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Road Kill Rescue – The Buffet

A month or so ago I was driving home from work and saw a buffet on the side of the road. It looked sad. Unfortunately there was no way it would fit in my Honda. So I had to wait until Mike got home and then did some sweet talking.Fast forward to midnight, in the rain, (possibly in pajamas) with a flashlight, on the side of the road.
We managed to get it in the back for his truck and then home.

She was pretty rough looking. The rain had done it’s best to damage the buffet. The veneer was bubbly, large pieces were peeling off. There were no knobs on the drawers. The trim on the back was barely attached. She was missing a wheel and the drawers didn’t close.


I peeled off the loose pieces of veneer. The rest was removed with a vinegar/water solution and a putty knife. Some tricky spots were finessed with an iron with the steam turned all the way up.

It took patience and some elbow grease but it was done in one afternoon. The sides were the hardest, my iron only steams when it’s horizontally flat so it was up to the vinegar.  I soaked a piece of fleece and smoothed it against the stubborn pieces of veneer to hold the liquid to the wood.
(I did this in my living room, it was in the middle of the high 90’s streak and I have central air)
I scraped the adhesive off as I went.

Did I mention I left it in my garage for a month? When I opened the side cabinets they looked like this:

I wiped them out with straight vinegar and it hasn’t come back.

I painted her in Valspar Beeswax. It took a few coats to get good coverage. After the yellow dried I added some detail with brown acrylic and some Valspar glaze. It was my first time using the glaze, I put the brown where I wanted it with a brush and then dipped a cloth in the glaze and rubbed it over the paint until it looked the way I wanted it to.

Check out those legs!
(Ignore the golden retriever hair, we sweep, I swear we do)
The metal rooster sign came from my sister, it’s hanging on two thumbtacks (because I’m classy)

I replaced the knobs with these from Lowes. They weren’t my first choice but they were cheap and I liked the size.

Too lazy to scroll up? Here is the comparison:
Her drawers still don’t close and she’s still missing a wheel but I’m ok with it. Total cost was about $15 for knobs and paint. I’m intentionally leaving out her surroundings, I’m part way through a total living room makeover!


Shared at 2805: Potpourri Friday , Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. WOW! What a great make-over! I hardly ever run into good pieces like this to re-do! I will pin this. I am a fellow Bloggers Unite pal! I am your newest follower!

  2. I have been looking for a buffet like this for the longest time. You did an awesome job with a rough piece. Now if only I can drive past one on the side of the road lol.

  3. Amazing makeover! I have been known to sneak out in pajamas in the rain after curb finds but I’ve never found something so spectacular!

  4. Hooray for you. That is beautiful. Love the chicken and the golden yellow. Perfect. PS I am you newest follower.

  5. This must be one of my favourite furniture makeover posts ever.
    Many people just take a perfect piece, paint it and make it perfect in a different colour.
    But your baby there was so battered and bruised that even I would have thought about just leaving her to rot by the road. What a labour of love!
    She’s such a beauty now, every squirt of vinegar and swipe with the brush really paid off. Love the colour you picked, too- a brave choice, I don’t think I could pull off yellow furniture and get away with it. And a welcome change after loads of teal and white all over blogland!

  6. Beautiful! I’ve missed quite a bit, with my head stuck in my office for weeks, but I’m so glad I stopped by. That was quite the reno – don’t you love the power of vinegar? Great job! I love the yellow, and I promise I’ll stay tuned for the living room reveal!

  7. This looks great. Way to go on seeing what could be in something that was damaged!

    – Katie Fleming
    Kate Michelle Designs

  8. Love the shape of your buffet and it looks so incredible after all your work.
    I’ll bet the original owners would love it back if they saw the amazing transformation !

  9. What an amzing save and beautiful transformation!

  10. Great Job!! That turned out phenomenal! Barb

  11. My husband knows exactly what it’s like to peel off that darn veneer! Turned out great, the elbow grease was worth it.


  12. Wonderful piece of work – love everything about it – the color, the turned legs and LOVE that rooster painted on the end!

  13. I’m so impressed with your rescue! What a labor of love, but it turned out fantastic. Love the yellow. 🙂

    (Also, I empathize on the golden retriever hair thing – it’s cat hair in my house, and I swear, five minutes after sweeping, it’s back. We call them ‘tumblefurs,’ in our house, since once in a great while one will blow across our lovely hardwood like a tumbleweed. Usually right after we’ve swept.)

  14. Totally Awesome she is beautiful u could make extra money doing this can’t wait to see your living room

  15. Absolutely gorgeous! Looks like it belongs in a magazine, thanks for sharing!

  16. Your patience paid off. She’s a beauty! Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  17. Great job on such a beautiful piece! Must feel really good to have done so much work and reaped such a great reward!

  18. I LOVE that yellow! WHat a great job, really beautiful.

    Oh, and I hear you about the golden retriever hair, it’s never ending!!!

  19. Hi Alecia I ‘m visiting from Nifty Thrifty Sunday and I love your buffet. You did a wonderful job. I would love for you to share at Totally Trandformed my linky party. Hope to see you there.

  20. That looks awesome!! Fantastic job on the make-over, and what an amazing find!
    Saw you linking at Serenity Now. Love the look of your blog, I’m now following!
    Debbie 🙂

  21. Love, love. love the yellow!

  22. Alecia…a GREAT rescue ! I would have brought that baby home, too ! There is no way that my husband would help me bring home something like that. Heck, he won’t even help me when it’s an antique-store-worthy piece ! May have something to do with all the pieces I have already. Could you give me more information about how to make and use the vinegar and steam to get off the veneer ? I’ve got a piece I need to do this to. Many thanks !! Glad that I saw you on Roadkill Rescue. I’m subscribing !


  23. Wow…Nicely done!!!

  24. Great job, I know what it is like taking veneer off! Love the color and of course the Rooster add on!

  25. What a beautiful piece:) I have an old wardrobe that has veneer that so needs to be removed but had no idea how hard it would be or how to do it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful buffet at Freedom Fridays.

  26. I am visiting from Serenity Now. What a great find! I can’t believe it was just tossed out. It looks great now!! I need a yellow buffett just like that for our dining room.
    Kelly @

  27. What a great find! And, you did an awesome job making her pretty again. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Wishing you a grand week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  28. Your did a gorgeous job on this wonderful find! Thanks for sharing at Potpourri Friday!

  29. Hi Alecia,

    I couldn’t believe this post when I saw it. I just rescued a buffet just like this with a matching hutch. I thought of just giving up re-doing it until I saw your post and how beautiful yours came out. Absolutely wonderful job. Love the color.

  30. WOW!! That turned out beautiful ~ great job and great find =)

  31. Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  32. I love this buffet, ESP. In this yellow color! I had this exact buffet, my EX got it in the divorce :(. Seeing your projects has inspired me! Keep up the great work!

  33. After reading through the comments, I feel a lot better knowing that I’m not the only late night curbside creeper! Love the buffet!