Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DIY projects: Thrift store buffet-turned entertainment center

This DIY project we recently completed is the one I'm perhaps most excited about. And I'll be honest, I stole this idea from my sis-in-law Mandy. Except her husband let her paint their dresser Tiffany blue. Must be nice Mandy, must be nice! But for the rest of us who's husbands aren't as artistically adventurous, an aged charcoal black was an agreeable compromise.

The idea is simple. You take an old dresser or dining room buffet, and re-purpose it into an entertainment center furniture piece that hides all the wires, cables, gaming consoles, media players, etc. Our TV doubles as a ginormous computer monitor on which my husband plays flight simulator. So in addition to the dvd player and sound system, we also have a computer, mouse, keyboard, etc. Not to mention an Xbox, Kinect, and multiple controllers, plus a slew of DVDs, remotes, and whathaveyou. Suffice it to say, if all of this is exposed, it is an eyesore.

SO, I found this buffet at a thrift store for a mere $25. It was old and ugly, but it had great "bones". Unfortunately I got so excited about getting started on the project, I neglected to take a before picture. I combed through Google and this was the closest thing I could find. So let's pretend this is my before picture.


I let Josh hack the furniture to pieces before I started painting. He cut holes in the back for wires and cables to be fed through, as well as a vent for his computer. He then removed the bottom two drawers, keeping their faces, and placed hinges on them so they open down (and a cabinet magnet keeps them closed). He's a genius, right? And handsome right? Oh... anyway, the two "drawers" open easily to turn on the sound system or computer. The top 3 rows of drawers store the keyboard, mouse, remotes, and other odds and ends. The two cabinets on either side hold the X-box and our DVDs.

I really couldn't sand this piece of furniture down because it was a fake laminate finish (a sticker with wood grain printed on it, basically). So I used Glidden's grey gripper latex primer, and Behr premium latex paint in a dark brown espresso color. (Don't use oil based primer under latex paint or visa-versa. Oil and water don't mix - causes peeling!) Once again, I got out my nifty air compressor and spray gun, and went to town. Once I finished painting, I mixed a cheap $1 bottle of acrylic black craft paint with equal parts water and with a cheap paint brush, did a quick "wash" of thin black over the entire piece. This gave it a charcoal type-finish, and a deeper color. Also it left some faint brush strokes, which I thought added a nice touch. Gave it that sort of aged look.


We kept the original hardware. I appreciated how tarnished it was. Spots of brass show through here and there, but it's got a nice oil-rubbed bronze look to it. Plus, new hardware is expensive. And the point of doing these thrift store re-dos is to save money.


I love that the bottom two drawers are on hinges! And everything is hidden so well.


By the way, it was only after doing this project that I realized dining room buffets would make a great nursery changing table. They're the perfect height, and lots of storage.

My next show-and-tell blog will be about my spray-painted shoes! Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent job! Counting the days til we get to see all your projects in person.