$5 Yard Sale Buffet Makeover

Hi Friends, and welcome to Trash-to-Treasure Tuesday!!

Sharing a good trash-to-treasure project is my favorite, and today’s project was pretty trashy:


The top was a hot mess:


On my ONE AND ONLY day yard saling this season so far (Can you believe that?? Desperately trying to be good and clear out my garage!), I was having very little luck…until I happened upon this one sale that had this buffet. I’m calling it a buffet, but it is likely the bottom portion to a china cabinet. I asked how much she wanted for it and she said $10. Then she immediately said she would take $5. Um okay…I’ll take it!

I knew I could just sand the top down…no problem, right? Except when I started to sand it, I realized it was more like pressboard, not solid wood. On the inside I was crying big ugly tears. I try to never buy anything that isn’t real wood if I can help it, and I should have known, this piece is super heavy!

And then I realized the corner was missing…


A small detail I missed in my excitement over hearing I could snag it for $5. I don’t even want to know how that happened.

Okay enough of the before! Here it is after:

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I originally wanted to stain the top and paint the base white, but after realizing the top wasn’t real wood, I decided I would go for a two toned painted look instead. So I painted the base in Pure White made into DIY chalk paint.

Then I painted the top in Annie Sloan’s French Linen that I lightened a bit with some Pure White. The top was so damaged thought that even after sanding and filling, you could still see damaged areas on the top, so I decided to add some pattern…with stripes!

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

It’s hard to see it unless I show it up close since the light from the door is washing it out a bit, but it looks really pretty in person.

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

And it the stripes do a great job of concealing the imperfections a bit.

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I used the same hardware, just sprayed them with a couple coats of Rustoleum’s Satin White.

Give hardware a new look with spray paint!

The center panel was missing its hardware all together, so I broke the hook off of this piece from Hobby Lobby and sprayed it white as well…

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

And by the way, those doors? Yeah, they’re plastic. Uber classy.

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Here is the inside before:


And after:

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I sprayed the inside with Krylon’s Aqua spray paint before I did anything else.

Krylon in Aqua is the perfect way to update the inside

It was a super quick way to update the inside and add a fun pop of color! This is the same color I used on the drawers of Charlotte’s night table.

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

For all its faults, it turned out really pretty, so I’m hoping someone takes it home and loves it now that it’s all dressed up.

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer



And as for that bum corner…

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Let’s just say it adds character?

Buffet makeover, a $5 yard sale score! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Hope you enjoyed this makeover!

Here are all the goodies I found that day, including a cute child’s desk at the same yard sale:


I usually head out every Saturday in the Summer with my boys to go yard saling, so being on this “yard sale diet” has NOT been easy! This little day out helped to tide me over a bit. I’ve already sanded the top of the desk…it’s real wood, thank goodness! I just need to find a cute chair to fit it.

Don’t go anywhere yet!

My friends are sharing their own trash-to-treasure makeovers today as well!


Visit them all at the links below! 🙂


1.  Artsy Chicks Rule

2. Prodigal Pieces

3. Girl in the Garage

4. Bless’er House

I’ll be back on Thursday with my Décor Enthusiast Girls sharing how I decorate with thrifty and vintage finds…another favorite!!

Scouring thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales (oh and don't forget the side of the road!) to decorate on a BUDGET!

UPDATE: Take a tour of all the thrifty finds I have decorating my home HERE now! 🙂

If you want even more thrifty makeovers, see all my Trash-to -Treasure Tuesday posts, HERE!



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  1. Hey Christy! How are you? Your piece is really nice. It turned out right nice. The stripes on the top are a cool way to hide the imperfections. I really, really like the lampshade and the framed screen hanging above. You have a good eye for staging. Everything looks beautiful. And now I am looking forward to seeing what you will do with the fence slats you picked up. I feel like you can never have enough of those to look forward to doing something with. Thank you!

    • Thanks, Joanne! You are so sweet! I was so excited to find those pickets…can’t wait to use them on something!! 🙂

  2. Christina in FL says

    Christy, you have created another stellar transformation. And, with the striped top, the corner is not distracting and definitely adds character. 🙂 Congratulations on turning a frog into a prince. 🙂

  3. As always Christy you do a great job transforming something, looks great! I do like the stripes on the top looks so nice with all the white. :))

  4. What a SCORE! Not only did you give it new life, but now it has pizazz. Great job, Christy!

  5. Marcie Lovett says

    That was a pretty bad before! I, too, have done the happy dance over a piece, then realized it was not as amazing when I got it home. You certainly saved this one from the dump – no one would know it started out in such rough state!

    • Oh I’ve done it before as well, and you think I would learn to be more careful when buying pieces, but at least this time it was only $5! Thanks, Marcie! XO

  6. Only one day at a yard sale so far??!!!!! WOW! This was a great score for $5!!!! A little paint and it looks like a million bucks!

    • Thanks, Lindsay!! I know…hard to believe, right?? I miss posting my finds on FB on Saturdays and seeing what everyone else has found, but I really need to work through what I already have! I do really miss it though!

