Furniture Makeover: Drabby to Shabby {Chic}

I was so excited to show you my latest project that I didn't even wait for the furniture wax to finish drying before blogging about it!

Today I gave my buffet a new look.  This was my first attempt at re-finishing furniture and I have to admit that I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

My grandmother, Gin Gin, gave Jonathan and I her old china cabinet right after we got married.  {Actually, she gave us quite a bit of furniture for our home since she was downsizing to live with my aunt.}

Yes, the knobs are mismatched. I attempted to bring it up to date with modern handles,
but was never able to find drawer pulls that would fit the holes of the old pulls. 
This rather large, 80's style china cabinet sat in our tiny townhouse for five and half years...until this past December when I finally rationalized to myself that it was okay to part with the upper half of the cabinet and downsize to a buffet that suited our townhouse much more comfortably.

Yes, sadly the handles were mismatched for a year and a half! I kept holding out hope that I would find the perfect drawer pulls to match the knobs.  Needless to say, I never did.
Even though the above picture shows the buffet in the garage, it sat in the same spot as it did when it was a large china cabinet...right in front of the bare, dark green walls.  I was happy for a short while with the increase in space we felt just from getting ride of the top part of the china cabinet, but after the change of scenery wore off I was left just as unhappy as I had been.  

The dark cherry wood against the dark green walls was just a terrible mix.  Our townhouse is dark enough as it is with it's lack of natural daylight.  I knew if I could just brighten it up that I'd fall in love with it all over again.  

So I began researching how to repaint furniture and give it a shabby chic look.  I researched. And I researched. And I researched.  I found many blogs and websites that gave many different suggestions about how to repaint furniture.  But, everyone seemed to have a different technique.  And it all seemed so complicated with a dozen steps and a dozen different products that I had never heard about before.  I was confused.

Confused for about 6 months.

Confused until I came across a reoccurring theme..

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

So many home decor/furniture makeover blogs began talking up Annie Sloan Chalk Paint {ASCP}.  They all claimed it was easy.  They all claimed their projects turned out better than ever.  

Sold on the idea of easy, I looked for a place to buy the paint and found a local ASCP stockist just a few miles from home. It sounded too perfect to pass up, so I set out on a mission to obtain the FOUR {yes, only four} materials I needed to complete my project: 1 quart of ASCP in Old White, AS soft wax in clear, a 2" Purdy paintbrush, and medium-grade {120} sandpaper.

With NO STRIPPING, SANDING, OR PRIMING NEEDED I began painting just as soon as I had taken off the doors and all the hardware. Seriously, it doesn't get any easier.  I applied two coats of ASCP in Old White.  Since the paint dries so fast, I was able to begin the second coat as soon as I finished the first coat!  I decided to leave the inside of the buffet the original cherry wood color. I like that it reminds me of the piece in it's original I think it makes for a nice contrast to the Old White. {The color of the dark cherry wood on the inside looks much better than the picture shows.}

After I finished painting, I applied one coat of wax by using one of my husband's old undershirts.  It worked like a charm.  No need for a special wax brush if you are using the clear wax.  It didn't take long to dry either, so as soon as I was finished rubbing down the furniture I was ready to begin distressing the piece.  

I used the sandpaper to roughen up all the areas that would normally acquire wear over time such as the edges, corners, drawers, and doors.  This may sound dorky, but I had a lot of fun distressing the buffet! I think it's therapeutic for those of us who like things to be perfect. :)

Once the distressing was complete, I wiped off all the dust and applied one last coat of clear soft wax.  They say it's important to let the last coat of wax sit untouched for about 24 hours, so I haven't had a chance to put any decor on top of buffet just yet.  By tomorrow night, my new buffet will be as good as old!

Notice that I put the old door pulls back on the buffet. The aged metal hardware is perfect for this piece!
I just love the vintage, shabby chic look of my "new" buffet. And it really does brighten up the room. Mission accomplished!

Now what else can I refinish?...

Happy Go Lucky


  1. LOVE THIS!!! I have a piece of furniture that needs a makeover in a really bad way, so this gets me excited about taking on a project! Especially when someone refers to said project as easy! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. Love it! I did the exact same thing a while back with a china cabinet my husbands grandma gave us!
    _ Robin

  3. Wow! You did a super good job, especially it being your first time! I'm especially happy that you did this BEFORE I come back up because I HATE doing this kind of stuff!! Good job!

  4. Great job, Pum'kin. You said you are looking for the next old piece on which to do your magic.....I'm volunteering, as I need a new look....and with me, you won't even need to do any distressing- I'm already rough around the edges, and have dings and scars from 64 years of wear and tear! Love you. Dad

  5. Great job Lauren! It looks fabulous. As soon as I finish my wall paneling project I will be giving this a go. Thanks for doing all that research ( I am the same way and it can be exhausting). So excited. Kylie

  6. You've really done a terrific job! I just have a question... what exactly is chalk paint? Can you write w/ chalk on it? I keep seeing it on blogs, but can't figure out what it actually is... Research, huh? LoL! =) Love the distressed look, too!

  7. Love Annie Sloan chalk paint! This buffet is stunning! Turned out great!

    Found you through the Mingle with Us blog hop. Following you via GFC. Would love if you stopped by for a visit! (I have a great giveaway going on now!)

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  8. Great job on the buffet table! Also love all the pics. I am now following you. Found you via 'Mingle With Us'. If you would like to follow back you can find me at
    Have a great holiday weekend!

  9. Thanks for linking up to the Pomp Party! Pinning to our Pomp Party board!

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  10. Awesome. I love the new look, and it definitely goes MUCH better with your walls and baseboards. I'll have to remember this trick for future use...

  11. I would have liked seeing your blog. But the music, any music on a website is too annoying.

  12. It looks great. I'm glad you took the plunge and tried the AS chalk paint. I have used it a few times. I too have a piece of furniture handed down to me that I would like to paint. You have inspired me. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

  13. Well that is really a great job done by you as it was your first turn and was not looking new, you painted the furniture so well that it looks entirely new stuff.

  14. Hey which mismatched knobs you are talking about..?

  15. Sounds strange.. shabby look of a 'new' buffet..! Are you happy with such kind of shabby look..?

  16. Really informative idea' will helping me a lot...


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