family and friends gather here.

I purchased a fantastic french stencil a while back, and quite honestly I wasn’t paying any attention at all to what it said (not to mention that I don’t actually read  or speak any french).  I bought the stencil strictly for its looks.  Later I realized that it says “family and friends gather here”, which made me laugh since I was considering using it on a bedroom dresser.  Hmmm.  Probably not quite the right sentiment for the bedroom.

However, when it came time to paint this tiger oak buffet, I knew I needed to use this stencil!  Because family and friends do indeed tend to gather in the dining room.

Prescott buffet before

Originally I had planned to paint this buffet with Miss Mustard Seed’s Kitchen Scale, like my own oak buffet (see it up there in my blog header).  But I decided I wanted a more subtle color to work with this stencil.  I would have loved to use one of Miss Mustard’s new European colors like Mora or Schloss, but I haven’t managed to get my hands on anything except the Layla’s Mint so far. So instead I mixed my own pale grey using approximately 1/3 c of Trophy and 2/3 c Ironstone.

tiger oak buffet painted in milk paint

I decided that rather than attempt to patch all of the chipped up veneer, I would just work with it and give the piece a very distressed, aged look.  After painting the first coat of my custom grey color, I found that there were also some stains on the top that were bleeding through the paint.

bleed thru stain

This gave me a great opportunity to try out Miss Mustard’s new product, the Tough Coat Sealer.  I simply brushed the sealer on over the spots that were bleeding through the paint.  I did not coat the entire top of the piece.  Once it was dry, I painted another coat of paint over the whole top.  There was definitely a great improvement, but I think a second coat of sealer would have eliminated the bleed through entirely.

bleed thru after

But since I’m going for a rustic look, I decided to go with it at this point.  Or more accurately, I was running out of my custom color and didn’t have enough left to seal again, and the repaint the entire top, so I let it go.  Note to self:  next time try two coats of sealer before painting again.

After the second coat of paint on the entire piece, I added my stencils using Martha Stewart craft paint in Lake Fog.  I want to take a minute here to explain to you how I use just pieces of a stencil rather than the entire thing.  Here is my ‘family and friends’ stencil.

family and friends stencil 2As you can see, I used just part of it on the doors of my buffet and then I used just the lower portion of the stencil on my lower drawer.

stenciled buffet

The sweet little leafy bits that are around the locks on the upper drawers came from a different stencil, this one.


f and f keyhole stencil

It’s super simple to just mask off the portions of a stencil that you want to use with painters tape.  I do it all the time and it gives me a lot of new looks out of the same old stencil.  Since these stencils tend to be a bit pricey, it’s nice to be able to use them in different ways like this (and as a reminder to Patty, I get most of my stencils from Maison de Stencils).

To help support my distressed look for this buffet, I sanded with extra vigor around areas that would normally have some wear on an old piece such as around the key holes and on the knobs themselves.

faux wear

Then I waxed the entire piece with Cece Caldwell’s clear wax.

The insides of the drawers on this piece were in rather pathetic condition as well.  Normally I don’t line my drawers, unless they are in this kind of condition and there is no better option than to just cover them up.  Luckily I had some lovely vintage wallpaper on hand that worked perfectly with the grey.

f and f wallpaper lining

I’ve staged this piece for a wine and cheese party.

f and f wine and cheese

Wouldn’t it be fun the next time you have family and friends over to be able to serve them from this fab piece?!

oak buffet painted in custom mix of MMS milk paint

This buffet still needs some help from my handyman Ken.  The mirrored back piece needs to be re-attached because it’s just not secure with its original screws.  I’m sure he will be able to shore it right up though.

family and friends buffet

17 thoughts on “family and friends gather here.

  1. Lovely. One word is all I need to describe this buffet. The vintage papers are great … If you want to refresh your drawers without paper you can use the topcoat …I mix it with a tiny bit of Fusion Antiquing Top Coat which is from the same manufacturer.


  2. hi Linda it’s Janice Slater from Fred and Bessie’s. As well as carrying Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint I carry Fusion. I have asked the president if she had ever sent you any and she asked if I would contact you. There is no obligation on your part to like or blog about the paint. if you’re interested could you give me your name and contact info for Jennylyn Pringle. Her family manufactures MMS and she developed the colours with Marion Parsons. Their paint business increased 95 percent with the branding. She’s very nice and down to earth and as I say no obligation on your part. Let me know.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Perfection! Love the custom color mix – I am going to give this a shot on a piece we built for our bathroom. I painted my powder room doors Mora this weekend – I bet you’d love that color, it is subtle and beautiful. You always do such amazing things with stencils, too!


    1. You should pop in on Friday morning and take a look at it. But, it is a large piece, and you are right, you wouldn’t have room for it. It is bigger than the one I have.


  4. Love it Linda! This lines of this style of furniture are just so charming. Great paint mix works perfectly together with the stencils.


  5. I was the lucky one who purchased this wonderful piece! I drag everyone into my home to see and brag it up. Thank you so much Linda for the time and creativity you spent on this buffet! It is a perfect fit for our dining space. I have your site on my favorites to hopefully grab another piece some day soon!


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