Dresser To Buffet

Our current apartment is lacking in decent storage. I know we aren’t the only ones with this struggle. And you can never have or create too much storage. For us, we needed some storage for in our kitchen/ dining area (amongst other places)… but if you’ve ever tried looking for a buffet they can easily cost around $400! At least for something cute. But I was bound and determined to find something cute for a reasonable price.

A few months after we moved in, my friend Krysten had a baby and I went over to visit with her and meet her new little one. She had the CUTEST dresser in her little nursery. We started talking about it and she had transformed an Ikea unfinished piece into the beauty that is was! Pure genius!

Fast forward about 2 months and my husband and I travelled up to Portland (our nearest Ikea) to pick up this six drawer dresser to use as a buffet! We took it home and after over an hour of construction (thanks Ikea), this is what it looked like ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what I used:

  • Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain – Dark Walnut
  • Clark + Kensington Paint and Primer in One Flat Enamel Paint – Swiss Coffee (White)
  • Dalys Seafin Aquaspar Water-based Polyurethane Satin sealant
  • Old, clean T-shirt
  • Gloves
  • Paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Blue Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth/ Tarp
  • Handles (optional)

Step 1: Staining the Top.  First, I would use a light, damp rag to pick up any of the dust or wood particles and it also opens up the pores in the wood to help it soak in the stain better for a more even finish. Then, I would use the blue tape and mask off the area that you don’t want to the stain to go on. I only wanted the stain on the top half so I lined up the blue tape against the edge of the side panel where the top meets the side. Next is the fun part; put on your gloves, dip your clean T-shirt in your mixed/shaken stain and apply! Be sure to go with the grain of the wood and not against it. It’s okay if at first one spot is darker than another. As you keep rubbing, the stain will even out. After you let it soak for about 20 minutes, I would wipe away any excess stain that may be sitting/ puddling to prevent a stick surface. It’s always better to have a thinner coat than a thicker coat — you can always add another coat.

Tip: If you don’t have gloves (or forgot to purchase them like me), you can use a quart size Ziploc bag! It’s a little awkward at first, but it does the trick.

Step 2: Painting.  After about an hour, I removed the blue tape so that I could paint the sides. Just like with the stain, I worked with the grain and not against it. I also applied thin coats with the paint to prevent drips. I applied two coats to my project, leaving about 45 minutes of dry time between applications.


Step 3: Drawers.  Next, I needed to stain the drawers. I used the same method as in step 1, except I stained the drawer fronts prior to attaching them to the rest of the drawer. I would also recommend putting in the hardware prior to staining. This allowed me to stain both sides of the board and allowed for it to elevate the board from the drop cloth for an even coat.

Step 4: Sealing.  After drying completely, it’s time to apply the polyurethane. It’s recommended for high traffic surfaces like dining tables, coffee tables and buffets or bars to use a Glossy or Satin finish rather than Matte. This step is going to take some non-overthinking. You’ll want to use your foam brush for application. Do not shake the sealant prior to application. Bubbles are NOT your friend. You will want to gently stir.

When applying, you will want to a very thin coat and only go over the surface once. This is the non-overthinking apart. Lightly dip your foam brush in the sealer and do a full complete stroke. Repeat this on a new part of the stained wood. Once you have your first layer. Let it be. If you see unevenness, leave it alone. LET IT DRY COMPLETELY. This will probably take about 2 hours. You’ll want to repeat this at least once, maybe twice depending on how you want the finished product to look.

Step 5: Drawer Candy.  This is an optional step but it was probably one of my favorite changes to the buffet. I picked up these cute knobs at Lowes for about $4 each. They were such a great addition to the buffet and gave it a bit of sparkle and glamor.


And that’s it! You have a wonderfully fancy, modern, chic buffet/dresser to store all your crafty goodies, dining items or whatever else you need to hide away. For us its a little bit of it all as it’s frequently a place to study, craft, sew and eat. We added a nice little “bar” look to it with an added shelf and some glasses.

Now to find some cute decanters and a cute metal tray…



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