Buffet Makeover with Milk Paint and Modern Masters Matte Metallics

I bought this gorgeous Jacobean buffet about three years ago back in Connecticut. Truth is, I had no space or time to work on it, but it had been listed on Craigslist for several weeks, the price had dropped twice and yet, nobody would take it! I decided it had to be mine. The poor thing was abandoned in my storage unit for over three years until last May, when it moved with us all the way to Virginia.


This is a six-foot long beast, so it won’t fit everywhere , but I think I might have the perfect spot for it in my dining room, so great chances this will be a keeper.

If you’ve followed me for a while, it’s no surprise that the color I chose for my special gem was navy blue. My pick for this one was General Finishes Coastal Blue. I also knew I wanted a stained top, but was struggling to decide what special touch I could add to those beautiful details on its drawers and doors.

Then a few weeks ago I got super lucky! Modern Masters* invited me to work on another collaboration project similar to this one I did last year, and it was the perfect solution for my search. The front details of my buffet would look awesome in a multicolored metallic finish.

This is the “After”.

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-1

Here I will tell you step by step how I refinished this piece and what products and tools I used. This post contains some affiliate links.

I also made a video of the whole process, that you can watch on my YouTube channel.

Products and Tools I Used

On the top

On the bottom part

Here we go…

First I fixed all areas with damaged veneer using wood filler. Check out my video tutorial on how I do that.

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-2

Then I cleaned the entire piece really well, first with soapy water, then with TSP.

The Wood Spa - Navy Blue Buffet 02

When I stain the top of a piece I am refinishing, that is the first part I work on, because it is a messy process and I don’t want to ruin the painted areas after they are done. So I stripped and sanded down the top with my orbital sander and the detailed edges with sandpaper. I started with a rough grit (80) then switched to finer ones (120, 220).

Again I cleaned and dried the area, then applied one of my favorite stains  General Finishes Water Based Stain Medium Brown. I hate working with oil-based products so this water-based stain was a great find for me.

The Wood Spa - Navy Blue Buffet 01After two coats of stain, this is how the top looked.

Video Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-7

In about two hours the top was dry so I applied two coats of polyurethane to seal and protect it. I used a foam brush for that.

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-4

I let it dry over night and before I started painting the bottom part, I covered the top by firmly taping a big plastic over it.

I sprayed two coats of General Finishes Coastal Blue as my base color. (Watch my video on how to use a paint sprayer).

The Wood Spa - Navy Blue Buffet 03

Then, it was time for the fun part. The metallics!

Modern Master Metallics - The Wood Spa-1

On a paper plate, I made little puddles of three different metallic colors. Modern Masters Pewter, Black Pearl, and Sapphire.

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-6

I grabbed a little bit of each color with my chip brush without letting them blend too much, then painted the details with quick, vertical strokes, being careful not to paint the blue areas around it (you can see how I did it on the video). If some paint accidentally went where I didn’t want it, I just quickly wiped it off with a baby wipe.

Using a smaller brush, I painted the deep area inside the oval ornament in MM black pearl, to enhance the lighter metallic colors in the center and oval details.

I used an artist brush for the narrow details.

The Wood Spa - Navy Blue Buffet 05

This piece’s original pulls were gorgeous, but gold wasn’t a good match with the silvery tones of the metallic colors I had chosen, so I decided to paint them silver. I washed and dried the pulls and used an artist brush to paint them with Modern Masters Silver. Only one coat covered the metal hardware beautifully.

The Wood Spa - Navy Blue Buffet 06

The last step was to seal the painted areas with three coats of poly, using my paint sprayer.

I am super happy with the results. Modern Masters had been one of my go-to brands for years and they never disappoint. I recommend that you read this very helpful article on their website before using their products. Top 5 Metallic Paint Tips .

To find you local Modern Masters retailer, you can use their Retail Locator or their Online Shop.

And now… more pictures.

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-2

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-3

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-4

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-5

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-6

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-7

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-8

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-9

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-10

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-11

Navy Blue Buffet - The Wood Spa-1-12


Thanks for reading!

I’m sharing this post on this awesome link parties.

DIY Party Time

Silver Pennies Sunday Link Party

Friday Furniture Fix

Friday Favorites – Remodelaholic

Make it Pretty Monday

To Grandma’s House We Go!


* Disclaimer: Modern Masters gave me two 6oz containers of paint to use in this project, but I’ve been using their products for years, way before they knew I existed. All opinions are 100% mine. I genuinely love the quality of their products and the beauty of their colors.

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It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

15 thoughts on “Buffet Makeover with Milk Paint and Modern Masters Matte Metallics

  1. WOW…This is such a gorgeous piece now! You have such an eye and vision for the intricate details. I wouldn’t have thought of 3 different metallics for those sections. I’m loving it! The blues make it stunning! You brought it back to life and it will bring so much character to a room! Are you keeping it or selling? I saw your post through the Fridays furniture fix and I pinned:)


    1. Thanks K! You certainly have vision too. Your work is beautiful!
      For now it’s in my basement. I’ll try it in our dining room and if it works, it will stay 🙂


  2. That’s sooooooo beautiful Pat. The details just pop in such an amazing way now. I wish I had the vision you have. I love all of your furniture pieces


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