Buffet Makeover – Gray with Black Glaze

Hello dear friends,

It’s been a long time since I last talked to you here. The longest so far, I think. Right now we are all in the middle of these scary times, dealing with COVID 19, and all the protests against the horrible systemic racism and police brutality in this country. I’m sure your life has been affected in one way or another, be it economically, emotionally or both, and I hope you are getting all the support you need to stay healthy and safe until we get to the other side of this pandemic.

Thankfully everyone in my family is well. My husband is working from home and my sons are having their classes via zoom, doing some school work, and playing a lot of videogames. A LOT. Much more than any mom would like to admit, but truth is, we have to keep everyone’s sanity in the family so I as long as they complete their school assignments and chores around the house, they can can choose what to do with their free time.

From my part, I’ve been painting almost every day. Not so much furniture, though. Unfortunately in November last year I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and some other tick-born co-infections. With the fatigue, aches and pains in my muscles and joints, it is hard to handle heavy objects or do any physical work for long hours, so I decided to take a break from furniture, but continued to work on my other paintings, ant that is what is keeping my mental sanity during this long journey to recovery.  Little by little The Wood Spa is coming back. I recently received a commission order to paint several beautiful pieces, and I’ve working on them in a slow, steady pace. It feels good to be in action.

This was the buffet before. As you can see, it was in pristine condition, but my client thought it was too dark for her decoration.

Buffet - Gray with Black Glaze

She was much happier with its new look, and I totally agree with her.

Gray and Glaze Buffet-1-4

You have probably seen this finish in many of my previous posts. My most popular blog post to this day is a tutorial on how I painted this French Provincial dresser . However now, with a few more years of experience under my belt, I have a different way to achieve this same finish. The old way still works fine, but I find my new process much faster, more efficient and less harmful to my lungs, since I no longer use oil based primer in the preparation stage.

As usual, I will write the step by step here, but I highly recommend that you watch the my short video to see how I do it.

This is the list of supplies I used for this project. If you purchase any of these products via my affiliate links I receive a small commission from Amazon. There is no additional cost to you.

I removed all knobs and pulls leave all drawers and doors in place.  Since this buffet was in impeccable shape, there was nothing to repair and no deep cleaning to do, so I just wiped it a few times with a mix of water and vinegar.

Next I primed it with two coats of clear shellac. Using shellac instead of oil-based primer is a game changer for my health. It is a bit smelly so I still keep my work area ventilated while applying it, but the fumes (alcohol) are safe to breath, and nothing beats that.

I let the shellac dry for a few minutes, and the piece was ready to be spray painted.

I like to water down my paint to ensure a good flow on my paint sprayer, but this step is optional, since the more recent spray models are made to work with thicker paints as well. For regular latex paint, I usually add 1 part of water to 4 parts of paint.

I always try the spray on a piece of wood or cardboard before getting started on to my piece, so I can adjust the the amount of paint I want to flow from the sprayer.

As I spray, keep my movements as steady as possible, keeping the same distance (around 1 foot) between the spray and the wood.

I work on horizontal or vertical strokes, always allowing an overlap between strokes. Check out the video to see how I do it.

I always let the first coat dries completely, so I can see clearly all the imperfections I will need to fix on the next coat.

To remove little dirt spots or paint drips from the first coat, I sanded the areas with a very fine sand paper (300+ grit), wiped it well with a damp cloth or paper towel, and went for the second coat. Tow coats of paint are usually enough for a perfect, smooth coverage, but in same cases you will need more, especially if working with bright colors such as orange or yellow.

Now it was time to remove all drawers and open the cabinet doors to paint the areas that I couldn’t reach with the spray. I use a small flat brush for that.

To apply the glaze, I used a chip brush and lots of baby wipes.

In this technique, the goal is to let the black streaks of glaze show. You decide in which direction you want the streak. I always make sure that drawers and doors streaks are in the same direction.

For glazing or waxing, you always need to work one small section at a time.

With a chip brush I apply the glaze and with a baby wipe I remove the excess of glaze and define the streaks across the section I am working on. I keep working back and forth between my baby wipes and a clean chip brush until I reach the look you I desire.

I repeat the process in every section until I am done with the entire piece. I won’t lie. This is a long, and tedious process, but so worth it!

I let the glaze dry for at least 24 hours and then spray at least two coats of clear topcoat. An important tip. Do not brush or roll your top coat on a recently glazed piece as it will reactivate the glaze and mess up all your hard work. To be on the safe side, use your sprayer to apply the top coat.

I hope you try this technique, and if you do, please let me know in the comments.

Here are all the pictures.

Gray and Glaze Buffet-1

Gray Glazed Sideboard-1-6

Gray Glazed Sideboard-1-7Gray Glazed Sideboard-1-5

Gray Glazed Sideboard-1-3


Please take care of yourselves, my dears.





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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.

13 thoughts on “Buffet Makeover – Gray with Black Glaze

  1. For such a short video it was extremely detailed and exceptionally helpful. The piece is beautiful and I am looking forward to trying this technique. So sorry to hear about your illness. I have had fibromyalgia for 20 years and it took me a long time to get a handle on the fatigue, pain and sundry accompanying symptoms. I understand on a certain level what you are go through and hope you come out on the other side sooner than later.


    1. Hi Barb,
      So happy to hear you like the video. I’m sorry to hear you also struggle with a chronic disease. It’s incredible how we quickly learn how to savor the good days, and just intentionally increase our kindness and compassion to everyone who has been or is still there. Thank you for sharing and for taking the time to leave some sweet words here!


  2. I’m so happy you’re back! I’m truly sorry to hear of your recent struggles but have no doubt you will conquer and thrive! I did this paint treatment on a desk using your old tutorial but didn’t use any primer (it wasn’t needed thank goodness!) This is still one of my favorite pieces. My son still loves his desk. This technique provides a classic look that will be in style for many years to come and I’m proud to say I learned it from you!


      1. I keep trying to get the nerve to show you the desk but I just can’t seem to do it. That and I can’t get a decent photo due to bad lighting (see – excuses). It is my sons treasured possession now and one piece I’m very proud of. I used a gray chalk paint that ended up being darker than your base but it worked perfectly. I did go ahead and buy the gray you used for a future piece. My fear is that I’ll never be able to replicate the look! Your great tutorials are here to save me.


  3. Can the black glaze be applied over enamel paint? Just painted two night stands with valar furniture enamel but now want to add black glaze.


  4. I love the work you did on this piece. I am about to attempt using black glaze (again) after a couple failed attempts, but I have learned some of the ways I went wrong. Your description is a big help!


  5. Inspiration. Thank you. I’ve been searching for months for the perfect color and approach and thanks to you I found it gonna give it a try this month.


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