life is always about the journey...

Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY REHAB!! Give a Little Love.....

This is the story of a very OLD media center that was once home to a huge black projection tv...yeah you remember those right?  We bought ours back in 2001 (yes 13 years ago) and bought the entertainment center to go around it...that was the dealio with the hubs. He got the big black box tv and I got the media center to ummmm hide it LOL!  That TV moved to 3 different homes in 13 years and I prayed that one day it would die...yes I really did..shhh don't tell the hubs.  

Mismatched woods, black glass, cats got behind the was a disaster...ick!

Then 2 years ago that big, ugly tv broke...I got my wish..but broke the night BEFORE the Summer OLYMPICS OMG!!  You know we are Olympic obsessive right?  So we went to Best Buy to pick out a new took the hubs 2.5 hours while Alexa and I lounged on the couches...but we got a new SmartTV and I love it.

But I was stuck with that entertainment center that fit the big black box...ummm what to do, what to do.
So we bought a cheap fake wood & glass center table to set the new TV on knowing it would be an interim fix...ahem...a 2 year fix.  Because as much as I wanted a new entertainment center I could not see paying over $10,000 for the one I had drooled over when I knew we would be downsizing in a few years.  So I dreamed of what I could make of the media center that we have. 

Read On.....

I did the whole media center in a hours for the entire project was about 3.5 hours.
Total cost was $180...quite a savings compared to $10,000 for a new media center me thinks.
I still need to get 4 more knobs in the dark bronze so they all match but those are about $6 a piece.
That's $10 for staining pads & a new sanding block, and Ikea piece for $169.  I had the Annie Sloan chalk paint (in Old White) and the dark and clear waxes already.

I cannot even tell you how many times I come in my family room and do a double take LOL.  I absolutely am in love with how it turned out, how it lightened up my family room and how easy it was to transform.  A total win-win!

The insides around the TV are still unfinished...I'm trying to see if I want them painted or leave them unpainted like inside the glass doors.  Not sure yet....

I tried to explain how I did this to my mom and it really is an easy process but it sounds weird when I explain it.  Once you've used the paints and waxes you get a feel for how they work and can be applied.  So my BIGGEST TIP is for you to paint something first with the paint, an old board or a really see how it all works.  I had already done candlesticks, a shelf and of course the top of my coffee table so I knew exactly how to do it.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White...I LOVE this paint!

1)  Paint your piece with 2 coats of chalk paint...UNLESS its really dark then I would suggest painting with a primer for one coat.  The primer you can get anywhere and its inexpensive and will make your more expensive chalk paint go on easier without wasting it.
NOTE: You do not have to sand or degloss most furniture to use chalk paint unless you want to or it is really flaking and you need to remove the paint.  Chalk paint will even work on laminated finishes.

2) Sand any smudges, drips, lines out of your paint.  Sand harder in spots you want distressed...that is total personal preference but I always do along the sides and corners, and a few along big expanses of wood.

3) Wipe entire piece down with a tack cloth after sanding.

4)  Use a staining pad (which I love) or a clean cloth and dip into the clear wax and then the dark wax.  Swipe the wax on IN THE DIRECTION OF THE WOOD don't want crazy lines.
Keep mixing the 2 waxes to achieve the darkness/distress look that you want.  If you don't want to change the color at all then use just the clear wax.

5)  I sand over the dark wax areas a bit to lighten them a bit and give more striations in the paint.  Then wipe again with tack cloth once wax is dried.  If you've gone too dark with the darker wax you can sand it down...its easy to fix.

6) After 24 hours I go over the entire piece with another thin coat of clear wax just to protect the finish.

At first I was going to build a center piece (hahaha) but the more I thought about it, I decided to try to find something that was fairly cheap and already built that I could paint.  I looked in the Habitat ReStore for something but nothing was the right length, width or depth. So one night I was searching on Ikea's website and found this media piece called "Hemnes" and got it in white for $169.  The hubs put it together one night for me and I painted it the next day.  Perfect fit...and I mean the TV fits amazingly in the extra room. And we got some more storage with those drawers...BONUS!

I restyled the top for a new, cleaner look because not only was the top of it super dusty (ugh) but it had gotten cluttered with too many pieces.  So I redid all the shelves behind the glass as well and the top of the center to my liking.  My treasured signed Redskin football by all the players is now protected behind glass along with our Nationals signed gear :)

Above the TV I have 3 framed botanicals that I will be hanging...I need to paint the frames to match the media center because I want them to kind of fade in while filling the space.

I had workmen here the day I was doing all of this and they were laughing because I was UP the ladder and DOWN the ladder like 30 times trying out combinations for a new vignette.  Good leg workout I say ;)  Those 3 lanterns are from Decor Steals and I adore them.  The rest are pieces I've had for years and some are antiques.

Yes, that is "Fixer Upper" on HGTV on my tv...I'm obsessed..its my fave show. Love JoJo & Chip!
The slipcover on the chair in the corner is from SureFit...the chair had seen its last days upholstery wise but I am not in the market for a new chair. I love the slipcover...its washable twill and worked well.

I lightened up all my dark couches with new pillows that bring in the terracotta from the walls and accents. The pillows are from Target's Threshold Line along with the throw.

And just a fun note:  I did this project while working on 100 projects preparing for Alexa's graduation party AND redoing the basement bedroom from drywall to carpet to furniture building for Riley. All in the same why do I tell you this...well one because I'm a total nutjob for taking it on that week. BUT also to show you how easy it was to do and get done...if I can do can do it :)

And because we all love a good BEFORE and AFTER:




  1. Wow! What a difference. I really love the transformation. I have an old desk that I might try this on. Thank you for sharing...

  2. It looks great!! I'm always afraid to take on bigger DIY projects. But you've inspired me to tackle some things I've been meaning to do.

  3. Suzanne have such a since of style and inspire me. I need to take pictures and have you help design my drab yucky living room.

  4. Suzanne you inspire me you have such a great skill set and such a beautiful eye for detail. Need you do do something with my drab ugly living room. But, please remember to take care of yourself.

  5. This is so cool! Love it! I've got a piece that I bought at the local Rescue Mission that came out of a doctor's office. it's an ugly shade of mauve laminate!! The upside is it has multiple skinny drawers that are perfect for storing stamps. Now I know what I want to use to cover the ugliness! Yay! I'll be sure to take before and after pics to share with you! Thanks for the inspiration!


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