How to Makeover an Old Buffet With Paint & Transfers

Furniture Makeovers, Uncategorized


Do you love Facebook Marketplace as much as I do? I mean, really, I need more furniture makeover projects in my life as much as I need a box of Sees Chocolate Candy. Want badly, DO NOT NEED. If you have seen my garage over the years, you can check that out here.

Something about an online garage sale, right in your backyard practically. It soothes my dumpster diving soul, especially scrolling for free!

I found this Drexel Heritage Buffet for $40 on Marketplace. It had deep scratches, and was not in happy condition, but I knew all of that was figureoutable.


Don’t let deep scratches and dings put you off from a really solid piece. If you are not afraid of a little elbow grease and sanding, you can transform a really dinged up piece of furniture to a new heirloom. Watch my new video to see how it’s done!


After I got the piece thoroughly Sanded, I realized there was probably going to be some “bleed through”. Bleed through is when there are oils or tannins in the wood that are activated when they come in contact with moisture, like Paint! It’s these annoying red or pink spots you can get that literally bleed through your beautiful paint finish. The only way to keep it from coming through the paint is to apply a Laquer, a Shellac, an oil or enamel primer or my favorite, Salvation Solution from DIY Paint.


Now that the prep is complete, you can get painting. I used DIY Paint in Bead Board. I highly recommend keeping a fine mister spray bottle nearby. DIY Paint is highly pigmented and a little thick. A little goes a long long way. I like to mist my pieces with water before I paint. This allows the paint to flow freely and you have far less brush strokes. I love my Water Girl Mister bottle. It creates a super fine mist, so you don’t end up soaking your piece and getting uneven amounts of water and thinned paint.

To get a gorgeous finish, I recommend using long even strokes and not brushing back and forth very much. Thin coats are better than 1 or 2 heavy coats. I did 3 very thin coats on my buffet and the finish was perfect.

To check out one of my favorite Buffet Makeovers of all time, you can see that HERE.


Now to the Transfer! I used the Iron Orchid Design Label Ephemera Transfer. Before applying a transfer, make sure your surface is free of dust. You can even choose to seal your paint with a water based brush on finish like Big Top or Crystal Clear Patina. Don’t use wax before you put the transfer on. Wax is an oil based product and you will have trouble with the transfer adhering.

When putting a transfer on a big piece of furniture, it’s best to use painters tape to hold it in place, or if possible, lay the piece on its back. It will take a little effort to do this vertically, but either way, it’s worth it!

After the transfer is applied, use your fingers to go over each area and make sure it is thoroughly stuck to your furniture. I like to just run my fingers over it and press down any rogue pieces.


You can lightly sand your transfer along with your piece, or leave as is. You will definitely want to seal your beautiful masterpiece when it is finished. I used a combination of DIY Paint Clear Wax and DIY Paint Big Top on the Top. This creates a water tight, super durable top for a Buffet that will hopefully get a lot of use! See video for full details.

I hope this inspires you to search Facebook Marketplace (Or a Dumpster) for your next big find. Don’t be afraid of the pieces that need some love, sometimes those are the best projects with the biggest reward.

Happy Junking!


  1. Sharon gardner

    I have fairly new laminate thermocouple white cabinets. Stark white .

    I have Stark white laminate cabinets. they are in good condition. can I just clean with TSP and stria or whitewash them without sanding ?? maybe white wash with Ivory chalk paint or decoart paint? Please help.

    • GTC

      Hi Sharon! I would try to just make sure they are really clean then maybe test white washing them on the inside of a cabinet. Laminate cupboards can be tricky.

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