thundercloud1There seems to be a little gray thundercloud hovering over my head lately, raining all over my well-intentioned plans.

I am determined to wrap this baby up with such a shiny, sparkly, glittery silver lining that it will look dazzling in the end … but I’m not quite there yet.

Take Saturday morning, for example. There I was—all dressed and almost ready to head out to All Things New Again in Leesburg for our Mr. Frosty Table paint workshop when—BAM!—I heard a big crash and some bad words coming from our kitchen.

My husband G was washing breakfast dishes when a juice glass suddenly and mysteriously shattered. We spent the morning in the emergency room where G received five stitches in his pinky, a handy-dandy finger splint and a giant ace bandage wrapped around his entire hand. (He tells the guys at work he was in a bar fight, but somehow, they don’t believe him.)

As nice as the good folks at the Inova Healthplex in Springfield are, I was bummed that I missed out on all of this Mr. Frosty Table fun:

Mr Frosty workshop_group shotThe thundercloud struck again when I went to put the finishing touches on this awesome vintage buffet/sideboard. This buffet was **supposed** to be such an easy-peasy project that I didn’t bother taking progress photos because I didn’t think it was interesting enough to document.

Here’s the before shot:

red buffet_before

My plan was to sand off the flaking old varnish on the tabletop and stain it, then paint the bottom section with American Paint Company’s Fireworks Red finished with APC Dark Wax.

Turns out this project wasn’t as easy-peasy as I thought it would be.

thundercloud1The flaky varnish wasn’t the only problem. A big section of the tabletop buckled when you pressed on it. That nice wood grain was actually a thin layer of wood veneer that had been glued across the top, a common practice in 20th century furniture. The veneer was coming loose right in the middle where I couldn’t reach it to glue it back down.

I ended up removing all of the veneer by steaming and scraping it off with an iron, a damp towel and a scraper. The wood underneath did not have that nice grain that looks so pretty stained so I decided to paint it instead.

I painted the top a basecoat of Fireworks Red then covered it with black Lincoln’s Hat. I came back and rubbed away some of the black with a damp washcloth to reveal streaks of red coming through, a technique called wet distressing that is so easy to do with American Paint Company’s all-natural clay chalk and mineral paints.

I was really happy with how the buffet was turning out …



… until I applied the dark wax and I noticed this stripe going all the way down the tabletop. That’s when I said a few bad words.


The stripe is actually a seam where two pieces of wood were glued together to form the tabletop. The wood veneer covered the seam. Although I sanded the area smooth and did not notice the seam while painting (in my dimly lit garage), it became more and more noticeable as the wax cured on the piece.

I did NOT want to sand down the entire piece and start over.

So how do I camoflauge it?

I found a package of pretty floral napkins at my neighborhood party supply store and tried decoupaging them all over the tabletop with Mod Podge.


DSC_0017I didn’t bother finishing it. I just didn’t like it.

I really like the **idea** of decoupaging paper napkins onto something (and I have a few left so you may see these again!) but I felt like this buffet was too elegant of a piece to be papered over with big flowers like that.

thundercloud1It just didn’t look right to me so I ended up sanding the entire tabletop down again anyway.

Now what?

I’m not sure. This is what the buffet looked like last night—like a little gray thundercloud is dancing around it and laughing at me.




You are NOT going to win, little thundercloud!

This buffet may not be dazzling—yet—but there are a lot of little silver linings in my story.

  • Every project is a learning experience! Every. Single. One. Even the seemingly easy-peasy ones. Even after you have been painting for awhile.
  • I got a lot of practice steaming off old veneer. I will share my tips with you in an upcoming video.
  • I also got a lot of practice decoupaging paper napkins. I have a halfway-painted-hot pink desk languishing in my sunroom. (I ran out of space in my garage!) I wasn’t sure how to jazz it up, but now I have a great plan for decoupaging napkins onto the drawers.
  • BONUS: I found the perfect napkins for the desk on my trip to the party store.
  • I have one last idea for salvaging the top of this buffet … I will let you know next week how it turns out.

Remember G’s badly cut finger? There are a lot of little silver linings in his story, too.

  • For starters, his tetanus shot was still current from the last time I rushed him to the Healthplex for stitches after he fended off a large number of ninjas. (Yeah…nobody believes that story either.)
  • His new injury prevented him from raking all the leaves in our yard last weekend. He spent Saturday afternoon watching football instead.
  • His discharge orders clearly state he must not submerge his hand in water. So he gets out of washing dishes—at least until the stitches are removed in 10 days. 🙂

~ Courtney




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