Painted Buffet Re-do for the Living Room – PART 1

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Now that the weather is warm and beautiful, its hard to remember what a cold, crazy, wet winter we had.  I remember it quite well because just at the beginning of the bi-polar vortex I was sent a sumer-fun new toy that I was dying to try out from HomeRight (but cold + wet do not make for a great finish).  I’m breaking this project into two posts; one for the project and one for the sprayer because this is one of those projects that has a ton of details and I didn’t want to take away from how great it was to use this airless paint sprayer.  Today, I want to show you the transformation of a great piece using the paint sprayer and I’ll give you more details on actually using the paint sprayer on Friday.

Check back on Friday, May 23rd for a full review and Giveaway for this sprayer!



We are itching to paint our master bathroom cabinets just about any color other than dark chocolatey brown, but I have a serious issue with visible brush marks (seriously, is there therapy for that) and we haven’t picked a color just yet.  I’ve always wanted a paint sprayer and was thrilled when HomeRight sent me their Finish Max sprayer to try out.  Yep, there is therapy for those of us with VBMI (visible brush mark issues): an easy-to-use paint sprayer that doesn’t require an air compressor.

I’d still love to paint those master bathroom cabinets, but I wanted to do a test-run on something easier to prep, less permanent, and that wouldn’t shut down our master bathroom with all of the craziness we have at our home these days, and I had a very sad formal living room.  I snapped this photo in the midst of re-uplohstering my mother’s queen anne chairs:



Yep, that sad wall was front-and-center in our living room, right when you walk in the front door.  Plus, we clearly have a need for storage (don’t we all) and really wanted a place to keep toys handy-but-out-of-sight.  Then, a friend who knows I have a thing for mirrored furniture found this at Big Lots (how wonderfully random).  I loved the geometric design on the mirrors and the size and shape were perfect, but the color!  I know there are plenty of dark-furniture lovers out there, but I’m not one of them.  I love either beautiful natural wood (that you won’t find at Big Lots) or bright, light colors like white or silver.  Although I’m weary of mass-produced new furniture, it seemed solidly built enough for the price since similar ideas I had been looking at were all at least twice the price.  Remember the last time I obsessed about a mirrored cabinet?


Of course it was a whole 3 inches too long for my car, but I went ahead and paid for it and then waited for someone to be able to help me pick it up.  It’s deceptively heavy, so it wound up parked in my garage in the way of my sanity (I secretly have dreams about a tidy, un-cluttered garage).

I was so excited to a) try out the airless paint sprayer, b) get this thing into use in the living room, and c) get this thing out of the garage that I made a rookie mistake or two.  In my impatience, I took the time to lightly sand the black finish, but did not take the time to run to the store to get new primer or assemble the dang thing.


I had it in my head that painting it unassembled would make for a better end-result.  BIG MISTAKE.  Here’s the deal if you find yourself considering this bright idea:  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room with these assembled furniture pieces.  Once you get a few coats of paint on there (primer + paint + finish coat), you’ve changed the dimensions of the pieces enough that they no longer play nice.  Also, it’s easier than you may think to scuff that fresh paint assembling the furniture no matter how careful you are.

Then, instead of waiting for an opportunity to run to buy the proper primer for this job, something that would bond to the finished black factory paint better than the fancy paint I wanted to use, I just grabbed a can of Kilz2 that I had left over from priming a stained wall.  Kilz2 is great for using inside to cover up all sorts of things on your ceiling or wall before regular paint, but it’s not great at bonding to slick, oil-based paints used on this furniture.



After spraying a million silly cabinet pieces individually, then flipping them over and painting the other side, I decided that I would never finish this project painting each piece individually.  I started assembling the cabinet and noticed something devastating (in addition to the pieces not wanting to fit together).  The primer wasn’t sticking.  At all.  It was at no fault of the sprayer, I just completely used the wrong paint and now had a HUGE mess on my hands.  I used a credit card and razor blades to scrape the paint off of the flat surfaces (that’s how easily to came off) and used sandpaper and a flathead screwdriver to remove the rest of the paint.


This was a big hit to my ego and I had to park the project for a few weeks, focus on something else, and come back to it later.

