Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our TV Console Gets an Upgrade

I’ve always been intrigued by the ways that some people modify furniture for different purposes, and I’ve always wanted to take on a project of my own.  But I also have a tough time taking a nice, solid wood piece of furniture and modifying it a ton. So when I came across this decent but not super nice dresser at the Goodwill near my house and discovered that one of the drawers wasn’t in the best of shape, I knew it was a great candidate to be repurposed.



The plan? Make it into a TV console to replace our blond Ikea (maybe, might as well be) TV stand in our living room. I would take the middle drawer out, add a shelf, and then convert the drawer front into a door that closes when we’re not watching TV. Perfect!




Like many of my other projects, this one only took me almost a year to complete.  

OK it didn’t really take me a year from start to finish. But it did sit in a corner of our dining room accumulating crap on top of it because the drawers weren’t really in the shape to put stuff in yet.

Around Christmas I decided that this piece would be one of my first projects to tackle in the New Year. it was already upstairs and I didn’t really feel like lugging it all the way downstairs and out our back door to sand. So first I tried to sand it upstairs by hand, but the more the light changed and the more I tried to sand, the more I realized that I needed to take my power sander to this thing. So instead of taking it all the way downstairs, I took the drawers downstairs and hauled the dresser out to our very small front step and sanded it quickly out there.


Once I was done sanding, I wiped the dresser down and took it back into the dining room where I had set up shop. I used a putty knife to apply wood filler to the dings that I couldn’t quite sand out, and to a place where I got a little too ambitious with my power sander. I also filled the hardware holes on the fronts of both bottom drawers. I let the filler dry overnight and sanded it down the next day. In some spots, I had to use to coats to get a really smooth finish.




At some point during that whole process I made it over to my parents’ house, where I had planned to use a power tool to separate the drawer front on the bum drawer so that I could make my door. My dad took one look at it and determined it didn’t need any power tools, and he took the front off in less than 10 minutes with a handsaw. Thanks, Dad! I happily tossed the other pieces of the drawer and took my new-ish door panel home with me. 


Once I had it home, I used my power sander to sand down the back edges where the drawer pieces had been connected, and filled the gaps with wood filler.


 In order to make my shelf, I removed the middle drawer glide from the dresser frame. Then I measured the piece, went to Home Depot and had a thin piece of plywood cut to make a shelf. I wanted to keep the drawer front as a door on the front of the shelf, so I needed to get the shelf cut so that drawer front could still sit inside. I used a very light piece of wood because I didn’t want the shelf to be heavy, and I didn’t need something super sturdy since nothing heavy would sit on it. I was also able to get Home Depot to make all the cuts for me, which was super helpful.  I nailed the shelf down in the front and then got to painting.

I planned to paint the dresser a raspberry so I used grey primer, which is meant to go underneath dark colors. I used Glidden because, well, that was the only grey primer that Home Depot had in stock. I rolled it on with a mini foam roller and brushed the parts that couldn’t be rolled.


After I let the primer dry overnight, I got to painting the color. First I used Very Berry from Glidden. After two coats I knew it wasn’t gonna work. It was just too bright for our living room. So, even though it was going to cost me another $10, I knew I had to change it. I went back to Home Depot and bought another quart of Glidden flat paint in Martha Stewart’s Beet – the same color that I used to stencil my desk. I got Glidden because apparently Home Depot isn't selling Martha Stewart regular paint anymore? I had no idea. Anyway...


It was MUCH better. I ended up putting another 2 coats of the second color on there, but there were a few spots that weren’t covering well and were making me majorly regret not doing two coats of primer in certain places. The wood seemed to bleed through no matter how many coats of pink I put on, so I went over a couple of spots with primer, sanding the edges after it dried so that the finish still looked smooth. Then I put another coat of paint on the whole dresser and touched up over those primed-again spots.  Then I went over the entire dresser and drawers with two coats of protective finish, and 5 (yes, 5, I’m a little obsessive) on the surface. I used a satin finish that gave the piece just the amount of sheen that I wanted.

Now I had to decide on hinges. I learned that cabinet hinges are tricky things. Depending on how your door lays within a cabinet, there are different types of hinges that you can buy. My dresser door was basically like a full inset frameless cabinet door mount. Here's a picture so you can get a better idea:

via
If you need to buy hinges for cabinets or for a project like mine, I recommend you check out Rockler's article on understanding hinges. I know, that sounds like a thrilling read, but it is quite useful. 

Home Depot only sold one hinge that I could use on my dresser. It was a hidden hinge, but it was kind of industrial looking and I knew that whenever the door was open, I'd see the ugly hinge. Plus, it seemed really strong, almost too strong. And, I wasn’t sure it would work with the slight height the shelf added to the mounting. So I kept looking. I went to a local hardware store where they suggested I just use basic flat hinges, so I bought some, took them home, and realized that they added too much height to the door, preventing it from folding into its cubby hole. Back to square one. Finally, I found some full inset, oil-rubbed bronze hinges on the Woodcraft website and was able to get them in my local Woodcraft store. Which, by the way, is one of my favorites stores to just browse. It has seriously cool stuff.

