Media Console Makeover (Part 1 of 2)

I’ve had the DIY “bug” for quite some time now. And if you’ve ever had it before, then you know that the minute you finish one big project, you get the itch to start another.  So, I’ve been searching for a new furniture project for the past few months and I have finally found it!

For the past 3 years, we’ve had a ho-hum entertainment center. It holds our DVD player, TV box, etc, and all of the crazy cords that go along with those. It’s functional, but it sure ain’t pretty.

Entertianment Center Media

I’ve been on the lookout to trade out the TV stand for a functional and stylish media console. So, the other day, while shopping at my favorite antique mall, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw this…

Media Console Before Entertainment Center

Before I got too excited, I gave it a good look just to make sure there weren’t any big flaws. I slid open the cabinet doors, opened the drawers, and luckily everything got my seal of approval.

Then it was onto the price tag. At $80 it was a little high for my typical antique mall budget. But, the quality of the mid-century piece was phenomenal, and I adored the sleek, clean lines and the retro feel. How could I let this deal slip through my fingertips?

I forked over the money, and excitedly brought my new purchase home and into our building’s basement storage area.

My first step was to wash away all of the dirt, grime, and spider webs. I brought down some rags and a bucket full of warm water mixed with vinegar. This concoction helped get the musty smell out of the drawers, and wiped away all of the years of dirt from the piece.

I took a flathead screwdriver to take off all of the hardware, and then took out the drawers. While doing that I came across this little treasure.

Map of Missouri 1981

It’s an old map of Missouri from the 80’s. Pretty cool, right? It must have been from the previous owners, and that is what I absolutely love about buying old pieces. Everything you buy has a backstory, and I like to think that each piece is enjoyed for years by an owner and then it’s time for a new home and change of scenery.

Anyways..back to making over this little slice of heaven.

So, I decided that I was going to paint the console a nice crisp white. I know, I know…some of you are cringing at the thought of painting that beautiful wood. If you’re one of those people, I would stop reading now.

Okay, hopefully everyone didn’t leave me. Let’s continue.

My first order of business was to sand down the wood a bit, just to smooth the surface before priming the piece.  My tip is to run your hand over the wood, and make sure it is smooth to the touch.

Palm Sander Sanding Wood

I used my palm sander (which I love…it’s a total time saver!) and 220 grit sandpaper.

As you can see, the top of the piece isn’t wood. I think it’s a laminate? Anyways, I sanded that down so it wasn’t so slick, so the primer would have something to grab onto.

After sanding, I wiped down the piece with a clean cloth to get rid of any dust.

Then it was onto priming. I used my favorite primer (Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3) It is water-based and I’ve used it for many projects. It never disappoints.

Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 Primer

For the most part I used a foam roller, but to get the nooks and crannies I also had to use a quality, angled paint brush.

I tried my best to keep this coat of primer very light, which can be tricky especially with the brush.

Primed Media Console

I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous after seeing that first coat of primer go on. It was especially hard for me to deal with the sliding doors and make sure they got covered with primer…but not too much primer.

So, after waiting a day for the primer to dry, I decided the sliding doors needed to come off before the painting process.

Finn ventured down to the basement to help me out. Between the 2 of us, we were able to figure out how to get the doors out without causing any damage. #success

Primed Cabinet Doors

Before I got started painting, I used a sanding block to sand down any uneven surfaces where the primer was a little thick.

Then I gathered my supplies to kick this DIY project into high gear.

Painting Supplies Brush Paint Tape

-Painter’s Tape
-Sanding Block
-High quality, angled brush
-Painting tray
-High quality roller
-Enamel based paint (I used Behr semi-gloss enamel, in Ultra Pure White)
-Protective Finish (I used Minwax water-based polycrylic protective finish in Clear Gloss)

When it comes to picking the right paint, I definitely recommend an enamel based one. Enamel ensures a hard finish that will be durable and won’t nick or chip.

Behr Ultra Pure White Interior Semi Gloss Enamel Paint

Okay, onto the painting.

Again, I can’t stress how important it is to apply thin, even coats, just enough to cover the piece. Allow each coat to dry at least 24 hours.

Paint Furniture

I used a brush, as well as a foam roller, to give this piece an even, white finish.

It took 3 light coats of the paint, but I was finally pleased with the color.

Now here is the hard part. The waiting game. I waited 3 days to allow the paint to fully cure. (It can sometimes take up to a week!) I know you want to start using your transformed piece right away, but please wait! You don’t want to ruin all of your hard work.

After waiting, it was time to protect the painted piece of furniture.

I was a little nervous for this part of the project. I’ve read that some finishes and waxes can yellow white furniture. I was determined to not let that happen to this bad boy! So after doing some internet research, I decided on this protective finish.

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Clear Gloss

I’ve never used a protective finish like this on painted furniture, so I was a little hesitant when putting it on the piece.

I just followed the directions on the back of the can (light coats, sanding down when dry).

Luckily, no yellowing occurred and I now have a very white protected piece! Woo hoo!

Painted Furniture

Sadly, dear reader, it isn’t quite time for the dramatic before and after of this project.  With all of the sanding, priming, painting, and protecting this project ended up taking over a week. So, I think this project definitely warrants at least 2 posts!

On Friday, I’ll show you the new hardware I bought for the drawers and handles (shiny and pretty!) I’ll also give you a rundown of hiding our electronics inside the sliding doors, for a tidy entertainment center. Get pumped people.

So does anyone have any insight for me regarding the protective finish? Have any of your white pieces turned yellow? Why does that happen with some protectors?

  • Anonymous

    I use old maps as wrapping paper!

    • Denise, such a fun unique way to wrap presents, right?!