  7. Rosemary Weiss says

    Can you tell me how much you are selling this for? I’m interested.


  8. So the buffet turned out great after all. I bought a darling curved front vanity a few months back…it was in a dark garage…at night..and I paid $20. When I got it home, I discovered the back was plywood and totally warped. Learned my lesson about checking things out more carefully before opening my wallet.

    • Thanks, Nancy! Yes, we definitely need to be careful when buying these older pieces. I too purchased a piece at night once. It was already painted though and when I got it home and saw it in the light of day, the paint job was a hot mess! Lesson learned! XO

  9. Christy, this piece is gorgeous! You have a real eye for finding things to turn into treasures. I think I heard you crying a bit when you were sanding the top, but no one would ever know it wasn’t real wood. Great work!

    • Thanks so much, Kathy! I was so bummed to discover it wasn’t wood, but it worked out in the end! XO

  10. Another great and cheap makeover! Way to go with the bum corner “character” 😉 love it!

  11. WOW!!! that WAS UUUGGGLEY!!!!! but it sure is “cottage charm” now!!! I also like the way you have it staged….nice set-up!!! The stripes were a great choice to give it a pop!!!
    That piece was so bad…I’ve taken better to the dump!!!
    Have a great day!!!
    Addie xxoo

  12. Beautiful job on this piece, that is a piece you can put almost anywhere you have room for it, and has great storage..
    I know what you mean about being so excited about the price and not noticing a corner missing or that the top was not real wood. I have done the same thing. I was so excited at an auction one time I got a flow blue plate from early 1800’s for 10 dollars, I couldn’t believe my luck. When I sat down with my plate I noticed a big glob patch on it, luckily I knew a lady that did beautiful repairs on old china, she did a beautiful job on it, but my 10.00 plate turned into a 125.00 plate, but even with the repair it is worth about 275.00.
    Live and learn.

    • Thanks, Patty! Oh wow, I can imagine how disappointing that must have been! I guess when it sounds too good to be true…right? Yes, live and learn! XO

  13. I also prefer when it is solid wood. But I think the lines of this buffet was just too nice to pass! And you did a good job with it!

  14. It may have started out as a pressboard plastic doored hot mess, but you have definitely transformed it into the beautiful swan it’s always wanted to be!! It really is sooo pretty! Great job!!!!

  15. Beautiful!! Love the little details with the stripes and that blue!

  16. Your determination paid off looks great!

  17. This is gorgeous! Real wood or fake, that paint job makes it look super! Love your inside pop of color and your display piece on top! I’m having to give thrifting a break as well. It’s very hard to do! 🙁

    • Thanks, Angelia! It really is hard!! I haven’t been thrifting like I normally do either and I miss it!!

  18. The white is just what that poor little thing needed! So pretty and LOVE the aqua interior!

    • Doesn’t white make everything better?? And a little blue doesn’t hurt. 🙂 Thanks, Nancy!! XOXO

  19. Annie (Canada) says

    Hi Christy, I wondered if you were going to fix the corner. That wouldn’t have been an easy repair! If I hadn’t seen the before pictures I probably wouldn’t have notice the corner was missing. Even if its not real wood it has nice curves. You turned an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan 🙂

    • Thank you, Annie! There was really no way to fix that corner, so hoping someone appreciates a piece with a history. 🙂

  20. Oh my am I loving the striped top, Christy and swooning over the color inside. If only the former owner could see her $5.00 (can’t believe that price) buffet now!

    • Thanks, Marie! I know, right?? And it was a steal at $5, even with all its imperfections. 🙂

  21. Ooh, I know what a bummer it is to find imperfections after you thought you had an awesome score! Even with its problems, $5 was still a great deal and someone is sure to snatch it up quickly. Love the pop of blue inside too!

    • Yes this isn’t the first time it has happened and I do try to be careful, but my excitement got the better of me ha ha! I priced it very fairly, so hoping someone will love it…”character” and all! XOXO

  22. This is an excellent trash to treasure!

  23. Hi! I’m a new reader. I found a link to your blog over at Just a Girl and Her Blog.

    This is such a gorgeous makeover and makes me feel very inspired to take on a project like this! (I’m just nervous I’ll mess it up, because I really don’t know how to do this!) I would really like to makeover something I can store my kids’ arts and crafts stuff in. Right now we keep their paper, markers, colored pencils and such in cheap plastic bin from Walmart that looks SO unflattering in our office.

    I love, love, love the aqua you spray painted on the inside! I think it adds such a nice touch. I’m a huge fan of that color.

    • Welcome, Melissa! I’m so glad you found me! You should definitely go for it. Find a piece for a good price and get to work. You can’t mess it up…paint can always be sanded off! 🙂

  24. LOVE the stripe top and turquoise interior!

  25. Sue Gustafson says

    Hi Christy,
    I noticed the tray on top of the buffet is painted. I have a plated tray that I would love to paint! What kind of paint did you use?
    Thanks so much!

  26. I dont even notice the corner since the redo! Awesome as always!


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