French Image Transfer on Vintage Buffet

An Image Transfer Buffet That Will Make Your Day

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When I see a super flat surface on a piece of furniture, I get giddy! It’s like being given a clean canvas to do with what you will. I’ve wanted to do an image transfer for some time now.  I haven’t done one in ages. I’ve also had a break from custom work, making this the perfect opportunity to be creative. When I purchased this flat vintage buffet I knew the surface was perfect for adding an image. Adding an image transfer gives a whole new personality to a piece, and this project is no exception. Click here to see more image transfer projects: Image inspiration.


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French Image Transfer on Vintage Buffet

The Unfinished Vintage Buffet

The buffet itself was in pretty nice shape when I got it.  With no major damage, clean, straight lines and clean drawers. But, inside the cabinet doors were shelves that had been lined with contact paper. Whoever thought that sticky stuff was a good idea? The shelves had not only one, but two layers!vintage buffet, unfinished furniture, vintage furniture, image transfer, just the woods

On the positive side, once removed the wood underneath the contact paper is actually very pretty! The shelves were wiped down with rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover sticky residue.

The Makeover – Prep and Staining the Buffet Top

The buffet was prepped as every other piece of furniture is, you can see my full process for How to Prep Painted Furniture. The top of the buffet was sanded down to bare wood, leaving a gorgeous wood grain.  The top is stained with a dark chocolate protective wood stain.  The first coat is a very rich dark espresso stain, so for a second coat, I am using a lighter brown wood stain. Combining the two gave the rich dark stain that isn’t quite black and isn’t quite brown, but somewhere in between. espresso stain, painted furniture, staten island, painted buffet, nyc

In between coats of stain, the top was lightly sanded.  The top was also lightly distressed along the edges creating a slightly worn look.

espresso stain, dark stain, painted furniture, teak stain, staten island

Even though the protective wood stain does not need an additional sealer I wanted a super soft finish.  I decided to sand the top with my flexible sandpaper and seal again with a clear satin finish.  Sanding the top leaves a finish that is soft like a baby’s bum. wood stain, espresso, vintage furniture, shabby chic, french chic, nyc, staten island

The Paint – Painting Layers for a Cloudy Finish

The body of the vintage buffet was painted in layers.  The first coat as a pure white. The second layer is a very light gray and then a cloudy light gray. Each layer is only a very subtle difference from the previous layer. Doing this allows a bit of depth once distressed. You can find great furniture paint colors with Dixie Belle (HERE)

painted buffet, first coat of paint

 chalk paint, painting furniture layers

chalk paint, non toxic paint vintage buffet, painted buffet, painted layers, cloudy finish

The buffet was lightly sanded in between each coat and then distressed using flexible sandpaperdistressing paint, creating depth with paint, painting layers, cloudy finish, chalk paint

Distressing of the layers give a bit of a subtle depth to the piece, giving it a slightly cloudy appearance.french script, image transfer, painted furniture, just the woods, staten island

image transfer projects on painted furniture

The Hardware

The original hardware was too dark, too bold and too wrong for the piece. The buffet needs a softer style pull to not distract from the image. Besides the fact that I don’t think they were the original pulls to the piece anyway.  New clear vintage glass pulls from D. Lawless Hardware were a perfect choice. Clear Glass knobs, D Lawless Hardware, vintage hardware

The clear knobs compliment the piece while not taking away from the image transferClear glass knobs, d lawless, hardware, just the woods

glass hardware, image transfer, image on furniture, painted furniture

The Image Transfer

I chose a French image that would fit perfectly across the center of the buffet. The image was measured and taped in place with painters tape before being carefully transferred to the piece. This was my first time using this particular type of image transfer and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Though I did not make a video tutorial on how to apply the image transfer with this particular project, I did make one with another makeover. If you need a more visual instruction there is a video tutorial for applying the image transfer available in this post here: How to Transfer Images like a Pro

Image Transfer on Painted Furniture, iod transfer, prima marketing

The dark espresso chocolate of the top pairs beautifully with the cloudy gray painted finish and vintage style french image transfer print. To seal for protection, both the image, as well as the painted surface, are sealed with a matte clear sealer.

Painted Gray with Stain Top Buffet, image transfer, staten island, painted furniture

French Script Image Transfer, just the woods

For more painted furniture before and after projects, and makeovers, make sure to check out all of my chalk paint furniture tutorials with over 90 projects here: The Ultimate Guide for Stunning Painted Furniture Ideas

IOD Image Transfer

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Painted Furniture with Image Transfer

You can order image transfers here.  Better yet, check out these:

How to Transfer Images to Furniture

image transfers, iod transfers

Collection of Easiest Image Transfers

image transfers

If you liked this makeover then make sure to check out: Painted Media Console with French Image and Transfer on Painted Toy Box 

If you like this post make sure to check out all of the tips & secrets that I wish someone told me when I started painting furniture here: Painting Furniture Secrets  painting furniture, tips, hacks, painted furniture, how to paint furniture, secrets furniture painting

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  1. How wonderful it was to find your blog post , I love the step by step instructions . Your pieces are incredibly stunning . I look forward to tagging alone and learning from you , Thank you

  2. You did a beautiful job on this piece. Very talented. I am attemping to repaint my first piece of furniture and let’s just say its been a struggle.Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up. Please come back and join us again! Remember to leave your host a comment to increase the chance of being featured.

