I'd been keeping my eyes open for a sideboard for this space. I wanted something that wouldn't be too much higher than the back of the sectional and long enough to look good in the space. One of my friends spotted this piece at our favorite consignment store. She called me right away and I bought it sight unseen over the phone.
This was one of those projects that really evolved as I was working on it. Sometimes I look at a piece and know right away what I want the finished piece to look like. This was not one of those times. And I ran into a few obstacles. First, I realized that it's taller than the back of my sectional by about 3". Not a big deal, I thought, I'll just paint the back. And then I looked at the back. Uh oh. It was just a piece of hardboard stapled to the back.
Hardboard is the stuff that pegboard is made out of--you know it has that rough surface on one side...that you can't paint. I contemplated removing the hardboard and replacing it with beadboard. However, when I checkout out the selection at Home Depot I realized it was going to be expensive because back of my sideboard was like 4" too big for one piece of beadboard. So I would be buying a lot of beadboard which I would then have to cut very carefully so that it fit exactly. This was starting to seem like a bad idea. Then I remembered that I had purchased a roll of paintable beadboard wallpaper a few years ago that I never got around to using. Actually, it's not paper at all. It's made out of some kind of plastic foam so you can cut it with regular scissors, but it's thick like beadboard and it has actual grooves. Here's what it looks like.
I cut lengths to size and attached them right over the hardboard using wallpaper paste. You have to butt the edges between strips and not overlap, so if you make any vertical cuts, make sure they're super straight. It was actually very easy--much easier than cutting pieces of wood.
Once that was done I was ready to move on to painting. I had decided to move out of my usual comfort zone of nice neutral colors and go for something bold, so I purchased a can of Napoleonic Blue chalk paint. It's a beautiful color, but after I got the first side painted, I really wasn't feeling it. So I put my paint brush down and considered my options. I pulled out cans of Paris Grey and French Linen and painted one side Paris Grey and the other side French Linen. French Linen was the winner. I painted the sides and front first and then decided that I liked the contrast with the stained wood top so I left that as is.
I did a light distressing with a sanding sponge--mostly on the edges and corners.
I finished the front and sides with clear wax and, since it wouldn't have been possible to buff the beadboard without denting it, I used wipe on poly on the back. Here's what the back looks like all finished. You can't tell that it's not real beadboard.
The hardware also didn't go as planned. I had purchased hardware in a dark bronze color, but when I tried it on the finished piece, it just didn't look right to me. So back to the hardware store for a new set of pulls in brushed nickle.
So the bottom line is, this piece turned out nothing like my original vision. There were compromises and revisions all the way through. But I'm very happy with the way it turned out.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links.