buffy, the furniture slayer.

Recently I shared the story of a pair of mid-mod pieces I picked up at a garage sale.  I painted the taller piece in my favorite millennial pink shade of paint …

Here is the matching low boy …

I decided to go in a completely different direction with this piece.

I started by stripping the drawer fronts.  I thought the veneer on them was quite pretty.  Even though there were some damaged spots, I thought I could minimize them with some stain-able filler.

Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure I’d make this same choice again.  Not because of the veneer damage, I do think I successfully downplayed that damage.  But there were a lot of steps involved in refinishing these drawers.   It took three passes with the stripper to get all of the shiny varnish off, then gluing and filling damaged veneer spots with filler, then sanding, then two coats of Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Special Walnut, then two coats of Minwax water based matte Polycrylic  with a light sanding with 400 grit in between.

In other words, it took a lot more work (and drying time in between) than just painting.  This is just something to keep in mind if you are refinishing furniture to sell.

The drawer fronts are pretty now though.  It remains to be seen whether or not I can sell this piece for a good enough price to make the effort worthwhile.

In addition to refinishing the drawers, I painted the body of the piece in Dixie Belle’s Gravel Road.  That part was fairly simple.  Things went wrong a bit when I tried to top coat it with the Polycrylic.  My initial thought was that having the same sheen on the paint (ie. matte) as on the drawers fronts would be a good move.  However, the poly ended up looking really streaky over the dark grey.  I’m not sure if my technique was faulty, or possibly the matte finish of the poly doesn’t work well over the dark grey color.  Regardless, to fix the problem I painted back over it with the Gravel Road.  Then I top coated it with a product I am much more familiar with, Dixie Belle’s clear Best Dang Wax.  I probably should have just done that in the first place.

This gave me a good opportunity to try out my new buffer.

Mr. Q ordered this from Amazon for me and he decided we should name it Buffy.  I have to say, it does make quick work of buffing a waxed finish.  It’s also quite light and rather quiet for a power tool.  I have no idea how well Buffy will hold up over time, and how many of those pads I’ll go through, but for now I am loving her.

I really liked the style of the original hardware that came with this piece, but the brassy gold color wasn’t really working for me.  So I got out the Prima Marketing Art Alchemy Metallique wax in Bronze Age.

This stuff did a fantastic job of warming up the color of the hardware and it works so much better with the stain color on the drawer fronts.

After many trials and tribulations, this piece is finally done.  I know this style isn’t to everyone’s taste.  Well, to be quite honest, it’s not to my taste either.  But there is a market out there for these pieces so sometimes it’s fun to step outside of my comfort zone and work on something like this.

I’ve got a couple more mid-mod pieces waiting in the workshop too.  But I also have some pieces that are more ‘me’, so be sure to stay tuned.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and the wax for this project, and to Prima Marketing for providing the Metallique wax.

31 thoughts on “buffy, the furniture slayer.

  1. Love this post! Both pieces are lovely but I’m smitten with that low boy even though MCM isn’t my thing. You really breathed new life into those drawer fronts. That wood is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process.


    1. As I was looking at my before and after photos of this one I was wondering if people would think the drawer fronts looked the same. Of course in person they look totally refreshed, but I wasn’t sure that came across in the photos so I’m glad it did!


      1. I love this! Totally not a style I would normally like either. Funny how a new coat of paint can totally change the appearance. An Eliza Doolittle piece for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my word! That is gorgeous. Such a cool combination. I bet it sells quickly! And the pulls are really brought to life with the wax! This is in my top 5 faves of yours and that is saying something. I wish I lived in MN. (But just for today. I despise cold weather. 😂😂)


  3. This is a beautiful piece! It’s hard to really like a piece when you step outside your comfort zone with a different look. Your staging is always so perfect with each piece! I’m thinking it will sell quickly also. Keep us updated!


    1. I’ve had 4 inquiries on this one already, and someone is scheduled to see it this evening. I’m starting to think I probably should have priced it higher 😉


  4. MCM is not my style either but this piece is beautiful and I love it. Adding the gray paint enhances the wood on the drawers and the pull are icing on the cake. Great job.


  5. OMG, I LOVE IT!!!! Of course, I love the look of mid century furniture and you did an amazing job on this piece. This is going to be in my top 5 pieces you have redone. Wow.


  6. I’ve done a mid mod china cabinet like this. Still looking for a buyer. I have found minwax polycrylic performs like that over black chalk paint. On this piece I used general finishes lamp black and the general finishes high performance top coat in flat.


  7. Maybe that mid mod china cabinet needs some Quandie pixie dust!! Yep, not my style either but you did a beautiful job……..blue ribbon just for doing all that stripping! Yuk!


  8. Beautiful work! Can I ask what you recommend for stainable filler? I have never had much luck trying to stain wood filler. Thanks


    1. I used just the basic Elmer’s stainable filler. Up close and personal it does not look perfect, but it blended well enough so that the few spots of damaged veneer are not as noticeable.


  9. I’m not sure how I missed this one since I read ALL of your posts. This turned into a beaut. Masculine, sleek, modern, beautiful wood grain…another touch of perfection. I know you questioned whether the work was worth it….when you see the magnificence of a piece shine through, it is worth it. I wasn’t an MCM lover either until my son – 10 at the time- designed his room in a mid-mod style before he even knew what MCM was. My son’s love of mid-mod quickly became my love for mid-mod. And now the many MCM pieces that were donated to me by friends all decorate my home. If I ever refinish and repaint the piece I have that is similar to this one and use for my entertainment center (it was a HUGE job!), I am going to do something similar to this. Thank you for the inspiration!


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