Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sideboard Makeover

A few months ago I picked up this fabulous solid oak sideboard at an estate auction for an absolute steal. I loved the 40's decor detail and the fact that it was in such superb condition.

The varnished wood look does not fit with the look I want so I set about giving it a makeover for its new life in my home. After an expensive trip to Bunnings (I am incapable of leaving that place for less than $100) I set about about stripping off the stain.

This took some time.

Eventually, a butterfly emerged. Lovely and natural, light and oaky and a little bit rustic. I was torn. I had planned to paint it but this new layer that had unveiled itself was an unexpected delight.
I decided to sleep on it.
After coming to the conclusion that it would be wrong to paint over such a lovely natural piece of oak antique furniture. I went outside to tidy away the striping paraphernalia and give my new sideboard a light sand before coating it in a clear, natural, matte finish.

It was then that I learned a valuable lesson about wood, metal, the sun and what happens if you leave them alone for a couple of days whilst deciding how to finish off your furniture restoration/upcyling project.

I had stupidly left the empty paint stripper cans on top of the sideboard. I picked them up to reveal two very black rings that appeared to be bleeding into the wood in all directions like black rays of sunshine. Shit.

I sanded. I scrubbed. I even tried the left over paint stripper. (This brought back memories of a horrible time when I was about 10 and I accidentally left a hot iron face down on the carpet, and then spent ages scrubbing, bleaching and even trying to trim away the burnt bits of carpet. Before giving in and deciding my only hope was to blame my brother. Yep, I know what you're thinking…. What kind of mother makes their 10 year old do ironing?!)

So, that was it. Back to the drawing board. Well, painting (side)board actually.
As we had a party planned that night I moved it inside anyway and covered the black rings as best I could with some vases etc and we enjoyed its somewhat battered looking naturalness for a little while longer before I decided on the final look.

Many hours were spent turning pages of interior design mags, searching through blogs and staring at the wall of paint sample cards at Bunnings before deciding on the final look. Boring? Perhaps… Safe? Yes I suppose…. Do I love it? Yes. I do. You simply cannot go wrong with Black and white.

With a sort of Chanel/Mary Quant flavour in mind, I decided on sleek, glossy black lacquer finish with these adorable rose drawer pulls that I found at Anthropologie.

I think this look will work fabulously surrounded by both old and new pieces and I do prefer the crisper, cleaner, more striking look than its earlier natural state.

I am so pleased with the result and after all the kerfuffle, I think that in the end it was the best outcome. This look is much more me and with a few changes to the choice of artwork on the wall above and some fun accessories, it is now my favourite spot in the house. For now at least anyway. x


  1. Wow! this looks amazing.More interesting than the refurbished wood that everyone does. Your Chanel/Quant description is very appropriate. Love the anthropologie handles. Clever you, I'll forgive the ironing remark.

  2. Thanks Mum, Glad you like it. I have to say, now that I am now a step mum who is trying to get 10ish year olds to do housework, I think you were a genius to have had me doing the ironing even if i did burn the carpet! You are my idol x

  3. Hi! I am actually going to paint my own dresser soon. What type of paint and tools did you use to get the black to come out so solid?

  4. Wow that is beautiful masterpiece!


  5. You did a great job on this piece. What kind of paint did you use to get the lacquer finish?


Thanks so much for stopping by, I love to read your comments. x

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