  3. Hi Kandice
    Wow – this is such a pretty makeover on this cabinet! Had no idea large transfers were available on! Ooooh the possibilities!! Thank you thank you for sharing this!!
    Catherine (newest follower of your blogging adventures!)

  4. This is beautiful! I am still a rookie so working on jewlery boxes instead of big pieces is my focus right now:). How did you transfer the image? I have tried a million methods, but still can’t find a “go to” process.

    1. this image transfer is transferred on with a popsicle stick. Its the easiest Ive tried to date!

  5. You did an amazing job. The buffet is so beautiful, every detail so thought out. And Amazon is wonderful. I will need to check out the transfers.

  6. It’s gorgeous! I just love it! You did a fabulous job. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. We’re pretty excited about fall and looking forward to seeing lots of fall ideas shared at the next party now that we have made it into September.

    1. thank you so much Shirley. Im so glad Fall is here! bring on the apple cider donuts! 🙂

  7. This is one of my favorite pieces. The color combo really makes the image transfer pop. Some lucky person will acquire a very special piece. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Friday’s Furniture Fix. We are so thrilled to have you share with us.
    Susie from The Chelsea Project

    1. thank you so much! someone is coming to see it tonight, I hope she loves it

  8. What a wonderful makeover!! The knobs are perfect!! You are very talented, thank you for sharing at TaDa Thursday….we love see what you do each week 🙂

  9. What a beauty! You do such amazing transformations, Kandice. Thanks for partying with us at Snickerdoodle and showing us your wonderful furniture makeovers. Pinned.

  10. You are being featured this Sunday on Family Joy Blog link-up! Come over Sunday to grab the featured button and add your latest post. Remember to leave your host a comment with the # your post is in the linkup!

  11. Kandice, this piece takes my breath away. You did an amazing job on the makeover. Thank you so much for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  12. WOW! This is truly the most amazing piece I have ever seen even inside a furniture store. I want it badly! As soon as my life slows to a slightly less hectic pace, I am going to try this for sure. Thank you so much for sharing and for sharing where to get the transfer.

    1. aww thank you so much for such a nice compliment!! xoxo

  13. Pingback: Vintage Charm #47
  14. I Love This…So Glad I found Your Blog. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. thankyou Jeannee. Id love to be able to do another 🙂

  15. Thank you for sharing, I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile. Your video has given me the confidence now to give it a try. I’ve also started following your blog! Beautiful work!

  16. Just saw this just was wondering did you cut the transfer to fit each drawer how did you get the whole thing lined up so perfectly I’ve ordered the transfer and received it I love it just kind of scared about the drawer thing

    1. I did not cut it. THe surface was completely flat and the drawers were flush so I didn’t have to worry about any bumps 🙂

  17. How could I find information on a printer to print my own transfers? Yours are lovely, by the way. I am new to this and thought it would great if the is a printer to print my own. Thank you

    1. hmmmm Im not sure. That’s a completely different technique that you are thinking of. The ones that I use are kind of the easy (cheating) way to do it lol

  18. Hi I did a cedar chest in Little Lamb Mineral Fusion paint which is gray. Would the transfer show on this particular color?

    1. that color looks similar to this gray that I used on a table with an image transfer. here is that project if you’d like to check it out and see how it would look on a gray 🙂

  19. Gill Passingham says:

    Hi again Kandice,

    I am checking out the paint that you have used for this beautiful piece. You mention using Alabaster, Storm etc, I am assuming these are the colour names. I have often used Chalk paint but sometimes not happy with the finish.

    What type of paint was it you used ? ie Acrylic ? – I have got a piece that I want to get started on, and looking forward to receiving my transfer

    Also I don’t know if you can advise me, but I have also printed out a couple of small transfers onto Wax paper and applied them to small boxes. Even though I used new ink cartridges they don’t seem to come out very dark, but also when I try to seal them (after leaving them a day or two) just with a clear matt sealer, they seem to smudge. Any ideas please?

    Thanks again


    1. hey Gill! I do use chalk paints. As far as the transfers smudging when ou apply clear sealer maybe try to lightly spray a clear sealer first to help set the image. Once that is totally dry then apply your sealer. (I had the same thing happen a few years ago and thats what I did) 🙂

      1. Gill Passingham says:

        Thanks Kandice,

        I have used a spray sealer first but maybe Im being to heavy hand when I apply the other sealer. I will keep practising !

        Thanks so much.

        Im sure I will be in touch again 🙂

  20. Hello there! Great job. Just captured my heart. Sincerely. What is the name of the transfer you used particularly in this photo and what were the measurements for this particular transfer? I have been looking for this particular transfer and I am unable to find it. Can you assist please?

    1. hi!! This is the transfer. I got it on amazon, but I just checked and it looks like its not in stock right now.. Prima Marketing Décor Transfers: PetitVin Wide (36.25″x25.25″)

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