Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Dresser My Fiance Hates--our Giant Blue Buffet

Today's project is one that spanned across 10 months and 2 states. My godmother had picked up this very solid buffet from a garage sale one weekend, and it sat in my garage while I worked on other projects. I was putting it off because it is quite a large piece of furniture and constituted quite an undertaking in my eyes! When I finally got around to it, I decided to paint it blue (Provence I believe?) with the intent of doing a sort of white wash over just the top of the buffet.

Here is the buffet in original condition. Very classic buffet style, but incredibly solid and well-made. Unfortunately, it had a varnish so thick that it was practically a mirror.

Partially sanded top, untouched and reflective bottom

For the top, I intended to strip it, sand it, then paint a white wash over the top that allowed some of the character of the wood to show through. I was somewhat discouraged by the thick varnish, so I got a bit over-zealous the power sander. After getting the worst of the reflective finish off the top, I started to notice how beautiful the wood was underneath that outdated shine. I decided I wanted to finish sanding the worst of the finish off and then leave the wood as is. Unfortunately, I got a little crazed with the power sander before noticing this and thus a bit sloppy. The sanding is uneven in some spots and is something I will probably go back and fix in the future, but for now I have a nice solid wooden top!

My next step was to slap on a few layers of paint. I believe the color is Provence. Visually, it was a huge, blue buffet and looked a bit flat to me when I had finished painting. I wanted to bring some visual interest to the piece, so I painted the decorative groove in the two hinged doors white. Holy crap that looked ugly! I immediately painted back over it with the blue and distressed to let it show through it a bit. Much better! Though it cost me a good while and a lot of elbow grease, I clear waxed the entire thing. At this point, we were approaching the Christmas season and the fiance and I moved to Texas. Much to his displeasure (I mean, this thing is soooo heavy and soooo blue), I insisted we bring it, unfinished as it was.

Looking very flat and boring, albeit blue

Oh yuck, not right at all

Just hanging with my girl! 

This big 'ole buffet sits in our bedroom now and the fiance uses it as a dresser. I think he has slowly come to like it, surprisingly. A few months ago I finally got around to finishing the distressing on it, though you couldn't tell from the photos unless they are close-ups. I decided to go rather light on it, nothing crazy, just the edges mostly.

This is becoming a thread in my posts, but again please excuse the lighting. Our apt is so small and dark I have no idea how to get better pictures! Just gotta throw open those windows and hope for the best :) That is the reason the buffet looks a few different shades of blue in different pictures. If you're curious exactly what Provence looks like, this link to Annie Sloan's website shows it pretty accurately in my opinion (the furniture piece to the right, not the paint swatch).

Here is the finished blue buffet!

I've nearly run out of projects to post about now! I have lots of things planned in my head, but our teeny tiny apartment and lack of power tools inhibits their creation a bit. Hopefully around January we will be moving to a larger place, maybe then we will have the space for more ambitious creations!

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