26 Nov

What Great Bones You Have

I knew when I saw this vintage Victrola that it was going to be something special. How and to whom I hadn’t a clue but I just knew. It was missing a few key elements but it’s bones – I don’t come across pieces this old in such good shape often.

victrola cabinet

Now, you might wonder what I’ve been drinking as you think “What is she talking about? That thing is fugly! No way would I bring that into my house…”

damaged victrola

The ornamental detail, veneer and original wooden wheels were all in tact. So what if it was missing a record player, door and lid? Do you see those louvered doors that actually work? Special I tell ya.

vintage victrola

So when my chiropractor told me he was switching things up at the office, moving his exam room into a new space, I heard “I am going to need some furniture” and paid attention.

I’d already completed a Lego table that would go in there and didn’t have enough matching chairs to help him out. But when he said something about needing a place to stand at his laptop to update patient records I knew I had just the thing.

added plywood door top

Immediately, I got to work fabricating a top and door from quality plywood. Since the exam room was painted a vibrant blue the only logical color choice was black. Initially, I didn’t think I would like it but as it came together I changed my tune.

rebuilt victrola

I reinforced the bottom and added a second shelf. Before painting the new pieces, I made sure everything fit and functioned properly. Then I gave it an all over of a new favorite – Minwax Antique Oil Finish.

The matte luster wipes on easily but dries hard without that shiny, plastic appearance or typical polyurethane.

painted victrola

Since little ones might be tempted to open the door, I added a catch just inside the door.

added shelving

And if Doc wants to grab something quick, he can reach right through the shutters without moving his laptop from the top.

revamped victrola

I didn’t want to cover up the original wood inside so I recommended he install a basket or something if he wanted. Otherwise, it’s painted and sealed so tossing his supplies right in works too.

repurposed record player

I just love the detail of those side floral motifs. I’m still surprised that not a single one was missing or damaged.

louvered doors

Like I said, this one is a special project. I’m so pleased it found a home with one of my favorite people – in a space where many others will also appreciate it’s great bones.

rebuilt stereo cabinet

26 Feb

Dresser to TV Stand Conversion

Convert Dresser to TV Stand

This isn’t the first project I’ve done for Christina but I’m going to tell you about it first because sometimes things make more sense in reverse. A few months ago, as I delivered a pair of painted side tables she told me she wanted to find a large dresser to repurpose as a tv stand in her family room.

Soon after, I came across this dresser on a local rummage sale site.

Dresser to TV Stand

The seller had planned to refinish it before losing a fight with an outdoor swing set. Two shoulder surgeries later, she hung back as Dave and I transferred it from her truck to mine. Back at the house we lugged the dresser into the living room where it sat for a couple of weeks.

I had to wait until I finished a large desk & hutch combo before I could get started on the dresser-to-entertainment-center conversion. Since it was entirely too heavy to move up and down the basement stairs, I used it as a base and painted the other pieces right there in the living room.

Painting furniture

It was kind of nice to watch tv while I worked. I’m sure Dave loved having my crap spread all over the main level of the house.

Once I started, it didn’t take too long to get the cabinet base and drawers painted. Then I got to work removing the finish and stain from the top.

Dresser to TV Stand

Then removed the top drawer guides before measuring / cutting 1/4″ thick plywood shelving.

Dresser to TV Stand

The plan was for their electronics to live on the upper level and use the lower drawers for media storage. I removed the center door completely and painted the space inside. Then I stained up the drawer stretchers and installed the plywood sheets.

Dresser to TV Stand

If you look closely, you’ll see brass bi-fold door hinges on the face frame of the top left drawer hole. While the wood was nice enough to leave the top shelf open, I knew Christina wanted to hide their electronic gadgets. So, I removed the drawer fronts, painted and stenciled them in a pattern she was keen on.

Dresser to TV Stand

To tie into the walnut top, I stained over my stencil darkening the white paint slightly. After it dried, I sanded the paint down a bit to pull the grain out.

Dresser to TV Stand

Then I installed the new shelf and posted this teaser photo on Facebook to prove I was actually getting things done.

Plus, I really wanted to freak her out and let her think I was leaving the hardware gold!

I didn’t have to do anything to the drawers other than swap out the pulls. (how cool is that old paper lining??)

Dresser to TV Stand

Seriously, Christina was such a sport. This project took way longer than planned because I had (5) things going at once. I suppose that’s the downfall of having a second ‘workspace’ upstairs. That and all the crap taking over the place…

Dresser to TV Stand

Check out how fast I moved to get this piece finished and delivered. #warpspeeddiy

Dresser to TV Stand

Dave snapped photos as I finished installing the drop-down door hardware and back slats. Then, we loaded ‘er up and headed over to Christina’s…where I fully expected we’d set the piece up in the family room as planned.

But – sometimes furniture has a mind of its own.

Dresser to TV Stand

It never made it passed the living room.

On the up side, this is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door.

Dresser to TV Stand

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