Upcycling: how to turn your old sideboard into a designer piece

An open sideboard with no doors is standing in a living room. It is covered with vinyl records, decorative items and coffee-table books
This elegant sideboard was once a plain piece of wooden furniture.

  • Difficulty
    medium
  • Cost
    40-85 £
  • Duration
    3 - 8 h

Introduction

Have you ended up with your grandmother’s old wooden sideboard and are you considering throwing it away? Why not give it a new lease of life instead? We’ll show you how you can easily transform it into a stylish sideboard. The real highlight here is the minimalistic-looking rope aesthetic that lends your vinyl collection or coffee-table books a sense of organisation and structure.

You need
Utilities
  • pocket rule
  • paint roller
  • pencil
Materials
  • Long sideboard
  • Dark wood paint
  • A piece of wood to work on
  • Gold-coloured rubber cord (20 m long, 4 mm thick)
  • Optional: new feet for the sideboard
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 7

Remove the doors, shelves and back panel

A sideboard with two doors is standing in front of a window. A cordless screwdriver is on top of it.
Unburden your sideboard from its doors, shelves and back panel.
An open, disassembled sideboard is standing in front of a window. A cordless screwdriver is inside it. The doors, shelves and back panel that have been removed from the sideboard are spread over the floor.
Remove the doors, shelves and black panel

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set

First things first: use a cordless screwdriver to remove the doors, the back panel and the shelves from your sideboard so that you’re left with just the body. Use the drill bit that matches the screwhead. You can use a magnetic drill bit holder to make this easier. If you’re planning to replace the legs of the sideboard, leave them attached for the time being. This will make the rest of the work easier.

Step 2 7

Sand the sideboard

Close-up of a man sanding a wooden surface.
Sand the entire sideboard.

You need: YOUseries Sander, YOUseries Vac, YOUseries Sanding Paper G80, YOUseries Dust Extractor

You should sand all of your sideboard before giving it a new coat of paint. Use the YOUseries Sander together with the YOUseries Vac to do this. The Dust Extractor will make sure the sawdust goes straight into the vacuum.

Step 3 7

Measure the holes for the rubber cord

Close-up of a man marking positions on a wooden surface with a folding rule and pencil.
Mark out the drill holes at equal distances

Now it’s time to design the rope aesthetic for the inside of your sideboard. Start by marking out the drill holes through which the rubber cords are going to pass. Do this by using a folding rule and a pencil to mark out two opposite-facing rows of crosses on the top and underside of your sideboard. The rows can either run horizontally or vertically to the sideboard – or in both directions as in our example, with the left half running horizontally and the right half running vertically. The crosses should be equidistant.

Step 4 7

Drill the holes in rows

Close-up of a man drilling a row of holes into the top of the sideboard.
The YOUseries Drill is used a lot in this project.

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, g-clamps

You’re now ready to start drilling. Select a drill diameter that matches the thickness of the rubber cords so that they fit through the holes easily.

Tip
TIP
We recommend clamping a piece of wood under the drill hole so that they don’t fray at the bottom edge. Use G-clamps to do this so you avoid the grain cracking when you remove the drill from the material.
Step 5 7

Paint the sideboard

Close-up of a man painting the top of the sideboard with black paint.
Paint the sideboard in a dark colour.

You need: Paint roller, Wood paint

The next step is to give your sideboard a new coat of paint. We recommend using wood paint that is dark enough to cover the old grain such as black or grey. Then, let the paint dry sufficiently.

Step 6 7

Thread the rubber cords

Close-up of a man pulling a gold-coloured rubber cord through the drill holes of a black sideboard.
Now it's time to increase the tension: thread the rubber cord through the holes.

You need: Gold-coloured rubber cord

Take the rubber cord and thread it through the holes to form your chosen pattern. Secure the cord at both ends with a simple knot. Tip: The knots are least noticeable if you knot the cord towards the back of the underside of the body.

Step 7 7

Attach new legs

Close-up of a man screwing gold-coloured metal feet to the underside of the sideboard.
Gold-coloured metal feet match the colour of the rubber cords

You need: YOUseries Drill, YOUseries Bit and Drill Set, metal feet, matching screws (Make sure you factor in the thickness of the bottom of the sideboard when selecting the length of the screws, otherwise you run the risk of them coming through the other side)

If you want, you can finish your sideboard off by also giving it new feet. For example, sideboard feet made from gold-coloured metal match its new aesthetic. You can generally screw these onto the underside of the sideboard in no time at all.

Will your grandmother recognise her old sideboard?