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Dining Room Buffet Makeover

We’re sharing a dining room buffet makeover today!

Several years ago, one of my cousins had a friend who was cleaning out their family’s barn.

Inside the barn they found this small buffet.

My cousin brought it home thinking I might be able to use it.

The only caveat was that it needed a bit of work.

The top was split into planks and the veneer on the sides and the fronts of the doors was starting to chip away.

So, I asked my Dad to help me shore it up because I wanted to paint it and give it a new lease on life.

Dining Room Buffet Makeover…

Thankfully, my Dad was up to the challenge.

As you can see here, it took quite a bit of overhauling to shore it up completely.

Not only did he have to redo the top,

the inside shelf,

the outside panels,

and the front doors of the buffet,

he also added a shelf at the bottom so it would be more functional in the dining room.

Repainting the Dining Room Buffet…

As excited as I was to have the buffet almost completely rebuilt, I wasn’t really sure how to join all the different species of wood and paint.

So, I decided to paint the entire piece with Milk Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Marzipan and make the buffet all one color.

I used two full coats of Marzipan and allowed for plenty of drying time between each coat.

Once everything was dry, my initial plan was to call it a day.

But it just didn’t have the layered patina look I was after. 

And the only way to get a layered paint and patina look is to layer paint and create a patina.

So, I started by adding layers of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and Pure White over the Marzipan.

At first glance, it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference.

But you can definitely see the subtle color change here. 

The Marzipan is on the outside and the Old White is on the inside.

Adding a European Oak Inspired Top…

After the body of the buffet was set, I started working on the top. 

I really wanted to use a European Oak technique technique on this piece.

But in order to do that I would have to use an orbital sander to sand down past the stain. 

The buffet was too heavy for me to move on my own and obviously sanding inside is a big no-no.

So, I did the next best thing which is to create a wash and start layering paint that way.

This is what the top looked like after two coats of Marzipan.

Next, I lightly sanded the top creating the appearance of wood grain.

Then I added a wash of Paris Grey and allowed it to settle into the sanded areas a bit.

I wiped away the excess wash with an old cloth.

Before finally adding wash of Faint Maple.

It’s a little time consuming to layer paint this way but the end result is worth it.

Finally, I sealed the top of the buffet with hemp oil.

Adding Wood Appliques to the Dining Room Buffet Makeover…

At this point, I thought I was done.

But the dining room buffet makeover seemed a little plain.

And I was worried if I didn’t find a way to punch it up some, the scale of the tobacco basket was going to overwhelm the scale of the small buffet.

So, I headed to Lowes in search of some wood appliques or accents.

I painted the wood appliques in Marzipan and allowed them to dry.

Then I secured them in place with Liquid Nails, wood scraps, and clamps.

Keep in mind, E-6000 has a highly offensive odor.

So, be sure to use caution and care, read all instructions prior to using this product and make sure to you’re applying glue in a well ventilated area.

Make sure you allow plenty of time for the Liquid Nails to dry and adhere.

Once the wood appliques were secure, I added a bit of dark wax over the raised areas of the appliques to help bring out the details.

Now, had this piece been the only piece in the dining room, I probably would have kept it this way because all those swirly details on the wood appliques were fabulous.

But something about it just felt like it was competing for attention.

So, in the end, I decided to tone the wood applique details down a bit, paint them white and highlight the raised areas with dark wax.

As you can see here, two completely different looks yet both are equally pretty.

To finish this piece, I lightly distressed the buffet with a fine grit sandpaper so the French Linen, the Marzipan and the wood layers could show through.

Then I added a layer of clear furniture paste wax.

Almost there, but not quite finished, an update…

We enjoyed the dining room buffet makeover as pictured here for over a year. 

And while I’m thankful to have this piece, there was always something about it that didn’t feel quite finished.

I just couldn’t put my finger on it though.

One night, I was flipping through one of my favorite home decor books that I’ve read a least hundred times and I saw what was missing…

…a connection between each of the appliques.

Connecting the Appliques…

Connecting the appliques was super easy.

I used scrap pieces of wood trim we already had on hand and cut each piece to size.

Next, I painted each trim piece and allowed it to try completely before sanding them with a sanding block.

Then I used E-6000 glue to apply the pieces of trim between the wooden appliques.

I used clamps to hold each trim piece in place until the E-6000 has completely dried.

Truthfully, adding the trim pieces in between the wood appliques seems like such a small detail to even fuss over.

But the dining room buffet makeover feels more finished now.

This dining room buffet makeover has had so many different twists and turns over the years.

First, it was rescued in a barn.

Then it was used as a temporary nightstand in one of the bedrooms.

Thanks to my Dad and a little bit of paint though, this tiny buffet finally has a new purpose.

If you have a piece of furniture at home that seems a little off, don’t settle.

There are plenty of small tweaks you can make from painting, to changing out the hardware, to adding feet or leg extenders, to applying trim that can help give an old piece a completely fresh feel.

Now is a great time to update the spaces in your home. Let us know what you’re working on this season!

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. This looks like a completely different piece. I actually liked the marzipan painted appliques but i can see how they would compete wkth the curtains. Plus everything else in the room.is a lighter shade. I’m cant wait to see it all.

    1. Thank you Bonnie! I actually liked the Marzipan painted appliques too. In hindsight, I probably should have hung up the curtains first so I could see how much or how little they competed with the buffet. That said, I think the more toned down version of the appliques will work best for the long haul. Decorating is always a dance, right? Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! It’s been a fun space to makeover. I try my best to show each step because sometimes it looks like things should be finished in 5 minutes on TV but in real life it takes so much longer than what you plan ha ha. I hope your day is a fun one, CoCo

  2. Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces says:

    I love how you reused this piece, CoCo! It was fun to see your work and thought process…and I love how you staged it, too!

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I really appreciate it. Hope you’re having a relaxing week. Hugs, CoCo

  3. Wowza, what a transformation! I love that you can see the potential in things. It’s super hard for me. Love this. Pinned!

    1. Thank you, Cindy! It started out super rough after having come from the barn but I’m beyond thankful my Dad was able to help me with it all. He rolls his eyes every time I’m trying to explain something while waving my hands and thinking through my vision but he gets me 🙂 Hope you’ve had the best week, CoCo

  4. The transformation of this buffet is nothing short of fabulous. I love how you were able to blend all of the different materials to create a lovely finished product. The application of the wood appliques really did add that little extra something that helped make the finished product so much more elegant!

  5. Unbelievable transformation! This doesn’t even look like the same piece. I love your creativity!

  6. Wow! You and your dad did a fabulous job transforming this piece of furniture! The wood appliques made a wonderful addition, and I love how you connected them! It went from pretty to beautifully elegant! I know you are going to enjoy it for years to come!

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