Friday, July 26, 2013

Thomasville Buffet Tutorial

I have been on a hunt for a buffet for months. Regular people may have pantries, but our 1971 home does not. I was so glad when I finally found this piece to store all my miscellaneous kitchen implement. I think I may go totally wild here and even buy a crock-pot! What?!? I just may. LOL

I am happy I rescued this guy, $40 was all it took. He was sitting in what the seller called 'a barn', plopped right in the middle of a donkey pasture. Gophers holes scattered about. Such 'barn' was a building of sort, consisting of merely 2 adjacent walls, and a roof, made of corrugated sheet metal. One, of said walls, had a window-like-opening that took up a third of the surface. I guess it was needed for ventilation, given that only 2 walls were missing! ^__^ There was no pavement to the barn, just dirt and dust, with a patch of grass here and there, and the popular gopher hole. The seller had merely put down a piece of plywood and had perched the buffet right on top of it. I never fail to be amused by Craigslisters. It seems incredible to me how little value people have for their own belongings. Amazingly enough, the cabinet was in really good conditions. It was just really dirty and in dire need of a makeover! So we carefully loaded it on the back of the truck and off we drove home with our brand new project. 

As soon as I got back I got my vacuum out and cleaned it out as best as possible. I then steamed the entire thing, inside and out. My DH was worried that there could be critters' transmitted diseases lurking on the surface, which would be dangerous to our cats. So I took my time and cleaned it out real well. Given the exceptional weight of this cupboard, I decided to paint it in place. I merely put down a tarp (old vinyl table cloth - love recycling) and a pair of two-by-fours to hoist it in place. As you can see this time I abandoned my trusty Zinsser primer in favor of a can of Sherwin Williams Oil based primer that I got for free after a store error. It worked just as well, but I would not pay that much for primer.

The hardcore 1980's look may have deterred other buyers, but not me. I realized at first glance that it had just enough details to be interesting, but not too much to border on gaudy. I also found the hardware very interesting and I imagined it working well with my color scheme. Here is a front view of the doors.

I proceeded to remove the hardware and label it. I always label the hinges as well, for easy re-assembly! Since I knew that I only wanted to paint the exterior, I carefully taped all the areas I did not want to get smudged. The drawers have built in stoppers that prohibits them from being removed, so they had to be painted in place. I used a Purdy brush, for all the small areas and crevices, and a roller for the sides and top. The roller left a very uneven bumpy surface, so I had to sand the top and sides down with a fine grit sandpaper before painting it. After sanding, I wiped the whole cabinet down to remove any dust. 

Since the doors were so intricate, and full of nooks and crannies, I opted for a spray primer for those (my favorite - Zinsser). Here are the doors in my garage, primed twice and ready for paint.

I used Sherwin Williams all-surface enamel oil based paint in a semi gloss finish.

Photo courtesy of
I got it tinted to match Behr Baritone 680F-7 (the darkest purple in this swatch). It was a very close match, although you may have a hard time recognizing it here.

Photo courtesy of
Dark colors are somewhat tricky. It takes many coats of paint to layer the color on. Here is the cabinet after only one coat of paint. Kind of scary I know, DH was afraid we'd end up with a pink cabinet ;-)

As you add layers of paint the color will saturate and intensify to match the actual color you picked from the swatch. The door to the left has two coats of paint, while the right has only one coat.

This is the cabinet with 3 coats of paint on...

...and these are the doors after coat number 4.

In total the buffet got 2 coats of primer and 5 coats of paint. It took a lot to build up from the white to the dark eggplant that I wanted. It could have saved some work by getting the primer tinted, but I had a gallon of primer, and I knew I would only use a quart or so on this project. So I just layered on the color. I waited a full 24 hrs between each coat, 48 hrs to carefully remove all the tape and also to re-assemble the buffet. So all in all it took a week for this project. Here is a view of the back side of the doors before removing the tape.

And here is my guy, I have nicknamed him Thomas (from Thomasville). I am very pleased with the results as well as with the color we chose.

The hue is different depending on lighting, so at times it seems more purple, at times it almost has hints of pink. As the days go by, and it keeps on curing, the paint is darkening as well.

Since I didn't paint the inside of the drawers, I lined them with some leftover wrapping paper I had.

I really love the way the coloring of the hardware goes with the dark eggplant shade.

So what do you think? Would you ever paint a piece of furniture purple? ^__^

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