The Ugly 80’s Buffet Transformation

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Howdy!  Tonight, I am proud to unveil the transformation of a $20 thrift shop find.  After searching high and low for a new dining room buffet- and failing miserably to find something of great quality that was unique, beautiful, AND affordable, I had an epiphany…since I can’t find (or afford) what I really want, I’ll create it!

I drove to my local thrift shop and purchased a horrific buffet straight out of the 80’s for $20.  Although ugly at first sight, this buffet was thick and solid, and had great lines, I had a vision!  My inspiration for the finished product came from pieces I found at Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware.  In one day, using Annie Slone Chalk Paint (in Paris Gray with dark wax), and some new hardware, I gave this buffet a new life and saved hundreds of dollars!

Drum roll please…

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17 thoughts on “The Ugly 80’s Buffet Transformation

  1. Oh my gosh! I have this same buffet, and the top hutch, dining table, and chairs to match! Lucky us haha. When we brought it home we joked that it made us want to sing the “Bluebell Homeade Ice Cream” song because it seemed appropriate for the type of furniture. Anyway…I have been dying to re-do it but my husband has been reluctant since it was his grandparents set. But…now that I showed him EXACTLY what it would look like thanks to you…. he is on board! You said you finished it in one day, did you have to sand it first or just went straigt in with chalk paint? I’d love to do the table too but this would be my first project with chalk paing. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hello, I’m so happy that the buffet inspired you to transform your own! The beautiful thing about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it requiures no prep work. You don’t need to sand your peice before applying the paint. In fact, sometimes sanding old wood will make the paint application uneven as sanding sometimes re-opens pores in wood. So as long as there are no chips or ruff spots in the finish (simply sand those right off), just go ahead and begin your paint application!

      Good luck =)


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  7. Hi! Stumbled across your project- looks beautiful. I am doing my dining room set in the same combo- have done two coats of Paris gray with a dark wax/clear wax combo. What color is your wall paint? It makes your buffet look grey and I’m afraid my pieces are looking on the taupe spectrum…… I wanted grey.

  8. Hi there, I have a console table I can’t wait to transform as you did here. Can you tell me the paint color of the wall behind the console. I love how the blue grey wall contrasts with the console.


  9. Hi,

    I want to use this same color on a similar buffet, yours looks amazing! Can you tell me how many coats of paint you used? Did you buy the AS wax brush to apply the wax? Also, did you apply the wax all over once to achieve the look you got?



  10. I have a very similar cabinet from my Mom’s estate. It is a very solid maple piece from Tell City. I want to paint it to match my own Brohill Attic Heirloom china cabinet. This is exactly what I want to do! I have not been able to find hinges to change out the original brass ones. Do you know where your hinges came from? Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Saw your buffet on Pinterest. I cracked up when I went to your blog page and read your story. I laughed because I have a very similar buffet (actually a complete dining set!) We bought it brand new (in the 80’s) and I remember feeling so grown up and excited over owning such a beautiful buffet and hutch to display my china. Flash forward almost 30 years later and I no longer want to see my china and hate the country feel of the set! Haha. However, I love how you changed the hardware and painted yours! So….with your inspiration, I’m setting my plan in motion :) I’ve bought some paint and will be working on the transformation of my dining set!

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