I bought this buffet at a thrift store several months ago, and as I said before she had been badly mistreated, I couldn't rub my hand across her top without getting a splinter. The finish was completely gone.
I can just picture some resentful teenager gouging a pocket knife into the top of this antique buffet. Poor girl.
My first work on her to try to fill all the holes and gaps on the top.
I bought some old fashioned milk paint for the first time, mixed it up and started too paint. I chose tavern green and it was not pretty -- not the look I was going for anyway.... So I added some Light Cream and mixed, much better.
After going through 4 bags of milk paint (not cheap!) just to cover everything I started sanding to distress and the paint would chip off in the strangest ways.
I hated it, the top especially, in some places the veneer was split and would bulge.
Time for a change, I wanted more wood showing so I took a hammer and chisel and removed the top layer of cracked veneer. This was not a pretty process and some place stuck more than others.
I ended up with gouges that I had to sand with my sander in order to smooth.
Next I applied the stain, I am digging the rough, gouged look. Anything is better than the smiley faces or bulges, right?
Next problem was the dirty look of the my milk paint job. It was just irritating me I loved the chipped drawers, but the paint kept chipping off the cupboard doors and it wasn't pretty.
My husband's friend came to our house and saw it in the garage and said, "Man they really messed up on that paint job." Not knowing I had painted it this way on purpose. My husband was kind enough to let him know that I had painted it. Poor guy. But he was right, it had been bugging me for weeks. The green was too minty and the finish just looked dirty and the chipped paint was not in the right places.
Why am I telling you all of this? One reason...there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't try something new. Whether its refinishing furniture for the first or 500th time, or even trying a new product. 99% of the time with a little elbow grease you can change it or fix it. And yes, I will try milk paint again.
On to her new look, after she was sanded. I mixed up a white wash using some light blue oops paint and applied several coats letting each one dry in between and sanding. Following the step by step here. Too periwinkle, I mixed up a cream color paint (semi gloss) and water and white washed again. And here she is making her debut all dressed up and purdy.