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All it takes is ten simple steps to turn an outdated and broken vintage sideboard into a modern and chic bar. This DIY furniture makeover is brought to you by expert DIYer, Francesca Stone from Fall for DIY.

DIY Sideboard Makeover styled before and after pin

I love a piece of furniture with a story behind it, and this one has had quite a bit of a journey. Most of it unknown to me but even during our time together we’ve been making stories.

I rescued this sideboard from the skip. I dragged it out and into my tiny car and unfortunately it did not make it unscathed! But I knew that with a little love and care, we could turn this into something special. Now that was two years ago! Perhaps it’s story is why in all this time I haven’t given up hope on it and got something new and finished to replace it.

So today I am finally giving this lovely piece a makeover. And transforming it into something much more contemporary and fitting for my living room. The doors were falling off, so I’m rebuilding the front and creating an easy, simple sliding door set up.


  • Stripwood (in different sizes – we’ll show you how to measure up)
  • Saw
  • Plastic T-Section
  • Strong wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Plywood panels
  • White contact paper
  • White melamine edging
  • Furniture paint
  • Sandpaper – a variety of grades
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • 22mm Wooden drill bit

I suggest you read through all of these instructions prior to attempting a similar project. You will have to tailor the sizes of the strip wood to fit with your sideboard, so have a measuring tape and pencil handy to work it all out before buying the materials.

 Step 1:

DIY Furniture Makeover
  • Empty and clean the entire sideboard. Remove the door and draws and all of the fixtures and fittings too.

 Step 2:

  • Sand down the legs and paint them and the insides of the cupboards.

 Step 3:

Sideboard DIY Project
  • Measure the length of the sideboard. You’re first piece of strip wood is going to run along the bottom of the sideboard. To work out the size of this wood take the length of the sideboard x 20mm (for the doors to run along) + any extra you need to line it up with the top of the sideboard x the height the wood that is already there – you want to cover this. Once you have measured and cut your wood, glue into place using clamps to keep it steady. Don’t worry if you need to use more than one piece as we’ll be covering it up later.

 Step 4:

Sideboard Makeover
  • Once this first piece is secure then measure up to the top of the sideboard. Your next pieces of strip wood need to be this length x the depth up to the new piece of wood x the width of the existing vertical piece. This fits perfectly with the top of the sideboard but if you need to, measure and glue a strip into place along the top.

 Step 5:

Midcentury Sideboard Makeover
  • Measure another piece of strip wood the length of the sideboard x 5mm x 40mm. Glue this to the top of the frame so it lines up with the top of the sideboard. Hold in place with masking tape.

 Step 6:

  • Now you should have an even frame around the entire front of the sideboard and we’re almost done with the measuring and gluing. Measure the area inside this frame. Take 5mm of the height and add 5mm to the width. Divide the length in two. You will need two pieces of plywood measuring this number x the height x 9mm.

 Step 7:

Step by Step Furniture Makeover - Midcentury Buffet to Bar
  • Place the plywood sheets into the frame and mark off the points for the finger holes. Take them back out and drill the holes.

 Step 8:

  • Cut two pieces of plastic T-section the length of inside the frame. Glue one of these to the top of the frame behind the longer piece of wood. Once this is dry place the back piece of wood along the back of the t-section. Glue the second t-section in place along the bottom of the frame so the plywood runs along it. Place the second sliding door into the front of the top and bottom t-sections.
Take a second to admire your work. We’re almost done.

 Step 9:

Midcentury Sideboard Makeover
  • Cut one last piece of wood to hold this front panel in place. This should measure the length of the sideboard x 5mm x the height of the bottom piece of wood + 20mm. Glue this in place along the bottom making sure no glue seeps up to where the sliding panels are. Keep them moving to make sure they don’t get stuck in place.

 Step 10:

  • Sand down any uneven edges and cover all but the sliding doors in the contact paper using a squeegee to ensure there are no air bubbles. Cover the edges with melamine edging tape, pressing with an iron to secure in place.

Now you should have a beautiful new sideboard that is worth all that measuring and cutting!

More Resources:

About the Author

Francesca Stone

Francesca writes the DIY/Crafts blog Fall For DIY, a place to explore her hands on side and her life long love of making. As a Textile Design graduate, Francesca has always believed in combining craft with design to create something that is beautifully handmade. This ethos is a recurring theme throughout her blog and her creative startup We Make Collective.

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