Showing age … and hiding it: Making over my grandma’s buffet

Yesterday, I did something I never thought I would do: I proposed that my hairdresser give me bangs to hide my forehead wrinkles.  Yep.  Years of raising my eyebrows dramatically and making ridiculous faces has resulted in some fine lines that seem determined to become a permanent part of the landscape of my face.

It’s like my parents used to say: If you keep doing that, your face is going to stay that way.  I thought it was hyperbole.  Wrong.

If you’re wondering, luckily I have a sweet and smart hairdresser who simultaneously dissuaded me from bangs while actually making me feel good about having a few fine lines.

Speaking of showing age, I recently inherited a buffet from my nearly 99-year-old grandma.  Grandma doesn’t look a day over 85, but this buffet – which she bought second-hand in the 1950s — had seen better days.  My dad was just about to haul it off to Goodwill when he thought he should ask if my sister or I wanted it.  Silly dad.  Clearly he doesn’t read my blog.  My sister turned it down (Your lost, Marts!), but of course I wanted it.

So, here she is: my grandma’s buffet.  It used to hold her fancy silverware and a few other odds and ends.


As you can see, she was in good structural shape but — like me  — was starting to show her age a little with a few tiny fine lines.


Sometimes, I can look at a piece of furniture and know what it wants to be when it grows up, but this piece was a bit enigmatic.  Was she formal or informal?  Country or traditional?  Finally, I decided that all the crisp lines meant that it might lend itself to an Midcentury modern redo.


I sanded the whole piece with progressively fine sandpaper (100, 150, 22o) to even out some of the years of wear.


I stripped and stained the drawers and doors.  Stripping 80 year old varnish was about as much fun as a root canal, but it had to be done!  After staining, I sealed the drawers with Annie Sloan’s dark wax, pushing the wax into some of the wrinkles and cracks in the wood to achieve a slightly rustic look.  I also modernized the drawers and doors with new streamlined hardware.


I used Valspar’s Furniture Paint tinted to the whitest white they had.  I hadn’t used this paint before, and I have mixed feelings about it now.  It’s advertised as leaving no brush strokes, and I’ll say that it definitely has fewer brush strokes than other paints. However, it took 4 coats of paint to achieve full coverage.  It does have a pretty glossy finish, though, which is exactly what I wanted.


What a transformation, right?  Who knew that under all those scratches and tired stain this beauty existed?side-view


Just for fun, let’s review:


My takeaway from this project?  Some things just get better with age.  I guess the bangs will have to wait.




One thought on “Showing age … and hiding it: Making over my grandma’s buffet

  1. Katrina, you make me laugh! Wrinkles are no fun but remind us of how much closer we are to being with Jesus. I love the makeover of the buffet! You are so creative and energetic. Thanks for sharing!


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