For those of you that follow the blog and don't sew, you are probably getting bored with my most recent posts.  So here is a down and dirty DIY project for those who like to get their hands dirty.  It required stripping off layers and layers of paint, a little woodworking to add a bottom and some feet, sanding, staining and new hardware.  After a few days of laboring over this piece of furniture during Eliana's nap times I was able to rescue the white buffet below and transform it into a rustic but "I Love It" stained buffet:

It currently sits in our family room as a decorative piece of furniture and is amazing for toy storage!  It was most definitely a labor of love.  This piece needed A LOT of work, but when I stumbled upon it at Construction Junction I just had a feeling that it had potential.  I periodically go to Construction Junction for inspiration.  I had been keeping my eyes open for toy storage solutions that didn't look like toy storage solutions.  When I saw this piece I knew it would be perfect!  I also loved the dimensions - It is five and a half feet long and only 15 inches deep.   Even though it needed a ton of work, I fell in love with it almost immediately and after some time and effort it is beautiful again! What do you think?

This was my first project using paint stripper.  I was hesitant at first and had trouble knowing if I was doing it the right way.  I took a ton of photos to share the process so that if you are faced with using paint stripper you will know what it looks like.  I used Klean-Strip and a metal scraper to scrape off most of the paint.  I then followed the scraping with wet rags.  I repeated the process 8 times before I got all the layers of paint removed.  I followed with a good sanding to get the final amounts of paint remnant off and to smooth the surface before staining.

After having scrapped a few times already.  I had gotten a couple layers of paint off.

This is what it looks like.  It bubbles up and looks pretty disgusting...

This is how it comes off.  When you scrape it, the paint pulls off like it is losing a layer of skin.

Almost done!  It is exciting when you start to see more and more wood!
After this experience I would MOST definitely recommend wearing a mask, working in a well ventilated area and make sure you have lots of patience.  It took a few days to complete the process.  It was more work than I had anticipated but am happy with the results so totally worth it in the end.

After removing almost all of the paint we (my neighbor, Bob, helped me with this part) were left with this:

A piece of furniture without a back or bottom.

So we added a bottom, some feet and a board on the front bottom:

Then with some stain and polyurethane we had our final product.  I left the inside painted white so that we can remember what we started with.

I love the large openings underneath - they work so well to hide toys in the family room.  Eliana is old enough to understand that everything has a place.  So if I provide an easily accessible home to her toys then she knows where to put them away.

I knew the piece would have some "character" once finished.  It is one of the things I love about it.  You can see the nails around the front top.  The stain didn't absorb quite evenly so the color varies slightly and there are knicks throughout the exterior that help tell a story about it's history.

In the end, I am glad that I took a chance on this piece of furniture.  I am glad that I rescued it and gave it a new home:

Would I do this again?  Yes, but in the summer.  I completed it in late October (it took me a while to blog about it).  Because of the fumes from the paint stripper I had to work in my garage with one of the doors open and it was very cold: