Thursday, October 27, 2011

Refinishing an Antique Buffet (again)

So I decided to refinish my great-grandmother's buffet (again)...because I saw it on Pinterest.

 "You Ask; You Receive"-This pin originally came from Just A Girl.

My grandfather's mother had a beautiful dining set which included a buffet.  My parents have the table but they didn't really have room for the buffet.  I needed a place to store my 16 place settings of china (how did that happen?) so I jumped at the chance to inherit it!

The only problem is that Jack, my sweet grandfather, sort of left his mark on it.  He is a little...accident prone.  Lets have a picture of Jack, shall we?

That's me (I was pregnant with Miss P at the time) and Jack.  He is a wonderful grandfather.  I miss him terribly.  He has Alzheimer's.  

Enough about that.

Anyway...Jack is quite a character.  

Here are a few facts about Jack.  He is the only person I know who has lost fingers...on both separate accidents...neither of which resulted from a work related injury.  

Also, he nearly lost his arm trying to saw limbs off a tree with a table saw.  While he was in the tree. 

And that brings us to how he scarred the buffet.  

It was a holiday.  My memory is foggy.  Maybe Thanksgiving?  My grandmother stored silverware and tablecloths and napkin rings, etc in the buffet.  Setting the table was a big deal to her.  Oh how she loved centerpieces!  

And we had one that holiday.  And it had a candle in it.  A lit candle... And Jack moved the centerpiece from the table to the buffet (knocking over the candle-he apparently didn't see it).  Which set the buffet ablaze.

And now I have this (once) beautiful buffet...with a huge burn mark on the top.  What to do?  

Spray paint, of course! And the good kind, too!  From Fred's.  Only $1 per can! (They reeeallly do need to invent a sarcasm font.)

Ah yes, that was a mistake. Shame on me.  It looked better with the burn.  My mom said not to spray paint it.  "Roll it!"  She must have said that like ten times.  But I did not listen.  And she was right.  


I mean, look at that.  Sad.  Just sad. 

And that mess has been sitting in my foyer for like 4 months.

So when I saw this fabulous buffet redo on Pinterest via Just A Girl, I decided I had to try to fix my mistake.  

I went to Lowes and bought the exact items they used.  Zinsser Cover Stain, a foam roller...but they didn't have the most important thing-Benjamin Moore Low Lustre (yep that's how you spell it) Metal and Wood Enamel.  I had to go to a specialty paint store.

And I was very disappointed because Benjamin Moore doesn't make that paint anymore.  Well, they say they do but the can is different and they've removed the word 'wood' from the title.  But the salesman assured me it was the same thing.  

$27 and 30 minutes later, I left the paint store in a sweaty mess.  "THIS ISN'T THE RIGHT PAINT!"  I kept saying that over and over.  

I seriously need...medication.  

I got back to my house and called the paint store. I made sure I was talking to someone I hadn't talked to while in the store.  And I nonchalantly asked them about the differences in the old 'Metal and Wood Enamel' and this new 'Metal Enamel'.  

"Just the can!"  Ok ok ok.  

See that Super Spec?  No mention of wood!  

Anyway, I wiped the buffet down with degreaser and let it dry.  Then I used the foam roller to prime it with the Cover Stain.  

The magic of Zinsser Cover Stain is that you don't have to sand anything!  And that is good because, as I've mentioned (and as you can tell by the previous pictures of my sad buffet), I am lazy. 

I started off priming in the garage with the door open.  But then I realized I was high as a kite and I quickly moved outside where I could breathe and hopefully lower my future risk of lung cancer.  

Sadly, I fear I may have waited too long to save the part of my brain that does long division.  What are you putting in that primer, Zinsser?? 

As you can tell from the picture above, my lazy struck again.  I didn't prime the front legs.  They are just too curvy! 

Meet my nemesis:

Now there's a guy who could not care less about his ability to do long division!

It took about an hour for the primer to dry.  While it was drying, I foolishly tried to wash the rolling pan and roller out.  With WATER.  

Sometimes I swear it's like I can't even read a label.  

I ended up just throwing them away.  Good thing I bought extras!

This is after just one coat of the Benjamin Moore (btw, it came in black so I didn't have to get it tinted). This paint is pretty amazing.  I was impressed.  Not sure if it is worth $27 A QUART...but it is good. 

And I'm wishing I'd taken this picture from a different angle because I clearly need to be tending my pitiful little flower bed.  Pine straw? Cedar chips?  Something! 

Yes, those are puppy pads...
The only thing I had to do a little differently than Just A Girl was use a smaller brush for the detail work.  There are lots of details in this buffet!  The sponge brush I bought was just too big and this paint is really thick. 

I ended up doing two coats of the Benjamin Moore.

And miracle of looks great!!

Now, I don't think it looks as great as Just A Girl's, but hey, look what I started with! 

Overall, I give this an A-.  And that is only because I will forever be wondering if the old version of that Benjamin Moore paint would have made this thing a masterpiece.  

And because it cost $27 A QUART!!  Geez.  

So go to the Goodwill and get yourself a piece of furniture and make it fabulous.  Or better yet, inherit something for free...because you'll need all your money for the paint  :)


  1. Wow that turned out beautiful! I have got to try that!

  2. Thank you sooo much! I've been trying to find the paint EVERYWHERE!!!! Thanks again it looks amazing!

  3. This is a great job. I really like and I wonder if you can include a photo of the can because a I can't read it.
    Anywhere thank you.

  4. It is so weird that they discontinue something when it seems about to reach it's zenith...very suspicious. I feel as if someone in the furniture industry must have bought them off! I have seen this happen with other amazing products--here today, gone tomorrow--it really makes you wonder what the heck is going on.

    So, the product you used is called Super Spec? I will have to look for it. I wonder if it comes in other colors?

  5. Hi, I came across your blog while searching Google to see if Benjamin Moore's oil-based Metal and Wood Paint is still available. The reason they phased it out was VOC regulations. I used the oil-based version on a workbench setup and the hardness and durability of oil paint cannot be matched. Moore still does make an oil based, low-luster enamel called Satin Impervo, which is what I would suggest that you use on this project rather than 'Super Spec' - which is an acrylic, contractor-grade paint (contractor grade meaning lower quality) - but it ain't cheap either, probably $35 a quart. Oh well, it's just to world we live in today ...

  6. Your project turned out great! This is honselty the funniest blog ever! I was amused while learning a thing or two

  7. I too searched for the wood and metal paint that Just A Girl used. I called Benjamin Moore corporate and all the guy kept saying to me was "I can't discuss it with you, miss." I will move on and try the oil based version.

  8. beautiful, I really like buffets. This is a great job. Great Article.

  9. I am reading your hilarious blog in October 2018 (!!!!!) for the same reason as everyone the Just a Girl instructions and can't figure out where to get the paint. I am hoping that now, 5 years later, I can find the product you used. Either way, stumbing onto your post has brightened my day!