My entertainment center! Eleonora’s beautiful buffet refinished

Jun 02 2024
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With these Thursday throw back posts every month I am confronted (every. single. time.) with how I never took enough pictures back then. Its such a shame! I guess my brain just hadn’t fully switched over to digital yet and I was still trying to “save film” every time I took a picture?! Who only takes ONE picture?! I so wish I had more before I started work on this piece because it was quite a bit of work and the result was pretty dramatic. I love those claw feet! SO, I may not have taken enough “before” picture but I at least have some pictures now that do this beautiful piece justice!

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become my entertainment center, furniture before and afters using an old pace for

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become my entertainment center, furniture before and afters using an old pace for

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become my entertainment center, furniture before and afters using an old pace for

Its pretty amazing to read back and realize how much has changed here at Grandma’s house! This post came out back in November of 2015. Here is the original post:

Eleonora’s beautiful buffet refinished into my entertainment center.

This post is actually not about the Grandma I talk about so much (the wonderful lady who inspired this blog, who lived in this beautiful old farm house before her passing a few years ago) No, this post is about a different Grandma, my dad’s mom Eleonora.

When she passed they gave us grand kids full run of her house with the notion that we needed to take something to remember her and grandpa by. To say the least, none of us really wanted to do anything let alone go through Grandma’s far too quiet house.

But, of course, we did, and we’re all glad that we did. I chose this gorgeous old buffet with the stunning claw feet and the amazing mirror with only an inkling that it may be my entertainment center some day. It was missing knobs and one of the feet was danging by a screw, it was also in pretty rough shape all in all.

It needed love, it needed me.

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become our entertainment center, furniture before and after @GrandmasHousDIY

I refinished this old beauty at the same time that I did this one: The Ancient dresser from nowhere. Side by side I went from one to the other, sanding my arms off. Since then I have seen many other alternatives to removing the old, sludge-like finish on these ancient pieces, I have also been yelled at for removing it at all.

But, the truth is, after so many years with the old coats of stuff on them, these pieces really get just totally covered up with grime. Once I started to see the grain on this one I got really excited and knew I was on the right track!

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become our entertainment center, furniture before and after @GrandmasHousDIY

I chose a black stain that turned out a lot less black then I had thought it would be, later I realized I had chose a gel stain that had settled to the bottom and had been using a brush where I should have been using a rag. However, I am very happy with how this piece turned out.

I used a satin poly on it so it would shimmer instead of shine.

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become our entertainment center, furniture before and after @GrandmasHousDIY

Then, for the first time since I refinished this pretty old thing I got to put the mirror back on! I did a little dance, I really did!

So, the old velvet lined, divided drawer, made just for silver, now holds my wii remotes and console controllers and remote controls and if that’s not a direct example of how one generation has changed to the next I don’t know what is.

This old buffet was up in my Grandma’s attic, almost totally covered up, I love that she’s out now as my entertainment center for everyone to admire when they come into my home. The other two finds I got from my Grandma Eleonora are the rocking chair I upholstered and the white leather tufted hassock that graces my master closet.

I see and use all three of them every day and every day I remember her!

My Grandma Eleonora's beautiful buffet gets refinished to become our entertainment center, furniture before and after @GrandmasHousDIYRefinished buffet claw foot feet mirror back entertainment center stripped, sanded, stained and sealed, dark wood stain, wood working, diy, do it yourself, new chrome hardware


  1. April 3, 2016 at 2:29 am

    I LOVE how you have refinished your family pieces to make them look just as beautiful as they did 100 years ago! I love seeing that beautiful grain shine through. I have to refinish some of our old wood family pieces and I don’t really know where to begin! I’ll have to check out some of your other refinishing posts for pointers 🙂

    • April 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Meg, it is easier then it looks! It is also much more time consuming and dirtier then I ever thought it would be lol. But wood is so forgiving! Thank you for commenting!

  2. Jamie Levanowitz
    April 12, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    The story is as beautiful as the buffet. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • April 12, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Thank you for commenting!

    • November 26, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Fab job you are so talented Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  3. April 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    It’s beautiful. Satin poly is always a finish I prefer. Subtle and rich looking. Thanks for sharing with us on Thursday Favorite Things blog hop.

  4. April 24, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    What a beautiful job you have done Tarah. In this case, you have restored the actual piece and made the grain shine through. I am hosting a new link party Sweet Inspiration and would love to have you join us. It runs Friday till Tuesday.

    • April 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you so much I’ll definitely go and check that out!!

  5. April 26, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Wow, you did a beautiful job restoring your grandmother’s buffet!

  6. April 27, 2016 at 1:36 am

    What a beautiful piece, Tarah–you really restored it to its former glory–nice work! Thanks for linking your project up with Vintage Charm 🙂

  7. April 27, 2016 at 6:52 am

    This is such a beautiful piece of furniture! I completely understand the grandma connection. I miss mine everyday.

    Thank you for sharing with Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

    Reinvented Collection

    • April 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Its so neat to be able to have some things of my grandma’s to remember her by 🙂 I feel like I “saved” this old piece and it really makes me feel like she would be glad! Thank you for stopping by!

  8. May 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I have a piece almost the exact same as this (except different feet and the one long drawer is below the doors) that I’m planning on making my entertainment center! It’s been sitting in my garage for almost a year now 🙂 Did you do any modifications to this buffet to allow the wires to come in and out? Would love to know more of your process! And thanks so much for linking up to Fridays Furniture Fix!

