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Upcycled painted buffet

Making a Splash
Making a Splash

Sanding, fresh paint and new handles worked wonders on this old buffet.





The project


I asked on Facebook Marketplace if anyone had an old buffet they wanted to sell. A really nice lady reached out and said she had this old unit that I could have for free.


Having already made-over a unit like this before, I had learnt from my mistakes:

1) It isn't necessary to go too crazy with the sanding back.

2) Don't use an Eggshell paint finish as dark colours show scuffs and scratches.

3) A roller gives the best finish.


I started by removing the doors and drawers and giving the areas I was going to paint a light sand using 120 grit sandpaper. I really went to town with an orbital sander for the top, starting off with 80grit, then 120, then 240 for a smooth finish.


I went straight into painting from here, applying Dulux Aquanamel in semi-gloss using a roller and a brush to get into the corners. I chose Open Living by British Paints.


After two coats and once it was dry, I put the doors and drawers back together and added new black handles. To finish it off, I used Cabot's Cabothane Clear on the top.




  • 80, 120 and 240 grit sandpaper



  • Dulux Aquanamel Semi-Gloss 1 Litre


  • British Paints – Open Living



  • Cabot's Cabothane Clear 250ml


Before and after





More upcycled buffet projects


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




Bunnings Workshop member DanaR saved a kerbside find from landfill by sanding, painting and varnishing this buffet and lining the drawers with chevron wallpaper from Bunnings.




Just Starting Out

This is the first time I have tried upcycling a piece of furniture & would like some advice.  You say you didn't sand back much except for the top, did you use a primer/undercoat before painting.  Were you happy with the Dulux Aquanamel, was it easy to paint?  I have read some pretty bad reviews about this paint on  Thank you for your advice in advance.  Cheers  Fiona

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community Fiona (@fgwilko1). It's a pleasure to have you join us, and many thanks for jumping into the discussion.


Let me mention @craftyhopper to see if they can answer your questions.


Dulux 1L PRECISION Maximum Strength Adhesion Primer White can be a great way of avoiding hours of tedious sanding on projects like these. It is specially formulated to bond to a variety of tough-to-paint surfaces that typically resist coatings. On glossy surfaces only a light sanding is required.


I've always used Aquanamel for my projects and have been satisfied with the results, but I'd be keen to hear from @crafyhopper about their experience.


We look forward to seeing your project and would encourage you to start a discussion about it. Everyone loves a good upcycling project around here, and I'm sure they'll all be keen to follow along. 


Reach out if you need any assistance. We're here to help.




Making a Splash

Hi, painting furniture is something I have always wanted to do but thought I would need expensive tools ie. electric sander or very hard work sanding by hand. I never knew until just now about special paint for the job . I paid 35$for a chest of drawers on fb that are only fit for the tip now I can’t wait to have a go and sell at a profit, just to get back some dignity. b🌺

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