We found a beautifully ornate, French Renaissance Henry II style Buffet. It stood 7ft tall and the only words that sprang to mind were, “Wow, this is one epic piece of furniture”. Luckily, it would fit in our dining room, as we have a converted barn with very high ceilings. The piece was in a bit of a state. The wood was warped in places, full of woodworm holes and basically needed a lot of TLC. But I knew that I could make it look fantastic and look great in my French style, vintage dining room that I was slowly creating.
Planning and Preparation – I got to work cleaning, getting rid of the musty smell and treated it all for woodworm (a must, as we have exposed, oak beams). Once the buffet was dry, it was left outside in the autumn sun to get rid of the smell. We bought it in with the help of our builders, as it weighed a ton!
I decided on the colour and thought that Vintage White would look fantastic with my French vintage theme. I had a look on my favourite resource ‘Pinterest’ and put together some ideas for a mood board. I thought of painting it grey. I was not sure, as I already had the colour in my mind but thought I would give the grey a try, as it could always be painted over.
I guess this is where my enjoyment of making my own chalk paint began. Being confronted with a 7ft piece of furniture to paint, I researched and experimented with different recipes, until I got the right consistency and then got painting.
Painting – Once it was painted … it was certainly GREY. I loved it but not in my dining room. The grey in the daylight looked great but as night it seemed really blue. It did not feel right and made the piece look too gothic. Although, it was a great colour choice for our Halloween dinner party.
So, the next day, I began repainting with Vintage White. I mixed the colour I wanted, which was basically like Annie Sloan’s Old Batch, an off, creamy white. As soon as I started painting the base, I loved it and I knew I should have painted it this colour from the start.
I finished the piece but it still looked too gothic, so I decided to remove the top two doors, which had odd, soldiers’ heads on them (scroll up to see an image with them in). I then removed the back, ornate spindle section and instantly, it felt more modern and less gothic.
I sanded down the edges and created some distressing, where I felt it would enhance and age the piece. I used Annie Sloan Dark Wax but it gave more of a brown tinge. So, I then used my Autentico Grey Wax, which worked perfectly to give me that darker, almost black look that I wanted. I then used black acrylic on the handles and sanded them a bit to age them.
I loved my buffet makeover but started to see some orange bleeding coming through the white. So, I put Autentico primer/sealer on the patches, re painted and that worked perfectly. My next project will be to finish lining the draws and possible put some paper at the back, behind the shelves.
I will now work on the rest of my one euro each chairs (blog post coming soon) and paint them Vintage White along with my ‘epic’, twelve-seater table.
I also have a new edition which I have just finished (and another blog post coming soon), a beautiful Queen Anne style sideboard to add to my dining room makeover (including dust!)