Media Cabinet Re-Up-Over

Refurbish.  Up-cycle.  Makeover.  Words I see alot in my frequented corners of the www.  This reupover is one I've been looking forward to for more than a year now.  Until this past week my buffet cabinet has had to fill in as a media cabinet.  Frankly, I don't think it would have lasted much longer if we had not retired it to the dining room.  The buffet has been de-pbj'd, dusted, and waxed and sits peacefully in its new spot away from little hands and hot wheels.

Since April I've been frequenting thrift shops, scouring garage and estate sales, searching for a suitable media cabinet for our family.  Any prospective cabinet had to meet certain criteria if it was to come home with me:

  1. It must have a deep enough surface to accomodate the hump on the back of our tv.  We don't have one of those new-fangled flat screens (don't want one or foresee one being ours anytime this decade).  We do have a hand-me-down box Panasonic tv that's in great condition, no green lines or "bwernkshxz" sound when you turn the power on and off. 
  2. It must have ample storage. Drawers or shelves for our dvds, wii accessories/games, and whatever else will end up in the media cabinet are a must. Storage. Must. Have. Storage.
  3. It can't be a tall cabinet or armoire.  I used to think that 's what I wanted, so that I could close the door on the tv and boxes of equipment.  I used to think that.  Now after too many moves to count, I've realized that low cabinets are easier to move than tall cabinets.  Verily I say unto thee.  Low is the way to go...for us.
  4. It must be free or cheap.  Dirt cheap.
Bassett Furniture!
Are these unreasonable?  Too limiting?  Too high a standard?  You wouldn't think so.  But this search proved more difficult than I thought.  Finally one week in June I went back to the Salvation Army and found a suitable cabinet, it definitely met #'s 1-3...#4 was a problem.  I'm all for making a donation via a purchase to the Salvation Army, BUT, the price they had on this cabinet was much too high.  Never one to shy away from asking about a lower price, I asked.  I was pleased with the answer.  The manager reduced the price by $20.00.  It wasn't a "steal", but it was definitely a better buy at the reduced price.
NINE drawers!

So, here's a tip for you:  The Salvation Army dates items they take in as donations.  This particular location was willing to reduce this cabinet because it had been on the sales floor for more than a month.  Ask an employee about price reductions on an item a month old or more.  You may get a better price too!

So, once I got it home I went about vaccuuming it out, cleaning it, and removing the hardware. I cleaned the hardware and decided I liked the finish and left it as is.

In keeping with a lighter scheme and wanting to give a nod to our love of the beach and a casual living style I decided on a paint scheme of white-washed grey with light distressing.  

Paris Grey basecoat

First came a base coat of Paris Grey ASCP.  Using this wonderful paint eliminates the drudgery of priming and sanding and makes painting furniture even more FUN!  

Tip #2:  ASCP is expensive if you are just looking at the price per quart compared to a quart of paint from the hardware store.  However, that would be an inaccurate comparison, like comparing apples to oranges.  ASCP goes a very long way for me.  For a piece this size I fill a small (6 or 8oz.) dixie cup 2/3 full of paint, then the remaining way with tap water.  This will dillute the paint to the consistency of pancake syrup.  The dilluted paint covers great and goes on smoothly...better than it does straight out of the can.  Best of all this will increase the mileage you get from one quart of paint!  I'm still on the same can of Paris Grey and have done 3 pieces of furniture and a few small accessories.  Verily I say unto thee.

Old White white-wash

By the time I had finished with the Paris Grey basecoat, I was able to go to the end I started on and begin "white-washing" it with Old White.  ASCP dries that fast!

Old White white-wash and distressed top

Once the cabinet and drawers were white-washed I got  a damp rag and used it to distress the top a bit.  This damp rag "sanding" eliminates the dust and greatly reduced the time I spent on sanding/distressing.  

distressed with damp rag

distressed top

After the piece was white-washed I waxed it with Johnson's clear paste wax.  I waxed a section at at time and then buffed it right away.  This gives me the slight shine and luster I like.  I also waxed the hardware and buffed it, this did the trick and gave a nice finish to the original hardware.



Marian, this door's for you
yesterday :)
After only a week we have already gotten our money's worth out of this piece of furniture.  Once a dresser for a master bedroom suite, it has a new life with us and its fitting in quite nicely.  

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