Some shopping days are just better than others. You know those days when you’re on a mission to find the exact piece of furniture? You picture a particular style and exactly what will fit the space in your home. You shop ’til you drop and still cannot find that perfect piece.
Well, I’m here for you…. to show you how to turn a thrift store furniture find into your dream piece of furniture. Sometimes that requires a little vision and a little change-up.
This solid wood Ethan Allen sideboard was found at a local thrift store for a ridiculously low price.
Aside from it being solid wood, what I love about this sideboard is the doors. It looks great with the doors or remove them for a completely different look. As a matter of fact, you’ll see how this one sideboard can be styled four different ways just by removing doors!
But first let’s talk about the finish…
Achieving a Natural Rustic Finish on Any Solid Wood Furniture
The goal with this Ethan Allen sideboard was to achieve a similar natural, rustic wood finish. Instead of adding layers of paint, stains, and glazes, I reverse-engineered the process and made achieving this look so much easier. Well… if you could call four hours of hard sanding labor easy.
To do this, simply sand away the old polyurethane and stain. There is a trick to though.
Sand as much as you can with an electric sander. I use this rotary sander and highly recommend it.
The goal is take off all of the old clear protective finish and as much of the stain as possible. This first round of sanding will take about two hours. By now you’ll be exhausted, so let the project sit for a day or two. This will also give you a chance to step back and evaluate.
After that first round of sanding, the wood will still look spotty from stain patches you missed. It’s now time for round two of sanding. Go over the entire piece again with the rotary sander, focussing on the darker spotty patches to even out the tones.
You’ll also need to hand-sand in the groves where the sanding pad couldn’t reach. You’ll need to use 60-grit sandpaper to get through the tough polyurethane and stain layers to the natural wood. This is very labor intensive and took at least another hour.
Don’t worry about removing every bit of stain. Leaving a little in the groves actually ads to the naturally-aged, rustic appearance. Furniture refinishers actually re-create this look by applying glaze to these crevices. You’re doing the reverse and sanding off the stain on the flat areas and leaving the stain that’s naturally in the groves.
Once you’re satisfied with the color tones of the wood, it’s time to add a topcoat to protect the wood. General Finishes Flat-Out-Flat is perfect for natural wood. It adds a buttery-soft clear finish that won’t yellow the wood.
Absolutely gorgeous isn’t it! Not only is it much more durable than a painted surface, there are natural color variations (heavier in the crevices) without the hassle of multiple layers of stain and glaze. Trust me. This this 7-layer stained dresser and this driftwood dining table each took two weeks to achieve their finishes.
The hardware was also changed out to rubbed bronze purchased at Lowes. It’s a dark brown, almost black, metal that looks as though the edges were naturally worn away over time to reveal a touch of golden tone – just like the sideboard wood.
The rock maple drawers were in perfect condition so they were left untouched.
One Sideboard – Four Different Looks
So how would you use this sideboard? Are you the type of person that likes to have everything neatly hidden away behind closed doors? Then leaving all four doors on is for you.
Or, maybe you like open storage to display dishes and the convenience of additional drawer space? Then this sideboard is also for you.
Or, perhaps you like the idea of the drawers, but need to fill up those shelves with piles of linens and keep the piles hidden. Yes, this sideboard is still for you.
But wait, there’s one more option! If you love the idea of adding a natural woven basket or displaying your favorite Thanksgiving platters, then yes, this sideboard is for you.
One Ethan Allen sideboard four ways. It changes as your life changes.
This natural, rustic Ethan Allen sideboard will be posted for sale in Entri Ways’ online Shop.
Do you know someone that could use this versitile sideboard? Please share:
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I love and use myself.