Old piece, new life

As I mentioned last week, mad has a couple of final touches for the dining room, including the refinishing of my grandmother’s buffet cabinet and dining room chairs. This week, we decided to tackle refinishing the dining room cabinet, and we’re quite pleased with the results.

Dining Room Before

a reminder of what the buffet looked like before

I have to give credit to a blog I read regularly, young house love. John and Sherry at yhl wrote about their experience refinishing a mid 20th century dresser for their new daughter’s room. I was shocked to learn that it is possible to refinish a veneered piece of furniture, as long as the piece is well constructed. I knew the overall look of my grandmother’s piece would work well with our style, but I assumed I was stuck with the color, which honestly doesn’t quite go with the rest of our dark wood pieces. After sanding a discreet test area, I knew we were in business. The hardest part of the sanding process was working through the veneer and sanding the doors, which have plenty of nooks and crannies. We gave up our garage parking spot for the week and used one of minwax’s stain/poly products. We completed three full coats of stain to get a color that would work for us.

buffet after

the cabinet after the mad treatment, with Max's approving gaze

It’s the very first time we’ve refinished any piece of wood, and overall, we’re very pleased with the results. You’ll see the color works pretty well with our dining room table. We’re also happy with the new hardware we used that matches the pulls and knobs on the built-in dish cabinet. I often read about fellow bloggers who buy flea market and cragislist pieces and breathe new life into them. I now understand how they feel–amplified by the fact that it’s my grandmother’s piece (so it has a personal history and no cost). The final cherry on top is that we have a little more room in the garage. Of course, it also means its really time to move on to Mike’s office.

6 Responses to “Old piece, new life”

  1. Michelle says:

    looks great! You guys did a really good job.

  2. Pam says:

    It is beautiful. What an improvement. I’m totally impressed.

  3. denise says:

    Thanks for the compliments. I’m now ready to refinish every piece of furniture in the house that's a little off-color. Mike’s going to have to hold me back so I'm not covered in stain from this point on.

  4. Leah says:

    Wow–that looks gorgeous now. I was telling Matt last time I talked with him that you're my house-keeping-hero. I can't wait to one day own furniture that I didn't first encounter on the side of the road.

  5. Kelly says:

    So professional — looks straight outta Pottery Barn!

  6. Michelle says:

    That's so funny! I wish I had your energy! I have a few pieces that could be refinished. most of our stuff is like Leah…side of the road or yard sales, we have alot of mix and match. oh well. lol