Trash to Treasure: Tribal Sideboard Makeover

18 Materials
1 Week

If, like me, you're a sucker for a good before and after, then you'll love this $5 sideboard transformation!
Although this particular project is pretty full-on (thanks to the decrepit condition of my piece to begin with - and the fact I'm maybe, probably, definitely slightly insane!), achieving the same look using any less needy item of furniture is easy!
Given the complete tutorial is quite detailed (and contains about one zillion photos!), I've summarised it for Home Talk. You can find the full how-to here on my blog.
I bought this old sideboard “sight unseen” (after a friend sent me a photo) because I loved the clean mid-century lines and generous proportions.
I also really liked the fact it looked so disheveled. I mean, that probably sounds weird, however I love “sow’s ear to silk purse” makeovers, and knew I could do something completely transformative with this piece.
And how bad could it be, right?
Turns out, pretty bad.
Sadly, the existing drawers, doors and panels were just too damaged to be salvaged so the first thing I did was strip the sideboard down to its underwear. Fortunately, it was wearing a really sturdy pair of y-fronts.
I know that removing all of its clothing seems really extreme, and trust me, it's not the kind of makeover I would want to tackle too often, however adding some new plywood doors and panels was actually the easiest solution in this case.
No construction or joinery was necessary. Just some cutting and attaching.
Once the boring structural side of things was taken care of, it was time for the fun bit - dressing it up!
To give the sideboard some "wow", I decided to stain the doors in a rich honey brown then add a crisp white pop in the form of a spanning tribal style stencil. I stained and stenciled both the exteriors and interiors of the doors for a fun peek-a-boo detail.
To finish, I painted the body in a warm blue-grey, hit the feet tips with some fresh gold spray-paint and added some simple brass tab pulls.
I am so in love with the way this sideboard turned out!
It's earthy, and moody, and bold and stylish, and man, it packs one mighty lovely punch! If I do say so myself :)
Like I mentioned earlier, this particular makeover is pretty full-on, though you could easily create the same look by stenciling any ready-to-go piece of furniture.
I hope you like it and that it helps inspire!
Visit my blog post here for further photos, the full tutorial - which covers each stage in detail - and all of the product source info.
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Kristine | The Painted Hive

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 19 questions
  • Martha
    on Jan 14, 2019

    I absolutely love the Hawaiian/tropical/tribal vibe your piece gives off. Do you have any idea how much you could sell similar pieces for? A lot! A lot a lot! Where can I find that awesome stencil?

    • Lisa
      on Jan 21, 2019

      This is an amazingly beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing.

  • Shay
    on Jan 14, 2019

    this is awesome! can you tell me where you got the stencil?

  • Julie
    on Jan 15, 2019

    After you stain it, do you have to put a sealer or something on it so the paint will stick? I thought stain was a oily product ???

    • Kristine | The Painted Hive
      on Jan 22, 2019

      Yes, you could use an oil based paint though they tend not to be the best for stencilling as they can be more tacky to apply and take much longer to dry.

Join the conversation

2 of 338 comments
  • Ms. G
    on Oct 20, 2019

    WOW! You are a woman of vision!

    This piece is a total transformation!

    well done.

  • Debbie
    7 days ago

    Really cute! I love the stencil and the colors you put together..very nice..

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