I went to an estate sale a few weeks ago and saw this funky little buffet. ( I know what you are thinking....she is not supposed to be buying furniture. And you are so right!) I actually didn't buy it, but it was the $100 price tag rather than clear thinking that saved me.
I was attracted to the color and the art deco design on the doors (which I had already sanded off somewhat at the time of this photo.) But remember, it doesn't belong to me! Long story short, a friend of mine ended up purchasing it and didn't like the color or the art deco design as much as I did. She had me to paint it for her. After sanding the design down, I painted the doors and top a light green to cover any stains or dark colors.
Then I did two thin coats of white with a paint that she had supplied.
A little distressing that brought out some of the green underneath.
Do not buy furniture. No furniture needed. No room for furniture. Furniture not selling well. Stay away from furniture. Furniture is on the DO NOT BUY LIST. Why, oh why, don't I listen to that inner voice?
So then last weekend I came home with this monstrosity. I paid $50 for it early in the morning while it was barely daylight, and went back to load it late afternoon. With clear vision I saw: the glass doors weren't shutting snugly, the two bottom drawer fronts were warped and unusable, the top had a piece of fiberboard nailed to it for whatever reason; the bottom legs had been cut off (so the cabinet looks more like a hutch top than a cabinet);
and a section of wood had been torn off the left side. So....not only was this a large piece of furniture, but basically it was a lemon. I beat myself up for an appropriate number of days while I let it lay dormant in the back of my van. Then I took action.
Day 1: I took the shelves out to powerwash them at the carwash (after peeling off the faux wood shelf liners.) I replaced the screws on the door hinges, and the doors actually closed. I took out the offensive drawers and threw them away.
I selected a piece of wood to attach over the gaping openings (choosing this piece of wood made me commit to painting the entire cabinet.). I decided not to remove the offensive fiberboard from the top since I was painting it (who knows what hornets nest that would have uncovered). That was enough mosquito bites and mental anguish for one day.
Day 2: I used a paint stir stick (which I whacked to size with a paper cutter), plastic wood, and a few screws to "repair" (I use the word loosely) damage on the side enough to be able to paint it. Should have done a "how not to" video here, HA.
Cut and attached the piece of wood over top of the drawer openings. Painted the fiberboard top with an oil primer (so no chance of bleeding through the paint.)
And lastly custom mixed the two shades of green that I had decided to layer on the exterior. I added a plaster of paris mix to these to make them into a chalk paint that would adhere well to the cabinet. (You can find a "recipe" for this anywhere on the internet.)
Day 3: Sanded down the "plastic wood" so that it was smooth. Painted four layers of paint. Gold (dry brushed it on, only hitting "high" areas. Very dark green (same as gold, except hitting all "low" areas). Dark green all over cabinet. Medium green all over cabinet.
Day 4: Sanding to distress cabinet. Of course my elderly orbital sander died in the middle of this. So I had to spend the morning at a hardware store. More sanding to distress. Some hand sanding, which I hate.
Then I got out the Minwax Early American stain and did a quick wipe on - wipe off over the whole piece. It aged it a bit, and I liked the overall color better with the stain. In above photos I had used the stain on the right door and bottom, you can see the big difference.
The lemon turned out pretty well, I am naming her "Geraldine".