Furniture Facelift Part One

A few weeks ago, our dining room finally clicked together with two changes.

Seriously, there was a loud clicking noise coming down from the heavens above. There might have even been rays of light radiating out of our ceiling with angels singing the hallelujah chorus and Buddy Christ giving us the thumbs up.

Ok, fine there wasn’t any of that just me going, “ahhhhh” really high pitched.

At this point you are all probably wondering what the heck I am talking about. The first change came with the arrival of my birthday buffet. The second change came with ordering captain’s chairs for the table but I’ll get into that tomorrowish. Those two events lead to the massive clicking and angels.

What I loved most about this buffet was the height. Nowadays, buffets seem to about 34” and I wanted something big and sturdy . . . without a china cabinet. In my line of thinking (which any family member will tell you is not very linear), a china cabinet would have overwhelmed the room.

dining room-15

Then there’s the selfish aspect. I spent enough time stenciling the room to not lose it behind a massive piece of furniture.

Side note: I know this buffet has a granny aesthetic which is not everyone’s cup of tea especially with the decline of formal dining rooming in home today. The granny aesthetic compliments everything else going on in the room. We added modern touches to the room (the captain’s chairs, coming soon to a blog near you) and hope it blends the meeting of the granny and her grandchildren.

The other benefit to the buffet (besides the low, low price) was that it matched Greg’s grandmom’s table. Having a piece of the past is a great way to remember those who are no longer with us. Instead of buying a completely new dining room set, we were able to modify what we have for under $400 (including the captain’s chairs).

Once the delivery men arrived on a rainy morning with the thrifted dresser, it took all my willpower to not clean it until lunch (a girl does have to do her real job.). Then came time to clean it. After researching, here’s the process I came up with.

dining room

What you will need

  • Orange Glo
  • Bucket/bowl full of hot water
  • 2 rags
  • Spray bottle with water/white vinegar mixture (50/50)
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Stain pen

1. Make sure your piece of furniture is empty and all the drawers are dust/dirt free. Vacuum them out if need be.

2. Spray the insides of the drawers/cabinet with the white vinegar/water mixture to help kill any smells. Since this is an old buffet, it had the old grandmom house smell.

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3. While the drawers are airing out/drying, make a mixture of the Murphy’s Oil Soap and warm water. Follow the directions on the bottle.

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4. Get an old rag and start wiping everything down. Look at how dirty the rag became after cleaning the buffet.

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Side note: the other bonus to cleaning it by hand– you realize that the cabinet did come with shelves and that they were just put on the bottom of the cabinet for moving purposes.

5. Once it’s dry, I attempted to furniture stain pen a few of the scratches just to see how it worked.

Side note: I did not stain pen all of the scratches because Greg and I want to wood fill a few of them in. I’m not getting into that here because there will be another post on how we’re dealing with the little scratches and big scratches like this.

dining room-2

6. With my second rag (a cut up tshirt), I applied the Orange Glo to the buffet. Again follow their directions.

Taking the 30 minutes to clean the buffet made a huge and noticeable difference. The buffet has a new glow to it due to the cleaning. All my work on the buffet had me feeling like Wonder Woman– that I could do anything.

So I tried to move the furniture around.

dining room-10

Needless to say I wasn’t Wonder Woman and the living room looked something like this when Greg arrived home. Fortunately, Greg is strong like Hulk Hogan and could move the furniture into something more appropriate and pleasing to the eye.

He even screwed the door back on for me. For some reason the door’s hinge arrived unscrewed but both screws were in the cabinet. Woohoo!

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We still have (ok, I have) work left to do on it such as gold leafing the top of it and dealing with all the scratches but at least we have a fantastic start on the process.  The cleaned up piece finished off the room.

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3 thoughts on “Furniture Facelift Part One

  1. I love how nice the buffet turned out…so worth your time to clean it properly. I have a question about cleaning a vintage kitchen table. I recently purchased a drop leaf kitchen table, the seller spray painted all but underneath of table top. It needed a minor cleaning, used anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner, rinsed, then once over with blue Dawn dish liquid diluted with water. Now a few weeks later it is emitting a “dill pickle” odor, that can be smelled two rooms away. Any ideas on how to get rid of the smell…or do I have to burn it? Husband thinks it was a canning table and should just learn to live with it…NOT!

  2. Thanks you so for your advice…have moved the table outside to the covered porch, on it’s side so the sun can hit the underside of table top. Hoping a couple of days of sunshine and fresh air will help a bit. I read a post about putting dry coffee grounds and white rice to absorb odor on the offending wood, think I will give that a try and then on to the Murphy’s Oil Soap. I hate to have to sand it all down…this was supposed to be an easy project, lol!

    Now my newly painted, carpet shampooed, craft room smells like someone broke a jar of pickles in it…if it’s not one thing it’s another. Thanks you again for your advice.

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