Ahh, this buffet. I’ll tell you the story about how this buffet came home with me. My mom found it online through freecycle. She showed it to me, I thought it looked too bulky and busy and just didn’t want to add another piece to my inventory or take the time to go pick it up. Well she emailed about it, and after not checking her email for 3 days, saw that the owner said it was still available and ours. So after setting up a time I went and picked it up.
The before photo makes the buffet appear to be in far better condition that it actually was. The thick finish and varnish on it was crack which wasn’t bad on it’s own, but it started coming off on the top of the piece and looked pretty bad. I had my mom put on a layer of stripped while she was working on her own project. The stripper helped a little, but we ran out and so I spent an hour sanding down the whole top of the buffet. The rest of the piece had some marks here and there and the cracked finish, but I left that and really like the fact that it adds a lot of character to the piece especially when painted over with milk paint. If I had been using an acrylic or latex paint on this, the finish would have looked not so great.
Originally I planned to use a light or medium color, but after this black dresser sold, I had to do another piece just like it. The combination of the soft black finish that milk paint gives with the contrasting bone knobs is a new favorite of mine. I also love that black milk paint over a dark wood finish only take 2 coats for full coverage. The color I used on this buffet isn’t actually a pure black. I wasn’t sure I would have enough black, so I mixed OFMP’s Pitch Black milk paint and Driftwood milk paint, and added in a small amount of Sweet Pickin’s Pumpkin milk paint… but I’m just referring to it as black 🙂
I didn’t do much sanding (other than the top), just lightly went over the flat areas. I did make sure to fully wipe the piece down and get all the gunk off of it. To make sure the milk paint adhered, I added the bonding agent to the first coat. A tip for anyone painting with black milk paint, make sure you only add the bonding agent to the first coat and mix up just enough, otherwise the bonding agent seems to add a blue/foggy tinge to the paint sometimes – I figured that out on the last dresser when I had mixed up enough paint the first time for both coats. After the 2 coats were on the buffet, I sealed the whole piece with General Finishes high performance topcoat in flat, and added an extra coat on the top where the piece will most likely receive the most wear. After the topcoat dried, I lightly sanded with 320 grit sandpaper. Another tip, seal the buffet with dark wax. I did this after the poly, so it doesn’t affect the color too much (you could skip the poly and only use wax), but the dark wax deepens the color and makes it look more black, which is helpful if you get any foggy areas.
I was a bit weary that the black would be too dark and heavy on the piece, but I am so happy with how it turned out! I actually think the paint helped to make the buffet not look as busy. Here’s a look at the before and after.
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