Repurpose an Antique Sideboard

If you have an antique sideboard, and you are inspired to change it into something else, there are different ways you can transform it.

  • By allen cheng
  • Published on March 14, 2023

    50 Inch Sideboard

    If you have an antique sideboard, and you are inspired to change it into something else, there are different ways you can transform it.


    • Are You Sure You Should Change It
    • Modernize It
    • Bathroom Vanity
    • Make It A TV Stand/Entertainment Center
    • FAQs
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    Are You Sure You Should Change It

    Before you make any kind of changes to your antique sideboard, think about your future plans for the sideboard. If you think you may decide to sell the sideboard, it may be better to leave it unchanged. Check some antique catalogues to see prices the item might sell for, as is. 

    If your sideboard has some damage, you may find that will lower the price to the point where it's not worth selling.

    When you are deciding whether to convert your antique sideboard, make the decision based on what is best for you and your home. 

    Modernize It

    One of the easiest transformations would be to upgrade your antique sideboard into a more modern one. No matter how incredible the appearance of your antique may be, if the rest of your home is decorated in a modern style, there is reason enough to modernize your sideboard.

    An easy step toward modernizing your antique sideboard is to fill in any scratches that may have appeared. Many scratches can be removed by sanding down the wood or using a wood filler or wood putty. Stain the filled scratches to complete the task. 

    If the colour of your sideboard has faded, you need to strip the remaining colour before re-staining the sideboard. Depending on your level of familiarity with stripping wood; you may choose to take it to a professional for this process.

    Bathroom Vanity

    One of the easiest conversions of an antique sideboard is to transform it into a bathroom vanity.

    The first decision will be whether you choose to paint or not. Your next choice will involve the top surface of the sideboard. Many bathroom vanities have a marble top. This is an ideal material to have on the top of a vanity - especially if it will have one or more sinks. However, sometimes the wood finish on your sideboard is so lovely that you will want to keep it as is.

    Your next decision will involve a choice of whether you want the sink(s) to stand above the vanity or drop below the surface. 

    If you want the sinks to stand above the surface (this is known as a "vessel" sink) you will only need to cut a hole for the drain pipe of the sink(s). 

    First, draw a horizontal line across the middle of the top surface. Then, turn the sinks upside down, and trace them at their outer edges. Be sure the middle of the sinks lies on the red centre of the horizontal line. Cut carefully on the lines you have traced. You will then need to cut inside the sideboard; to be sure the hole will be deep enough for the sink's depth. You will also need to cut holes for the faucets. 

    Before you set the sinks inside the surface, be sure it will stay in place by coating the sides (and under its lip) with silicone. The faucets and drain pipes can be held in place by wood putty.

    If you have chosen to retain the wood surface of the sideboard, you will then need to choose the stain for your vanity. Paint it on the surface and then let it dry. 

    Buffet Tables And SideboardsBed Sideboards

    Although you may have been able to do all the previous steps, it is up to you whether you feel able to install the plumbing. 

    Your sideboard will have started out with drawers that may or may not serve a purpose for you. Some who convert sideboards to vanities leave the outer covers of the drawers but accept that there is no actual function to those drawers. Others decide to install compartments into the sides of the vanities so the top portions of these drawers can be useful. 

    You will need to cut a piece of wood to fit the middle front of the vanity. To make it easy for you, you can preselect a piece of wood that is stained the same colour as your top. (If you decided to use marble, just be sure your side drawers or panels will match the centrepiece. 

    The final step will be to choose handles for your drawers. Whether the handles are functional - or not- they will ideally need to match the metal you used for the faucets. 

    After that, you can enjoy your bathroom vanity! 

    Related Reading: Should Sideboard Match Dining Table?

    Make It A TV Stand/Entertainment Center

    Another way to convert an antique sideboard is to make it into a TV/Music Center stand. 

    This is a relatively easy conversion since the holes for the drawers of a side make a good place to fit the DVD player, the cable box, and any other boxes your streaming service may require. You could even store your remote control there. 

    To begin your project, remove the doors. You will also need to remove the hinges that held the panel doors in place. One of the advantages of beginning with a sideboard is its sturdy shelves. You don't have to remove them. If the sideboard had separate compartments for the middle, you can choose to remove the centre walls - or ask a professional to do so. 

    However, you might also choose to leave those centre compartments as they are. 

    Once the hardware has been removed, sand the holes down and fill them with wood putty. You will also want to drill some holes; out of the back of the structure. These are necessary so the electric lines and cable wires can fit through the back.

    Once you decide which compartments will remain exposed, you usually should strip off the old stain from your sideboard. Although sometimes, the stain will be just what you want to leave, on the outer parts of the new Entertainment Stand. You will need at least enough stain to cover the putty used to cover the holes.

    When your wood is ready, you can paint or stain it. But - and this is important- don't forget to prep the wood before painting or staining. Prepping the wood will result in a better (and longer-lasting) look on the Entertainment Center.

    When choosing a stain or paint, you may want to consider a non-traditional colour. A new trend has been to choose a colour to match the accent colour of the room. 

    Whether you paint or stain it, be sure you use a sealer to finish your painting job. This will give you additional assurance of the quality of its appearance- and of its endurance. 

    Whichever of these projects you chose; when you're finished, you'll have something you can truly be proud of. 


    Q1: How can I modernize my antique sideboard?
    One way to modernize your antique sideboard is to fill in any scratches and stains. Sand down the wood, use wood filler or putty, and stain the filled areas. Consider stripping the remaining color before re-staining.
    Q2: How can I transform my antique sideboard into a bathroom vanity?
    Decide whether to paint or keep the wood finish. Choose a marble top or leave the wood surface. For above-surface sinks, cut a hole for the drain pipe and faucets. Coat the sink with silicone before setting it in place. Stain the wood surface if desired.
    Q3: Can I convert my antique sideboard into a TV stand or entertainment center?
    Yes, you can remove the doors and hinges, and utilize the sideboard's sturdy shelves for electronics. Fill any holes with wood putty and drill holes for electric and cable wires. Decide which compartments to keep or remove. Strip off old stain and paint or stain the wood. Use a sealer for a lasting finish.

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