Mahogany Buffet Makeover With Olive And Country Grey

I know it's been a long time between posts, but with this crazy heat we've been having here in New England and the fact we're moving and going on vacation finding time to paint has proven difficult.

Last August at an estate sale I scored this amazing mahogany buffet.  I'd been searching for one like this for quite awhile so I was beyond excited to find one.   It's only taken me almost a year to get to this project, but I'm glad I waited until the time was right.  

Here's a few before pictures.  

When I found the buffet at the estate sale it was sitting in a moldy, musty basement and had a tiny bit of water damage and some cracking veneer.   

It was a bit smelly and dirty.  Plus the top was a scratched up mess.

Originally when I bought this piece I thought I would sell it, but I just couldn't part with it.  I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it and then I got some inspiration from my blog friend Laura at Whimsical Perspective.  She painted a piece of furniture in her home with a color I fell in love with....Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in Olive.  I loved the depth of the color and knew it would be gorgeous with dark wax.

I decided to keep the top stained, but that meant I had to strip and sand it smooth.  This always proves tricky for me.  I seem to choose to do this during the hottest days of the year.  I used Citristrip and it took a few times, but the stain and varnish came off.  It needed quite a bit of sanding to get it smooth.  I started with 150 grit then ended with 220 grit.  

Here's how it looked after the stripping and sanding process.

A few weeks ago I bought some Danish Oil and decided it would be a good time to try it out on the top of the buffet.  I applied the Danish Oil on the top with a cloth, let the oil sit a bit, then wiped it off after 30 minutes or so.  I did this 5 or 6 times until I was happy with the depth of the color.  Finally I let it sit for a day and sealed it all with some Annie Sloan soft dark wax for protection.

The rest of the buffet I painted in Olive.  I liked how it looked, but it felt really boring and flat to me.  I have to admit I do this all the time.  I always want to try something different.  I don't like doing the same thing over and over.  I wanted this to be special, not just a painted buffet.  

Here's the Olive on the drawer.  You can see the texture in the paint that was caused by the cracking veneer.  The veneer wasn't peeling or coming off, just cracked.  I liked the added texture and that gave me an idea.

In this picture the Olive paint isn't quite dry and doesn't have the depth of color it has once it's dry.

To add texture and character to the piece I decided to dry brush some Country Grey over top the Olive. I liked how it looked, but wanted the finish to look deep and layered.  I took a damp cloth and wiped off some of the excess paint to give it a worn off look.

This is how one of the smaller drawers looked before I wiped off the Country Grey.

Here's a picture of the buffet after I did a few coats of Country Grey and wiped it off.  I was happy with it, but not thrilled.  I thought it needed more depth so I added some Olive back in and then wiped that off.  After 6 coats of Country Grey, wiping that off, then adding Olive and wiping that off I was happy with the look.  It was time to wax!  I waxed each drawer with Annie Sloan soft clear wax.

 For the rest of the buffet I mixed Annie Sloan soft clear and dark wax and wiped that on everything that was painted Olive.  The last step was to paint the drawer hardware.  I thought the best look for this piece was Oil Rubbed Bronze Metallic spray paint by Rustoleum.  

Here's the finished buffet all dressed up for some pictures by my favorite tree.

I love the depth of the layered and wiped off paint finish on the drawers and doors.  

The Danish Oil gave the top a gorgeous finish and the color looks amazing with the Olive and Country Grey paint.

I really like how the Oil Rubbed Bronze drawer hardware pops off the buffet now.  It's exactly what it needed to finish the piece off.

The pulls on the doors are really cute, they look like little keys in a keyhole.  

Here's an up close picture of that texture I was talking about from the cracking veneer.  The veneer is solid and not coming off which is a huge plus!  It just added that wonderful texture and character the piece needed.

Here you can see the great Danish Oil finish.  If you can't already tell I love old fans.  The one at the right I bought last weekend at our local flea market and I love how rusty and old it is.  

In this picture you can really see the depth the paint layering gave the piece.

 I mentioned I had originally bought this piece to sell, but I couldn't part with it.  Now after how it's turned out there's no way I can sell this buffet.  I've moved it in to my dining room and it looks great there.  It will look beautiful in the dining room of our new house.  It has so much storage and the colors work perfectly with the dining room rug.  

The next three weeks are going to be a busy time around the Smith house.  We're leaving for a family vacation and I'm also attending the Haven Conference in Atlanta (I can't wait to meet all my blogging idols!).  After we get back from our vacation we will begin the move to our new home.  I will do my best to keep posting as often as I can.  There will be lots of posts in the future about the house and all the projects I have sitting waiting for me in my storage locker!

Thank you for reading.  It means so much to me that you take the time to read about my projects.  I love hearing from you and please know anytime you comment I respond via email so if you're not a follower it makes it a bit harder to respond to your comments.  

I hope you're all enjoying your summer!

Take care,


Linking to:

DIY Show Off

Mod Vintage Life

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. WOW Melody! That is A-Maz-ing!!! Looks great! I wouldn't want to part with it either!

  2. I cannot believe I have the identical buffet! My Dad bought it back in the 1940's for my Mom and I inherited it a number of years ago. It still has the original finish and looks great, down to the original door-key-knobs like yours! I couldn't even think about doing away with this gorgeous mahagony finish. Yours, however looks great & definitely needed this done. Fab job! I also have the matching china cabinet which is equally gorgeous!

  3. I've been searching my entire state for months to find a buffet like this to no avail! I love it! I especially love the pulls (I think that style is called Hepplewhite?). Great job!

  4. beautiful combination! i have not used olive and it's so pretty!

  5. oh my gosh! this is almost exactly like the buffet I did this summer and I did it in green too!! Great Minds think alike!!! I LOVE IT!!

  6. That is a beautiful piece...I wouldn't have turned loose of it either! :-)

  7. I have a question if you don't mind. Is there any special prep work that needs to be done to hardware before using the spray paint by Rustoleum...other than making sure it is clean?

  8. I love it.... and I love those fans! You did a great job. Stopping by today from Dorothy Sue and Millie B's too. I'm your newest follower!!!


  9. What a fabulous piece, I love it. Great makeover and the color is wonderful. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  10. I don't blame you one little bit for keeping your buffet. It is incredible. The top turned out so beautifully, I might have to try some of that danish oil if a piece I get needs it. Everything you did on this piece was as if it was meant for it, love the style, everything about it. Enjoy your wonderful buffet.
    I'm very jealous tho as I've been looking for one I could afford and redo it. If I find one I'm going to put it in our kitchen after I take out a top/bottom cupboard. Hubs won't like that but once he sees how great it looks he'll be ok with it. We can use the cupboards out in shed for storage.
    I am also very envious of your old fans. They bring back some memories as I'm an old gal.

  11. Such a pretty piece, Melody. I love the mix of Olive and Country Grey. I'll have to remember that combination. I can see why you couldn't give it away. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. I can't wait to meet you at Haven!


  13. Hi
    You said that the piece was in a moldy basement. How did you get rid of the smell?

    1. It didn't smell. It had been in a basement that smelled musty and had some other pieces in it that were moldy, but this one was fine after a good cleaning. It's in my dining room now and no smells at all. If I ever need to get rid of a smell in a piece of furniture I usually coat the inside with shellac. Sometimes it takes 2 coats.