Repurposed buffet as TV cabinet

On Saturday I went out of town to visit my Mom and this time I was on a mission to finally finish the TV cabinet that I had partially completed for her weeks ago.

In the morning, we decided to take a little road trip to some of the small towns close to my Mom’s house. Stay tuned for a few photos from our adventure later today along with a before photo of a vintage sewing cabinet that I found pretty much for free. In its current state this cabinet is a little u-g-l-y and it is definitely in need of some TLC. Just you wait until I get my hands on it though!

Anyway, here is the before photo of the vintage buffet that I found for my Mom on Kijiji a while back. It was tired looking and had seen better days. I knew though that it would be the perfect size to hold her flat-screen TV. All it needed was some paint and some new hardware and it would end up looking fabulous!


Fast forward to this next photo (below) which was taken after I had painted my Mom’s cabinet in her favorite turquoise paint (Behr Gem Turquoise 500-B4 mixed at 50% strength). She and I agreed on one thing; it looked so much better with its new makeover but we both thought that something was still missing. In her words, “it needs a little oomph!”

Buffet to TV Cabinet - Almost There

This time around I hoped that the Moroccan stencil I had planned to add to the drawer and door fronts would be the perfect finishing touch and give it the “wow factor” that my Mom was looking for. Scroll down a little further to see what her TV cabinet looks like now.

What do you think? Do you like it?

The burning question is…what does my Mom think of her cabinet now? She loves it! She hasn’t been able to stop talking about it for the past two days she is so happy! My job here has been done. Haha!


You may be wondering if I have changed the color of the final cabinet because it looks a lot lighter than in the ”almost there” photo above. Actually, no I didn’t. The body cabinet color has stayed the same. Only the fronts of the cabinet have been re-painted.
It was so dark in my Mom’s house by the time that we finished up the stenciling so in the photos the cabinet color looks like it is a light turquoise when in fact it is really a vibrant turquoise color. Isn’t it amazing how lighting can change a color? Please humor me and just pretend that you are actually seeing a vibrant turquoise cabinet here ok? Thanks! Haha!

Honestly, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t take some bright and clear photos to share with you because the photos I took aren’t really doing this cabinet any justice. It looks so much better in real life!

As I said, my Mom’s house is just so dark even with all of the curtains open and lamps added to provide extra lighting. I just had to seize the moment and take the photos otherwise it would have been at least another month before I could get over to my Mom’s house again to take more photos. Maybe one day I will be able to share some better photos of this cabinet with you but for now these will have to do!


Now for the finishing details. Since I had already top-coated the drawer and door fronts with my favorite clear coat I had to sand off the top layer so that my new paint finish would stick properly. First I taped off only the area that I wanted to paint with Frog tape and then I sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper to give the wood a little “tooth”. I then removed all of the sanding dust with my tack cloth and I was ready to stencil.

For the stenciling, I used the same stencil that I had used for my Mom’s step stool makeover (Martha Stewart’s Arabesque Stencil Set). The aged stencil pattern was achieved with many layers of light turquoise paint mixed with white gesso, then an overcoat of burnt umber glaze, another coat of a darker turquoise glaze and then finally a light turquoise/gesso paint coat mixture again.

Isn’t this a great idea for those of you not wanting to re-do your entire piece of furniture? You can just repaint/stencil only one part of it to give it an update without to having to go through the intensive process of priming and painting everything.


Moving right along. Once I had the look that I was going for and everything was completely dry, I gave the final stenciling a sanding with 400 grit sandpaper to prepare it for top coating. I then coated it with a few coats of clear coat for protection. I made sure to sand with 400 grit sandpaper between coats and remove the dust with my tack cloth before adding another coat.
I was then ready to attach the hardware on the drawers and doors and move the cabinet into place.


Here you can see a close-up of the aged stenciling that I did. Again had the lighting been better you would have been able to see this in more detail. The shading adds a lot more dimension than just a plain stenciling would have.


Oh ya! If you could please divert your eyes away from my Mom’s pink carpet I would appreciate it because there is some major clashing going on here. It is so 70′s! This carpet looks so bright in these photos but actually it is not that bad in person.
Since my Mom will be moving soon and changing out the carpet is not her in budget, the furniture she has will just have to work with the carpet for the time being. So pink carpet it is!


The original hardware on this cabinet was changed-out with the handles from her old TV cabinet. I think they work perfectly with her cabinet’s new look and the finish matches exactly with the existing door hinges. It really was meant to be!


I am really loving the crystal knobs from Anthropologie that my Mom picked out for this cabinet. They are simple yet they add just the perfect touch of “glitz and glamour”. What do you think?


I think they really “pop” against the stenciled background on the drawers now.


My Mom even had a piece of glass cut to protect the top of her cabinet. It looks amazing!
So if you are currently on the lookout for a vintage buffet to use as a TV cabinet you may want to keep and eye out for these maple buffet cabinets at your local auction houses, on Craigslist/Kijiji or at garage sales. They are the perfect size for a smaller living room and they provide loads of storage space for a DVD player, DVD’s, board games, Xbox consoles and games, magazines, you name it! Another bonus is that these cabinets are made of solid wood (no MDF or particleboard here!).

The cost breakdown for this makeover is as follows:
Vintage buffet: $50.00
Knobs from Anthropologie: $6.00
Door handles: $0.00 (taken from another cabinet)
Paint and supplies: $20.00 (I already had many of the supplies on hand)
5 mm protective glass (optional): $30.00
TOTAL COST: $106.00
Where can you find a solid wood, handpainted TV cabinet with a glass top in a store for that price?

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