Vintage Buffet Layered in Rich Color ~ One of my all time favorite Pieces

I am so honored to guest post for Karen Berg at Redoux Interiors today!

Karen runs her own furniture and cabinet refurbishing company in the San Francisco Bay area and is AHmazingly talented.

Karen and I have never met in person but we have laughed together so many times over every day things that she feels like a lifelong friend.  Karen’s introduction of me was pretty funny, that girl doesn’t forget anything, you can read it all here.

When Karen first called to ask me about guest posting for her, I was totally geeked and then the jitters set in.  I wanted to present something that measured up to Karen’s level of painting, blogging and spunky style – but what?  After all, it was only a year ago that I painted my first piece of furniture – what did I have to offer?

Standing in my garage, I spotted an old buffet I purchased a while back.  I thought it would make a cool bathroom vanity but there were a few repairs that needed to be made before I could paint it.

The biggest issue I faced was how to fix the warped top.  I removed the top and tried several suggestions to flatten it but it wouldn’t budge.  It was constructed of is 3/4″ thick solid oak boards – what was I thinking?

I went next door and asked my neighbor to give me a lesson on using a router; specifically his router.  He’s a finish carpenter and I needed two different routers and three different bits to create the profile.  This was my first time using any router, let alone two but it was a blast to see the results.  Good thing I didn’t slip ‘cuz I had only purchased one piece!

I wish you could have seen me when I was finished routing.  I was literally covered from head to toe in a thick layer of sawdust. You’ve heard of the sandman, well I was the sawdust monster.  I’m used to doing goofy things but I know what I want, so I do whatever it takes to get it done.  See my fierce determination and brute strength?  I can tell, you’re intimidated now – lol!

Karen laughs at me because I dig up shrubs and trees and move them around the yard like living room furniture. Seriously, I can’t be the only one ­out there who does this ~ am I?

Karen asked me to share some of my layering techniques with you today.  I’m really not sure what I do differently because I’ve never had training, but I’ll do my best to show you some of my paint techniques.

For this antique buffet, I did a base coat of Brown which I watered down a little so the paint would easily seep into every nook and cranny of the grainy wood & details.  I LOVE using this as an undercoat!  I just can’t get enough of it.

When it was dry, I went over it with a light gray.  I love layering paint colors!  I watered this top color down a bit creating somewhat of a wash so the base color would pop through.  It also allows me to leave certain areas a little bare so the first color fades through almost as though it has worn naturally that way.  I like it this way; it adds depth and plays a role in the old world finish I like to achieve.

When I initially paint a piece, I look it over and determine which features I want to draw attention to and which ones I want to downplay.  I loved the detail across the bottom so I just lightly dry brushed the molding.  I wanted the contrast of the Brown to really make a statement here.

This is where I step back and try to figure out what I’m going to do next.  I don’t have any normal methods and have never taken an art class.  I follow my own quirky path and simply design what I like.     My goal is to create one-of-a-kind pieces that will steal the focus of any room.  Do I always achieve that – no, but I try.

I wanted to bring out the texture of the wood grain a little more, so I lightly, I mean very lightly, dry brushed a vintage white in areas I wanted to highlight.  There were a few times it went on too heavy but no worries, I just blotted it off with a damp rag and started over again.

This strange looking fly flew in to check it out.  I think he likes it; what do you think – lol!

I painted the appliques in a mix of grays, adding some of the other colors here and there until I liked the way it looked.  Because I paint with all natural clay and chalk based mineral paints, I can use a wet rag to distress areas by simply doing a rub, rub, rub over those areas.  No sandpaper, no dust, no mess.  I love doing it this way, but it doesn’t take much to entertain me : D

When you look at the piece as a whole, you can see each section varies a little in how I finished it.  I do this intentionally so each portion isn’t matchy – matchy.  That’s not my style.

You won’t find me with my hair done up or my nails manicured.  I brush my hair, throw on a visor and some thrift store clothes and call it good.  In much the same way, I like the character to shine through in my furniture re-designs.  I want my pieces to be unique and their finishes to have lots of variations.

So are you ready to see the finished piece?  Here goes…

What do you think?  I love the brown undertones showing through the paint.  It gives the illusion that I’ve spent hours antiquing it when I’ve basically just used a very simple layering technique to achieve this look and sealed it with clear wax.  Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight.  I’m the type of person who needs time to process how things look and I tinker with the details until they’re just right.  Yes, I drive myself bonkers most of the time, but it pays off in the end.

