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Buffet Makeover – Coral Buffet With Stained Top And DIY Beaded Drawer & Door Pulls

I got my buffet makeover finished, and I LOVE how it turned out!  I’ve been needing some warm colors in my life and in my house (since I naturally gravitate towards greens, blues, and blue-green), and this was just the shot of warmth and energy I needed.  Here’s how it turned out…

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 1

And to refresh your memory, this is how it started out…


The color I used is Behr’s Japanese Kimono in a satin finish.  And since I always prep my furniture before painting (sanding, caulking and wood filling if necessary, priming with Zinsser oil-based Cover Stain, and sanding again), I just buy the regular Behr paint (i.e., the cheapest stuff) instead of the more expensive stuff.  I ended up brushing instead of spraying, mostly because moving this big thing outside just didn’t appeal to me.  I wanted to paint it in place.  When I paint with a brush, I always use Floetrol paint conditioner (or Penetrol, if I’m using oil-based paint).  I share all of the details of my brush-painting process here.

Now I know you’re thinking, “Kristi, that’s not one of the four colors you showed us!”

buffet color choices - 1

And you would be right.  🙂  Here’s the deal…

I’ve had it in my mind all this time that this buffet needed to be some sort of reddish, pinkish, raspberry color.  But I decided that way back when I thought I would be using that big Jacobean floral print that had lots of reds and pinks in it.  Then I ordered a yard of that fabric, didn’t like it, and changed directions with the P. Kaufmann Pattern Play Tutti Fruiti fabric (shown tacked to the wall in the photo above), and it has completely different colors.

So as I was reading your comments about what color to choose, I kept coming across comments suggesting that I mix my own color.  I tried that, and mixed probably 15 different colors.  But the comments that really struck me were the ones that suggested I should go more orange.  Then I realized that the red in that fabric actually leans very orangish red.  I happened to have a sample of Japanese Kimono that I purchased about a year ago for my front door, and it was definitely more orange/coral, so I decided to try it out, and it looked fantastic!  It doesn’t match the color in the fabric, but it complements it much better than any of the red/pink colors.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 6

And after stripping all of those paint samples off of the top, and seeing what beautiful wood was underneath all of that paint and the original finish, I couldn’t bring myself to paint it.  Y’all know how much I love stained wood (e.g., countertops and such), and I find it very hard to take a paint brush to such pretty wood like this.  So instead, I stained it with Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut stain, and then sealed it with two coats of Minwax Polyurethane in a satin finish.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 2

I didn’t bother filling the original holes from the hardware because I was sure I could find replacements.  I was wrong.  The holes were 3.25 inches apart, and apparently hardware today is a pretty standard 3 inches or 3.75 inches.  So I decided to follow the lead of one of my favorite bloggers and make my own beaded drawer pulls.  I used unfinished wood beads (available at any craft store in the unfinished wood craft section) and stained them in the same Dark Walnut stain that I used on the top.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 3

For the ring pulls, I took apart some brass ring pulls that I had (just removed the brass ring) and replaced it with my own beaded ring to coordinate with the other pulls.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 4

I love the way the beaded handles turned out.  I’m indifferent about the ring pulls, but since I couldn’t find anything else to coordinate with the handles, they’ll stay for now.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 5

So I finished my first official project for my entryway and dining room.  I couldn’t be more pleased with it, and I love that it’s not green or blue.  🙂

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 1

I’ve had a couple of people request a picture with the fabric, so here are the two together.

buffet makeover painted with Behr Japanese Kimono - 7



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  1. Long time reader but never commented. Today I HAVE to say…I LOVE the way that buffet turned. I just couldn’t see any of the colors you proposed. This one is perfect! Good job!

  2. Gorgeous color choice. I am wondering about the bead pulls…..is there room for fingers between the pull & the buffet ? Also, how do the pulls feel against your fingers when pulling the drawer open?

    1. Yep, there’s JUST enough room for fingers. 🙂 I tried making them a bit bigger so that the space would be roomier for fingers, but it looked awkward sticking out any further. The pulls actually feel quite substantial. I was afraid they would feel flimsy and fragile, but they don’t. I used the largest, thickest wire I could find at the craft store that would fit through all of the holes in the beads I used (the holes in the wood beads were really large, but the silver things had smaller holes), and the wire I ended up with was really thick, so that helps to keep the shape of the pulls and make them feel more substantial. The beads to shift around a tiny bit (they spin freely on the wire), but that doesn’t affect the function of the pulls at all, and it doesn’t make them feel less sturdy since the wire holds its shape.

