Buffet for “le grand plein air” (The Great Outdoors)

Furniture and Cabinetry Redouxs, Furniture Makeovers

Yep, we are going outside again. I am getting more and more requests for outdoor furniture. Warm weather approaching and dreams of fabulous parties and get togethers, while dining al fresco.

My client had this old (OLD) buffet sitting in their garage, gathering dust.  It had two sides that pull up to make a nice long serving area.

(Yikes, the BEFORE pic has gone AWOL, sorry!!!)

It needed a major rehab, and they wished for it to transform into an outdoor piece, complete with casters for easy movement and a refinished rich wood top.

I started by cleaning the piece thoroughly with TSP, then took the top apart.  Emma and I stripped the top and sanded it smooth.  The body of the piece was painted in Sherwin Williams Exterior Paint in Dover White. I thoroughly taped off the top, so no overspray would hit it and I would have to start over.

I  glazed the entire body of the piece in my own glaze mixture made with Modern Masters Glazing Cream and Tobacco Brown colorant.

I loaded a big chip brush heavily, then painted one surface at a time.  Then I used two cheese cloths to “pull the glaze”.  One to pull, and the second to use as an applicator in smaller areas, and to blend.  Sometimes I use  the glazing brush too, to blend small areas.

This is about the look you are going for.  You don’t want to see big streaks.  I was not concerned with the top where it is heavy on glaze, this will not show.

I repeated the glazing process for the whole body of the piece:

I then turned the piece upside down (this is where it got tricky, there was virtually no room to add casters).  I cut two strips of MDF to reach the length of the piece.  I painted and glazed these to match the buffet.  Next I added the casters, using very long Wood Screws and drilling in very precise directions!  (My dog refused to move her rear end for this shot)

Phew, all done.  Flip the piece back over, remove tape, add the supportive arms.  Time to stain.  I used a “Rub on” stain from Min Wax.  I am not a huge fan of this product, but it does have it’s place.  The top of the piece was actually a very thin veneer of Maple.  The Maple had been compromised in some areas and there really wasn’t any good way to hide the grain where there was no grain.  A rub on stain can be applied heavier in some areas, and lighter in others.  This worked to my advantage to hide some of the flaws.

I sanded the top once more with a 300 grit sand paper and tacked it off to get a perfectly smooth surface, then I applied this product, which I love:

Three coats of stain, four coats of an outdoor polyurethane, with UV protection, and we are ready for our beauty shots:

I cant’ wait to bring this back to my client.  I imagine many lovely summer Bbq’s.  And, let’s face it, it is nice get paid 🙂


  1. Shannon Fox

    For being damaged, the top looks great. Love the shutter style doors. They took that glaze really well. Another winner 😉 You do such good work!! It’s super cute.

  2. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    I will be using all of your tips for my evil plans I have in store for an outdoor piece of furniture!
    Love the casters!

  3. Tammy

    Wow this looks fantastic! You did a great job! I love the top. It looks to nice to be outside! I am your newest follower through Linky.

  4. Rachel

    and all while I’m reading this post I’m wishing I could snoop around in your stash I see in the background!!! You have some cool stuff in there….We’re hoping for a “workshop” space if we get to move to a new place…we’ll see! It would be nice to have some storage space.

  5. Kristy

    Very NICE!!
    Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

  6. Christine

    Ahhh so pretty!!! Why can’t you live closer to me?!?! I’ve always wanted to put indoor furniture outside but am scared of the humid fl elements destroying it. Maybe this year I’ll put my big girl panties on and give it a whirl! Thanks for the tutorial GTC!

    XO- Christine

  7. Charlene@APinchofJoy

    Coming from Fridays Unfolded to take a closer look. This is amazing! And just what I need for my deck! Guess I will be hitting garage sales this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. kim@too much time

    You are so stinkin amazing! Where do you live, can I come play with ya sometime?
    xxx, Kim

  9. Lisa

    Beautiful transformation. Well done!

  10. The House at Bluebird Lane

    Great redo! Just love this! Visiting you from Addicted 2 Decorating. I’m now following and look forward to seeing more of your creative projects. Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    Wow, that turned out beautifully!

  12. Stacey

    This is just gorgeous! Great redo! I love that vintage yellow coffee pot as well :o)
    Thanks for linking up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  13. Sarah @ Alderberry Hill

    Thanks so much for linking to make the Scene Monday…you are being featured today!


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