Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I wanted to share the step by step process of the Ethan Allen Sideboard restyling project I have completed for the wedding.

After snagging this guy for free in Santa Barbara. It took me some time to decide on what and how I was going to restyle it so I could then use it in my wedding.

I ended up putting around $150 into it with supplies purchased at Home Depot, Ace Hardware and The Hardware hut.

Items purchased from Home Depot:
1 Gallon Behr Interior Satin Finish Swiss Coffee paint $26
1 Quart Klean Strip Stripper $8.33
1 Quart Minwax Water-based Satin Finish Polyurethane $16.57
1 2 1/2 inch Purdy Brush $11.85

Total $62.75

Items purchased from Ace Hardware:
1 can flat black spray paint $2.34
6 Cabinet knobs $7.74
Total $10.08

Items purchased from The Hardware Hut:
8 Black cabinet pulls $77

Grand total of $149.83

Now I will go over step by step what I did from start to finish to get the sideboard to it's end result.

This sideboard was pretty beat up with scratches, nail polish, random stickers and missing hardware. SO I had to devote quite some time to get this guy looking right.

Step 1

Make sure you have enough space for a clean working area. You then want to use a tarp, drop cloth or in my case an old cardboard box to cover the surface you will be working on. (unless you do not care about paint splatters)

Step 2

Take off all hardware, doors and drawers. Make sure to put the screws and hardware in one place where they will not get lost or mixed up.

Step 3

Remove any paint or old lacquer from the surface of the furniture. I used Klean Strip Stripper, which I applied with a cheap brush. Make sure to wear chemical safe gloves when doing this, along with some clothing you do not care about getting stained. Do this in a well ventilated area or outdoors if possible. (The most environmentally safe way to do this is to sand off the old finish. Even that can become hazardous!)

Step 4

After applying the stripper you should wait about 15 minutes according to the directions on the container. I waited 30 minutes as some finishes and paints can take a little longer to remove. Then you can use a plastic scrapper or a metal one to remove the stripper from the surfaces. This can get messy so I suggest having a trash bag handy to throw all your scrapings into. Remember to wear your chemical safe gloves for this step as well.

When you have scraped off all the stripper clean the surface of any remaining remnants with a moist cloth or towel. Wait 24 hours prior to the next step so the surface can dry completely.

Repeat this step again if you are not happy with the result of one coat of stripper. If you choose to do this make sure to purchase the 1 gallon size container of Stripper. It is always better to have extra than not having enough.

Step 5

Sand down the surface to remove any unwanted scratches, bumps or to smooth out any uneven areas. I used a 100 grit sanding block and only lightly sanded each flat surface. Then remove the dust from sanding with a tack cloth, which you can also purchase form Home Depot in the paint department.

Step 6

Apply your first coat of paint or wood stain depending on the end result that you seek. If you are going to stain the wood i suggest applying a coat of Wood Conditioner, aslos sold at Home Depot. This will allow the wood to absorb the stain quicker and more evenly. You can use a brush or a roller, again this depends on the size of the surface and how you want it to look. I choose to a foam roller and to paint this sideboard with Swiss Coffee satin finish paint by Behr. The reason for this is that it would match our wedding colors and fit in my craft room really well. I will be using it to store paper goods for card making and all my fabrics after the wedding. Wait 24 hours prior to painting on the second coat if needed.

Step 7

Paint on any additional coats of wood stain or paint and allow 24 hours of drying time. Apply the Polyurethane finish once all coats of paint or wood stain are completely dry. I used water-based polyurethane since the paint is water-based as well. If you use oil based paint, then you would want to use oil based polyurethane. Just remember that oil based finishes and paint have a stronger chemical sent (so do this in a well ventilated are or outdoors) and they take longer to dry.

Step 8

Attach all your hardware. I had to sand down the hinges a little because of some rust and then I spay painted them flat black to match the new hardware I had purchased.

A great resource for design and restyling ideas is DesignSponge, Martha Stewart.com and Home Depot does have free how to classes in store. Check with your local store for dates and times.

Here are some shots of the process and result.

With the Klean Strip Stripper applied

Second coat of paint drying

Almost done. Just a few pulls and knobs are missing.


  1. i LOVE this sideboard! This is definitely something you'll be able to add to your home decor after wards!

  2. thank you and I actually am pretty happy with it too. I might change the knobs to squares ones to match better with the modern feel of the pulls.

  3. Can't believe you scored it for free. Love the shape and all the drawers.