“Spruce News” – Feast on this Buffet

While trolling around craigslist, a while back, I came across of steal of a deal that I couldn’t pass up.  An 80’s classic maple-oak buffet, but with a unique scrolling, filigree detail running along the edge of the top.  At $20, I wasn’t too concerned with ruining it, and decided this would be a great chance to practice my “gel staining” technique.  Basically, this was my practice piece.  For around $15 I got a small can of Minwax gel stain at Lowe’s, however they did not have all the available colors.  I wanted one of the darker stains, and the darkest they had was “Brazilian Rosewood”.  Anything was better than honey maple in my opinion.


Buffet Before

I didn’t prep the buffet at all.

Let that sink in.  No sanding, no cleaning, no buffing and polishing.  To clarify, I will tell you that the piece is a mix of materials.  Real wood base, doors and top with particle-board sides and a thin plywood back.  This was not what you would consider quality hardwood construction.

I will admit, that I didn’t read the directions…and that seemed a bit out of character for me…and I learned my lesson.  I assumed it would be like any standard wood stain, wipe it on with a brush, let it sit, then wipe it off to reveal the color.  Repeat until you get the desired darkness you want.  I brushed it on, waited about five minutes, and then tried to wipe it off.  It did not wipe off this piece, and now I had small cotton fuzzies from my rag all down the side.

Take 2

I painted the buffet with stain.  Yep, that’s as easy as it gets with a really nice finish.

The last piece of the puzzle took me another couple of weeks to solve, and it was party because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.  The back panel of the buffet was a piece of heavy-duty cardboard, with a faux wood finish over it (don’t you just hate fake wood) which I see myself painting over.  So I began a search for a black and white fabric, paper or gift wrap that I could decoupage over it.  I knew that I wanted what some might call a “busy” print with lots of scrolls, , maybe floral and curves and somewhat vintage.  Perhaps a paisley, or fleur-de-lis pattern, or even a floral, in black and white.

Black and White Prints

I was finally able to locate just what I was looking for at Micheal’s Craft Store in the gift wrap section. I pulled out the staples and took off the back, and using a 1 to 3 parts mixture of glue and water, I covered the fake back.  And here you have the finished product, in my office.  I think it goes nicely with the blue and the black and white ties into my color scheme and desk.


After - Buffet

Backing Detail


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