Do It Yourself Projects

Creating the perfect Shop Counter

I didn’t realize till it came time to set up shop how hard it can be to find a shop counter that will suit both your space and budget. I had a bit of a brainstorm session with my husband and we both decided that every counter that we had seen that we loved had been some form of upcycled materials, whether an old work bench that has been converted or a custom-built counter from reclaimed wood, those had been the best we had seen. So it stood to reason that if we wanted the ‘perfect’ counter to fit our space we should do some upcycling and make our own.

Enter this large heavy but beautiful sideboard (please excuse the grainy pic and terrible lighting).


My husband and I managed to source this beautiful sideboard locally. The couple that we bought it off were very nice and told us how it had been used over the years but was too big and no longer required. We were thrilled to take it off their hands. The front of the sideboard has so much carving and detail, I knew immediately that it would be so beautiful painted and highlighted with some antiquing glaze.

I mixed up a custom blend of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Layla’s Mint and Bergere and highlighted the carvings with Marzipan. I did have some trouble with over chipping on areas which I had to sand down and repaint, but some of my best results have been from pieces that have tested both my patience and knowledge.

Here is a progress shot (meet Axle my loyal four-legged paint companion whose black snout often ends up multi coloured from poking it in my paint) ..


The piece looked fantastic with the new paint work but I felt that it still needed that bit more detail and the top wasn’t doing it for me. Also there is the problem that the rear of this sideboard is just exposed backing board … somehow we had to transform it into a striking counter that people would enjoy standing in front of whilst making their purchases in the shop.

After some serious brain storming we decided to line the top with reclaimed timber and to use a combination of reclaimed pressed tin from an old school and reclaimed corbels with some skirting and the results were fabulous!!


Here she is in place during our setting up shop. How fantastic is the pressed tin with those corbels!! And the warmth of the wood on top is just perfection.

Counter 3

The chippy paint added just the right amount of rustic old world character without being too much.


This beauty has stolen my heart, how amazing would it look as a kitchen island / breakfast bar or even a drinks bar in an alfresco area .. I have decided that if I ever were to retire this treasure it would be into our kitchen as just that.

And here she is on opening day surrounded by all sorts of pretties  with our old school upcycled cash register sitting proudly on top.



I am thrilled with how perfect the counter turned out, it is exactly what we had envisioned for the shop and to think that we were able to achieve exactly what we wanted on a budget and by upcycling never ceases to make me happy.

I hope that this post might inspire you to create a unique and re purposed masterpiece of your own!

Adriana x



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