Asked on Jul 26, 2013

Any ideas, tips or suggestions for this dresser turned buffet

by Renee
I just bought this huge dresser with mirror with intentions of using it in my dining room as a buffet. It is a Broyhill Premier Emphasis collection from 50's-60's, for anyone who is wondering, and I got it for a steal! My style is sort of modern, clean lines, but I love lots of different things and if I like, I go with it! My dining room walls are called deepest aqua and is sort of a deep turquoise. My table is antique walnut on top with black legs, and my chairs are dark brown leather. I also have dark brown crushed sort of satin curtains, not shiny. I'm leaning towards the rustic sort of look in here, with blues, oranges, greens. This look also compliments the rest of my house. I want to paint, refinish, redo this dresser to go in here, but I'm not sure what colors I want to go with. I was also thinking of taking out the drawers on both sides to just have shelving and turning the drawer fronts into a door, so it still looks the same on the outside. The center doors open to reveal more drawers which are bigger and would be great for placemats, table cloths, small platters, etc. I would love some ideas about this piece! Keep in mind this is NOT my dresser, but it is exactly like this one, just NOT in near as good a shape! I wish it was!
any ideas tips or suggestions for this dresser turned buffet, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, rustic furniture
  32 answers
  • Kim C Kim C on Jul 26, 2013
    How about a black surround with blue drawers/doors a shade lighter than the dark teal on your walls, then distressed for that rustic look you want. You can put your pops of orange/green on top with foliage.

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 26, 2013
    I'm not a 'wood purist' by any means! However what about leaving the wood top, staining it to go with your other wood pieces, then taking the drawers out, as you've said. Putting a 'rustic' stencil on the inside of those shelves, where the drawers were. Then painting the front door on the front in a nice rustic orange, with the inside done in the same stencil as the sides.

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 26, 2013
    I too would leave the top natural wood waxed. I'd likely two-tone this piece in complimentary colors highlighting the great center panels and maybe the pulls. If my room was aqua, I likely go for a aqua with a lighter shade (light and dark) look. Or consider ASCP Aubusson Blue.. Do you know Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue chalk paint? I'd paint a large piece of water color paper with that and sit with it in the room for a couple of weeks. "Safe" would be two shades of blues...."fun" would be blues with red accents. I LOVE Annie Sloan's Emperor Red Silk with dark wax right over the paint. Check my FB page for lots of two tone combo's with some natural wood. This is my signature look. Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SWMichigan Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations Blog: Facebook: (for portfolioof chalk painted work)

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 26, 2013
    ASCP is pricey. You can save some $$ if you're going for that 'chalk paint look' buy DIY'ing your own chalk paint in whatever colour you want. Sorry Annie, but sometimes folks can't afford the ASCP.

  • April E April E on Jul 27, 2013
    if you have a deep turquoise walls I would as everyone else is saying leave the top wood stained to match the rest of your furniture but the bottom I would pain a dark violet shade you know deep purple with a lot of red in it and would do all the detailing and even spencils on the ends in a turquoise 4-5 shade lighter than the 1 on your walls

  • White Oak Studio Designs White Oak Studio Designs on Jul 27, 2013
    Yes, commercial chalk paint is pricy, here is an example of you get what you pay for. (You can likely paint 5 to 8 piece with one quart as it goes a long way.) Yes, you certainly can make your own chalk paint, but do be aware that "home made" is a different product that Annie Sloan's (ASCP) or CeCe Caldwell's (CCC) chalk paint. Home made chalk paint is much thicker/grainier and requires more sanding. Also there isn't a track record for how it holds up in the long term. Also you have control over what color you are buying. I painted with purchased chalk paint for more than a year before I felt comfortable trying to custom mix paint colors. IF I was painting with home made, I do a few smaller pieces first and make sure you like it. If I was keeping the piece for me, I might experiment with home made chalk paint but if I planned on selling the piece, I'd go with ASCP or CCC because I want a controllable color, I want to know what the paint is going to do in the future and I want my customers to be fully satisfied over the long haul. This is why I purchase my chalk paint. Good luck and have fun with that great Mid-Century piece!! Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SWMichigan Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations Blog: Facebook: (for portfolioof chalk painted work)

  • Judy Judy on Jul 27, 2013
    I'm probably in the minority, but I would not paint it! I would accessorize the top...use the colors in your room, runners, vases, serving pieces, etc. to coordinate with the room. My daughter has a similar Broyhill piece from the same era...the man that repaired the leg (mid-century modern dealer) told her that it was worth a heck of a lot more than we paid for it, and painting takes the value down to nothing.

