the legless buffet

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint17 Comments

At some point, someone was possessed with the idea to hack the legs off of this buffet…

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Perhaps it was an intentional decision to make this piece more practical or perhaps one of the legs was damaged beyond repair and this was a way to save this buffet from the trash.

I don’t know how it ended up without legs, but something about it in a grainy craigslist photo appealed to me.  The price was good, that was one thing, but I also think that, despite the fact that it wasn’t designed this way, it was a practical height and size and a unique piece.

I love the fact that the drawers and doors were left unpainted.  The body was painted in a sort of faux wood technique, but it had obviously been wearing that paint for a long time.  I didn’t like how the faux painting competed with the natural wood graining, so I decided to paint over it.

The body of the piece received two coats of Farmhouse White (MMS Milk Paint), with a very light distressing around the edges, followed by a coat of Hemp Oil to finish the paint and hydrate the old wood.

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Now that beautiful wood graining can be the feature and it most definitely is.  I believe it’s tiger oak and that is a showy wood.

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I replaced the raw wood knobs with some pretty white glass knobs from Hobby Lobby to relate to the white milk paint.

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When I say a piece is “lightly distressed” that means we rubbed a fine sanding sponge (with very little pressure applied) all over the flat surfaces of the piece.  This smooths everything out and “knocks off the newness of the paint” as I put it.  It’s a quick step that seems to soften a piece.  We’ll then go back with a 100 grit paper and “hit the edges” gently, to pull off just a little bit of paint.  It makes the paint look a little worn from use, giving it a sense of age, but it’s not “in your face” distressing.

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You don’t have to distress milk paint, I just like to.  I think it’s a more forgiving for when those real life dents and dings happen, which they will.

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I found this piece a bit of a challenge to style, since it is really going to be best in the context of a room – as a coffee table, chest for the end of a bed, or a TV console. I joked with Kriste that I need to get one of those plastic TVs that are in model homes and furniture stores to use as a prop!  Of course, some old wooden piece paired with a baby dress looks a lot nicer for pictures, so we’ll stick with that.

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New and exciting stuff is still coming into the studio each day, it seems.  Yesterday, I received these beauties…

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I collaborated with super talented Marianne of White Peach Pottery to come up with a mug that would be a nice welcome gift for MMSMP retailers.  She made them all by hand, so each one is unique.

We had some custom-printed mugs made last year, but they felt a little too corporate for me and I love the idea of supporting a creative entrepreneur.

I wasn’t planning to, but I think I’ll take some with me to Lucketts to see how they sell there…

the legless buffet

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17 Comments on “the legless buffet”

  1. Oh I love the short sideboard and how you styled it. It would make a perfect coffee table. You are on fire!

  2. Love the stubby buffet. Would look great with some casters. And of course it can become a vanity sporting a (farmhouse white, of course) vessel sink. Stellar!

  3. Hello Marian,
    Love this piece, especially the “quarter-sawn oak”. The wood looks more accentuated against the milk paint! Wonderfully done!

  4. I liked those mugs so much I went to the White Peach Pottery website and subscribed. I really like the design she came up with for you.

  5. I really like the light distressing you used on this piece. I like the look of a piece that’s heavily distressed whether it got that way naturally or by the hand of a talented refinisher. But I find that I like it in someone else’s home, not mine, lol! And the hubs doesn’t like it all soooooo…..

    Anywho, what you did on this piece is perfect for my home. It mimics the inevitable wear and tear that’s going to show up in a relatively short spam of time in my house anyway. It knocks the new off of the piece and allows you to enjoy it in all of its slightly imperfect glory without the stress and worry that goes with having a perfect and pristine piece. Seriously, haven’t we all had something that we were so freaked out about it getting messed up that we couldn’t even enjoy it? I don’t know about anybody else’s housembut at my house, Murphy’s laws are constantly hard at work!

    Really, really nice piece.

  6. Hi Marian…I continue to be amazed at your creativity! That console turned out beautifully! I so wish your Lucketts show was closer – I’m way out here in CA. I have looked and can’t find anywhere that sells your milk paint!

  7. How nice. Your creations are so inspired. I bet it would make a great TV/entertainment center as well.

  8. There’s something a bit off in the proportions of the stubby buffet to my eye. But I agree with the reviewer who suggested casters….I picture klunky ones to ground the piece. The way you finished it is great.

  9. Well, another somewhat odd piece. I like the suggestion that it could be used for an entertainment center. I have to admit, though, that I’m not really attracted to it. I’m not fond of the tiger oak; it’s color is too orangey for my taste and I think the white paint on the rest of the piece accentuates that. I probably would have chosen a paint color closer to that of the wood doors and drawers if I were going to leave them their natural color. HOWEVER….that is all just a matter of taste and doing what you did, as usual, you did a very nice job. And it will be just the thing that someone is looking for!

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