Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

DIY dining room buffet makeover

I have been working on updates to our dining room and I knew I would need to hunt a while for ONE final piece to finish it off! We were lacking in storage and furniture in this almost-square room that had a lot of extra space on the sides because our dining table is rectangular. Plus we have one perfect, blank, long back wall just screaming for a statement piece of furniture!

I hunted and hunted on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, and online sources, but my budget was small and I wanted a specific color, so I planned to DIY. Well, about a month ago I got very lucky and found a fantastic piece!!

It's now sanded, primed, painted, sealed, and installed and looking great! This is a really fun before/after!

DIY dining room buffet makeover

When shopping for this piece, I changed out my search terms again again. I searched for "buffet," "server," "sideboard," and "credenza" (this article explains the differences) and sometimes even "hutch" (usually taller and not what I wanted, but just in case) and "media cabinet." I found this piece labeled as a credenza, but it is actually a media cabinet which means it's a little deeper than I was hoping for--not shallow like a console table, but we have the room. It also has a power strip installed inside and holes in the back panel for VCR/DVD player cords. It would be a great piece for hiding the cords for a TV! I won't use the power strip feature in the dining room, but no harm.

This piece had the original price tag (probably 15+ years ago?): $2,234. It's by Stanley Furniture. The story is, the woman who I bought it from got it from her friend who owned a furniture store. The delivery guys dropped this piece in the truck and it got the big dent at the corner, so she couldn't sell it and gave it to her friend. I paid $20 for it!

I knew I'd paint it, so I planned to reconstruct the corner as well.

(Here's a post with a couple of my inspirations--I wanted a "modern traditional" look and something painted instead of wood, because we have so much wood around already with our dark trim and doors. I ended up with the blue--I chose Behr Dawn Gray.)


I can't believe I didn't take "before" pictures of this piece. I think it was cause I was in a rush to sand it outside in the cold before dinnertime while Jason watched the baby and I cut into our nice, quiet evening. Such is DIYing with a baby, right?! So here are the photos from the Facebook Marketplace post.

Those two glass panels are interchangeable with some wood panels; I painted the wood panels and put them in since I don't want to see the mess inside!

Paint Prep and Painting

To refresh my memory on furniture refinishing projects (see all my previous ones from yeeears ago here), I pulled up this post on how to paint furniture.

I bought a quart of tinted primer, tinted to match my paint (always turns out a little lighter with dark colors, they said at the store ) plus one quart of this Behr alykd semi-gloss enamel paint in Behr Dawn Gray. I used these mini high-density foam rollers for both and they were AWESOME!

For prep, I sanded the whole thing down with our orbital sander and some sandpaper for the smaller/detailed areas. I sanded the damaged corner down to the base/plywood part so it was almost flat.

To reconstruct that corner, I put a little nail in to act as mini-rebar, and built the corner up with wood putty. Unfortunately when I went to sand it, it all chipped off! So next I tried this Water Putty stuff--$2 and so versatile! It hardened super fast and was totally firm when I sanded it down. I smoothed it with the orbital sander real flat and primed it.

(I also didn't take great pictures of these steps, so here are some from my Instagram stories.)

Then I primed and painted. Took only two coats of paint! Plus another roll for good measure on the top when I did the last coat on the fronts of the cabinets. Finally, I did a coat of this wipe-on polyurethane, Satin finish. It worked fine, but I think I should have been more careful with it; I can see some streaks where I put it on thicker. I was super-rushing during every step of this project, unfortunately. Dang.

Finally, I put the hardware back on and shelves back in! NOTE FOR FUTURE: Take photos of which screws go where. I had millions of them and couldn't remember which went to which part of the hinges, the back panels, etc. Thankfully I looked back in my Instagram stories which helped me remember! :P (I archived this project in my story highlights, you can watch all the steps here.


I definitely have some styling to do, but this piece is in and it looks so good!! The blue color is just about perfect and picks up on the rug we just put in the living room (sneak peek here).

The corner repair is NOT perfect, but I don't care at all. I don't think anyone will notice. Pretty proud of my rebar and rebuilding!

I also need to figure out what to put in it... so far it has been excellent at storing the stuff we've been keeping on the dining table the past few months (facepalm emoji) and just moving out of the way when we want it look nice. I haven't put anything in the sides yet since I can picture the baby opening those doors, whereas we could childproof the middle ones together... we'll see! I do have some platters and serving dishes that would work well in here if we can keep the baby out!

This room is almost done, feels so good!

I linked the pieces in this room plus some similar sideboards if you're not up for DIYing! (Oh, and you can read about the gallery wall art here!)

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