Wednesday, May 01, 2013

before & after - bar sideboard

I bought this big chunk piece of furniture at Goodwill three years ago.  It is a good quality piece and I assume some sort of vintage {although I don't know how old}.  I remember eyeing this piece at Goodwill and loving how unique it was, so I paid the $45 and took it home.  

The bar in its original state.

The piece was originally intended to be a bar.  If you lift the top, there is a faux marble shelf for mixing drinks and a mirror that says "Ollie's Saloon."  I left the mirror for the kitsch factor.   The doors {which I removed} have holders for glasses and bottles.   I have them in the garage and they can always be reinstalled but I could not handle stripping anymore paint

At the time I bought this bar, we were living in a much smaller house and I had no room for a bar sideboard in our dining or living room.  So, I decided to put it in my guest room/studio for storage.  I sanded off the original stain and painted it a very pale mint green.

This piece sat in the guest room/studio for months and was perfect.  When we moved to our current house, I knew I wanted to re-do it {again} and bring it back to its bar glory, but with a facelift.  

That was three years ago.  I work slow ;).  

The bar has sat in my kitchen holding wine, water, beer, and all sorts of other junk.  The minty green color was simply wrong for the kitchen and I was sick of it.  

In order to transform my bar, I decided to add small tapered legs {bought here} to give it a sleeker look.  I also stripped the paint, stained the wood a rich color, painted the interior, and removed the doors. 

I love the new legs.  I stained them the same color as the bar and painted the feet {which were silver} with copper craft paint.

Stripping paint is SO much work.  I had no idea.  I tried a homemade solution but all it did was create a big goopy mess. Then I attempted to just sand off the paint.  Yeah, no.  Don't ever do that.

Finally I went to Lowe's and found an all natural, low odor paint thinner that worked like a charm.  The paint peeled off in strips.  

Once I had the paint off the piece, I had to sand, which was crazy tedious.  The edges of this piece have all sorts of grooves so I had to use my larger sander, my dremel tool, and sand paper. I scraped away until all the little specks of paint were removed.  It was such a pain in the ass.

Lesson learned - never paint a piece of furniture again unless I want it to stay that way forever!

I was going to keep the doors in tact, but they have a lot of grooves and I lost patience with the sanding/stripping/scraping that was involved in this project.  So, I decided to make the bar door-less.

Since this piece was going to be open, I knew the inside needed some work.  I went with turquoise for the bottom, back, and shelf and gray for the sides.  If I get sick of the color, I can always refinish the doors and reattach them.  

This little project ended up taking me three weekends {partly due to the fact that I easily lost patience with the scraping and sanding} and cost about $30 {paint, stain, and the new tapered legs}. I already had lots of sand paper and painter's tape.

I love the end result.  It fits perfectly in our dining room and adds a little bit of unique style.  

Above the bar I hung three oversized photos I had printed at Staples.  All three were taken last Christmas when we were in Ireland.   The black and white photos only cost about $3 to print and the colored one was $20.

Interior blue paint - Martha Stewart sunken pool {a sample size was sufficient}
Interior gray paint - Martha Stewart winter's day {a sample size was sufficient}
Wood stain - Minwax English Chestnut {8 oz size was sufficient}


  1. LOVE this! I am looking for something very similar to revamp our bar area. We currently have a large wine rack I picked up at Goodwill for $10 when we moved in 2 years ago. Now I want something with shelves and a bit more storage so I can get the booze out of the kitchen - because I need more space for all my kitchen appliances! Love the way you hung the photos too - I'm going to do that as it'll be the perfect filler for the space too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. anytime! the photos do add a nice touch/cover up a big blank wall. also, they were so inexpensive, I can easily change them out if I get sick of them :).

  2. That looks precious. Great job!


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