In this post: With our recent dining room makeover, I found and bought a second-hand 1940’s buffet on Marketplace. I then gave it a dramatic makeover with LATEX PAINT!

There are all sorts of specialty paints these days, including various chalk and milk paints. But I’m a big fan of using plain old latex paint for most of our furniture makeovers. And our beautifully painted sideboard was no exception. 

Our black painted buffet sideboard in dining room with text overlay of blog post title

Related: How to paint furniture for beginners, everything you need to know!

black painted buffet sideboard in dining room with lamp and candlesticks

Why a new buffet/sideboard?

Back in December, I started to get the itch to change some things in our dining room. After months at home, with no new projects, it was time. 

In the living room and dining room reveal post, I mentioned that our style had gotten away from me and that a brand collaboration hadn’t gone the way I’d hoped it would. 

So, I schemed and plotted how to get the look I wanted. Lol. Just kidding. I simply planned a budget-friendly version of the things I was loving.

I ordered legs for a DIY dining table (because the one I loved was $1600 or more) and began searching Facebook Marketplace for a suitable sideboard to makeover. 

What is the difference between a sideboard and a buffet (and a hutch)?

The difference between a sideboard and a buffet is simple – it’s a matter of location. If you use it in the dining room it’s a buffet, but if you use it in another room it’s called a sideboard. Weird, right? 

A hutch is simple a set of shelves or cupboards that are raised up on top of a buffet, sideboard, or table. 

back of sanded buffet with text overlay that says buffet in the house to paint

Now that that’s clear…

Can I paint my sideboard?

The answer is most likely yes. 

Paint easily hides a lot of flaws in older furniture, especially if you use flat paint (in terms of sheen, the glossier the paint is the more it amplifies imperfections).

So even if you can’t remove all of the old finish like you would need to do if you were going to say, stain it, you should be able to give the sideboard or buffet a new look with minimal sanding and a couple of coats of paint. 

How do you paint an old sideboard?

It’s quite easy to paint an old sideboard. The gist is that you:

  • wipe it down
  • sand it to remove any glossiness or shininess that would make it difficult for paint to adhere to
  • paint with quality latex paint
  • wax or clear coat to protect it

*Depending on the age and origin of your piece, you may want to do a lead test before you start sanding to be sure you aren’t going to release any harmful lead debris and dust into the air. 

first coat of black paint on black painted sideboard

Paint color used: Sherwin Williams Black Magic

girls waxing over black paint with clear wax and old rags

How do I upcycle a sideboard?

Essentially upcycling is simply the act of making something old new again. And you can upcycle a sideboard by giving it:

  • a new coat of paint
  • new hardware like knobs, drawer pulls, and hinges
  • and maybe new castors or feet depending on their design

It will look like a brand new piece!

Should I use a brush or a roller to paint furniture?

This is a matter of personal preference. You can use a brush, roller, or even a paint sprayer to paint furniture. 

A brush is going to be the fastest method with the least clean-up. But you’ll have to work fast to avoid brush strokes. 

A roller will leave you with fewer marks in the paint, but you will need a paint tray and a little more space to work. Plus you’ll still need a brush for the tricky spots like inside corners and spindly legs. 

A paint sprayer will give you the most even and professional finish (provided you use it well and avoid runs in your finish), but you will need to block off the area around your furniture to avoid overspray. 

How do you paint furniture without leaving brush marks?

The key to avoiding brush marks when you’re painting furniture is to:

  1. work quickly
  2. go with the grain
  3. keep all your brush strokes going in the same direction and at the same angle for each side of your piece
  4. avoid painting over partially dried and tacky paint

In the end, we opted to use a quality brush to paint the sideboard. It was the easiest option given it was winter and we were painting in the house. 

I adore how this painted sideboard buffet turned into a statement piece for our dining room.

More Painted Furniture Makeover Posts

More Paint Tutorials + Tips


Black Vintage Buffet with Gold Accents

Have you ever painted a buffet or sideboard? Made over a thrifted piece of furniture?