Markus and I had been looking around for an entertainment center to hold our electronic peripherals (Apple TV, cable box, Wii, DVD player, etc.) for a while, but were not finding what we wanted from a budget or storage standpoint. We wanted to get something cool, not generic from Ikea. I was thinking something low and maybe with a Scandinavian sort of look – while he wanted something a little more, “Italian,” as he likes to put it. One day while searching Craigslist, I saw a dresser that would accomplish exactly what we were looking to do – with a few alterations of course:
I was able to bargain the seller down to $65 bucks for this fine Thomasville piece of furniture. I was so excited (as I really had been looking for probably 2-3 months), that I bought it without even thinking about how to get it home. It would not exactly fit into the trunk of my A4. Luckily, fate intervened and a man with a pickup truck arrived on queue – he took it to our place in Hollywood for a mere $20 fee. Good deal, I thought, especially when he didn’t murder me afterwards.
Once inside my apartment, it fit the spot almost perfectly. I went down to Home Depot and picked up the following supplies:
- Clear, disposable drop cloth ($3)
- Sandpaper (3M Pro Grade 100 grit and 320 grade) ($3/each)
- Sandpaper hand sander ($6)
- 1 Qt. Minwax Oil Based Espresso Wood Finish Interior Stain ($8)
- 1 Qt. clear coat protector ($8)
- 1 1″ economy brush ($1)
- 1 3″ economy brush ($3)
- 1 can of matte silver spray paint ($8)
Stuff I had:
- Orbital sander
- Electric Drill
- Beach towel for padding on the knees while painting
Then I removed the hardware and sanded… by hand… for what seemed like forever.
Unfortunately, the side panels of the piece were not real wood (although everything else was) – it was a cheap wood composite. While it did sand, it would not have stained. Therefore I sanded everything for nothing. I had to bring back the stain and clear coat and exchange for an all in one primer and paint (matte finish) from Behr Premium Plus Ultra. The color I chose was “Espresso Beans” (UL160-23). I picked up a quart of this for about $15.
Then I painted two coats on the entertainment center (it was quick dry, required 2 hours between coats – although I left it overnight to be safe). I also spray painted the hardware with about 4 coats outside so that it wouldn’t smell.
After that I reattached the original ugly hardware, which looks completely different in silver. I also ended up pulling out two of the drawers in the middle cabinet and using the shelves for the cable box, Wii, and Apple TV. I used my power drill to drill 3 large holes in the back of the unit to run cords into.
Then all I did was clean up! So for roughly $100 I have a very solid Thomasville dresser reborn as an entertainment center. I also went to Ikea and bought a cord management system to make the cords coming down from the TV easier on the eyes.
- Sanding is awful. Seriously.
- The middle cabinets have to be open when watching TV as the remote doesn’t go through them.
- It was all totally worth it and I have received many compliments.
- I will be getting a soundbar on the TV to free up even more space on top.
- People like my homemade orchid planter, too.