Mixed-Stain Top on a Buffet

Credit goes to Larissa of Prodigal Pieces for her post on mixing stains. It never occurred to me to mix stains.

    I’m curious how you mixed the stains. Did you apply the lighter coat, let it dry, then apply the darker coat? Or did you mix them together prior to application? I love both colors but tend towards the Early American. I do like the look you created by mixing the two together. Thank you for sharing your techniques!
    OCTOBER 4, 2017 AT 11:00 AMReply

      Depends. This time around I went with Early American first, then added the Espresso. I didn’t want the Espresso to be to dark so I used the EA as a base. Hope that helps!
      OCTOBER 5, 2017 AT 7:47 AMReply
    Found this solid wood buffet at a local thrift store for twenty bucks. Normally I don't buy pieces to finish, but I knew exactly where I wanted to put this and what I wanted to stuff in it. 

    Look at all that storage!

    Love the solid wooden top. Needs some love but overall it's in terrific shape. 

    Used CitriStrip to remove most of the stain on top and then removed the loose paint from the shutters on the cabinet fronts.

    Then sanded, sanded, sanded, and sanded some more. Those shutter slats on the cabinet doors were killer to get in between. The sandpaper worked in two directions while folding it to fit in between the slats. I didn't have a solid fingernail tip afterward.


    Initially, I thought I'd stick with the white outside and a go with a pop of color on the inside. Keep it safe on the outside but with an inner wildness. The blue color would be toned with stain, click here to see the post on staining over paint. After the initial start, I realized that I didn't like the idea of a white exterior. Boring. I wanted to add some color to the dining room. And I was super happy with the first project using this same color with Espresso stain over it.

    Two to three coats of DIY chalk paint in Kingfisher blue was applied inside and out, front and back. 

    I'm crushing on this paint color so much that I've gone and painted a metal candlestick with it. But more on that transformation later. Click Here to see the finished candlestick.
    For the Top:
    I let two coats of Walnut stain dry before gently rubbing Espresso stain over the top. Some planks received more stain than others as I tried to create an overall even look. This is where I really liked working with two stains because felt I could better control the color outcome.  

    For the Bottom:
    Then the paint was rubbed with two to three coats of Espresso. Using a lint-free rag versus a paintbrush allowed me to control how much stain was darkening the wood. 

    above: with Espresso stain
    below: plain paint
    In the background is the buffet in at least one coat of Espresso stain (I forget where in this process this photo was taken). The foreground photo is the mini dresser prior to any Espresso. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how rubbing in some Espresso over the Walnut stain creates a richer color.

    Final Reveal: 

    Ignore the funky lighting pattern. We have this elegant light fixture that came with the house. It creates a rather interested light dispersion. 

    Look at that delicious stain! I just LOVE the color variations amongst the wooden pieces.

     It was so fun to decorate the top of this as we hosted Thanksgiving.

    And before I forget, I found these gorgeous knobs at Hobby Lobby to replace the original wooden knobs. 

     And some pretty storage space. I'll have to share its goodies in another post.

    The top is in much better condition now. Scratches are gone, stains removed, and the color is uniform. 



    1. Amazing transformation! Love the color choice. I'd never have thought of mixing stains - great idea!

      1. My thoughts exactly when I first saw Prodigal Pieces do it. Something I'll repeat, I'm sure.

    2. Audra this really looks great. I love all the blue on the bottom half and of course you can never go wrong with Larissa's advice. She is the queen of Trashure!


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