Grandpa’s Buffet & Living Room Makeover

buffet original

There it is folks! The BEFORE picture of my grandpa’s old buffet. It has a matching China cabinet, but for now I’ve only got use for the buffet. I moved into a new home in Stonehedge (south Wheaton) in June and the one room that I was still working on furnishing was the living room. I figured this buffet might have some potential and I’d give refinishing it a shot before I go out looking to buy something!

I went to JC Licht on Roosevelt after doing some Pinterest research (haha) on the process and type of paint, etc. I knew I wanted something in the navy blue family because I had just purchased this rug from (I got the 9 x 12):


Living Room Rug
This is the Satara Imperial Wool Treillis Rug, click here for the link!

In person the trellis pattern shows more blue, so I thought a fun navy would play off of it nicely. I knew that Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore is a popular wall color, so I compared that to a few others and decided to go with it!

I bought the Hale Navy paint, primer, and gold spray paint (from Ace in Wheaton) to modernize the hardware!

First, I sanded the dresser lightly with a foam block sander after taking the hardware off. This took no time at all! Definitely clean it with a damp cloth before moving onto the next step. I realized that there seemed to be a gross layer or two of furniture polish that used to be the in-thing to put on furniture back in the day, in addition al dust from sanding….

Then, I taped off the buffet in areas that I didn’t want to paint to get on to— around the center glass door, along the back side, the sides of the drawer—any place that made sense. I like the green Frog Tape because it makes crisper lines than the old blue painters tape.

Next, I applied two light coats of the primer shown above with a brush.

Once the primer was dried, I used a mini foam roller that I bought from JC Licht to most of the apply the paint. For smaller, angled areas where I couldn’t get the mini roller into, I used a small foam brush. I applied two layers of the Hale Navy and there you have it folks!

While waiting for the paint to dry, and it does dry very quickly, I cleaned and sprayed the hardware (drawer handles) with the gold spray paint shown above. It’s the perfect paint for that modern matte gold look!

If I were using this piece in an area that gets a lot of use (not tucked away in my living room) I would have done some kind of poly top-coat, but I did not do that for this piece (at least not t this time). I am happy with how easy this project was, as I was doing it while my 2 month old baby was sleeping during nap times! I also helped me achieve the look I was going for in my living room.

Here you see the before and after! I will be adding a picture of the completed living room in a few weeks. I decided to have it painted my go-to grey (greige) right now, Agreeable Grey, also by Benjamin Moore. I love how it turned out with my already existing white trim. I am waiting on posting a picture because I had to take my coffee table to a listing for staging (haha, yes I do actually take pieces from my own home to stage houses from time to time. You gotta go what you gotta do to get a home sold!), but once it’s back I’ll post more about the whole update! Here are a few more items in the room that helped it come together:

It pains me to look at these photos because they were taken in the evening on my iPhone rather than the high quality photography we use in our listings, however, I was pleased with how this shelf turned out! I searched high and low online and all the shelves I liked online were more than  wanted t spend! I am happy to report this low-budget IKEA shelf came through for the WIN for $80! Here’s the link! I’ve seen great tutorials on Pinterest for spraying these gold!

Here is the other side of the room! These vintage chairs we picked up from a seller client of ours in Farnham when they sold. I also got the mirror here from a client that sold in north Wheaton. My plan was originally to recover these chairs and that still may be a future project, just not at the moment. This go around I also painted that mini-side table Hale Navy as well! The plant is (you guessed it) also from a client that sold in Glen Ellyn. It’s a 40 year old Mother In Law Tongue that she got when she got married! Say a prayer that I keep it alive… I’m not the best plant mom but it’s doing OK so far! Those white panel curtains are from our staging room, and the real plan is to put some fabulous velvet deep blue ones up to play off the other blue accents! I’ll post a picture and a link to the product when that happens!

living room chairs

I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull this off, but I am glad I went for it! I hope this helps you get the creative juices flowing for your own little home project!


If you need help preparing your home to sell, or just for your own enjoyment, contact me today!