      1. Do you know what gauge the wire is that you used? [Also, I love this update with the fabric….the buffet really seems to make the greens in the fabric pop!]

        1. I wasn’t paying attention, and I threw away the package before I could make note of it. However, if I remember correctly, I think it was 14 gauge. I do remember that it was the second to largest that they had at Michael’s. The largest (which I think was 12 gauge) wouldn’t fit through the holes in the little silver pieces. At first I thought it would be too pliable to be substantial enough for pulls, but it actually worked great. Once I got one side poked through the screw hole in the drawer and crimped to the side to hold it in place, I poked the other side through and pulled it as tightly as I could before crimping it over to the side to hold it in place. Pulling it tight like that makes it feel very secure and very substantial, and the wire has very little give to it at all.

          1. Awesome! Thanks! I’m sure the beads themselves help add a bit of structure, especially if you pulled them tightly. I’ll be looking for a project to do this on…

  3. It’s beautiful! You continue to amaze me with your choices. Those beaded drawer pulls look great and I love the coral.

  4. Oh Kristi…..it’s just gorgeous! I’m glad you went with a more coral color. I’ve never seen handles like that…..they are perfect for the buffet! Your talent still boggles my mind. I am really enjoying following along on your new house journey. Keep on DIY-ing and I’ll keep on following. Have a blessed day.

  5. It is more awesome than I imagined! What a clever solution for the handles and ring pulls! I think I’m going to take the plunge on the old dresser we use for our media center!

  6. I love the color you painted the buffet and think that you did a fabulous job of the handles and ring pulls!

  7. So I’m disapointed you chose the coral/orange route instead of the berry, but not my house. I’m a bit fearful the orange with your black chairs flanking the buffett will look too halloween-ish. One thing for sure, Kristi, I’m happy that YOU are happy.

    1. It’s really not Halloween orange. 🙂 In fact, it changes depending on the light. Last night I walked through there after the sun went down, and the only light on was the entryway light, glanced over at the buffet, stopped in my tracks, and said, “OH MY GOSH, IT’S PINK!!” It literally looked bright pink. 😀 It doesn’t look like that during the daytime, though. But it’s definitely not bright orange enough to look Halloween-ish.

  8. I love it! And I have been trying to figure out how to DIY some handles for my son’s dresser I just refinished. Bingo!

  9. this is a nice color! I like it, and you left the top alone! What a great idea!
    I absolutely LOVE your drawer handles… so unique and original. I am sure you can possibly find a bigger “bead” that matches and use that instead of the ring pulls you now have.

  10. Love the stained top and pulls you made. I didn’t go to the link you gave, (yet) is it a tutorial? I’d love to see a post on how you made yours!

      1. Looks great! I’m curious about those pulls too – I love the look but doesn’t wire shift when you tug on it? I’m interested on the attachment process you used inside the drawers. 🙂 Really looks nice, that’s for sure!

  11. Do you know WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan? I do, because of my teenage son. I’m stealing his catchphrase and shouting it from the top of the ropes — “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

    THAT’s how much I LOVE what you did to this buffet!

  12. I’m not into any type of orange hue on furniture but you made this look ah-maz-ing! I especially love the beaded handles. Perhaps instead of a ring pull, you can make the same handle in a vertical direction?

      1. That’s what I thought! Think dangling earring look, with beads graduated from small to large.
        Love the coral, wish I had your guts ( and an agreeable husband )!!!

  13. I love this! Especially with the stained wooden top. Now I want to find a buffet of my own to redo. I’m inspired!

  14. This piece is really, really amazing and it looks fantastic.
    I am a bit skeptical how the brown tones will work with your black table, black and white striped curtains, and green and patterned upholstered chairs. I love the vision you describe for the dining/entryway, but I’m not sure I think the brown stained top and brown stained bead pulls “go” with how I picture the rest of the room. The stained top with painted base and the crafty pulls have more of a country feel to me.

    1. I totally agree with Rachel. I think you did an amazing job on this but I don’t see it fitting with the vision you described. Are you reconsidering the painted piano? I think one more bright color will make this space look cartoonish instead of elegant. I love a beautiful pop of color but too much just makes they eye confused and makes nothing really stand out.

