Monday, June 29, 2015

Labor of Love- Eastlake buffet makeover

This piece had definitely seen better days!  This Eastlake buffet is missing its top portion.  I'm assuming it was very ornate with carved details as Eastlake usually is.  All I have is this base with a cracked and warped top, falling off pieces and in need of some kind of refinishing.

I hemmed and hawed about how to refinish it.  My very first thought was to stain it.  Don't ask me why, I don't really do a lot of staining.  It's a lot of work, messy and stinky!

Here is the before.  The first thing I did was take off the top and reattach the loose piece.

 Side view.  You can see the piece on the bottom left is loose.
I glued that piece back on as well.

 Here is the back.  In order to get to the small top piece I had to take part of the back off to unscrew the screws.
 Here is a view of the cracked and warped top.
Unfortunately this top was not put back on this piece.  I attempted to flatten it by setting it out in the sun with wet grass, but our days have not been humid enough to help.

When the top warped it also warped the front support piece.  I pressed it back down using my kreg jig.
After the repairs and getting lots of different opinions...

I decided to go with my first instinct and stain it.  Using General Finished makes it a whole lot easier, but it's still messy and stinky.
I went and bought a 2' x 4' section of 3/4" plywood with a very smooth top.  I used my sander to round out the edges and stained that as well.

 I found some handles that were of similar style to the one that was on there.
I used the paint on wipe off method with the Java gel stain.

What do you think?  Would you have stained it or painted it...if paint- what color?

Hope you all have a very fun and safe 4th of July week!


  1. Thrifty in one way, but expensive in the labor and time you put in. (LOL)
    You took on a big job and it looks fine now. Not a shadow of its original finish, but nice for the nasty stuff you had to work with. Did you have to shellac inside because of "old" odor? I think I might have stained it, but can't argue with your decisions. Except, I might have glazed the hardware, since it looks so new as it is now. Overall, well done. Thanks for sharing.

  2. For future reference: A Carpenter advised me to actually wet the wood down with a hose, place on a hard, flat surface and weigh down with bricks. Will correct the warp.