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Sideboard Upcycle Ideas – 23 Things to Do with Your Bit on the Side

Whether you call yours a sideboard, a buffet or a console table, your bit on the side can say a lot about you. Traditionally a sideboard was used in the dinning room to store the dinner service but in modern homes anything goes. They can find a space in nearly any room in the house and can house anything from your interior decorating magazine stash to kids toys. We’ve compiled some of our favourite sideboard upcycle ideas to inspire you to use these often forgotten pieces of furniture as a real statement piece in your home.

Go Geometric

This geometric trend is nothing new, it’s been around for a while now, but it still makes an impact. It’s hard to achieve without a heck of a lot of frog tape and patience but when it goes right it goes really right. And all three of these photos are fabulously demonstrating how to use your sideboard to artfully display your knick hacks and artwork in a casual meets staged kind of way….what could be more modern?

Traditional with a Golden Twist

vintage buffet with gold drawers

When your sideboard is so grand it’s called a buffet its time to go gold or go home. At least that is what Julia Clare decided when she chanced upon this walnut and mahogany veneer vintage buffet. She retained its period charm but added a modern splash of gold inside the drawers. Check out her How to Guide here that explains how to achieve the same look yourself.

vintage console table with gold
Photo: Second Chance Studios

Here is another example of old meets gold by Second Chance Studios. This stunning console table (still a sideboard to you and me) shows that you can retain a traditional feel even when you are going bold and modern with gold accents. This stunning contrast just screams expensive doesn’t it. Try experimenting on your own upcycle projects with some gold leaf and see what you can achieve.

Wallflower Fabulous

Some of these floral looks are harder to achieve than others. Obviously if you are going to attempt to paint your flowers on free hand you need to be confident you have the skill to achieve the look you’re after. But there are other ways to get a similar look. The Estuary Designs look above (the pink one!) is probably the easiest of these to achieve. For the floral print try wallpaper offcuts or decoupage paper cut to size and applied with some mod podge. .

Here are a few options we found for the floral print:

Here are a few options for the knobs as well:

For the Ruby Lux example (white one with large flowers) this actually was hand painted but we think a floral themed furniture transfer could achieve a similar look if you pick the right one.

Farmhouse Chic

What Upcycler does’t like a bit of farmhouse chic every now and again. A classic style for a sideboard upcycle and certainly more understated than the other options we are showcasing in this article. For when you actually want the focal point of the room to not be the sideboard! The first photo is actually an upcycled IKEA piece.

We found some shallow wicker baskets that would work for a project like this but obviously you’d need to measure your own sideboard shelves to make sure they’ll fit! Alternatively you could use a shallow boot shoe box and cover it with decorative paper for a more original look. See this gift box tutorial guide and just up the scale a bit to make your shelve baskets the right size.

Encyclopedia Chic

Is encyclopaedia chic a real term? If it isn’t it should be because we see these vintage encyclopaedia style prints everywhere these days. Because this style of print and wallpaper has become so popular it should be easy enough to find a print you can use to achieve a similar look. Depending how big an area you want to cover you could try using prints or we found a few examples of decoupage paper that fit the bill.

Butterfly decoupage paper
classification decoupage paper


Did I hear you say stencils are out? Not a bit of it. If your stencils are out of style you just need new ones! This is a fabulous alternative to add some super intricate design without having to try your hand at hand painting – which frankly just isn’t everyone’s forte. We’ve found some great and very affordable stencils similar to the ones used for these projects. Stencil Fantastic! Or Stenciltastic if you like coining your own words like we do:)


Why go for one look when you could go for several? Are you drawn to the idea of letting your sideboard express the different facets of your personality? Or do you just love this look that asks you to look again and appreciate the contrasts? This prompt is basically about taking the laundry list of ideas you have in your head and putting them all into one piece. The third image is actually from Wayfair but you don’t need to buy new to get this look. Have a look above at the stencil suggestions we found, pick your colours and have at it in as many patterns as your little eyes can handle!

Ombre Ombre!

You’ve seen it before, you’ve salivated over it before. This sideboard upcycle idea is a trend that we suspect will be sticking around for awhile. The fabulous Vicky Myers has created this brilliant video showing how she created this ombre effect for her sideboard.

You can check out her full tutorial here.

What ever you end up doing with your bit on the side be sure to have fun with it. If there ever was an extravagant, somewhat unnecessary piece of furniture, the sideboard is it. So if you have one you might as well enjoy making a statement piece out of it!

Want more upcycling inspiration? Check out our Armchair Makeovers Upcycle Ideas here.

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sideboard upcycle ideas

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How to Find Free Furniture & What to Do With It! - Upcycle My Stuff

Thursday 1st of October 2020

[…] step by step tutorials to get you started from upcycled dressing tables to chests of drawers, sideboards, headboards and chairs.  Stay awhile and have a look around and I’m sure you will find plenty of […]

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