      1. It fits the vision in my head perfectly. 🙂 I think I’m not so concerned about my house being elegant, as I am about it being colorful. I don’t want it looking like a candy store, but I think with the amount of black that will be going into these rooms, it’ll keep things toned down so that I can have my colorful buffet and my colorful piano without looking cartoonish. I think I’m just not an elegant person. If given the choice between lots of color that makes me smile, or an elegant home, I’ll choose color every single time. 🙂

  15. I just love the color. I keep looking at a small wood cabinet and wishing I had the courage to paint it. I just found the courage. How are the drawer pulls secured inside the doors and drawers?

    1. The wire is just poked through the screw holes, and then bent inside to secure it in place. It’s a thick gauge wire, so it stays in place really well. But when I get my air compressor and staple gun back from my mom’s house, I’m going to secure the wire inside with a few staples. It doesn’t really need it, but I’ll feel better about long term use if it’s secured like that.

  16. Love two-tone furniture, it came out beautiful. Also, had picked that second color because it did read more orangey. Thought the others were too pink or red. Definitely a win-win in my book.

  17. I Love the pop of color it.brings!!!!!
    I, too, love the look of stained tops and painted bottoms.
    Fantastic job!!!

  18. Kristy, I love your coral choice. I painted my wood headboard coral and the backs of my white bookcases the same color and I just love it. It is a very cheerful color to live with.

    Your creativity inspires me …… Rita

  19. I love it the color is fantastic and I absolutely love the beaded drawer pulls. My question is, how did you attach them? With screws? Wire around screws?

    1. I used the heaviest gauge wire that would fit through the holes in the beads, and then after stringing my beads, I just stuck the wire through the holes in the drawers, and bent the wire to the side to hold it in there. As soon as I get my air compressor and staple gun back from my mom’s house, I’ll add a couple of staples in each side to hold the wire really secure. But the wire is heavy gauge and doesn’t bend easily, so it’s really secure even without the staples.

  20. I love the finished look. Color still scares me so I have a number of projects in the garage but can’t get started because I can’t decide on colors! BUT, I LOVE the fabric. Do you remember where you got it? Thanks for your great blog.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. I visited the site and found a few more fabrics I really like. Looks as though I’ll be able to recover my six dining room chair seats!

  21. Not sure how I feel about this buffet – BUT – what I do know is that when the room is finished, everything in it, including the buffet, is going to look perfect and wonderful. Cant wait to see how this whole project turns out!

  22. Well you have done it again…Another surprise for your followers, And it is beautiful! I love the top in the dark stain and those handles are awesome!!! I am not much of a orange decor person myself, but it looks fabulous!!!… It will diffidently POP when you walk into the room!

  23. I am really happy you did the stained top. I am currently toeing what I feel is a very fine line of too much painted furniture vs enough painted & wood. I had two painted nightstands and a very large dresser that needs refinished/painted. I think it would be beautiful painted but there is no wood tones in the room if I take this away. Thoughts?

    1. I think that’s why I love the painted base/stained top combo so much. Wood (either natural or stained) adds so much warmth to a room, and I hate to decorate any room without at least some wood in there. But on the other hand, I’m partial to painted furniture. Big, brown pieces of furniture just don’t appeal to me at all. So a combo of painted base and stained top is the perfect and brings in just the right amount (in my opinion) of stained wood to bring that needed warmth while not visually weighing down the whole piece (and the room) with a big brown stained wood piece. And I think as long as all of your painted pieces complement each other, and you have at least some bits and pieces of natural or stained wood to tone down the painted pieces a bit, then I really think you can paint all of them — the nightstands and the dresser. But of course, this is all a matter of opinion, and coming from someone who very much loves color and painted wood furniture. 🙂 Someone who prefers stained wood furniture would obviously disagree with me.

  24. What a wonderful surprise, I took one look and fell in love with this piece there is not one negative thought about it except….it’s not in my house LOL. All I can say for choice of color and the ingenious pulls is BRAVO Kristi BRAVO!!!

  25. Kristi ditto on what everyone is saying. Interesting that it is such a trending color now and because it is then you see it everywhere and in everything. Accessorizing will be a snap. I hope you do the cording on your black chairs in a coral too.
    So glad you just kept at it until you found the perfect color for you. I was rooting for a color other than the four you picked and while I thought it would be magenta this coral is amaaaaazzzzziiiiinnnnngggg. I adore you addiction and you give me courage to go more color.