  • Porta Verde Studio Porta Verde Studio on Jul 27, 2013
    I do lots of mid century modern pieces and I've found that they always look best in refinished wood. However, if that's not your style, I would go with either black or white for the case and legs refinished wood for the drawers/doors itself.

  • Renee Renee on Jul 27, 2013
    THANK YOU ALL! For all of these great ideas! I am really torn between painting and leaving it more natural. I think I have decided to do it mostly in a light gray with some blue accents. I am going to open up the ends and make them shelving. I am also going to paint the inside of this a lighter color, because right now it is very dark. I think I am going to build a base for the drawers and turn them into side tables or nightstands? And just make new doors altogether for this piece. I am also going to experiment with making my own chalk paint, because I honestly don't want to spend the $ on ASCP. And since I am keeping the piece for myself! The reason I decided to paint is simply because, I don't want another dark piece in my dining room, the table and chairs are dark, and I also have a fairly dark wood floor. I will def post some pics when I get her done! Wish me luck and thanks for all the great tips and advice! I really appreciate it!

  • Kim C Kim C on Jul 27, 2013
    Renee, I just did a 40's era piece in Behr natural grey and used metallic pewter for the hardware and to accent the moldings, it might help with a visual.

  • Renee Renee on Jul 27, 2013
    Thanks Kim! It looks great! I love it!

  • Personally, I would paint it a wild and LOUD color but that is how I roll! If you wanted to keep the wood, you could do the stain-on-stencil technique and use a darker stain - that would be awesome!!

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 27, 2013 Well toodles to you! However I stand by what I've said regarding ASCP and any other "Commercial Chalk Paint". Regarding the DIY Chalk Paint, colours can be controlled, quality can be controlled and costs can be controlled. If one is unfamiliar with creating a great recipe or rather, creating a 'consistenly' great recipe, unfamiliar with refinishing items in general, then yes, you would have a problem. Fortunately that is not my particular case. ASCP, and CCC have a "Commercial Product" that they have been successful in creating "Buzz" about, and superb Marketing. They have hit the Top Bloggers hard and have been very successful in doing so. They have been extremely successful in creating the "Illusion" that unless you are using one of 'Their" products, then you just aren't in the "Loop" OR, you are putting out an "Inferior" product. That is just untrue.They are not the "End ALL" to a Quality Chalk Finished" item. Just as ASloan "Wax" is certainly NOT the only wax on the planet, nor is it the best wax on earth. However, many now are touting this to be the case. People are informing others that the AS Wax MUST be used with ASCP. Nice for Marketing, Nice for Profits, but not Nice as far as being 'truthful'. I have nothing against the AS or CC Products. I do take um-bridge with other people who become "Snobs" regarding the use of these products. They have 'drank the koolaide' and now want everyone else to drink it as well. I advise many of my peers and assist them with creating a DIY Chalk Finish, that they can use 'consistently' to enable those business owners to be competitive with a fair profit margin. Most people that are my peers, in this business have been re-working pieces, refinishing pieces, transforming pieces for over 20 years. Well over 30 for many. We have laid down numerous unconventional finishes on items, that now have been suddenly 'Discovered'. Alas, they have been here for a very long time. However Pinterest, Blogging and Internet Marketing have been the key with people now thinking they have 'Invented The Wheel". Not "Re-Invented", "Invented", some actually 'Believe' they have INVENTED THE WHEEL.I assure you, this is not the case. As I've said before, I will use a Commercial Chalk Paint, such as AS or CC, however only when the piece has been 'Commissioned'. In this way, I am able to keep my customer satisfaction rate high, while still being profitable. Every geographic area is different. Here in Northern California, the "High End" customers are just not flocking to buy, as they were in the past. The majority of our sales come from Middle of the Road folks, who would like a quality piece, at a fair price. Thus, we have literally no items that are left 'sitting around' waiting for that 'perfect' buyer. We sell quality, at a fair price to a wonderful large and varied customer base. And I LIKE IT THAT WAY. Thank you.

