Hilary's Angelus Vintage Modern Buffet Refinish Project

Hilary's Angelus Vintage Modern Buffet Refinish Project

Gregory Han
Jun 9, 2009

Dear Apartment Therapy LA, I have a great before and after pic of a vintage modern buffet that I resurfaced. It was made by the Angelus Furniture Mfg. c. 1930 and before! They created everything from cut wood designs to prop furniture for Hollywood sets. One desk even made it to the Senate! Anyhow, if time and space allow, I'd love to share my pics with all Angelenos.

Check out details of how Hilary did this lovely before and after job below...

First, I repaired the legs using wood glue, clamps, and filler. Then I sanded down the sides, drawers, and doors to remove any old paint that was chipping off. I wanted to achieve a smooth surface which to apply the new paint. I even removed the wooden backing to
reveal a fresh surface. Typically after sanding I like to wipe down the piece to get rid of dust and build-up. I also conditioned the wood with a bit of lemon oil and let that soak in overnight. Then, I was ready to paint!

Next, I removed all hardware and set it aside for late use. Gave 2 fresh coats of paint, mixed by me using a combo of a semi-gloss white with a glossy turquoise. When I do mix by hand, I make sure to mix enough to cover the entire piece and then some. I always use a glossy paint for furniture. While the paint dried, I selected a gorgeous brown glass tile to neutralize the color a bit and bring it down to earth.

Tiling can be a challenge, but lucky for me these particular ties were sold by in 1.2 sq sheets meaning they were attached to a mesh and easy to lay out with evenly. I used mosaic glue to adhere the tile to the plywood top. Did I mention the original piece came to me topless?! To ensure good adherence I also let the tiling dry overnight before grouting. I bought 6' of a 3/4" chamfer edge from Anawalt lumber. It is a great deal per square ft. and important to check for any blemishes before leaving the lumber yard.

I use the chamfer to create lip on the piece and really finish off the edge. It has a double benefit as it holds the tile and grout in place as well. The chamfer should be cut at 45 degrees to form a 90 degree angle at each corner. This can be achieved using a miter saw box from the hardware store.

Finally the grouting begins, I was using a flat rubber spatula working with white non-sanded grout to fill in the tiles. The tiles which are no less than 1/8" in space can be finished off with your fingers (make sure to wear gloves). The working time for the grout is approximately 15 minutes and you'll want to be sure to keep it wet so that it will not set up while you are still working. Once the grout sets, wipe away all excess with a sponge.

The next day, I buffed out the tile with a cheese cloth and sealed the grout with sealant. Last but not least, using Rub and Buff gold, I antiqued the wonderful ornate knobs and lined the drawers with some linen scrap fabric I had on hand.

Through all the work, I enjoyed bringing a piece that would maybe have
been in left out in the rain back to life again.

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