One Color Painted Buffet Makeover

7 Materials
8 Hours

We transformed this heavily used and worn down sideboard into a beauty and you can too! We spotted this well made piece as part of a china cabinet on one of the local yardsale sites for a steal of a deal! The only hitch was that we had to rent a Home Depot truck to get it home, it was just too large for our van. We didn't plan on using the top for this makeover, so we packed that away for another makeover in the future.

Before - Needs a lot of TLC!

Well, it certainly has good bones, that much is true! The scuffs and dings were plentiful but that did not matter, we knew it could be saved!

Cosmetic Issues

We started off cleaning with Krud Kutter and watching years of use slowly wash away. We rinsed and let dry, then followed with a thorough sanding with our electric sander.


We wanted the top to be nice and smooth for a beautiful stained finish. We started with a 120, moved up to 150, then 220 for a swirl free surface. Hint - if you want to see how the surface will look before staining spray some water on the newly sanded up and most of the imperfections will show, whether you need to sand a little more, or some swirl marks are still there, this trick works really well. To prepare the surface for a smooth stain application we laid down a slip coat of mineral spirits using a shop towel, easy and simple. Then, we stained the top using Walnut gel stain, wiping away any excess with a clean shop towel.


Next it was time to paint! We used a deep rich navy called Coastal Blue by General Finishes. It is a called milk paint but it lays down more like an acrylic, so smooth and is not chippy like traditional milk paint. We applied three coats, making sure to sand lightly with 600 grit between coats and removing all removing dust with an oil free tack cloth. We then used High Performance Top Coat in Satin to seal the entire piece. To freshen up those pulls, we cleaned the with bar keepers friend and hot water, then sprayed them with Rustoleum Spray Paint in Pure Gold and sealed with Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover in Matte.

Stained Top

That walnut stained top came out so pretty!

The After

Here is the final piece. It dressed up beautifully!

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  • Jill Marie Jill Marie on Nov 30, 2020

    So lovely. I’ve gutted an old cabinet style record player and will use it to store old photos and albums. This will be perfect for it. Nice work!

  • Jaye Jaye on Dec 10, 2020

    Love the deep rich blue and the shiny finish. In the progress photo, why does the bottom of the cabinet looks like spray paint was being used?

  • Patty Patty on Nov 28, 2022

    Did you stain both the top and inlay with the same color stain?

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