How to Makeover an Old Buffet

If you know me, you know I love Old, falling apart, damaged furniture found on the roadside, or gifted to me by someone who didn’t have the time/desire/skills to makeover the old furniture themselves.

This is where this current Water Damaged but structurally sound Old Buffet comes into the story. My friend called and said she had a gorgeous Jacobian-style Buffet in their garage, but some water had spilled on it, then sat there for months.  The top was now damaged, the veneer peeling off. Water stains going through most of the top, down through several layers. She was gifting me the Old Buffet. How could I say no to a gift like this? (Photo courtesy of

Check out my reel where I share how I got this thing out of my little Ford Escape all by myself!

How to Repair an Old Buffet

The Old Buffet sat in my garage waiting for a makeover for a while until I got the strength (and I mean mental strength) to tackle this project. I had to pull off as much of the veneer as I could. It wasn’t a situation where you could try the steam iron and towel method. (Read more about that here). Once I had most of the cracking veneer peeled off, I glued down what I couldn’t remove, then used Bondo to create an even surface with the existing intact wood top.

Once the Bondo was dry, I had to sand it to create a perfectly smooth surface. Not a quick task, but worth it to save this gorgeous piece of furniture.

How to Clean Your Old Buffet

Now time for the fun part! Paint, but first cleaning. Because this piece was in my garage for a while, it was dusty! I used my favorite Humble Suds 100% Natural cleaner mixed with water that I keep handy in a continuous mister. It’s a no rinse cleaning solution, cuts through all kinds of gook and dirt, and is 100% natural. Win win.

How to Paint your Old Buffet

Finally time for the fun part, the paint! I used 100% Natural DIY Paint in Bohemian Blue. The painting part was SO easy. Because DIY Paint is a Clay Based paint, with no Silicone, Latex or Acrylic, and it has only 9 ingredients, it is super easy to work with. DIY Paint’s exclusive Clay Based formula can hold a ton of pigment, so you use less paint than you would any other similar brand. The unique Clay Base makes it highly adhesive as well.  There is no “give” to DIY Paint, it forms a bond like concrete with whatever surface you paint it on. It will not chip, crack, scratch, once it is fully cured and dry. It is rock solid.

I like to use the Continuous Mister sprayer (with just water) and spritz my surface as I work.

This allows the paint to flow over any surface. I showed the step-by-step in my YouTube Video. You can come up with your technique; there are no “right and wrong” ways to use DIY Paint, this is my preferred method, and I can whip out projects pretty quickly. I added an extra unique “TRICK” to make the top waterproof. You can spill anything on it, and it will just puddle up.  Be sure to watch so you can learn my secret trick.

Finishing Touches on Your Old Buffet

Every painted piece of furniture always has to have a little extra “detail,” in my opinion. I decided to highlight some of this beautiful piece’s high points and details using DIY Paint Gilding Wax. It’s an all-natural wax that acts similar to Rub n Buff if you have used that. DIY Paint Gilding wax is all-natural and has no awful chemical smell.

Letting Go of your Newly Painted Old Buffet

Once I finished this piece, I dragged it inside to take pictures and post it for sale. I was so pleased with how photogenic this piece was, then I pulled it back to the garage and put a moving blanket over it to keep it safe. Then I went to work on editing the pictures, when to my horror…..I found I had not taken a single picture of the top! I had to repeat the entire process, which included moving all my Dining Room and Living room furniture around to get the perfect shot. The things we go through for vanity!  LOL.

Once I posted the piece, it sold quickly to a couple who were SO happy to buy it. I was, of course, happy to have the money on a piece I was so proud of, but the feeling I get when something I create goes to a home where it is appreciated and valued is priceless.

I hope I inspired you to take a 2nd look at that piece of furniture you might have that needs a little love, some DIY Paint, and your imagination.

If you enjoyed this project, you might also like this post on a different Buffet Makeover.


  1. susan

    It’s beautiful! Can’t wait to try the trick of wax over sealer!

    • GTC

      Thank you so much Susan! The wax over Big Top is one of my favorite tricks 🙂


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