When I got home and went to put them on my door, I realized that the door wasn’t quite wide enough to fit into the wrap around section, and the door would be just a smidge too far into the cabinet. I decided to fashion some shims out of a wood paint stirrer (not the first time I’ve used a paint stirrer for furniture repair). I didn’t have a saw, so I drilled a hold of little lines, snapped each piece off, and sanded the rough edges. Then I used wood clue and clamps to secure the shims to the back of the door where I wanted to attach the hinges. I painted the shims the same color as the dresser, since they would be visible when the door was open too.


To attach the hinges, I used the hinge as a guide to mark spots where I needed to drill shallow pilot holes. After drilling the pilot holes, I attached the screw on the side of the door first, and then on the shims.


When I went to put the hinges on the shelf, I had a small problem – they were deeper than the lip that I left on the shelf, so they either stuck out or didn’t fit. No worries – I pulled up the middle nail in the board slightly and was able to slide the hinges under the shelf.


Now that the hinges were attached, I needed to take two more steps: install something that would keep the door closed, and install supports that would prevent the drawer front from dropping and damaging the bottom drawer. I used a small oil-rubbed bronze magnet as the door closure. Initially I attached a magnet to the left and right side of the door, but when I tried to close them, only one side of the drawer would close at a time. Evidently the drawer was ever so slightly crooked. So I removed both magnets and opted for one in the middle, which works great.


Seriously, the sound of that little door closing onto the magnet is so satisfying. Every time I close it I think, “Yessss, I made that.”

I decided to use two eye bolts and ribbon on either side of the shelf and door to support the door and prevent it from smashing down on the other one. I pull the bolts on the door in the same holes that I had put the magnets in originally, which is why they aren’t on the very edge. I’m considering attaching actual drop door supports if I can find some reasonably priced ones in oil-rubbed bronze. Oh yeah -- I also drilled new holes in the lower two drawers and attached new knobs from anthropologie to the piece. 





We all agree that this piece adds a lot of personality to our living room. I like watching TV even more now because 1) I don’t have to put my hand up in the air and point the remote down to get the cable channel to change and 2) I get to admire my work the whole time too.

29 comments:

  1. I love what you did with the drawer...such a smart idea! Great color too.

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  2. Looks fabulous, what a fun bright color!

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  3. that is amazing!!!! you are seriously talented, friend! and in my neck of the woods, too! :)

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  4. I love it. One of my first projects was to paint a dresser pink. I ended up selling it but I loved it. I still am kicking myself for selling it.

    Good for you for taking such a bold choice for a TV Console. It came out wonderfully.

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  5. This is so neat!! Love the color too!

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  6. That looks like a ton of work! Phew! It looks great though!

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  7. Wow! Totally am in love with that paint color! Turned out awesome!

    http://fitcraftystylishandhappy.blogspot.com/

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  8. Umm, can I just hire you to redo my apartment for me? haha. I do Not have this kind of creativity... or patience!

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    1. Haha, well I was partly motivated by the fact that I knew my roommates didn't want a project in progress sitting in our dining room for too long!

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  9. You guys did a great job on this!! I love the color you painted it! Your drop down drawer looks awesome too!

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  10. Great job, love the color! Would be delighted for you to link to Potpourri Friday, currently in progress!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your lovely project at Potpourri Friday! I've just become a friend and follower and hope you will be too!

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  12. Amazing transformation!!! Great job!

    If you're interested, Wayward Girls’ Crafts is just getting our linky party going. Please stop by and link up! http://www.waywardgirlscrafts.com/2012/02/wayward-weekend-week-3.html

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    1. Thanks! I just linked up to Wayward Girls' Crafts and now I'm going to cruise around the blog a bit. Love the name/concept!

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  13. Your tv stand is awesome! I love the ribbon to keep the front from crashing down.
    thank you for linking up and linking back to catch as catch can
    gail

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  14. What a fun color! Nice makeover.

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  15. I just got an old fashioned sewing machine desk(the kind where the sewing machine hides inside and the pops up ) its going to be my first furniture revamp and reading your blog is making me most excited to get sanding! I'm not sure if I'll be allowed to paint it pink though, perhaps if I show my boyfriend this post he'll come round to my way of thinking. :)

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    1. Oooooh I love those desks! I should attempt to find one for my old school sewing machine. Maybe if you paint it in one day he won't notice till it's done? Surprise!

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  16. This is gorgeous! I love the color!

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  17. I love the color! I'm going to buy some of this color for a nightstand I have planned to redo. Thanks for the post!

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    1. It really is a great pink. Playful and feminine without being childish. I am obsessed with it!

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  18. This piece turned out beautiful! I've been wanting to do this, but haven't found the right dresser yet. Thanks for the info on hinges, should come in handy when I get to that point. (Saw you over at Whipperberry.)

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  19. The color is so pretty and I love how you dropped out the shelf for your tv box, thats an amazing idea:) Again, I would love this project (and probably all of your projects once I finish making my rounds) to be linked at my party, I'll probably just end up featuring Savvy Young Something everything, I am really enjoying your blog:) Thanks for sharing your inspiriation! http://www.thescottscrib.com/2012/01/lathrifta-strikes-gold-lathriftas-cheap.html

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    1. Thanks Latoya! Just linked up to your blog and am loving it!

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  20. oooOOOOOooo !!! saw this at Pinterest and had to come running to see the tutorial. This is fab!! love it love it :)

    Annie

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  21. LOOOOVE this & the fact that you made it your own a million times cooler !!

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