Monday, April 9, 2012

Many years ago when I was a child my parents bought a buffet. Something like this but bigger -
I don't remember what it looked like originally, but my handy dandy mother cleaned it up, bought an "antiquing kit" and fixed it right up.  If you are old enough you may remember antiquing kits.  They contained an oil based colored paint and a dark stain that you applied rather like a glaze - the difference being that the stain streaked the entire piece heavily.  The color my mother picked was an olive green.   So think olive and black.  It was really a nice finish for the time.  This buffet sat in our dining area until my parents downsized around 1999 and gave the buffet to me. 

I always liked the buffet.  The top drawer spanned the width of the buffet and was about 4 inches deep.  This was the adult junk drawer - containing not exactly junk but many small items that had no real home.  I loved that drawer.  I spent countless Saturday afternoons while my parents were out tending to the needs of our 7 person family, looking through and rearranging the items in this drawer.  The number one thing I remember about the contents were the Kennedy half dollars that they kept there. 

These were a big deal at the time.  Kennedy half-dollars were minted immediately after the assassination and most importantly, 90% silver.  That was a big deal so people hoarded them.   Eventually they lowered the silver content to 40% and then 0%, but the first coins were somewhat valuable.   I remember being pretty fascinated by these, and also remember pilfering a few of them when I was a few cents short for my beloved Scholastic Book order at school.  

But I digress.  When the buffet became mine the first order of business was to cover up the green antiquing.  I put down a crackle medium and then a pale cream color.  The green was nice as the crackle highlight and it looked pretty good.  The dining area of my home wasn't big enough for this piece of furniture, so I used it for a dresser in my bedroom. 

In another home it made it into the dining room.  When we moved into our current home I had other furniture I wanted to use in the dining room, but needed something to hold my television so I decided to cut the legs off and use the top for the entertainment center and adapt the legs into a coffee table.

The first order of business was to remove the layers of paint treatments on the piece.  Getting those curves stripped wasn't easy! Three weeks and lots of chemicals later I had a clean, sanded, walnut finish.  This piece is solid wood (with no veneer) so I used Old Masters Gel Stain in Dark Walnut.  This is where my love affair with this product began.  I used hand-rubbed poly both on the cabinet and the table.

The top drawer now sits under the bed in the guest room, so filled with CDs that I can hardly pull it out from under the bed.  Electronics need to breath so they don't overheat, so I used peg board to fill in the open areas where the components sit.  That basket on top is for the cat to reign over her kingdom.  And yes we do still have an ancient TV...

For the coffee table I built a box - MDF for the base and trim molding for the edges.  I had a piece of 4 inch foam cut to fit inside the box.  I covered the foam in upholstery fabric and added trim to both sides so it could be flipped when one side got dirty or trashed. 

I did a little accent painting on the legs.
I'm ready to change this up now.  The fabric has held up pretty well to cat claws, the trim not so much.  I've been thinking about taking off the wood molding and making a tufted top - and I will do that as soon as I figure out what I want to do with the rest of the room (you may remember that I am thinking about painting this room - gasp - white!)

I hope everyone had a joyful and restful Easter.  Tomorrow I'm going on a little road trip in search of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and CeCe Caldwell paint.  I've been saving my pennies and expect I will come home penniless.   Then I will be ready to tackle all the projects I have stacked up around my garage and basement.  I can't wait!

Make something wonderful today!



Sarah @ Imperfect Patina said...

I love how these turned out! That TV console is genius!! -Sarah

Tresa said...

My Mom used to antique everything! She preferred gold. I love your buffet/console. Hope you come home with a penny in your pocket tomorrow.


PJH Designs said...

I remember those antiquing finishes! As a matter of fact I have my great grandmother's vanity in storage with that green streaky finish on it. :-) Love how you refinished the piece and used different parts of it to make other furniture pieces. TFS

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

Your post brought back memories from the 60's - my mother also painted a similar buffet olive green and "antiqued it"...we all kept telling her how gross it was, so she stripped it back to wood! I love what you did here - and very clever to get 2 pieces of furniture out of one! Well done!

Liz Vickerman said...

what a gorgeous piece! and i love the idea of a tufted top for the coffee table; you're so talented!

Karena said...

Karen you have so many creative ideas. I love the accent coloring on the legs!

I hope you will come and see my new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint projects!

Art by Karena

Lori said...

Love your transformation. Guess what? have 100 GFC followers now! Thanks for stopping by my blog. See ya around, Lori

chateau chic said...

You've been hard at work, but it has all paid off because you have two great pieces of furniture. Your buffet is beautiful and it's perfect for your tv.
Mary Alice

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon Designs said...

I really love what you did with everything! I love the table and the console! So smart! Thanks for sharing with us!

Take care,


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and creative way to upcycle an old piece of furniture! It looks like you've made it very functional for your home too. I love how nothing abut the piece is wasted since you'll be using the legs and drawers for another purpose.

Thanks for stopping by my party this week!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

Perfect! I am just finishing up "re-creating' a piece of furniture for our TV console. I wish I could have found a piece like yours that would work so perfectly! It's beautiful!

Thanks for linking!

Cassie Bustamante said...

what a great idea! two for the price of one and they look awesome! :)

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

One of the beauties of solid wood pieces is that they can stand up to a number of transformations. The wood on your piece is just gorgeous.

Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you again this week.

Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage


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