Eventually I got my act together and used Zinsser oil-based wood primer.  So.  Much.  Better.

The primer was easy to thin with Mineral Spirits, easy to spray with the paint sprayer, and all I had to do was re-sand a couple minor spots I had missed from the previous primer debacle.   The sprayer can take oil-based or water-based primer and has a handy tool for measuring how thin the paint is to make sure that you get the proper finish.  I could have had a color mixed, but went for classic white (after a short experiment with silver paint with some bad advice from the Home Depot “paint expert”) since it is simple to buy with no surprises and won’t show the imperfections left from having to remove the first batch of primer.

Note: I removed the mirrors from the doors prior to painting so I could paint the backside as well, since this shows in the mirrors.



Check back on Friday, May 23rd for a full review and Giveaway for this sprayer!

After primer, paint, and a protective clear coat (this is the secret to giving your DIY furniture paint projects that finished look) all done with the paint sprayer, I was still itching for a silver finish a bit.  I decided to go over the white top piece with sun Rub N Buff in silver leaf (I have this handy Rub N Buff sampler pack and it lasts FOREVER).  I used the Gold finish on the hardware of the steamer trunk that is also in the living room.  I don’t like painting large surfaces with metallic paint because it’s so unpredictable, so I didn’t use the paint sprayer for this bit.



On a large surface you have to act FAST.  I put a coat of deglosser on first and left it there, which essentially thins the Rub N Buff as you’re putting it on.  I used a rag cut from an old T-shirt to rub this on quickly.  Did I mention you need to work fast to get a great look from this stuff on a large surface?  Surprisingly, the tiny tube of Rub N Buff hardly looks like I used it even to cover this large surface.  It dries quickly, and I gave it a quick buff, also with a t-shirt rag.

On the left: un-buffed / On the right: buffed


Finally, we were able to move the cabinet into it’s new home.


20140514-120723.jpgI painted the doors separately so I would have more room.  I removed the mirrors first, just as I did on the similar Home Goods cabinet re-do, so the reflection of the back of the doors wouldn’t be noticeable (and BLACK).  I used SIX cans of spray paint on the much smaller Home Goods cabinet (not counting the clear coat) which adds up in a hurry, so I’m really glad I was able to use the paint sprayer on this project.  Yes, there’s clean-up, but it was surprisingly easy to clean because water-based paints can be rinsed off in the sink and mineral spirits cleaned up the oil-based paints in a hurry.  More on that in the next post along with the Giveaway & full review!  Oh, and of course my cuties moved RIGHT in.

 Once the doors were painted, we loaded the cabinet up with toys in one section and my things in another.  This cabinet holds a TON so it’s a huge help on keeping the house tidy.

Yes, the map art moved back into the living room.  We really missed it there once this large cabinet was in place.  It also gave a place for a box of small, treasured photo frames with family pictures.  Now the room is finally starting to feel like home!

PS – don’t mine the plant on the right up on the make-shift plant stand.  Apparently our puppies think the plant is great fun to shred, otherwise it would be on the floor where it looks MUCH better.



Here’s a close-up showing the silver top and overall finish.  I ended up putting a coat of clear coat over the top of the Rub N Buff because it was still rubbing off even after it was “dry”.


Now the old sofa & lack of window treatments are glaring me in the face, but at least I finally have beautiful storage for both us and the kiddos.

Don’t forget to check back later to enter the giveaway.  HomeRight is offering a FREE paint sprayer to one lucky Remodelicious reader!

Check back on Friday, May 23rd for a full review and Giveaway for this sprayer!



  1. Painted Buffet Re-do for the Living Room – PART 2 + GIVEAWAY!!!

    May 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    […] the first part of this post, I showed you the beautiful re-do of a formerly black mirrored buffet randomly found at BigLots!. […]

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    July 11, 2014 at 8:52 am

    […] shutting our entire kitchen down.  If you’d like to read more on a project where I used an airless paint sprayer, click here.  For this project, I used a high quality […]

  3. Painter Oliver

    March 2, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Such a beautiful living room for the great idea. I’d like to try something similar with this soon. Looks interesting! Thanks for sharing. It’s a beautiful blogs.


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