antique sideboard makeover 6 thumb

My friend Carrie had an old vintage waterfall sideboard in her house that I was just dying to get my hands on. It was absolutely gorgeous with beautiful ornate embellishments and amazing detail. This piece had been in her family a long time.   Her parents bought it at an auction in the 1960s and it has been in their home until Carrie got it about 10 years ago.   It had taken a lot of abuse over the years and it was cracked, drawn on, carved into and in overall rough shape.   However, it still has major potential to be a statement piece in her home so she commissioned me to make it shine again.

antique sideboard makeover (6)

antique sideboard makeover (8)

1.   I started out filling the spots that I could fill with wood filler.   I had to apply a few coats sanding in between to get an even surface.

antique sideboard makeover (15)

antique sideboard makeover (16)

2.   However, the doors were in such bad shape that I had to cut and glue trim around the edges to cover up the veneer that was peeled back.   I chose a pine trim with slight cuts in it to keep with the overall design.

antique sideboard makeover (5)

antique sideboard makeover (1)


3.   I sanded the whole piece down with 100 grit and then 180 grit sandpaper to give it enough tooth for the primer to stick to.   Then I washed the entire piece down.   Now it was ready for primer.   I used a black primer by Rustoleum.   Doesn’t the added trim look like it was there all along?


I know some of you are dying that I painted it.   But there was no way I could restore it to its former beauty with all the missing wood and cracks.   That is above my pay grade Winking smile

4.   Then I used my air sprayer and air compressor and blasted the whole thing with some satin latex black paint.

black antique sideboard (3)

black antique sideboard (7)

Click here to see part 2 of the makeover.

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  1. Usually, I feel bad when an antique is painted BUT that piece had not really been living to its full potential for a loooong time. If restoring it or sending it off to someone to refinish isn’t feasible, then I say go for it! It looks fabulous so far–love the trim you added!

  2. Not that you need to be told how to do anything, but maybe some Rub N’ Buff on the details. Whatever you do with it, I am sure it will be amazing. Can’t wait to see part 2.

  3. My dad used to go on & on about ruining the “value” of an antique by painting it…while I always felt that if it looked bad & wasn’t useful, then there really wasn’t any value to begin with…I recently talked with someone who does restorations on true antiques & she said that if a piece is in bad shape, it doesn’t matter if it is an antique…the value is already lost because of the damage! Just what I’ve thought all along! Yippee! Your restoration looks wonderful already & I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  4. OH!!!!! I have a similar buffet and table/chairs in process in my garage. Will need to send you a photo! I have sanded/stripped…..not done yet….. the table. Have dried on Citrastrip to get off. nasty work. But going for a raw wood look. same bulbous legs….not sure what to do with the buffet or where to use it as the sides (part that shows if in dining room) is cheap wood while some of drawer/door fronts are burl wood. May use buffet in entry or family room as media cabinet. Great job you are doing! Mine was given to my grandmother ( who would have been 125 if she was still here!!)by a friend of hers….. 50’s ??

  5. I’ve been debating and debating trying to contact you to commission you to do something similar to an end table for me. I live on the westside of Indy (Brownsburg) so we’re close. But I’ve been dithering thinking you’d freak out if some random internet person contacted you. I swear I’m not an internet stalker! 🙂

  6. Oh my gosh, it’s going to be AMAZING! I just love the black. Can’t wait to see the finished piece!

  7. Wow they are probably close in the same age. I wish she could have restored hers back to original wood but I definitely couldn’t have done it. I think the painted one looks beautiful though and will continue to be a showcased piece in her house.

  8. Oh that makes me feel so good! I know I get that all the time from my mom when I paid stuff. But this was in bad shape and impossible for me to restore to its original condition. I love the way it turned out.

  9. mine is buried in the garage as my husband downsized hsi business and lots so STUFF in the garage now. I will try to get some photos to send you. It has a mixture of woods. The same diagonal oak grain in the drawers but 2 are beautiful burled wood grain..the sides look like ugly brown stained plywood. No one ever knows what I mean when I say it is waterfall….but you do! Yay!

    I just had my husband look at yours and he really liked it! He thinks ours is ugleeee as he is not good at visualizing a makeover 🙂

  10. Hi Beckie! I’ve been searching the net for months with no results to learn about a sideboard a acquired for $20 from a guy that needed to get it out of his apt. hallway since he had no room in his apt. With slightly different search words yours popped up–and mine is exactly like yours! I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like finding a long lost relative (lol). I would so appreciate it if you could give me any info at all, such as approx. age, wood type, etc. He painted it white then black and distressed it in a really pretty way that makes it look like it has a coating of fairy dust. He thought it had been mahogany but I have no way of knowing. The only thing I would change is I wish I knew of a way to bring out the ornamentation more. I love this sideboard and have developed a real love of old furniture over the past year. I was glad to find your site because I want to learn how to remake thrift store finds to make them beautiful again as you have done. Any info you could give me about this sideboard–I now know it is called waterfall–would be greatly appreciated. With regards, Diane

  11. I have one of these it is very similar, but in much better condition, what would you price its worth at.

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