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Thursday, July 21, 2011

No big deal dresser re-make, NOT!

Last month, I found this amazing buffet dresser at the thrift store and it was love at first sight.
It’s so stately.  
It looked expensive, with cherry wood and all the ornate wood work.  The price was right, but what about the doors.
The buffet doors appeared to be water-damaged, with the wood bubbled and cracking at certain points.
Somewhat overly confident and optimistic, I decided to buy it anyway.
Sure, I could fix it!
No big deal, right.
This thing barely fit in my car and weighed a ton, but I got it home, certain I’d find the time to fix it up for resale.
But, that’s not what happened.
It sat in my garage, day in/day out until my friend Lillian came for a visit.
Lillian purchased the telephone table from me. 
Remember this beautiful thing?
Full of a million furniture staples.
Up-doing the telephone table accompanied my tale of getting kicked off eBay.
This telephone table was a big project, getting kicked off eBay was a huge slam, but I digress.
Originally, I’d painted the telephone table white, but Lillian liked it better black.
I just love it.
Back to the buffet sitting in my garage, Lillian asked “What else do you have that I might like?”
We walked into my garage and it was love at first sight again, this time for Lillian.
“I want that,” she said pointing to the buffet, warped doors and all.  “Can you paint it black for me?”
“Sure,” I said, with a bit too much confidence and way too much optimism.  “No big deal.”

Five reasons why I didn’t start on this buffet right away.

1.  It was 115 degrees.
2.  The next day it was 114 degrees.
3.  The next day it 112 degrees.
4.  The next day it was 111 degrees and we had a wind storm.
5.  The next day is was 112 degrees.

But still, there it sat.  I had to prove to myself I could do it, sweltering heat or not.
I started with the electric sander, grinding away at the warped wood.
What I thought would sand off like butter was more like trying to cut through a frozen fruit cake.  It wasn’t going anywhere.  I was really sweating at this point.
After what felt like hours, I decided to use some wood putty.
I lathered it up and scraped it on with a spatula.
That’s a little bit better, NOT!
This time, I watered the putty down a bit, almost painting the putty on and it created a thin coat of goodness.
I sanded it down again and painted over it.
I couldn’t believe how great it cleaned up.
Here she is, in all her glory, fixed up in Lillian’s house.
And I'm glad I did it!
Jenny Matlock


  1. it's lovely! oh my, it inspires me to tackle my own refinishing projects. but i think i'll wait until fall, when 6 kids are gone to school and it's not over 110 out.

  2. hi there!! I've followed your blog for quite some time now and you're so inspiring and creative with all you do with your "trash". I find it amazing and wish I could be as great and creative but I don't have the gift you do. I've seen you at goodwill before but didn't want to disturb your trash finding, but you do great things even with some setbacks. Congrats for still finding a way to be so happy and creative even after ebay. I am not good at finding items at garage sales and was wondering if you could help me find a dresser or buffet I could try to refinish for my home?? I love the work you do and maybe if you have time you could give me a few tips. Thanks in advance, sharon v.

  3. it is beautiful! I used to refinish furniture, but sad to say, with age comes lack of patience and creeky joints. I too won't attempt the heat! Kudos to you!~Ames

  4. Great job! If I had done it for myself - and the doors were a problem - it would be cute with little material curtains there, too.

  5. It's beautiful! You had faith in yourself and it paid off. What an inspiration!

  6. WoW! Your perseverance paid off. It's beautiful! Both black pieces look like they belong in some exclusive manor home.

    Great job!

  7. Love it! I run into the 115 degree thing myself! Yikes. It is wicked hot for sure!

    Thanks for a nifty link. I love your re-do's!

    Thank you for sharing them.


  8. Ok Ive missed something: why on earth did they kick you off of Ebay?!