  26. I was on facebook on my phone and saw you had posted. I got so excited I squealed and had to jump on my computer to see a larger version. I L-O-V-E it!!!!! I’m a happy, bright paint color girl too. I love…love….love all the color you use. The handle idea is brilliant. Everything you do is just stunning. I’m always so excited to see your next post. Kristi your blog is by far my most favorite blog.

  27. Kristi – thanks for the link to the brush painting for cabinets. Excellent refresher and I will use the process as we move into our kitchen overhaul this fall!

  28. I LOVE it!! While reading I was like wow that a lot of prep for painting… Try Chalk paint = no prep. Now, I know you used paint that you already had, but it was so easy! There is a lady in my area that sells poeces just like this on our area Facebook “Yard Sale” pages and she charges an arm & a leg for them.

    This is truly stunning!

  29. Such a great job, I love the color!!! But then again I like all of your creations!! The bead pulls are perfect w/ the top stained walnut!!

  30. I have read all the comments. I am trying to find a word that says what I need to express. I can’t. I can only think of exemplary, phenomenal, beyond my imagination, out of this world, you get the idea! Wish it was mine………..boohoo….lol

  31. This looks wonderful. I really like the wood and painted combo. Did you strip the finish off the top before staining? Was it veneer? I have never stripped a veneer and was wondering if that’s possible or would you damage it? Thanks in advance.

  32. Beautiful, refreshing! Many years ago, I took a furniture repair/refinishing class from the head of furniture restoration at the Museum of fine Arts in Boston. He said, when in doubt use dark walnut stain, it makes everything look better. Your buffet is a perfect example of that. Lovely job.

  33. I love it!!!! It would be hard for me to be that brave. Excited to see your rooms coming together for you! Not a house but a home!

  34. The combination of stained top and the coral paint looks amazing. I particularly love the drawer pulls and wonder if you could post a photo of the inside of the drawer so that we can see how you have finished them off so that they stay in place. I really love the little round ones on the cupboard doors… great job Kristi..!! 🙂

  35. it is “drop-dead” gorgeous! I have always loved coral. It looks smashing with the wood top. The pulls are ingenious–maybe you should start your own line of home décor accessories, Kristi! I can’t believe how quickly you seem to pull all this diy stuff off!!! You are amazing, girl!

  36. Hi Kristi, I have been having internet problems and have not been able to post any replies lately. I did want to say re the painted piano, I think it is a great idea especially given your penchant for painted furniture. I do think with the music room adjacent to the foyer you will have to keep your colors from clashing. You will also have to keep in mind the kitchen. I think the music room will be my favorite space. It is the one I would choose to do, if this were a show house. I know exactly how I would decorate it. Anyway, on to the buffet. I love the color with the stained top. I think it is very warm and pretty. Still not a fan of the fabric, wish you would keep it in the dining room and do something interesting on the wall with molding and sconces. I would love to see a colorful runner coming in from the front door. BTW, don’t know if you do it in TX, do know that they do it in the south, and we do it in certain areas of the Northeast, I am talking about naming our homes. I think you should make a really attractive sign, check on houzz, and call your home “The Painted Lady”. Blessings

  37. It looks amazing! And isn’t it funny that I suggested you might want to paint the piano in an orange????

  38. I’m getting quite a few requests from clients that coral be incorporated into their color scheme. I love it. Citrusy and refreshing shot of color that works well in any season. Great job painting and communicating technique. Floetrol is our friend always!

  39. This EXPLODES with beauty! I love the color, dark top, and the fabric behind it! Wow girl! This is beautiful, and I’m a chicken when it comes to painting my furniture, (hubby would kill me) but some day……..I’m a dreamer! 🙂

  40. Wow, the buffet looks absolutely stunning Kristi. You’ve surprised us with the color and it looks really fantastic and it looks amazing with the stained top. The beaded handles are gorgeous, one of a kind and the icing on the cake to set off the buffet.

  41. I love it! I hope you will give us a more detailed breakdown on how you made the pulls – what kind of wire, how you secured it and what those little things are that are sticking into the wood.

  42. You have done an outstanding j9b with this piece. You are soooooooooooooooooo talented. Enjoying viewing your blog.you are getting me motivated to completed a couple of projects myself.


  43. this is gorgeous, I just bought a rattan square table with for chairs, thIs color will look great on it. But I think I will get a paint sample and see if I can find some material to go with it for the cushions. Your amazing…thanks

  44. The perfect color and it’s also your choice and it is gorgeous! I have an old chest in my new bathroom that is painted the same color and sometimes it’s coral(never orange) and or pink! I love color…………………!!!!!

