A New Buffet for under $10

It’s amazing the things people will leave on the street on trash night. One rainy night in January, we spotted a huge pile of furniture, many pieces with drawers pulled out and stacked, and doors painstakingly removed. I suppose the furniture’s previous owner was sure nobody would want the stuff, so they were making it easier for garbage collection. With my solid-wood, dovetail-drawer-spotting prowess, I jumped out, surveyed the pile, and schemed its transport home (about a block away). Two trips later and we made off with:

~ a dark wood secretary desk with vintage envelope openers still in one of the drawers
~ a vintage Raleigh women’s bicycle (old-school cruiser kind)
~ a steel industrial-looking fan
~ a black buffet

I was able to find all the parts to all the pieces, with the exception of the buffet’s hinged front doors. Never discouraged, ten dollars in supplies made it look like it was supposed to have open shelves all along. I thought about refinishing the whole thing in a new color, but it was in really good shape. So here it is:

~ 1 small can (1/2 pint) Rustoleum Painter’s Touch paint in black, semi-gloss ($4)
~ 1 3-inch paint brush ($4)
~ 1 1-inch paint brush ($1)

In progress: All I really needed to paint were the two removable shelves and what had been two cabinets on the left and right. If I hadn’t been pressed for time, I would also have filled the holes left by the hinges (which I removed), but the paint at least makes them less noticeable.

The bottom shelf contains a basket for all of Jax’s shoes.

I also painted over some nicks in the top and along the sides. The square pedestal plate usually holds mail that just came in, or the camera.

On a somewhat related note, we use this antique French plate my friend Cécilia sent us as a catch-all for keys and randomness.

In all, this was a really quick, inexpensive project, and really not that creative. It was just one of those simple things we could do to make our neighbor’s garbage our own new-found treasure!

10 thoughts on “A New Buffet for under $10

  1. Your neighbors must have no clue about Craigslist – but their loss is definitely your gain… I love all of your treasures!

  2. I am seriously amazed by this. It’s gorgeous! I used to fing great stuff when I lived in the city on the streets! It was always so exciting to find a treasure!

  3. WHAT?! Why is it only ever water-stained particle board poo that’s on the street wherever I live?

    I love this….. and I kind of hate you 😛


  4. I’m with Laura. I only find furniture that probably should be in the trash. This is an amazing find!! It looks incredible!

  5. Good job, Rachel! I love what you’ve done with your home. It looks so cozy, warm, and welcoming!

  6. I´m so envious–all my neighbours ever throw out is GDR particle board, laminated junk. It look great in your livingroom!!

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