I recently completed a custom job for a client. She had an old entertainment center that was in two pieces but only wanted the bottom piece redone. She asked if I would be interested in bartering the top. In return, I would give her a discount on her finished piece. Here in the country, it’s what we do, we barter. It’s not always veggies or eggs, it’s furniture too! I knew I could repurpose this old entertainment cabinet top and give it a new life.
The entertainment center top sat in my garage for over a week. Every time my husband looked at it, he just shook his head. He could not see this ugly top being anything but, well, an ugly top. I was determined to show him that this ugly duckling could be beautiful again.
The cabinet frame was in good condition but the it was covered in dust and grime from being stored in an outside shed. (While I am writing this post, I am sitting outside, and a little bird is pecking away at the ground trying to get a worm, and he did just that!). Anyways, I pondered for days, waiting for inspiration to hit. Visits to the garage, just sitting staring at the top.
The Idea For the Old Entertainment Center Top
One rainy night in Georgia, while lying in bed, my mind was in overdrive. I laid there thinking of ways I could transform this old entertainment center top into something that was useful and unique. Suddenly, at 3 a.m., I hopped out of bed and ran into the garage. The Hubs didn’t flinch, he is apparently used to my late-night rendezvous in the garage.
The next day, I told my husband my vision. I wanted to flip the piece upside down. He just stood there, staring with this blank look on his face. Without any argument, he flipped the piece. After looking it up and down, he was quite surprised by the upside-down look. I then proceeded to explain the rest of my vision. I wanted to remove the two drawers (yes it has drawers I just forgot to take a photo, ughhh!) and replace them with shelves. The glass in the door panels would be removed and replaced with chicken wire. Lastly, I asked the Hubs to build me a new plank top. He agreed!
At that time, I didn’t know it was just the beginning of a long series of furniture flipping upside down . Click here to see another hutch top we flipped!
Supply List for the Repurposed Entertainment Cabinet
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– Behr Paint “Sage Garden”
We then started discussing what type of furniture feet we would need. The piece needed to have sturdy feet to keep it stable. We visited Lowe’s and found several sets that seemed rather flimsy and just not large enough. After discussing what we needed with one of the Sales Associates, he gave us an idea. He took us over to the decking department, and he showed us these deck post toppers. They were very well constructed, and also had a flat bottom. He knew they could hold the weight of the former entertainment center, and still look stylish.
The next day, we got to work. We removed the glass doors and the drawers, and the Hubs replaced them with shelves. To construct the shelves, he just simply measured the area and cut a piece of plywood to fit. He also helped attach the deck post toppers to cabinet new bottom. He constructed me a new wood top and also a bottom piece to cover the holes where the lighting fixtures were located. Then I sanded the new top to get a smooth wood surface.
The one original part of the entertainment center I decided to keep was the backing. Normally when repurposing furniture pieces with backs, the old back is the first to go! However, on this top, I loved the beadboard feel it had, so I decided to keep it.
After construction was complete, I removed all the ugly hardware. I gave it a good cleaning with TSP. It took a lot of paper towels, it was dirty. I mean dirty.
The Paint Process
The color I chose was Sage Garden by Behr. I decided to make my own chalk paint for this project (there are tons of recipes on Pinterest). I only mix one cup of paint at the time, because here in the South where the humidity is very high, the chalk paint does not store well. Also, be sure to use flat paint, not semi-gloss paint.
I gave the entire piece, including the inside, two coats of the chalk paint, allowing a 24-hour drying period between coats. I stained the top with Minwax Dark Walnut.
Next, I used my Gator 120 grit sandpaper and distressed heavily, by hand. You may also use a foam sanding block or sanding sponge. When it comes to distressing, everyone has his own favorite technique.
I decided to apply a coat of antiquing glaze to give the entertainment center an old, worn-out feel. Antiquing glaze works better over the Polycrylic. If you use the glaze straight over the paint, the paint will absorb the glaze and it will change your entire paint color and make it look dirty! Trust me, I know! Applying the glaze is a very simple process wipe on, wipe off. I normally have a damp cloth so that I can remove any access glaze in areas I may have applied too much. While I was applying the glaze, the Hubs added the chicken wire to the doors.
For the final touches, I decided to add a wood applique to the center, to give it some classiness. The knobs are from Hobby Lobby. They were perfect for the cabinet! I thought this repurposed entertainment center top would be the perfect addition to a living room or entryway. With its new shelves, it could be used a display case.
I listed it for sale, and it sold the same day!
My Amazon Picks for this project
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Yet another hutch top we flipped! CLICK HERE to see it! Here is the before:
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it will be.”
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