  45. Now that I see the material with the buffet I can see why you chose the orange. Great choice over other color samples!

  46. Throw hands and arms in air Italian-style, thump self in forehead! “She did it again!” Looks wonderful and I am trusting it does not look as bright almost fluorescent in person as it does on my screen!

  47. SWOON! This is so gorgeous!!! I gasped out loud when I saw the picture on my Feedly. The stained wood is perfect with that beautiful color. Great job!!!

  48. Outstanding! I’m glad you went towards the warmer color – it’ compliments the green much better and has a real updated look. I love the handles. I wouldn’t change them – It gives the piece even more personality.

  49. Never thought of coral, but it does rock with the dark walnut stain. Like everyone else, I’m anxiously awaiting the room reveal. The bead pulls are fabulous. I switch out knobs and pulls almost a frequently as I change earrings, so this is a economical way to feed my obsession! Thanks for the idea!

  50. Sorry I’ve been missing for a while. Busy. Missed your blog and it looks like you’ve been busy.

    I love your buffet – great color, great stain color and thedrawer pulls/door pulls go great with it.

  51. And you don’t think chalk paint is a time saver? I never go through all of that to paint a piece! But we each have to find what makes us happy.

    1. When I paint furniture, saving time is not my priority. Ending up with a flawless finish is always my top priority, and Chalk Paint, which encourages people to just start slapping paint on without any prep work, does NOT deliver a flawless finish. I don’t like the way Chalk Paint looks, and I hate furniture wax (which is a required step if you don’t want your Chalk Painted furniture to be easily stainable), so yes, I’m willing to take the extra time and give the extra effort, using products and methods that are tried and true for me, so that I end up with the flawless finish that I like.

  52. You had mentioned in another post that chalk paint was advertised as a time saver, though you did not find it to be so. For me, I live near a store where the owners are taught by Annie Sloan and their results have been really stunning. As with anything, the hands of the artist make all the difference. If you gave me the tools you work with I would have a diaster, not the stunning room makeovers you produce. But give me a can of chalk paint or milk paint, and I can come up with a sweet piece.

  53. Hi Kristi, did you use oil base or latex on this buffet and your sink vanity? I’ve used the chalk paint on several pieces and want to try your method on a dresser. I know you use the oil base Zinsser so was curious which paint you used.

  54. wow. Love that color with the wood. And those handles are a great idea!! Very nice. don’t know if you have tried BM paint, but you should exchange the Behr for the BM Advance. I paint a lot of furniture and used to use Behr. But it’s prone to stay tacky, as it is a straight latex paint. The Advance or even SW Pro-Classic, is a latex=acrylic. Much better to paint with and cures completely in a month. No stickiness. I have pieces I painted years ago and stuff still sticks to the top. And the Advance in Glossy is to die for! Seriously. I have a few pieces in my gallery that I’ve painted with if you want to take a look. Thanks!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. One more question. How much did you sand it down? The original finish on the buffet looks similar to the dresser I’m redoing, and I’d like to have an idea of how much I should sand it before priming. I have the water based primer, so hopefully that works well enough.

        1. I sanded just enough to smooth out any dings and scratches from the original finish, and to remove the super slick factory finish and give the finish some “tooth” for the primer.

          I’d highly recommend oil-based primer over previously stained and lacquered wood. Old finishes like that can bleed through water-based primer and ruin your new finish.

  55. Splendid choice of color for this piece. As well, your treatment of the top eliminated that distracting shininess, thankfully, making the piece pop even more.

    A suggestion, as you’ve admitted your indifference to the ring pulls. Match the verticality of the hinges. Drill another hole. (It’s difficult to get a clear sense of perspective from the photo, but a classical proportionality of 2:3 may well work.) You might want to play around a bit with thicknesses.

    P.S. This hue would look magnificent on a Bentley motor car.

  56. Hi Kristi–thanks so much for your blog, and for so much helpful advice. I’m just embarking on my first DIY furniture refinishing project, and I need to get a color like red #4 in your photo above (I love the coral you settled on, but my room needs that red). I can’t find anywhere in your archive of this project what that color is. Do you have that information?
    thanks much

    1. Unfortunately, all of those colors were custom mixed by me using random paint samples that I had purchased. I don’t have any way of telling you how that color was mixed.