Gray Buffet with Antique Brass Hardware

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

This is especially true when it comes to recycling old, cast off furniture. This buffet wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world when we found it, sans some hardware and properly closing drawers:


Somebody had deposited it on the curb in Minneapolis and walked away; that’s okay because as soon as we saw it, visions of an epic upcycle danced through our heads.

It had some scratches and dings which we filled with wood putty and then sanded until smooth. B put his carpentry skills to work, fixing the drawers and doors so they operated smoothly. We sanded the entire buffet, actually—not crazily, but enough to scuff up the surface. Then came the bonding primer followed by two coats of Benjamin Moore gray paint and two coats of polyurethane. We also painted the inside for a nice, clean finish:

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The hardware was unique—so unique, it was unlikely we could find replacements for the missing handles. We weren’t crazy about the original matching white knobs, and so those were ditched altogether. We decided to use the handles only on the middle drawers and to look for something complimentary for the doors and the top drawers:


We looked no further than the website for Lee Valley. This company is amazing—it is literally a mecca for seekers of beautiful and yet affordable hardware. A jewelry store for furniture, as it were.

The original hardware on the buffet was antique brass, and the finish on the newbies needed to match this. These antique ring pulls came in a variety of sizes—we ordered the smaller size for the top drawers and the larger size for the doors. One must keep scale in mind when accessorizing!


My own dining room is too small for much more than hungry children and a beautiful banquette bench B made to compliment the farmhouse table we made together. I DO indulge in daydreams of a future dining room that will be an enormous hall with plenty of room for a piece like this AND the hungry kids.

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