    • May 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      We haven’t modified the buffet yet actually. I’m really a little stuck with the idea so far – We thought of removing the long drawer and putting in a board across it to make it a “shelf” to keep our tv components but I am incredibly attached to that beautiful drawer… Other thought was to keep the components in the bottom and just open the doors when we need to use them but then we’re going to have the doors open all of the time! I think I’m going to bite the bullet – remove the drawer, drill a hole in the back of it for the cords, and put a board in to make it a shelf and just stain it to match the piece 🙂 Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. May 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Grandmother’s buffet is so beautiful. I am glad you restored it to its original beauty.

  10. June 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Wow! I would love a piece like this. It’s beautiful and that grain is unbelievable. You’ve restored the beauty of it perfectly

  11. June 17, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Tarah, I love how you respect the integrity of these beautiful pieces. Another gorgeous save! Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Mimi xxx

  12. July 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    It’s a gorgeous buffet, I actually love that you kept it natural and didn’t paint it in any colour, it looks so classy! Lovely story, I wish I had something from my Grandma still…

    • July 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you Katrin! Those doors were too pretty, I just couldn’t paint them 🙂

  13. July 26, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Wow!! Just beautiful! thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party.

  14. July 26, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Tarah,

    You did a fantastic job on the refinishing! I love how you use it for an entertainment center, and that you think about your Grandma every time you see it. That is what keeps our loved ones who have passed with us always, our memories.
    We have been looking for something old and wonderful to use for an entertainment center also. I’m inspired by yours and will be looking for something like that. Is that wood oak? The wood looks similar to an old oak dresser that I have from my childhood.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    Have an awesomely blessed day!

    • July 26, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Thank you SallyAnn! Next up I need to force myself to part with one of the drawers so we have a place for our electronics 🙁 Its been almost a year and I still haven’t managed it lol! All the drawers are just so cool and beautiful! I believe the entire thing is solid oak 🙂 Thank you for coming by!

  15. August 1, 2016 at 12:34 am

    That’s a beautiful piece, and you did a great job restoring it. Thank you for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  16. August 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Nice job, Tarah! The wood is just beautiful. Thanks you for sharing with #overthemoon!

  17. August 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    What a beautiful piece of furniture!! Well done! 🙂 Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday! Pinned!

  18. August 30, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Hello Tarah! Wow! You did a great job restoring this lovely piece of furniture and it’s a great memento of your grandma! <3

  19. August 30, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    What a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  20. August 31, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    It’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  21. September 2, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this post on Peace, Love, Linkup! Grab a button and we’ll see you tomorrow at 6 for more sharing fun! : )

  22. September 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Everything you do turns out amazing! Thanks for sharing your links with us at Celebrate Your Story. Have a wonderful holiday!

    • September 4, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Thank you so much and for the great party every week 🙂

  23. September 4, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I think you did a greatjob! While there are some antiques that shouldn’t be touched because they’re of great value, or from a famous maker, I don’t think you could have gone wrong, here! I be your Grandma would have been proud!

    Thanks for sharing this at Throwback Thursday this week.


  24. September 7, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    You did a beautiful job, it looks like it can last another 30 years now.! Thanks for joining the DI & DI Link party. Have a great week.

  25. September 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    What a great way to keep your grandparent’s memory alive by having their furniture, refinished, used, and be housed in your home. My husband has a few pieces from his grandfather’s house as well and, as a family, we cherish these pieces and always find ways to use and reuse them. Thank you so much for sharing your story and this DIY with us on #shinebloghop!

    • September 15, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Thank you so much Maria 🙂 I loved that when my husband and I moved in between us we practically only had to buy a couch lol after that all of our furniture came to us from our parents or grandparents!

  26. September 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    It turned out so lovely! Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party. See you again soon. Shared.

  27. September 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    What a lovely project! You keep giving me so much inspiration! #bloggybrunch

  28. September 19, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    What a beautiful piece ! Thank you so much for joining the Family Joy Link Up this week. We hope you will come back again next week. Have a great week!

  29. September 21, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Hi Tarah!

    Stopping in to thank you for sharing at Homemade and Handcrafted! This wonderful makeover is featured this week and I hope you’ll stop over to share more.
    Have a great week~

    • September 21, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Oh Robin thank you so much!!

  30. October 2, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    This turned out great! I’m going to be redoing my first piece of furniture soon and I can’t wait to see how it goes!

    • October 3, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Good luck Pam, I’m sure it will be wonderful!

  31. February 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    So nice to have so many family heirlooms to bring back to life and enjoy, and I do love a great refinish job with great grain, just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your project at Fridays Furniture Fix, love having you!

    • February 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Thank you so much Brenda, so appreciate parties like the Furniture Fix!

  32. March 9, 2017 at 5:28 am

    Its wonderful how you take the time to relate the history of the pieces you have, its nice to read stories about your grandmothers.

    You did a great job of refinishing this, it would have been such a waste to cover up the tiger wood stripes. Beautifully done.

    • March 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you!! This piece is one of my very all time favorites

  33. March 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    You have so many beautiful pieces of furniture. I really love this piece. You did a beautiful job.

  34. March 20, 2017 at 1:09 am

    You did a fantastic job of renovating it to its former glory Tarahlynn – it looks amazing

  35. May 23, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Sew It Cook It Craft It!

  36. October 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Beautiful! Much nicer than what you could buy! Love it!

  37. October 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    This looks wonderful. It’s so great that you have made a memory piece into a contemporary piece that is useful. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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