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Hamptons-style upcycled buffet

Junior Contributor
Junior Contributor

This old buffet with dents and scratches was repaired with filler and freshened up with a good clean and a couple of coats of paint and varnish.





The project


This buffet had survived the attention of rambunctious toddlers, acrobatic pre-teens and distracted high schoolers. It had many dents and scrapes! Now it's this old girl's turn to have some TLC.


I started removing the hardware, doors and drawers. I used Selleys Sugar Soap to give it a good clean. Next my Ozito Random Orbital Sander with 80-grit sandpaper made light work, completely removing coffee cup stains and scratches from the top.


I used Monarch FILL SAND GO Multipurpose Filler to cover any deep scratches and a small chip on the wood. This stuff is easy to use and you can't see it under paint.


One thing I noticed when cleaning was a little area at the base that smelled like cat pee. Regular cleaning didn't help remove the odour, so I used cleaning vinegar after a good sugar soap scrub. Together, they worked well but I needed something to completely take away the smell.


A Bunnings team member suggested Zinsser B-I-N Primer Sealer Stain Killer. It's a shellac-based primer that covers all stains, odours, cigarette smoke and urine smells. It comes in a spray can so it's great for small cat-sized areas.


After an all-over 240-grit sand, I applied two coats of my favourite British Paints interior paint to cover the old brown and orange stain. I stained the top with one coat of rich, dark walnut stain and finished with polyurethane spray in gloss. The metal cup handles got a quick spray with Fiddly Bits Gloss Black Spray Paint.




The drawers needed something exciting to give a pop of colour while still keeping the crisp clean feel. While wandering around at my local Bunnings, I found the inspiration. There are so many styles and patterns available of self-adhesive wallpaper that's easy to use and durable. I chose Boyle 1.5m x 45cm Self Adhesive Wallpaper in the vintage blue tiles pattern.


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A quick spray and wipe with a wood conditioner and this beast became a beauty!


Once I got over power tools being a little bit (ok – a lot) intimidating I enjoyed using them. The orbital and detail sanders are user friendly.


Before and after


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How to upcycle with paint


Painting is a quick, easy and affordable way to upcycle furniture. Learn how with this guide: How to upcycle almost anything with paint.


More upcycling projects


Workshop member DanaR saved this kerbside find from landfill and gave the buffet a new look with fresh paint, varnish and drawer liners made from chevron wallpaper.




By lightly distressing fresh paint and adding vintage handles, prettyliving completely changed the look of this buffet.




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