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Vintage Buffet Makeover – a Farmhouse Upgrade You’ll Love!

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This piece of vintage furniture belongs to my husband and was purchased by his parents for him when he bought his first home in the 80’s. I did not particularly care for it, just because it was not my style. It actually sat up in our attic for several years. Once we moved to our farmhouse and had some space to spread out, we decided to use it in our dining room. It has been a sofa table, a wall table, a cover for our fireplace while we were rebuilding our mantels, etc. Lol I finally talked my husband into letting me transform it, because he wouldn’t let me get rid of it. So, we compromised, and I got to work! Let me show you this vintage buffet makeover!


Let’s Paint!

My absolute favorite paint to use for furniture transformations is chalk paint! Chalk paint has become very popular in the last several years and it’s no wonder! It’s amazing and pretty fool proof! I decided to go with white white because I adore the farmhouse white style!

chalk paint used to paint a vintage buffet cabinet

Before you paint any piece, make sure to clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water to get all the dust, dirt, and oils off the finish. You could also sand it a bit first, but that’s not necessary with chalk paint. A chalk paint brush is also recommended when painting with this particular paint. You can find links for the paint and the brushes at the end of this post.

painting a vintage buffet cabinet with white chalk paint

If your piece of furniture has glass, you will want to use painters tape to protect your glass from the paint. Use strips of the tape around the edge of the glass where it meets the wood on your furniture. I did this before I decided that I was going to remove the glass altogether. Start by adding your first coat of paint. It is not imperative to try to get a perfectly even coat this first time around. Although you might be able to get away with one coat on some pieces, I consider this first coat the anchor that the second coat grabs onto.

painting a vintage buffet cabinet with chalk paint

This is after two coats of the chalk paint. It already looks fabulous! This buffet cabinet had glass everywhere; the doors, the front piece, the bottom, the backdrop, and there was a glass shelf. In my opinion, all that glass needed to go. Eeek. Don’t send me hate mail for that. Lol Also, I removed the handles from the doors.


Removing the Glass!

painting a vintage buffet cabinet with chalk paint

So, that’s what I did! There were tabs over each piece of glass where it was secured in the door and on the front piece. Those all had to be unscrewed and removed before I could get the glass out. Sorry I don’t have pictures specific to this step. If you have a cabinet like this, you know what I’m talking about. If you zoom in to this picture, you can see the tabs and the screwdriver there on the floor in front of the cabinet. It was tedious, but it was proof that furniture was very well made years ago. It’s rare to find that quality today, unfortunately.


Painting the Inside

painting a vintage buffet cabinet with chalk paint and adding peel and stick wallpaper to the inside back wall

Whoa! I got so excited, I forgot to take a picture of the inside painted before I added the peel and stick to the back mirror! Fast forward! Lol After everything was removed; the glass, the shelf, the handles, I painted the inside of the cabinet. That was tricky, but I used the mirror to help me actually. When I was painting the back of the front pieces, it was either try to crawl in there or use that mirror! It worked!


Adding Peel & Stick Wallpaper

painting a vintage buffet cabinet with chalk paint and adding peel and stick wallpaper to the inside back wall

After I had the inside painted and let that dry for a bit, I got started on the wallpaper. I used the peel & stick wallpaper from Walmart in this pallet wood design. There was no way I was getting that mirror out to help me measure, so I just had to take a measurement of the mirror. I added a 1/2 inch on each side because I was able to just place the wallpaper inside the edges to hold it in. Y’all, I didn’t even take the tape off the back of this wallpaper! So guess what?! I could change that background out for the seasons if I wanted! Too fun!


Did someone say chicken wire??

adding chicken wire to a vintage buffet cabinet where the glass used to be

I really am sorry that I did not get pictures of this process. I’m kicking myself now. Usually, I’m a one woman show, and chicken wire is so finicky, it would have been impossible to get pictures during the process. But I will try to explain what I did. The roll of chicken wire that I bought (which wasn’t for this project at all), was the perfect width from top to bottom of the cabinet. So in other words, I did not have to cut it, width wise anyway. I did have to cut it length wise. Using a measuring tape, I cut the length that I needed with wire cutters for the front piece, and for the two doors.


Let’s distress!

adding chicken wire to a vintage buffet cabinet where the glass used to be

After I had my pieces cut, I used a staple gun to attach the chicken wire in place, stapling along all edges, until each opening was completely covered and secured with the chicken wire. Once the chicken wire was attached, I took the whole cabinet outside and used a sander to distress the edges of the piece. Last thing I did was paint and replace the handles for the door, add the mirror back to the bottom, and it was done! I didn’t even seal this piece, because it doesn’t actually get used for anything other than decor, so I didn’t think it was necessary. It’s already distressed, so any new nicks, scuffs, or dings will just add additional character!


Our vintage buffet makeover is complete!

a vintage buffet cabinet transformed into a farmhouse buffet cabinet

I hope you enjoyed this diy furniture makeover and that it inspires you to try a furniture makeover of your own! Make sure to join our email family so you can keep up with what we have going on each week!


Supplies needed to makeover a piece of wooden furniture, farmhouse style:

  • Chalk paint
  • Chalk paint brushes
  • Screwdriver
  • Chicken wire
  • Staple gun
  • Wire cutters
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Wax or Polycrylic
  • Wax brush


Save This Vintage Buffet Makeover for Inspiration!

Vintage buffet makeover farmhouse style using chalk paint

Want to see more furniture makeovers? Check out this Vanity Makeover!

wooden vanity makeover using green chalk paint and a coordinating rose napkin

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Debi Lurvey

    That is just beautiful, I bet that chicken wire was really hard to put in. Love it ❤️❤️❤️

    1. JRandLBriska

      It wasn’t real difficult but it wasn’t the easiest thing either. I don’t regret doing it. Thank you!

  2. Susie Kincheloe

    So with chalk paint you do not have to primer the item? Do you at end out wax on then wipe off with dry cloth?

    Thank you in advance

    1. JRandLBriska

      You do not have to use a primer, no. Only if you want to. You can sand beforehand but that isn’t necessary either. The only thing that I do is clean the piece with soapy water. And as far as what I do at the end of a piece of chalk painted furniture, it just depends on the piece. I didn’t put anything on this piece because it is a distressed piece that will never be used as a buffet and only for decor.

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