We have a friend that cleans out homes after estate sales. He ended up with a full French Provincial dining set. This buffet was the first piece that we decided to tackle. This piece had a few scratches on the top, but all in all the piece was in pretty good shape other than some loose internal sliders for the drawers (we wood glued those back in place, and now they are completely solid again).
Disclosure: The Sociable Home is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs designed to provide a means for The Sociable Home to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you; this page includes monetized links. Please see The Sociable Home's Disclosure for more details.
This is the first buffet that we were able to refinish. We decided from the outset that we were going to do a few different designs on the French Provincial dining set. For the buffet, we decided to do a classic white paint on the body, with dark grey detail work, and red mahogany stain for the top.
We used the following supplies on this dresser:
We started with a CitriStrip stripper, but it really wasn't necessary. We found that it would have been easier to just skip the stripping process on this piece and move right to sanding it down. The reason that we say that is because we spent more time trying to get the CitriStrip stripper off of the buffet than we did removing the original stain. As we usually do, we start our sanding process with our orbital sander using an 80 grit sandpaper. Then we use 60 grit sandpaper to make sure all of the original finish has been properly removed. Finally, we hand sand with a 120 grit sandpaper to get a smoother wood before applying stain or paint. However, being that the drawers and parts of the buffet body were not completely flat, we only used the orbital sander on the top.
After we sanded the dresser down we went ahead and stained the top using red mahogany stain. Stain generally takes longer to dry, so we generally do the stained surface areas first before we start any painting.
Before we painted the body of the buffet we made sure to tape the inside of the of the body and the inside of the drawers. It is always important to remember to tape the inside of the body where the drawers slide in and out, and the inside portions of the drawers where paint might drip/or paint brush might touch. We will admit that this is not a necessary step, but if you want to have a re-purposed dresser that looks professional grade, then every detail matters.
After we were finished with staining the top of the buffet we painted the body with mineral paint. We usually do two coats of paint to make sure that everything is sufficiently covered. However, we ended up doing three coats on this project.
After we finished painting the body of the buffet we were ready to start doing the detail work on it. We used a grey Behr paint to accomplish the accents that we wanted. Paint generally dries pretty fast, so we were ready to apply a coat of wipe-on polyurethane to both the body of the dresser and the drawers after a couple of hours (a couple of hours is not indicative of how long it takes to dry, it's more us playing it safe).
Poly does two things: (1) it creates a layer of protection for the drawers from everyday abuse; and (2) it creates a smooth finish. We typically apply two coats of poly, but some projects may require more. After the poly has dried we use a wet sanding technique with extremely fine sand paper to ensure that the stained areas are smooth to touch. The wet sanding process is really simple, just spray on some lemon oil and lightly sand over the stained areas with an 800 grit sandpaper (you can also do this over the painted areas, but you need to be careful not to sand too aggressively over the painted areas or you will end up with a distressed look).
We were very pleased with the result!
Josh and Sydney are life adventurers that love to learn and create. We are exact opposites and enjoy gaining new perspective. Our home is where our varying personalities shine, and we use it to gather our friends and family together.