  • Melody ten Berge Melody ten Berge on Jul 27, 2013
    I have something similar but it is an actual antique buffet from Europe and I use it as a tv stand. We cut small holes on the back side where the cabinet doors are and we have our vcr player and DVD player etc on one side and movies and cds and dvds on the other side. The drawers are used for our cords for cameras and phones that way we know where they are at all times. Hope this helps

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on Jul 27, 2013
    @Renee Sounds like you have an awesome plan!!! Looking forward to seeing your beautiful piece when you've finished! Hugs and may the Paint Gods be with you! ;) xo

  • Louise Biernesser Louise Biernesser on Jul 28, 2013
    I would paint it black and add a polyurethane finish. To keep a modern look, replace the handles with pewter look /sleek lines or totally eclectic.

  • Renee Renee on Jul 28, 2013
    Thanks, everyone! Got the plaster of paris yesterday and am excited to get started! Gonna' try on something else first though, so I feel more confident doing the dresser! I love all of your ideas! It is hard to settle on what to do! lol! I def thought abt using for tv stand, it would work great for that! But, I already have one! And I love color and have thought abt painting it a rusty orangey/red! (if that makes sense to ya'll, lol) I also have a corner cabinet that I will be redoing, once this one is done, that is also in my dining room. And, I'm kinda thinking about painting the legs of my table, too! Aagh! I have a hard time staying focused, can you tell! lol!

  • Linda Linda on Jul 28, 2013
    When ever you have finished your room please post it so we can see what you have done and give us some ideals too. Love your piece, kind of art-deco style.

  • Z Z on Aug 06, 2013
    :_( I'm so sad to hear you'll be painting such a beautiful piece of furniture.

  • Cathie F Cathie F on Jan 09, 2014
    color hot color like royal blue or hot pink! Go to a store that does counter tops find scarf marble or garnet for the top!

  • Kathy Deuel Kathy Deuel on Jan 09, 2014
    Not sure if I like all of these chalk paint ideas, some are beautiful, still the good wood pieces look so grand by themselves.

  • Red Wind Studio Red Wind Studio on Jan 09, 2014
    I would definitely paint it. Stain the top the same or close to the same as your table and paint the rest black then paint the interior the same aqua as your walls.

  • Jane Jane on Sep 15, 2014
    I always paint my pieces then to get the newness off use either stain, diluted brown paint, dark wax or Martha Stewarts bronze glaze. If you look online you'll see people use metallics either silver, gold or bronze to add some sophistication. Check pin interest out and find a color combo you like then research the how to, good luck !

  • Anna @Annabode Anna @Annabode on Sep 17, 2014
    This is such a beautiful piece! Please, please don't paint it.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Sep 19, 2014
    Would not paint it.

  • Bridget Kik Bridget Kik on Sep 19, 2014
    I have to admit I agree with the previous two posters. Its not like this piece of furniture is in a bad way - its beautiful. The thing that worries me is that the whole chalk Paint effect will eventaully go out of fashion along with just about everything else that moves in cycles. If this piece of furnitre was battered I would say go for it, but its beautiful and you might just regret painting it X Good luck with whatever you decide however. OOPS just noticed you said yours is not is as good shape as the one in the photo - in which case GO FOR IT !!

  • Rose Rose on Sep 29, 2014
    In my house It would be paiinted an off white or cream color. I would use a curtain rod and fabric instead of the doors. I don't really like the knobs and may be hard to find new hardware the will line up with the current holes. f that is the case, I would use some jute and make my own handles. Because the cabinet is massive, maybe even braid the jute.If I found some nice pipe, I might thread that on the jute. I wish I had scored that dresser. Good luck, hope you post the after.

  • Sue Eudey Sue Eudey on Sep 29, 2014
    If your style is Modern... I would paint it a shiny metal color... silver, copper, gold,bronze... get new Modern drawer pulls and possibly Paint either black or white for the legs and possibly in the recessed parts of the cupboard/doors in the middle.

  • Bj Bj on Sep 29, 2014
    there is a stain that is suppose to require no or not much prep. its called Java stain. i got a small can to experiment with. its ebony.

  • Stephanie Murray Stephanie Murray on Jan 12, 2015
    Hello ;,,,, just to say that often furniture from this period despite appearances can be valuable ,,, this swedish/danish design is in full fashion ,,,, in case you decide not to paint you can simply clean it and teak oil it ,,,,

  • Dianna Henshaw Dianna Henshaw on Jan 18, 2015
    This mid century modern dresser can be very high priced. I just bought one similar for $50 and found out its worth $500 on up. You might want to do a little research before you change it out. Take a look online at the Automic Junkies website from Orlando, Fl. Surprising what they go for.

  • Galen smith Galen smith on Dec 21, 2015
    I agree with researching the worth of this, perhaps, valuable piece. I think it is beautiful and would love to just give it TLC.