I shot this picture to show off my first routered piece.  My camera is conking out on me so this shot is way dark, but you should be able to see it.  I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of this first time router job.  All I would have had to do is hit the tiniest piece of sawdust or tilt it ever so slightly and the whole profile could have been messed up.  These routers are that sensitive.  Dave also told me “don’t put your hand in there or you’ll lose it”.   Yikes!!

To create the perfect shade for the top, I mixed a dark and medium gray (don’t ask proportions, I didn’t measure :).  I just half stirred them together and started painting.

Wouldn’t this make a gorgeous vintage bathroom vanity?  I can just see it with a beautiful vessel sink and an amazing faucet.  The two narrow drawers would be perfect for make-up and brushes… and there’s a ton of space inside the center doors to house all your cleaners…  Waaah ~ I want to keep it.

I love all the details in this buffet!
 The craftsmanship of these old pieces blows me away and the feet are awesome!

I wonder what they were thinking when they designed furniture way back when?

I really do love these colors together.  How can you go wrong with this combo?

I love working with chalk & clay paints.  So much so that I now retail the paints that we use.  Ready to Shizzle it?  We offer a complete line of chalk & clay paints, waxes, glazes, clear coats, metallic mica powders and the best chalk & clay paint brushes on the market.  Take advantage of our sales now on our Online Shizzle Shop here.

Thanx for hanging with me ~ hope you enjoyed it.  Many, many, many mahalos to you Karen for allowing me to guest post for you today!

All the details for upcoming workshops can be found HERE

Happy Painting!!

Want to create something like this?  You can!  Many other people have already ordered these paint colors and have started painting their pieces.  I can’t wait to see what they do!!  Explore all the colors of our paints and get inspired here.  We carry a large supply of American Paint Company Paints on our Online Shizzle Shop here and in the Greater Grand Rapids area at several locations in Jenison, Caledodnia and Holland.  Click here for locations, hours and directions.  Keep up on all our newly painted designs by following our: BlogFacebook Page or Pinterest.

This piece has been featured at…

Check it out HERE

Linking up to:
aka Design – Do it Yourself

Restore Interiors – Restored it Wednesday
Primitive & Proper – POWW 95
Beyond The Picket Fence

Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday
Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday

Decorating Insanity – Furniture Friday Party
Redoux – Friday Link Up Party
2805 – Potpourri Friday
Fox Hollow Cottage – Pin the Tail on the Bloggy
Tatertots & Jello – Weekend Party Wrap Up
Common Ground – Vintage Inspiration Friday
Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend
Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special
Too Much Time on My Hands – Get Schooled Saturday 
1929 Charmer – Sunday’s Best Party

Sisters of the Wild West – Sunday Link Party
Boogie Board Cottage – Masterpiece Monday
Between Naps on the Porch – Metamorphasis Monday
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

Thanx for Stopping by!

54 Replies to “Vintage Buffet Layered in Rich Color ~ One of my all time favorite Pieces”

  1. This is Awesome!!! Hi I’m a new follower from over at Transformation Thursday. Is CeCe Caldwell the ‘other’ chalk paint? I’ve been wanting to check it out. Is it available in California? Great job and thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! I came here from FJI, which I only found a couple of days ago from – I think – Miss Mustard, which I only found a few days before THAT (not sure how I found her site – too many paint fumes have fogged my memory)! Your finishes are great; can’t wait to pore over your pages this weekend!

  3. Ok. First, you are right, this would be a PERFECT bathroom vanity. Oh how I wish my bathroom was big enough, I might just have to drive out to Holland and buy this puppy! No you are not the only one who digs up stuff and moves it around the garden. I do it all the time. Glad you are enjoying the CeCe Caldwell paints. I have fallen in love with them and LOVE the whole distressing with a washrag thing. I’ve been stalking your blog for a while now, don’t know why I haven’t followed yet. Now I am. (following you) Looking forward to seeing more CC paint projects.

  4. Wow!!!! I love this! It’s perfect for a bathroom vanity! Shelly, you have a gift! Your attention to detail is amazing! Thanks for the specifics on how you did this! This is such an elegant piece! This is my favorite piece! I think I would have to keep this one!

  5. Another wonderful piece! Your works are all piece of art and I appreciate the information you provide about the paints and painting techniques!

    Thank you for sharing your creativity at Potpourri Friday!

