Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Entertainment Center Re-do

Today's blog is by a very special guest daughter, who is way smarter and 100 times more talented than her poor old dyed hair mother.  

This entertainment center began its journey in the clearance section of Target (priced $65) in Illinois and traveled with me through 5 apartments and 3 boyfriends, before it ended up in me and my husband’s new home in Texas.  It, like me, has been through a lot! 
During our move to Texas, the entertainment center was almost completely destroyed.  The “before” pics are the ones I took as part of our complaint with the movers, who deserve whatever the opposite of a “shout-out” is! 
However, this journey has a happy ending.  We took a sad, old, battered, meant-for-box-TVs entertainment center and turned it into a beautiful, budget-friendly, wine-and-game “entertainment” center. 
The supplies included the following: 
*If you are not using a small wine refridgerator, you can use the Closetmaid 25-cube shoe organizer to fill in the space.   
Some optional steps I took:  
Sanding.  In my case, the piece was original covered in an oak laminate, which I painted black.  I started by sanding (using an orbital sander) off the pieces of black paint that scratched off the surface.  I didn’t sand 100% of the piece, just the places that didn’t feel smooth. 
Priming.  Again, I think this could be optional for most.  The reason I think this is semi-optional is because of 1) the black paint situation I was in and 2) the Olympic paint did GREAT in the areas inside the pieced that did not have black paint and had not been sanded.   
If you have the time, money and patience to prime, then you can use what I used, which was recommended by some pinterest-ing bloggers – Zinsser BIN primer.   Learn from my mistakes and be sure to make like a disco anthem and “shake, shake, shake”.   (Note to self:  Primer should be the consistency of yogurt – not milk!) 
New moulding at the bottom.  Because the movers destroyed the bottom of our entertainment center, I had to add a piece of moulding to hide the damage.  The moulding added a great finishing touch though, so I recommend it! 
If you decide to add new base moulding, then here is what to do.  Trim the base moulding to fit the bottom and attach to entertainment center at the base.  I only put the moulding at the front, but if you decide to go all around, then make sure to cut the corners at an angle (45 degrees) so it fits together.   
I used construction glue and nails to help it stay.   The glue can probably be omitted.   Lastly, I would recommend sinking the nail in the moulding.  I used finishing nails and then a little skinny drill bit piece to help hammer the nails deeper into the wood, so the nails wouldn’t stick out.  After that I then put a little putty over the nail holes, so it ended up looking unblemished! 

Now if start with a piece of furniture that does not have many layers of old paint that is darker than your desired new color or a busted base, here is what to do: 
  1. Put together the shoe organizer according to the directions.  It is actually a quick and painless process!  I think it was less than 30 minutes. 
  2. Plan where you want your shelf to go.  I put the shoe organizer in the entertainment center, then set the shelf on top of the organizer and drew a line under the bottom of the shelf to mark where to drill holes for the shelf support.  (Make sure to remove the organizer for the next steps). However, another (more precise) way to do step 2 would be to measure how tall the shoe organizer is and then measure where to drill your shelf support holes [Symbol] 
  3. Drill new holes for the shelf supports, which are little metal pieces that come with entertainment center.  *Make sure that you do not drill through the wood all the way!  You only want to drill deep enough for the support so the other side of the wood stays smooth. 
  4. Use spackle or wood filler to fill in the old shelf support holes…those are the pre-drilled holes from the factory that let you choose where the shelf goes.  Since I was setting the shelf much lower than they anticipated, you now see why I had to re-drill the holes! 
  5. Trim the panel to size, if needed. 
  6. Prepare to paint by removing knobs, putting down drop cloth or newspapers, and pulling your hair back…trust me, my “frosted” tips were not cute!   
  7. Prime the entire entertainment center and shelf.  Then, wait for recommended drying time (usually about 1 hour).  You can skip step 5, if pay the few extra bucks for paint and primer [Symbol]! 
  8. Paint everything (center, shelf, panel) the desired color.  I did not paint the shoe organizer because it’s a close match to the paint color I chose.  However, you will need to paint the organizer if you choose a different color, which is outside the “white” color group. 
  9. Attach the stemware rack.  It comes with 4 screws that drill into the wood.  Only a screwdriver needed and very quick! 
  10. Reattach the shelf and put the shoe organizer underneath the shelf.   
  11. Attach the paneling by nailing it to the back. 
  12. Step back and admire your work…then add your accessories [Symbol]  the wine bottles, glasses, ice buck, and other little touches will make it look even better! 
I store our board games, puzzles, and a few of our favorite CDs in the bottom cabinet area.  Between the games, music and the wine, it truly became an “entertainment” center! 
This step is after sanding.  Note the original finish and the black…and how Lola thinks this is her new play center [Symbol] 
Mid-way through priming. 

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