Card Catalog Converted into Buffet Table Tutorial

Oh my goodness, I have been putting off doing this blog post forever and finally am going to do it. We have had the piece for like a year now, so about time…right!?!

So, I have always liked the look of a library card holder and then I saw it…it was on a blog called Dream Book Design and I knew I had to have it. I mentioned it to my mother-in-law and like a dream, she called me a week later and said she found one on Craigslist in Champaign, IL (where they live) for $200. They are normally much more expensive than that, so yea! Needless to say, we made a trip down to pick it up the very next day! It was in pristine shape, so we felt terrible cutting it in half and painting it, but we wanted a buffet, so we prayed for a good result, and then dug right in!

So on Dream Book Design, their piece came right apart, so we were thinking ours would have the sides come off and be pretty little boxes inside to work with. WRONG!! Ours was made so incredibly well and would not budge, so we had to saw it half. My heart was in my throat the whole time. Joe was the one who did it, he was brave enough. 

Step 1: Tape down the center of the piece. Have one side of the blue tape be the center so you can cut along the blue line. Be careful to make sure it is done right because you will have two different sized pieces at the end if you don’t.

Thankfully Joe cut perfectly and they were almost perfectly the same height.

Step 2: We took a wedge and hammered the wedge to get both sides off. This was very challenging as it was glued very tight. This was probably the most difficult part of the whole project because we didn’t want to hammer too hard and mess up the rails that the drawers sit on.

Step 3: Take out all of the drawers and there are a TON of them 🙂 We didn’t need to number them because our drawers fit the slots universally. If yours is a bit tattered when you receive it, I would number the drawers so you don’t have to play puzzle pieces when you put it back together.

Step 4: Take off all of the hardware from the front of the drawers. 60 drawers + 6 screws each = a lot of screwing! Then we painted the front of each of the drawers with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the Paris Grey color. We always use Annie Sloan because we are incredibly lazy when it comes to sanding and you don’t have to sand the piece when using her paint. It is truly incredible! A little on the pricier side, but it is worth is in time because you don’t have to sand and you only need one coat. We only used one coat on the whole piece. Amazing stuff!

Step 5: Sorry I don’t have a picture of this step, but it is truly easy. You make a box around the piece. We were able to use the back, front and bottom of the piece and we added the two sides and the top. We went to Home Depot and bought a sheet of 3/4 inch Pine Plywood. We then measured the two sides and cut them to size and then measured the top and added it. Make sure if you have them cut at Home Depot, which they do very nicely, that you add 1.5 to the top measurement to account for the two sides you are adding. Otherwise you will have it too short when you go to put it on.

Step 6: Paint the piece….nough said! 

Step 7: We put on 8 legs because the piece is so heavy and we wanted to make sure it held sturdy. We love these legs you can buy at Home Depot. They are so easy to put on and look really nice. 

Step 8: Then we put it right side up and we added the trim from Home Depot to the two sides and the front. We painted it before we added it on. You can easily add it on with a nail gun, but if you don’t have one of those, wood glue will most definitely do the trick!

Step 9: To make it look a little more dimensional, I added dark BriWax stain to the areas of the piece that would have been used the most frequently. Be very careful to use a brush that puts it on lightly so that you have control over the look. 

Step 10: Enjoy the beautiful new piece in your house and all the compliments that will come with it. (note: it was tough getting the right angle as it is in a narrow hallway and #2 our house doesn’t get any natural light so that is why the light is weird…bummer.)

Step 11: Figure out what the heck you can put it the tiny drawers. So far, we have put wine bottles, ribbon, leashes, gloves…

Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

                                                                                     Featured on:

Creative Kristi

Share Post
  • That looks fantastic! Great Idea!

    August 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm
  • Awesome! I might have been tempted to just re-stain it, but it looks lovely painted.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm
    • I was tempted to re-stain it too, but when I saw how many drawers would require sanding, I thought Annie Sloan paint sounded really nice 🙂

      August 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm
  • Gorgeous! What a job it must have been!

    August 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm
  • step 11 is my favorite! hmmmmm. love letters, skeleton keys, secret recipes, diamonds. wait wha? i love love love this piece and the color!

    found you via MMS’s party where i’m partying too. would love to have you as a follower.

    smiles and happy weekend.


    August 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm
  • This is awesome! Although, I totally would not have been brave enough to actually saw it in half! A card catalogue is definitely on my list of things I want/need. I found your link at The Ironstone Nest and am now following you.

    Have a great day!


    August 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    • It took a lot of guts. It sat down there for a long time! Love your blog, following you!

      August 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm
  • your card catalog turned out beautiful, i would love to feature it if this would be ok with you please let me know.

    August 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm
  • that turned out so great!!

    August 24, 2012 at 6:18 am
  • Great piece! Visting from Transformation Tuesday. Come check me out when you can. Love the ASCP!!

    August 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm
  • Just started following your blog, lovin it so far 🙂

    August 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm
  • Stacy Burgess

    If you were doing this for someone who had the card catalogue, what would you charge? (for labor)

    February 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm
    • MegMade

      Hi Stacy! We would charge $2500 to do this. It is a very complicated and laborious project! Thanks for the inquiry 🙂

      March 1, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Post a Comment