Card Catalog Turned Buffet

Yep, we did it again. A year ago we made our very first card catalog buffet, and we loved it so much we decided to make another one. Don’t worry, were not weird and have two in our house, this one was made to sell..and sell it did. We put this beauty up in our friends store Modern Manor, and it sold within three hours of being open! What a blessing! We did this one a little different. This time we only sanded and stained it, as opposed to painting and distressing it. A lot less work but we love the way it turned out!

Heres a little bit about how we did it {for EXACT directions see here}

Start by being a genius. Kidding, but not really. When doing a project this large you just want to be exact on your measurements, so thats definitely where Js massive brain power comes in to play.

This is the card catalog we started with this time. We got it off of Craigslist, actually from our friends over at European Paint Finishes.  If you havent been to their site, Mike and Keeley are the best furniture painters ever, they deserve to win an emmy, if painting furniture was a category.

This card catalog was a little different from our last in that this one didn’t have a casing and was just individual sections. With our last one we were able to re-use the sides and maintain even more of its vintage state, but with this baby we had to build the whole casing. No worries though, it still turned out great!

Yep that’s right we have 8 of the card catalog sections, so a third buffet will be coming soon.


J went to Lowe’s and had some oak plywood cut to size.  J needed 2 4’X8′ sheets of plywood and had 5 pieces cut; 1 bottom, 1 top, 1 back, and 2 side panels.

We used the same legs and trim as we did on our last one.  So J purchased 8 legs and 8 leg plate attachments.

We mapped out where the legs were going to go and attached them to the underside of the bottom piece of plywood.

Once all 8 legs were attached it was time to start attaching the sections one by one (or 2×2, math joke :))

Once the sections were attached to each other and the base, it was time to attach the back, sides, and finally the top.  All pieces were attached by screws from the inside of the cabinet.

Stainable rope trim was purchased from Lowe’s and attached with wood glue and our nail gun.

Once everything was attached and all the gaps were filled with putty and sanded it was time to stain the piece.  We were very worried that we wouldn’t be able to match the stain of the drawers but after testing a few out we decided that the dark walnut minwax stain matched well enough. so we started applying.

Once all the sides were stained J sealed it with our favorite wipe on poly.

Moving it to Modern Manor was the only difficult part of this process, since we worked out all the unknowns on our first attempt.  This thing weighs like 400 lbs and it tough to move, but we used a moving company and were happy to save our backs.  We were so happy to not have to paint each drawer and be able to finish this in just a few hours instead of multiple days like the first one.  Also we were even more surprised when this sold so quick, guess its a little credit to our ability and a little credit to MM for having awesome customers who jump at cool pieces.

So what do you guys think?  Like it better or worse than ours?  What should we do for the third one, J is thinking of painting the outside of the third a crisp shiny white and leaving the wood tone in the middle for a nice contrast.  Any other ideas?



  1. says

    It’s awesome! So brilliant to turn those card cabinets to a Buffett. So great love both truly. I honestly don’t think u need another design, i say stick to the two that work 🙂

    Don’t you just love handyman husbands? It’s so nice!

  2. says

    Im so glad yall like this one just as much! We were really happy with how close the stain is to the drawers. You really cant tell a difference at all in person! We already have another person wanting the third one, so we will see what they want- but I think they are leaning towards the stain again. We love working on these! Such statement pieces.

  3. Jennifer says

    I am so in love with this piece, and especially your personal piece in your house. I have been looking for years to find a card catalogue like this or close to it! Where do you find so many of them?

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