We are making a lot of design changes around GTC’s home these days.  And believe it or not, this is fun for me, that’s why they call me “Good Time Charlie”, or at least my Nana did, see WHO IS GTC for the background if you must know…

Now onto serious stuff. This piece used to be someone’s Grandma’s Buffet!!

How many people have THESE things left in their home that house their TV and stereo equipment?

When we first bought it, I was in love.  It was big and rich looking.  It hid my big, deep ugly  TV and all our stereo equipment.  However, we soon discovered it was a black hole for swallowing up our CDs, DVDs and anything else that belonged in this area.  Plus it was major dust magnet.  Not only that, when it went out, we had to unplug the billions of wires that constitute our whole house speaker system.  I took pictures, I labeled, I carefully organized as I pulled….but the best I could manage after getting them all back together was to get one left ceiling speaker hooked up that will play only with the CD player.  Good thing I didn’t pursue a career in wiring.

We finally upgraded to a flat screen TV, but we were still struggling with what to do with “la bête énorme”, the HUGE BEAST.  Emma, my amazing helper and side kick began showing me the way with all kinds of cute ideas where dressers and buffets had been turned into entertainment centers.  I had seen these before, but you know how this is, you don’t really think about it, until your brain is ready to accept it.

According to a close friend of ours, we had a giant Alien sitting in the corner amidst our beautiful furniture.  I guess the Alien had lived there so long we began to not notice it.

Not only was it a giant alien among the decor, but it was a BEAST to move.  We had to take it apart as much as it would allow us.  I may have felt like this when I was preparing to carry it out:

But I was more like this, and oh yes, the corner of that thing made into my gorgeous picture!

Finally, I was ready for change. My friend had GIVEN me this buffet.  It had belonged to her husband’s grandmother.

My gracious friend wanted a more modern decor, and it was time to let this go.  Le Buffet de Grandma sat in my garage for a LONG time before my mind finally became enlightened.  I could simply “fill in” a lot of the detail that would make it less dated. I could still retain the “old” look I was going for. So my journey of a bucket of joint compound and wood filler begins…..

I managed to fill in the detail as much as I could.  I wanted to retain some “echo” of it.  I knew once it was painted and waxed, the detail would be like a beautiful background.

I began by painting the entire piece with a watered down CeCe Caldwell’s Virginia Chestnut.  This is a wonderful trick if you plan to distress your furniture and it isn’t all dark, or the wood was in bad shape, this gives the illusion that it was  lovely stained piece of furniture.

Since this paint dries so quickly, I didn’t have to wait long to begin the next step.  Painting the entire piece with only one coat of CeCe Caldwell’s Vintage White.

I used a 320 grit sandpaper to give the piece a super smooth finish, then a 220 grit for distressing, plus a wet rag for more control.  Yes, you can distress this paint very easily with just a wet rag!  I finished with CeCe Caldwell’s clear wax  (which is 100% natural and the only furniture wax on the market that can say this, it smells really good too). Then tinted the wax with Modern Master’s Tobacco Brown colorant for exactly the shade of aging I wanted.

I am thrilled with the finished product, I love the rustic detail showing through:

And this side, they look like drawers, but that is actually a cupboard door.  Our stereo equipment is now housed here.  I simply used a jigsaw to cut an opening in the back for all the wiring…..

My friends’ buffet truly does entertain me.  When the big brown beast left and this was put in its place, it felt like a huge weight had been removed from our home.  No longer will it be the black hole and dust magnet  for all of our DVDs etc..  I can take pride in the fact that something I made (or refurbished) is now holding a place of honor in my family room.   I will never look at buffets the same again!


Linking my conversion story to these open minded parties:


Tutorials and Tips


Too Much Time On My Hands





  1. Trish

    Great job – I love it

  2. Lori


  3. Lori

    We have a huge piece like yours that held our “big, deep ugly TV and all our stereo equipment” to in storage in Vernal, UT. As well as the rest of our furniture (2 storage units full) we had to leave in storage when my husbands job required us to move across the country to PA for a year, then we moved to Mesa, where we are now and I can’t wait to go get everything out and haul it here (it will be like Christmas morning for me 🙂 but I’m not hauling that huge beast with me. It would take up half the U-Haul space.

  4. Kathleen

    I literally was thinking about our behemoth stereo cabinet last night. It’s very similar to yours. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve always wanted to redo a buffet. Guess now’s the time! Yours looks great.

  5. cassie

    ooooh it looks amazing! i was scared at first…. all these scary pictures….please don’t ever get muscles like that. eeeew.

  6. Shelly Andrade

    Dang! You’re good! I have a similar beast housing all our lost CD’s… , it’s been on the list for a very long time. Actually the reason I flipped a dresser in the first place. One of these days, I’ll finish it.

  7. Susan

    Wow! I would never had thought to fill in the detail.. but you did a great job, I love it!

  8. karin

    HOLY COW! I can’t believe that is even the same piece!!! WONDERFUL!

  9. Jessica Culp

    I am currently about to sell mine. I’d LOVE to see inside your cabinet to see how that looks. Trying to figure out how to use some of the furniture I have to do just something like this:)

  10. Nina

    Sounding like a broken record, a wonderful redoux
    miracle worker. I can’t wait till you teach a class with glazing. Maybe I need to break into my piggy bank and have a private lesson. I need to get back into painting. Still have my to do list.

  11. Heidi @ Decor & More

    Amazing! I have a couple of pieces that I would love to try that Virginia Chestnut on… hmmm. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  12. Suffering Husband

    The irony of the “Relax” sign on GTC’s dresser is not lost on ol’ S.H.

  13. Bliss

    Love it pinned it, but that body builder photo is going to haunt me.

  14. Jan

    I love it!
    I use a ton of wood filler so it’s good to know joint compound is will work when there are significant gaps to fill.
    So what are you going to do with The Beast? I’ve heard people looking for similar pieces to paint and reutilize for toys. They hold a lot and don’t take up much floor space.

  15. Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue

    It turned out wonderful! Great work, but please don’t ever show that body builder again.

  16. Kathryn Griffin

    You crack me up! You will be one of the features tomorrow at Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  17. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    Beautiful! And I have a big green beast sitting in my garage!

  18. Abi

    It came out perfectly!! I would of never thought to put the wood filler into the design–it looks great!

  19. Stacey

    Amazing! Love how you filled the parts in you wanted to hide. Cool tip!
    Gorgeous result!
    Thanks for sharing – have a blessed week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change


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