Red Chest Before & After and Mud Room Solutions

furnature before and after

A few years ago, I found this big buffet. At first, I thought I could refinish it and it would be wonderful. But, when I closely looked at this piece I found it almost beyond repair. The veneer had peeled away and was missing in several spots.   And as an added bonus, the mirror and the drawers were broken. Off to a great start huh?

Buffet befpre

Well, I wasn’t sure how I was going to tackle its issues or where I would even put it if I did fix it up. So it sat in the garage for about two years, where frequently my sweetie lobbied to carry it to the curb for me. I would politely thank him for his offer and with sincere understanding he would agree we should ABSOLUTELY keep it and that one day it would greatly enhance our lives. Ok so maybe that last part isn’t true.   The real story is, I would ignore him and he would roll his eyes.   And maybe under his breath he used the words “crazy lady” and “running out of space” and some other things that I didn’t really hear because I had already tuned him out. Oh sure like that never happens in your house.

Anyway fast forward to moving into this new house. This home has a sweet little mud room off the garage.

Our Palermo

At first I thought it would be the perfect space for the popular locker like cubbies with cute coat hooks. It was a great idea but then the reality check came…I don’t have anything like that. And even if I did, my cubbies would never look like they do in the magazine. You know, all neat and tidy with one small coat hanging on a hook and one pair of shoes tucked tidily in its individual cube. My family would pile every coat and sweatshirt they own on their hook despite the fact that there is an actual coat closet in the room. Each hook would have 3-5 coats and there would be at least one laying on the floor because it fell off of the pile. The backpacks would be half in and half out of the unit and there would be one stray mitten in the mix that will never find his match. Add some keys and mail in the pile and that will pretty much be our mud room cubbies. Ok scratch the locker cubby unit idea. But I still needed something for extra storage beyond the coat closet in there. That is when I realized the big broken chest could be just the perfect fit. So while we were in our temporary apartment waiting for the house to be finished, I tackled the broken beast…

  • First I stripped it with good old fashioned furniture stripper and removed the drawers to be clamped and glued back together.
  • I also glued back all the veneer I could.  For the missing veneer patches I used Bondo All Purpose Putty.   Bondo is perfect for those big filler jobs. Its dries quick, is sandable and permanent.
redchest durring

Bondo Patch

  • Next,  I sprayed it with a red paint that I can’t tell you the color because I mixed a few different reds together that I had left over from other projects. Yeah, I’m a saver. Sorry Honey.
  • After I had it painted it, I mixed dark brown paint and clear glaze and applied it to the piece with steel wool.  I also used a dry brush to feather out the glaze to give it softer shading and depth.   I will demonstrate this technique in detail in a future post for another day


red chest painted& shaded

Chest painted and glazed

  • Lastly,  I used a wipe on poly to give it protection. It’s going in my mud room and it will need to take the abuse of boys. To solve my broken mirror problem I created a chalkboard tutorial here to fit in the frame where the mirror would have been. It is perfect for notes to the family.  I also added some hooks under the top piece to hang our keys on.
red chest makeover

It all came together and the red works perfect with the chevron wall I painted in there. I will show you how to do that too in a future post.   A buffet in the mud room is a little left of center but it works!

Palermo home

What do you think?  Do you have a space that may need some outside the box thinking? Sometimes the best solution is thinking differently about something we already have.    Good luck on your own creative adventure!


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