Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | April 25, 2013

Before and After 1940’s Jacobean Sideboard


The Jacobean Sideboard in my Saugatuck, MI., consignment shop, Water Wolf

This buffet was a Craig’s list score and I know I paid too much. But I had been wanting to try my hands at a larger, more complicated buffet and decided now was the time to do it. When I saw those legs and stretchers and original brass drop pulls, I couldn’t wait to two-tone paint those carved legs and stretchers!


This is the dismantled and in process piece in front of our pole barn.

This piece required some serious veneer re-building on the top and the sides, major gluing and dismantling and my dear husband took care of that.


This was the hotter than hot summers day we brought the sideboard home.

I was having trouble deciding what color to paint it but when I finally made the decision that  I wanted to leave as much of the gorgeous walnut wood showing as possible, I knew I needed to select colors that would complement the dark brown walnut. I finally decided on CCC Kansas Wheat and CCC Smoky Mountain.


In order to achieve the three-tone look and feel, unless we had to fill a section of veneer, I left the walnut wood section alone. That meant parts of the doors, the drawers and the beaded trim near the top could all be left in natural walnut wood.


The decorative wood trim and brass drop pulls.

I cleaned and “enhanced” the walnut sections using Restore-a-finish which deepened their lovely dark color. This took a lot of taping and delicate small brush painting and extra time and fiddling around but I think the final result was worth it. This was the first time I had actually used Restor-a-Finish and I was thrilled with the results.

Like many others who have painted these old buffets we had some serious issues with the top veneer. Even after my husband’s hard work of filling and sanding, as soon as I painted the top, the moisture in the water based paint caused it to buckle.


That meant the top had to be totally redone yet again. Off came the veneer and then more filling. That was a pain in the you know what! Finally it was paintable again and another coat of Smoky Mountain finished off the top section to my satisfaction. The final job was waxing with clear soft wax.


This piece took many, many hours of labor to dismantle, to tape, to reassemble but I am happy with the results.


This piece is for sale through Water Wolf, Saugatuck, MI.

Small House / Big Sky Donna


  1. Love the result! Visiting from the Vintage Love party. What did you do with the back piece of the sideboard? It doesn’t look like it was there in the “before” photo. Did you add it?

    • I think you are talking about what I call the “backsplash” (think backsplash on a kitchen counter.)

      In order to fill the veneer, sand, paint and transform a piece of this size and weight(there was a TON of veneer work to be done before I could paint.) We basically took it apart. WE took off the backsplash piece (it unscrewed) and took that to my studio to be painted and “Restore-a-Finished” along with the drawers, doors etc.

      So you simple don’t see the backsplash in the “in process” photo in front of the brown pole barn but do in the finished work.

      Thanks for your sweet comment. Hope you stop by my blog again!

  2. Wow! What a stunning buffet! Love it! Thank for sharing –
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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