Asked on Jun 07, 2015

Suggestion on restoring an old console

by Beth
I found this old console/buffet piece at a junk store for $50.00. I'm trying to re-decorate on a budget because we lost all the contents or our home in a house fire. Of course it was devastating at first but I'm getting really excited about decorating our "new" home. It fits perfectly for where I want to use it as a tv stand next to our fireplace. Does anyone have any suggestions for restoring it (besides of course changing the knobs). I've considering painting it but I was hoping to preserve the veneer on the drawers because it goes well with the angled lines of our fireplace and trapezoid windows. The rest of our decor will be modern/mid century modern (please excuse the mess in the picture of the fireplace I've attached :) This will be the dining table I'll purchase that will go on the other side of the fireplace I would really appreciate any thoughts!
q suggestion on restoring old console, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
q suggestion on restoring old console, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  9 answers
  • Gill Moreton Gill Moreton on Jun 07, 2015
    Hi, firstly so sorry for your trauma. Must have been terrible. I think the sideboard could look good if you carefully painted the raised edges around the drawers with matt black paint, then re-polished the veneered panels. Change the handles to matt black simple ones and it will tie in with the scheme and the woodburner.

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    • Gill Moreton Gill Moreton on Jun 08, 2015
      Yeah, I think it's a really nice looking unit. I just think it would update it subtly with those raised edges in contrast.

  • Arlene Fitzpatrick Arlene Fitzpatrick on Jun 07, 2015
    high gloss turquoise paint would give it a new look or you could paint the drawer fronts gray

    • Beth Beth on Jun 07, 2015
      @Arlene Fitzpatrick that's one I wouldn't have dreamed of! I always seem to go to the a gray/beige tones but now that I'm picturing it, the bold color might really make a nice pop in my rather dull room; and surprise my friends and family who have gotten used to my boring colors :) Thank you!

  • Trudy Trudy on Jun 07, 2015
    Take the drawers out and paint everything except the top. You could do a flat black like someone else mentioned, or charcoal gray to match the fireplace surround, or whatever color YOU like. Search Hometalk for stained and painted furniture and you'll find lots of inspiration. For the drawers and top I have found that if I rub down furniture with a stain that matches the original finish it covers up all the nicks, dings and scratches and adds back that original luster. Rub off all the extra stain with a cotton cloth (I use an old sock on my hand) so that it doesn't get tacky. If that doesn't fix it, sand and refinish.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 07, 2015
      @Trudy Thank you! I really like your idea of the stain. The wood is in pretty good shape with very few scratches and just dusty/dirty except for the bottoms of the legs where there appears to be some kind of moisture damage. I think the stain would really bring it back to life.

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jun 07, 2015
    I am so sorry about the fire, but inspired by your great attitude.If you want to keep the drawer fronts, try Old English Oil. It is available in light & dark version. I can do wonders for hiding scratches & faded areas. Also, you can buy touch up sticks, but definitely try the Old English first. If that doesn't work, you can try more intensive efforts. If you want to keep the drawer fronts, consider just painting the frame (top & sides) of the sideboard & leaving the drawers wood. White/wood or black/wood is a gorgeous look.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 07, 2015
      @Debi53 Thanks so much for the pictures! They look lovely and give me hope that I might be able to pull this off with some paint and still keep the nice pattern in the veneer. The black would tie in nicely with the wood stove.

  • Kyn Kyn on Jun 07, 2015
    First off, a prayer to you & your family. 2nd, I'm sure you will enjoy your "New Home". 3rd, no matter what you choose to do, it will Beautiful! Since you want to save the drawer fronts, clean them up & put them aside, then figure out what accent you want in your room, then paint or stain the rest of your piece that color! I think it will be just fine. Please let us see your finished piece. Have fun.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 07, 2015
      @Kyn Thank you so much for your kind words and for the great idea of how to begin this project! I think I'll get a much better perspective of how to proceed once I've put aside the parts I know I'll want to keep.

  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Jun 07, 2015
    Sorry for your loss. Did you know you can stain and or cover scratches on a lot of furniture like this by using instant coffee or instant tea made into a paste? Mix it like a paste and take a piece of an old t shirt and jus t literally rub it in. Then wax over it. VIOLA!! In 15 min you wont know it was there.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 08, 2015
      @Linda Cabler Thank you! It sounds like a great natural idea and I have just the pieces in mind to try it on rather than (or maybe in addition to) the sideboard. I insisted on keeping 2 pieces of my grandmother's antique furniture which I was warned I would never get the smoke smell out of. I wiped it all down with vinegar and water and it no longer smells but the wood is much darker, looks very dull now and was scratched when they pulled it out of the house without much care. I think I'll try the coffee mixture on that and then wax.

  • Susan Bechamp Susan Bechamp on Jun 08, 2015
    Any of these suggestions would work well. To tie this sideboard with the dining table you linked to: top the sideboard with a glass top. it will unite the two pieces with a common element.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 08, 2015
      @Susan Bechamp Thank you, that's perfect! I fell in love with that table; again because of the angles (like the veneer on the drawers) which show up again and again in our windows, fireplace and roof lines. It is one of the few pieces I am buying new but I was't sure how it would look opposite the older piece. A glass top will certainly work. I'm also thinking of putting in a chevron shaped glass subway tile back splash which is in full view of the of the whole open concept living, dining area. The only part of the sideboard that is not in good shape are the small square legs with what look like some moisture damage. Maybe I'll change those out to more closely match the table legs too.

  • 169756 169756 on Jun 08, 2015
    I am so sorry about the fire. But love your incredible attitude about it. If wood is wonderful, I say accent it with a LITTLE paint and maybe new handles. Here is a little table I found that had already been painted white. I did sand and stain the top and love how it turned out. Not mid century modern, but it works for it's current space. There are a lot of options on Hometalk to check out. I'm sure the right one will jump out at you. Good luck on all your projects.

    • Beth Beth on Jun 08, 2015
      @Kathleen The table looks great, it goes very nicely with the colors in your room (love your kitty in the before picture too:)! Thank you for the kind words and the pictures. I was a bit worried about painting wood because I painted and changed knobs on a buffet once years ago during the green paint/wood top style years only to regret it when mid century modern became popular and I realized I had essentially ruined what would have been a valuable piece. I don't think this buffet I found is truly MCM. the style looks more 70's to me (no designer names anyway, whereas the other was) so your photos give me confidence to try it again.

  • Christine Vincent Christine Vincent on Jun 08, 2015
    Refinish after a good scrub. Perfect for a buffet or for a flat screen t. Stand

    • Beth Beth on Jun 08, 2015
      @Christine Vincent Thank you..that's exactly what I intend to use it for! Our "re"-builders installed the sliding doors to the deck in such a way that I can not really put usable furniture in that whole area. The original sets of 2 sliding doors opened from the middle out to both sides so I had a piano and reading area there. The area is bigger than it looks in the picture.