Easy Farmhouse Style Sideboard/Buffet Makeover

10 Materials
4 Hours

I love smaller pieces. They always sell well and can fit in a multitude of places.

When I saw this single drawer sideboard, I knew it was going to get a simple makeover.

The farmhouse style is still very much a trend here at the Jersey shore, and this piece already gave me a rustic vibe, so that's the direction I went 😁

Grab your paint and a paintbrush and let's have some fun!

Strip down the top

I always leave some of the wood on my pieces. The contrast between paint and wood has always been a love of mine!

I decided that I wanted the top to be a bit darker, so I stripped the 10 layers of varnish off of it

I prefer jasco brand stripper. It works within minutes and gets the job done in one application usually. Bit, you can use any stripper you'd like.

Apply a layer of stripper to the area, wait a few minutes, then take a putty knife and scrape off the gunk.

Then wipe down with mineral spirits to remove any residue


Place a garbage can with a liner at the end of the piece, then scrape the gunk right off of the side and into the garbage. Then remove the bag and throw it away! Easy peasy clean up!

Sand The Wood

Now that you've stripped the wood and cleaned it up with mineral spirits, it's time to sand off any stain.

I prefer a random orbital sander. It gets the job done rather quickly in the sanding world and leaves a smooth even area.

The one thing to remember when sanding is to let the sander do the work for you. Don't apply pressure, if you do, you'll end up with swirl marks all over and uneven wood. It takes time and patience, but totally worth it!

Make sure the wood is dry, and start with 120 grit..get down to the natural wood and remove any scratches.

Then switch to 150 or 180 grit (whichever you have) and smooth it out, remove any remaining stain or scratches.

Then switch to 220 grit. This will smooth it all out and leave you with gorgeous wood!

Apply Prestain and wood stain

Minwax makes a Prestain product. This helps the wood stain apply evenly.

Follow the directions on the can and apply a layer of Prestain.

Once that's dry, you can apply the wood stain.

I used Minwax dark walnut.

Put on some gloves, a dip a rag/paper towel/brush into the wood stain. Wipe it on going with the direction of the grain. Then, using a clean rag/paper towel, remove the excess stain, again, going with the grain.

Once the stain was dry, I sealed with wax.

This piece will be used as a Decor piece mainly, so I wasn't worried about the durability of using wax. If you use a topcoat, know what you're using. If you used an oil based stain, be sure that you wait 72 hours afterwards if using a waterbased topcoat . Oil based topcoats can be used immediately


The most important part! Your finish is only as good as your prep! Don't fall for those "no prep necessary" paints. You will never get a long lasting finish when painting over dirt and grease.

I use Frenchic's Sugar Soap to clean my pieces. But you can also grab krud kutter from Walmart or totally awesome from the dollar store. They also work great for cleaning pieces before painting them.

Wipe down the entire piece with your cleaner, scrubbing if necessary.

Then, take 220 grit sandpaper and do a quick scuff sand over any areas that will be painted. This gives the paint something to really grip to

Finally, wipe down with water and remove any dust

Paint your piece

I used Frenchic's Wedding Cake, a beautiful off white. I only needed two coats, but depending on the paint you use, you may need more.

After the paint was dry, I slightly distressed the edges and where the knobs sit using 220 grit sandpaper.

This paint has a built-in topcoat, so it may take some muscle to distress


Even tho Wedding Cake has a built-in topcoat and doesn't need to be sealed, I still need to apply clear wax, explained in the next step 😁

Apply clear wax to the entire painted area.

Frenchic Furniture Wax is so creamy and easy to use, it leaves such a beautiful sheen even when I don't buff!

If you use a different wax, be sure to read the directions because most need to be buffed.

I use terry cloth sponges from Amazon to apply my wax. They're even washable, so I get many uses out of them

Apply Browning Wax

For me, Frenchic's Browning Wax is a must for my farmhouse pieces!

The wax gives it an aged look

Always always apply clear wax before any colored wax. Most paints, especially chalk like paints, soak up the wax instantly. By applying clear wax first, you have more work time with Browning Wax and can blend it in.

Using a small brush, apply the browning wax over any details, edges, corners, nooks and crannies. Then wipe with a paper towel.

Work in small sections so that the wax doesn't dry before you remove the excess


I love wooden knobs with Redesign With Prima's knob transfers!

I painted the wood knobs with Wedding Cake, then sanded off most of the paint.

Then applied the transfer. Cut out one of the knob transfers and remove the white backing (be careful the design is sticky! So don't touch the design itself), while hovering over the knob, position the design where you want it. Once you have it perfect, press it down onto the knob. Once you press it down, it can't be moved! Using your fingernail, rub over the entire design using slight pressure. Then remove the clear protective layer and burnish (rub over it with a clean rag/paper towel while pressing down slightly) the design. Then seal with wax or your favorite topcoat

Add any extras

I like to go the extra mile with my pieces, so I typically add in drawer liners and do something fun on the drawer sides. This piece got a beige linen textured contact paper for the liner, and a mud cloth pattern stenciled on the drawer sides

Sit back and enjoy your creation ♥️

You can find all of the Frenchic and Redesign with Prima products in my Etsy shop


I hope this has inspired you to create a beautiful farmhouse look 🥰

Resources for this project:

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2 of 7 comments
  • Kyralee Kyralee on Dec 31, 2020

    The whole piece is so well done! That top is just gorgeous. I love to see the natural wood.

  • Carole White Carole White on Jan 01, 2021

    Gorgeous...love your attention to detail! Thanks for sharing