day and a half), and just went with the grey.  DSC02820I love it!  I’m glad we ended up there.

So now the buffet looks like this.DSC02823I am debating on putting the cabinet doors back on or not.  Clark likes to play on the shelves and now that they are painted, they look pretty good.  Bob thinks we should put them back on and to be honest, we need the hidden storage space.  Plus, we could always put them back on now, then remove them if we change our minds.

Also, new knobs are ordered!!  I’m pretty stoked about them!  We will have to fill the existing holes and drill new ones for them, so I’ll let you know how that works for us.  Yay!  We are getting there!  Here’s a little side by side of before and in progress shots so you can see how far this baby has come.


I can’t wait for the finished product!  What do you think so far?



Buffet Makeover: Part 1

I fully expected our new-to-us Craigslist buffet table to still be sporting her crimson come Clark’s birthday party 3 weeks from now.  But miracle of all miracles, Bob and I started tackling her makeover this weekend!  Here’s what happened:

Saturday morning, Bob asked,

What do you want to do today?

I said,

I guess just clean the house, maybe run some errands.


When Clark goes down for a nap, why don’t you run to Home Depot and pick up a sample size of the color you want to use on the buffet and we can start working on that today.

Uh, YES PLEASE!!  Done and done!

I had already gone through my bag of paint swatches and pulled out one I liked.  I’m glad I grabbed a $3 sample pot to test first because it was a little lighter than what I wanted.DSC02765The sample pot was a Behr Ultra (with built-in primer) in flat (that’s all the samples came in) and color-matched to Sherwin Williams Attitude Gray (how cool is that name??)  Like I said, it was lighter than I wanted, so I just went down to the slightly darker shade on the paint swatch.  Night Owl.  DSC02764When we actually painted the buffet, we used Behr Ultra in semi-gloss.  But we’ll get to that.

First Bob and I moved the buffet into the kitchen.  Our plan was to wipe it down with this stuff…DSC02767…and we didn’t want to drip any on our hardwood floors in the living room.  We plan/hope to renovate the kitchen some day so the old tile laminates (that have seen better days) were not as precious to us.

We wiped down almost the whole buffet with this de-glosser.  I had read some reviews about this stuff and it came highly recommended.  It sort of takes away that shine and leaves the surface clean and a little bit tacky for the next layer to stick.

BUT…there was a slight problem.  As we were wiping (and by we, I mean Bob), we noticed a few “bubbles” of paint in the red.  Apparently, Craig had not used a de-glosser before he painted the buffet, thus leaving a not very durable layer.  We went at it first with a putty knife.  DSC02771We knew the buffet had been hand-painted only a few months prior so we were sure it wasn’t lead-based.

We decided to sand.  Bob used his hand sander.  This was down to the layer of veneer.  DSC02776DON’T SAND ANYTHING INSIDE!!  EVER.  NEVER EVER!!!

That’s all I will say about the matter.

Moving on…I didn’t get a picture of the buffet completely naked without our paint on her.  I guess we were too excited to remember.

And speaking of paint, we still have to get to the cabinet doors, so I will post those pictures and all about that process tomorrow or Wednesday.  Until then, I will leave you with this teaser.DSC02784Looking better already!!  And that’s just a first coat!


I love Craigslist.  I can’t say we have used it for very much, but the things we have gotten off of it have been great deals!

For instance, back in 2008 (right after we got married and Bob moved in with me), we got our couches:DSC00668Before that, I literally did not have couches in the apartment.  Just a bunch of chairs to sit in while watching TV.  Bob hated it!

Anyway, I’ve been in search of a buffet or dresser to go in our living room under our “photo gallery”.  You can see where I mean in this blurry picture.DSC01717(That’s Ainsley.  Clark’s long-distance baby girlfriend.  Miss you guys!!)

Anyway, under the pictures was chair, end table, chair.  You can see that in the background of this picture.DSC02240It was nice to have a couple extra chairs for when we entertain, but other than that, the setup was not very functional.  Clark would occasionally play with his Little People on the end table…photo-11But when he started crawling up on the table, we figured it was time to put something else there.  Plus we needed storage!  We could ALWAYS use more storage!

So back to Craigslist.  I got really excited when I found this:Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 6.52.29 PMThere was a number to text with questions so I did.  This was the initial conversation:

Me: Hi! I found your posting on Craigslist and am interested in your red buffet/dresser.  Wondering what you are asking for it.

Craig (not really the seller’s name, just using it for anonymity): We are accepting reasonable offers.

Me: Do you have the dimensions?

Craig: 72″ x 20″ x 31.5″, solid wood, hand-painted red/gold hardware in Sept 2012, 2 cabinets, 3 drawers.

I measured to make sure the piece would fit and it seemed perfect.  Now, obviously I was interested, but waited for Bob to come home to show him the picture and make sure he approved before I made an offer.

When I used the search bar on Craigslist to show Bob, this posting came up:Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 7.20.57 PMFirst of all, $450????  Uh…no thanks!  I was giving myself a budget of about a third of that!!  Not to mention, the posting says $450 and then gives a price of $600 at the bottom.  Do you see that??  So I gave up.

Bob had off on Monday and we ran some errands and stopped by a few antique/thrift stores to see if they had anything we’d be interested in.  No dice.  But as we were getting ready to head home, guess who sent me a text.

Craig: Are you still interested in the red buffet?  Asking $300 or best offer.

Was Craig desperate?  I wasn’t sure, but $300 was still too high for us.  So I responded with this text.

Me: 100 is the most I can offer.

Craig’s response?

Craig: When can you pick it up?

WHAT?!?  Was Craig accepting my low ball offer?  Sweet!  But then, was it too good to be true?  I showed Bob and he reminded me that we didn’t have a way to transport such a big piece.  Since getting rid of my mini van (sniff, sniff), neither of our cars were big enough.  Hmmm…

Before I made anything final I asked a few more questions.

Me: Where are you located?

Craig: About 5 min from the Inner Harbor.

Me: Will it fit in an SUV?

Craig: It should. 

I told Craig I would have to get back to him later that day and I called Dave (Bob’s cousin) to ask to borrow his SUV.  During that time, Craig tried to weasel an extra $50 from me.

Craig: Can you stretch to $150?

My adrenaline was really pumping at this point from bringing the price down so much already, so I shot back

Me: Sorry…100 is the most I can do.

Then I didn’t hear from Craig for like….15 minutes.  Oh no! I started getting worried that I lost the deal.  I was relieved when Craig finally sent

Craig: Can you pick it up tomorrow?

Making sure we could borrow Dave’s car, we were finally able to make arrangements to get it.  Dave even helped us with the pick up and bringing it to our house.  Thank goodness ’cause this baby is pretty heavy!

Here she is in all her red glory in her new home!DSC02760And a little closer.DSC02759Now, these pictures don’t quite capture the fire engine red that she’s sporting at the moment.  Oh, here’s a close up.DSC02761It’s definitely too bright and bold for our liking and the cabinet and drawer pulls are too ornate for us.  BUT…we knew that we would want to refinish it and we have big plans for her!  The size is just perfect and we really needed all that beautiful storage!  I’d love to give her a makeover before Clark’s birthday party, but that may be pushing it.  Either way, stay tuned to see how she turns out!

Aren’t you so impressed with my madd negotiating skills?  I guess it was more just luck, but I’m pretty proud of myself!!  Can you tell?