Furniture Makeover – Art Deco Styled Cocktail Bar

the before, prior to refinishing this small cocktail bar

From the moment I saw this cabinet for sale in the local marketplace, I was in love.  It was in great condition, had a wonderful pedal stool base and had gorgeous curves. I knew it would make a lovely Art Deco Cocktail Bar!

I immediately reached out to the seller and agreed on a pickup time and location.  What should have been a straight forward pick up became another weird pick up story that my husband and I got to experience. 

Firstly our navigation drove us to what should have been the pick up location.  However, we quickly discovered that the actual pick up location was about another half a kilometre away, over a car free bridge, down a small country road and on a house boat.  Thankfully the cabinet was not large. or we would have never got it back to the car. 

While picking up the piece the seller was cleaning out her home. So we were gifted a serving tray and a rather large knife.  A little strange but appreciated none the less. I will admit we made a few “taking home the murder weapon” jokes.

What is the weirdest thing you were gifted when picking up a marketplace purchase?

Sanding Delays

sanding machine
sanding forms for hard to sand details
This piece I initially started with prep work and sanding, but quickly stopped.  The curves made using my traditional Bosch sander rather impractical.   Burning through the delicate veneer, is a very real risk.  It was important to keep the veneer in place for the design I had in mind. As I already ordered my new Festool sander (an early birthday gift) I waited until it arrived before continuing further with this project. Boy was I glad that I did!  I was able to use the foam pad to sand the curved edges incredibly easily. For the more delicate side details, I made use of my very handy sanding forms.   I cannot stress enough how much I use these forms.  Every furniture refinisher should have these in their tool box

Art Deco Colour Scheme

For this piece, I wanted to use a deep green and dark wood colour scheme.  The accent would be vintage gold hardware with matching hand painted design. This colour combination remains one of my favourite combinations.  

I have used it previously  and loved the results. It definitely fits the Art Deco Cocktail Bar vibe that I wanted to achieve with this piece.

art deco refinished cocktail bar with ornate veneer
deep green and dark wood cocktail bar
curved, art deco style cocktail bar

Small Details Matter

One of the key steps in my process is adding felt gliders to the wooden feet of furniture.  This is a step that I started doing rather quickly in my furniture refinishing.  I believe adding felt to the wooden feet gives the piece it’s finishing touch.  

With this piece I faced a unique problem though.  It was a pedestal base and therefore, adding the small screwed on felt gliders would not be possible.  

Therefore, I came up with a different solution and added felt to the whole bottom. This antique green felt comes with a self adhesive on it, making it a matter of cutting out the right size and attaching.  I have used this green within drawers in the past and love the additional luxury that it provides.  

Check out this reel to see how I added the felt to the pedestal base.


Adding felt to the bottom of a pedestal foot base

Tape Design - Click for Reels

small cocktail bar with gold and green details
Click to view taping reel
small cocktail bar with gold design
Click to view tape removal

Local Support

The staging of this piece was a different experience from what I normally would have done.  My props are usually items from around the house, that I feel match the best.  However, this time I got to go “shopping” at a local vintage reseller Buuf en Buurvrouw. 

I recently bought gorgeous vintage wine glasses from this location and we got to chatting as vintage lovers tend to do.  That’s how I found myself browsing the collection to loan items for the staging of this piece.  It was an incredible experience, as there was so much to choose from and plenty to talk about. 

In the end I opted to loan a vintage green leather ice bucket and brown glass with gold accented schnapps bottle and glasses.  I love both pieces so much.

Check out all available pieces from Buuf en Buurvrouw via Marktplaats.

Or visit her Instagram page to stay up to date on the newest pieces. 

vintage ice bucket and brown glass schnapps decanter
small cocktail bar with gold detailed top
small cocktail bar with deep green details
Small art deco style cocktail bar in green and vintage golds

Love this metamorphosis from outdated to art deco bar?  Then check out these other Furniture Transformations.


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Hey, I'm Sarah, the owner of Bold Wallflowers.

I'm on a self-taught journey through furniture refinishing and restoration, loving every experiment in my workshop.

Join me as I share my discoveries and gained knowledge with our vibrant community of fellow refinishers!

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