Empire Buffet Makeover Reveal

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It’s finally finished!

I’ve been working on this wonderful empire buffet for about two months now, and today it is finally done.

I’ve teased a lot on this piece, so I’ll just jump right into the pictures.

Empire Buffet Furniture Makeover: The Before

Remember, this is what it looked like when I found it buried in a garage at an estate sale?


And here it is after stripping 4 coats of paint off the top and back piece and updating the base color.

The After


Don’t you love it?  The deep blue base color gave it so much more sophistication.

Now it looks all grown up and ready to be a buffet again, instead of like a work bench in a preschool classroom.


I very lightly distressed the blue, which allowed some of that green to show through and a few spots of natural wood.

I did sand this piece some before I painted, which I almost never do, but I was hoping to roughen up the finish some because that green was pretty slick.

The hints of green now are fresh and whimsical, instead of over the top.


As I was sanding it down, there was a brief moment when I thought about throwing on a coat of wax and leaving it as is.

It seemed a shame to waste all that paint depth that was coming through, but the green was just still too strong.


The top and back piece stained beautifully, even though they had some staining, which I wrote about here.

The stains are still slightly visible, but I’m ok with that because I think they add character and history.  T

he stain color, Minwax Classic American, is a perfect compliment to the blue.


This was an exciting project, a chance to try out a new skill–paint stripping!

Even though it sat like this for awhile . . .


I’m really glad I persevered and brought it back to its “more” original state.  I

liked where I staged it for the photos so much that I thought hard about keeping it . . . but that’s not the way this business works.  I have to let go the beauties that I find, plus in our stage of life right now a formal dining room isn’t happening!

I’ll leave you with one more full shot.  Happy weekend everyone!


Sharing at Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Susan Pirritano

Monday 19th of February 2024

Hello, your empire buffet makeover was extraordinary! The blue color that you chose is perfect for the style. Would you mind sharing the paint type and color you used? I have been playing with blues and would love to try this color on a piece. Thank you!

Melanie Alexander

Friday 23rd of February 2024

Hi Susan, thank you! It was Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue


Thursday 27th of October 2016

Love the top. Nice job.

Paula Taylor

Saturday 7th of September 2013

It looks fabulous! I really like how the top was restored and the blue is very beautiful. Great job!

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