Natalie the Vintage Buffet

As a kid, I remember going to my relative’s house for the annual Christmas Eve party. They had an enormous buffet in the dining room and I was just tall enough to peer over the top at all the baked goodies, piled high on that buffet. Cookies, candies, fudge, pies… 😋   That memory was on my mind the entire time I worked on this buffet.  Which may be why I staged it for the pictures with a Christmas theme!  Unfortunately, in my excitement to take the pictures, I never noticed the drawer pull on the left was twisted… oops! 😳  The unique pulls actually have a tiny little tack at the bottom to hold them in place and keep them from spinning.  I hadn’t put the tacks in yet when I took the pics but rest assured they are in there now!

My brother rescued Natalie after her owners had abandoned her on the curb in the pouring rain!  We just couldn’t stand the thought of this once beautiful, piece of furniture ending up at the dump! I loved the ornate wood ribbon and rattan style backsplash. I’m not sure what that piece is called on a buffet, but I’m calling it a backsplash!

The wood veneer was buckled in a few places, there were a few cracks in the decorative braces between the legs, the wheels were rusted in place, one of the doors had the finish removed and was missing the hinges.  Most of the decorative appliques were broken or missing and the entire buffet was full of stains, nicks and even splattered with bird poo!

The veneer on the back was buckled so bad we had to replace it.  We tried cleaning the wheels but some of them were just beyond repair and in the end, we just put all new wheels on.  This buffet is large and heavy and we thought it would be easier to move around if it was on wheels.  They can easily be removed by just pulling them out.  If you are like me and aren’t a fan of wheels on furniture, you could remove them once you got it placed where you wanted it in your home.

I cleaned the entire buffet thoroughly and lightly sanded the entire top and any spots that looked rough, then wiped the dust off with a damp rag.  I thought a dark paint color would probably work best considering how dark the original finish was.  I painted it with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Caviar.  The insides of the drawers all got painted with Rustoleum Chalked Farmhouse Red and everything was sealed with Rustoleum Chalked Matte clear coat.

The cabinet doors originally didn’t have knobs on them but they had keyholes that you apparently had to insert a key and turn it to get the cabinet doors open. The keys were missing but we found some small knobs in our spare-parts box that we attached just above the keyholes.

Luckily, all of the unique drawer pulls were still intact. After removing and cleaning them they all received a coat of Rustoleum Metallic Accents in gold and then black wax to bring out the details.

Since all of the wood appliques were broken I popped the remaining pieces off easily with a putty knife. The only one I wanted to replace was the one on the backsplash. The wood ribbon and wreath would have looked empty without something in the center. I found a wood applique at Hobby Lobby that fit perfectly! I painted it the same way I painted the drawer pulls.

There is a removable, fabric-lined silverware tray that sits inside the top drawer. The old fabric was worn and stained so I removed it and used a red flannel remnant I picked up at the fabric store to re-line the tray.  I painted the bottom and sides of the tray with Caviar.

This buffet would be great for storing all those seasonal dishes, placemats, candles, and wine glasses.

I’d love to know what you think of Natalie!  Happy Holidays!

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