  6. Wow! It is so lovely! I love all the details. You did a great job layering the paint. I have never tried that–at least not on purpose 🙂 Great job with the router!!! You can’t even tell that you used one. I am your newest follower. I hope you can visit me sometime 🙂 Also, I would love for you to share this over at my Linky Party that is live now called Rustic Restorations Weekend.

  7. That’s lovely. You are one brave girl doing the routing thing but it adds so much detail. Love the way you mixed the colors. Have to try CeCe’s paint very soon!


  8. OMG, what an incredible piece and what an incredible transformation. Wow routering must come “natural” to you since you did an outstanding job! Have to try out CeCe paints. Thanks for letting me know you like the redo I did on my two toned charmer buffet, coming from you that’s a great compliment!

  9. Hi, What a beautiful job. I have used a router too, it’s awesome. I also tried CC Caldwell paint when someone brought me a sample. I painted some lamps with it, my first real project with chalk paint. I love it. I am now following your blog. Can’t wait to see mor of your project. My daughter and I have a new blog, please check us out. Thanks so much.

  10. What a stunning piece! It is full of character and the colors you chose where perfect – full of layer and depth. The top you added with the routing is icing on the cake! I am just getting into painting furniture (I have old pieces I am going to bring back to life) and am going to bookmark your site for inspiration!

  11. Hey, Shelly 🙂 I’ve been living on your wonderful site! I hope you get notifications when there’s a post because I know this entry is a little old.

    So, you replaced the entire top? Was it a solid wood top or did you use MDF? I have a wonderfully weathered old table with the same warped top problem. I thought of replacing the top but figured wood would be prohibitively expensive. And, dang, awesome job with the router!!! *impressed* Your final piece is gorgeous.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your fabulous self on the interwebs. I look forward to getting to your classes one of these days (I’m in Alto).

    1. Hi Susan, I actually did end up using MDF for this piece. I figured it would be fine if someone used it for a buffet. I would have loved to have a piece of marble cut for it then set a sink inside but that was WAY out of my price range. Even a solid piece of wood that thick would have been $200 with my neighbor’s discount. I loved that piece.

      1. You are right to love it because you did a fabulous job and it’s a beautiful piece of furniture! I think it’s my favorite, too, of everything I’ve seen on your site. MDF is perfectly adequate, imho, when the piece is going to be painted.

        BTW, Shelly, I have seen hundreds of painted pieces, in person and online, and your work is the best, hands down. Your attention to detail really shows.

      2. oh Susan, you’re so kind! There are so many talented people out there, just not enough hours in the day to try it all. Thanks for your support!!

  12. I’m starting my 2nd piece (ever) and have rebuilt a dresser that’s now coated a dresser with CeCe’s Chocolate Textured Basecoat. I was stumped as to where I wanted to go next. I remembered a beeeuuuteeeeful dresser I saw online, so here I am. Mine doesn’t have carving (darn) but it does have beautiful beading along the front of the drawers. I have my grays and creams (not a white fan) and I’m going to give it a go. Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. Well, I had nothing to do last night, so I went for it in the Shizzle style: layers.
      I am so excited I can’t see straight.
      It’s a real hybrid:
      Gorgeous CeCe Chocolate TB all over. (Wanted to stop there!)
      Washed & immediately wiped on a layer of ASCP CoCo. 50/50
      Washed & immediately wiped on a layer of CeCe Young Kansas Wheat. 25/75
      Drybrushed & lightly wiped a layer of Duron (SW) ‘Tinderbox.’ Actual drybrush technique.
      Drybrushed a layer of BM ‘Dragonbreath’ (a gorgeous black/brown). Actual drybrush technique, no wiping.
      Butcher’s Wax (aka bowling alley wax), which I found underneath my sink, which means it’s been there since at least 2002.
      My homemade craqueleur: Behr crackle medium, dried, then polyacrylic, dried.
      Some sanding & distressing.
      ASCP dark wax rubbed into the cracks.

      I have to find some hardware, because the original stuff was butt-ugly and 1/2 missing.
      When I get hardware, I’ll send pics. I’m also going to paint the inside of the drawers something unexpected.
      I am so happy with what happened here. I kept saying to myself, “I’ve got a real Shizzle finish here!!!”
      I think I’d make mama proud. 🙂

  13. Crazy beautiful! I love the beefiness of this buffet and the incredible finish you created.

    This captured my attention and I featured it today as a Friday Favorite. I hope you stop by to see how I bragged about it.

    Have a great creative day!

    Redo It Yourself Inspirations

  14. Pingback: Arm Chair Blog

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