Freshly Painted Buffet & Hutch

By Kate Riley October 23, 2009

About a month ago, I scored a beautifully detailed buffet and hutch combination from the local thrift store.  I paid $100 for a solid wood gorgeous vintage piece with incredible detail.  The only problem?  It was blonde wood, and the stain had bleached out in certain spots.  In other areas, the finish was chipping, and the entire piece was in need of a little TLC. 

I worked in several stages with many layers of both oil based primer and paint.  It took me over a month to finally finish this project.  My friends, I’m pleased to show you my latest transformation:  this bright white and beautiful buffet and hutch.  I even painted the rear of the hutch my version of a watered down shade of ‘Tiffany Blue’ – the same color as the walls.

Hello gorgeous !   Welcome to the family.

hutch b and a 

Here’s a close up of the leg detail.  You can see how the varnish was chipping off, and the piece was in need of refinishing.  I decided to prime it and paint it to give it a timeless look, and to compliment the cottage decor of its future space. 

leg before and after

Oh, how I adore the finish of white oil-based paint. 

oil based paint finish


buffet hutch from right

Want the full story?  You’ll have to tune in tomorrow.  I’ll tell all about the stages of its transformation, including tips and tricks on working with oil based primer and paint, my secret weapon for eliminating brush marks, and the true name of this wall paint color. 

Talk soon,



  1. Looks loverly! I just redid a hutch too, but no top on it. I shabby-fied it. Gave me fits and I learned a few things along the way. I’ll be anxious to see how you made yours over.

  2. I have just recently moved to the beach and have a few things that need beachified. A stained bedroom set that needs to go to paint. I will be anxious to see your technique. My worry also is to keep the paint streaks out! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Love, love love! First off, you found a GREAT piece and a great price, and you really took your time when working on it and it shows! I was just debating the merits of oil-based paint last week, so I’m excited to read your opinions and tips. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I can’t wait to move and get started decorating. All my blog ‘friends’ have done some wonderful projects and it has inspired me to look for a diamond in the rough. I LOVE the glossy white finish. It is stunning! Great job.

  5. Oh, what beautiful pieces! You’ve truly given them new life with the painting. I know it was a lot of hard work, but these are heirlooms now. Just love them. You are so good!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  6. GORGEOUS! I love painted white furniture and I am always amazed how it makes an old out-dated piece look completely fresh and current. I’ve done quite a bit of furniture painting myself in the past couple years but I’m always anxious to learn new tips. I’d especially love to hear why you chose oil over latex paint. (The cleanup process with oil always scares me away.) :)

  7. ok I am waiting the bated breath for the name of the wall color!!! and LOVE the white! so crisp and clean! It would have taken me more than a month to tackle that one. Good job girl!!

  8. Serously. I can not believe you got that for $100 bucks! I have been looking for a buffet table to put in our entry hall and all I see is 700,.800,900….you get the prize for the score of the week! Great looking in white, and oil to boot! Amazing! I cannot wait to hear the details of all the hard work that went into that! Great job!

  9. Loving the white. Very fresh. This gives me some hope for the pieces I’ve been seeing at Salvation Army. One of these days, I’ll bring one home with me. :) Can’t wait to see how you tackled this project!

  10. Can’t wait to hear the details. I just salvaged a dresser from the neighor’s last friday and made the trip to home depot to pick up primer and paint. I’m going to paint it white too for my daughter’s room. But there’s som many white out there…any guidance would be appreciated.

  11. Can’t wait to hear all about the steps. I’ll be taking on a huge kitchen reno and painting the cabinets, I need all the tips I can get :)

  12. Oh Kate, it’s so beautiful!!!! I don’t think anything can duplicate the look of oil based paint. It looks like a million bucks. It’s not easy to work with but it’s worth it when you do. If I had a dining room with a full wall, I would be running out to find one just like it. Great job!!!!!! Can’t wait to hear the details tomorrow.

  13. A truly gorgeous transformation. I’m inspired. I’ve seen many gorgeous blonde pieces that I’ve passed by because I wasn’t able to look beyond the blonde. Thank you, for posting this project, now I won’t be so closed minded.

  14. My comment didn’t post, so I’ll try again. :) I just wanted to say that I love your hutch and buffet and think you did a FABULOUS job! I recently painted my husband’s childhood furniture with an oil based primer and then a latex paint after getting the OK from a Home Depot guy, but am regretting not going with the oil based paint!

    I tried to include a link and that might be why it didn’t work, but my furniture makeover is on my blog and is titled, ‘you’ve got the white stuff baby, reveal number 2.’

    Thanks for your inspiration! I can’t wait to hear about your technique!

  15. What a beautiful piece of furniture, great refinishing job. I’m curious about your technique to avoid brush marks…when I painted all the crown molding in my previous home with an oil based paint I thinned it and worked fast, careful to just keep moving on to not over work any area.

    What are your plans for this piece? Janell

  16. Hi Kate,
    What a transformation! I can’t wait to see your step by step directions. We have a teak bedroom set that I would love to transform but don’t know where to start. Would you paint teak furniture or is it better to use stain? TFS! Sheila

  17. What a find! You did a fantastic job of bringing this lovely piece of furnature back to life. I am so inspired. I love the fact that your are recycling by redoing furnature.

  18. Wow…beautiful! I am about to paint my china cabinet…sorta the opposite of what you’ve done. I’m using a Horchow piece as my inspiration….can’t wait!!! :) Thanks for extra motivation to get it done sooner than later!

  19. Just beautiful! I love the details. Believe it or not, it’s been a while since I went thrift store shopping, but if THAT is what I’m missing, then I’ll get back out there! :)

  20. I will definitely be checking in tomorrow. I have a hutch that NEEDS a makeover but I have been afraid to paint over the stain.

    Can’t wait!

  21. This is just lovely; the Tiffany Blue is a perfect touch! Thanks for sharing.

    Please stop by and read my post at about my dad’s Fresco Paintings in the Cathedrals of Southern Italy. The photos are lovely and no matter what age I am, I’m still daddy’s proud little girl. Come see; you’ll be glad u did!

  22. Gorgeous! I’ll bet you’re glad it’s finally done. I love the details in it and the blue on the back is beautiful. Can’t wait to find out the color.

  23. I have chairs that are in need of tlc and I can’t wait to follow your lead! This is gorgeous!

  24. Ok Im so late LOL But it’s ADORABLE!!!!!!! Okay so don’t be mad LOL But I bought a similar one on Christmas Eve… Why was I out on Christmas Eve Furniture Hunting @ the Goodwill… I have no life LOL Well not at the time… Anyway all Furniture was 50 % Off…. well…. There was another one that I had my eye on.. only because it was cheaper, the glass panels were missing and it didn’t have that feel ya know… so i told the woman to BAG IT… I think everyone @ that Goodwill has come to know me and my style so she walked me over to the antique beauty (HELLO LOVER!) and asked me if I wanted it… 80.00 naw I’m good i said and then she says….. I’ll give it to you for the same price as the smaller one It’s more u…. ok r u ready…. 30.00!!!!!!!!! and now its sitting in the dining room in all its dust and glory waiting to b painted! SO INSPIRING ;)

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