Re-Purposed Television Stand

I've been doing very little sewing lately. The thing is, it's the weather. Wisconsin summers are way too short so you have to savor every moment of every nice day. At least I think I do. With that said, I maximize my outdoor time with gardening, weeding, taking long walks and using the garage as a workshop.

The garage is the perfect place to paint during the spring, summer and fall depending on the humidity and the extreme in high and low temperatures. Here in Wisconsin in spring and fall the daytime temps can be perfect however the nighttime temps can fall below 40 quite often. That's not good for drying paint. It can also get well over 90 in summer during the day. Again, not good painting weather. So when those perfect days to come, I get busy.

I decided to start with an old television stand that my daughter was storing in my basement. It had a nice large cabinet that sat low to the floor with a brace that was attached to the back of the main unit. A flat-panel television bracket was attached to the wooden brace. It was a hideous looking thing made of a very dark veneer.

After reading a few articles on painting over veneer, I thought I would write about my experience. I started by taking the wooden brace off the back of the main unit. Then I removed all the hardware; the knobs, hinges, drawer slides and pretty much anything that was screwed on to the main piece. I even removed the glass from the doors so I could paint the doors easily without worrying about getting paint where it does not belong. I purchased a gallon of Zinsser Bulls Eye oil-based primer. This stuff is noted for its ability to cover any surface without sanding and I was all about not sanding.

I put a coat of primer on the piece and let it dry overnight. The next part was the hard part. Choosing a color. I've been obsessed with the teals and blues lately so I chose a pretty color called North Haven and I purchased a quart of Dutch Boy Kitchen and Bath semi-gloss enamel paint. This stuff takes a long time to dry, but I would rather have a quality coat of paint than a quick coat that comes off when you bump into it.

The paint went over the primer like a dream. It covered so well, I didn't have to give it a second coat. Although, I did miss a few spots...an occupational hazard of painting in a not-so-well lit garage. While the piece was drying I took the hardware into the back yard and spray painted it with some metallic silver paint. The hardware was originally a dark brown that matched the color of the veneer but now with my blue paint, the hardware needed an upgrade as well. The only problem I had was that one door knob was missing so I had to buy two new knobs for the doors. At least I had the drawer pulls and the hinges all in tact. I waited until a sale at the hardware store and I purchased two glass knobs for the doors.

After a few days, I put the hardware back on and moved the piece into the house. The only trouble I had with getting it back together is that the glass did not want to slide into its groove as easily as it came out. I think the extra layers of paint had something to do with that so I just took a scraping tool and ran it along the groove that the glass sat in and that fixed the problem.

Over the weekend while the newly repurposed television stand that I now call a bench was drying, my husband went on a day trip to do some wine tastings. We just happened to find a quilt shop along the way and I had to stop. As I was rummaging through the clearance fabric section, I came across the prettiest little print with beige and blue flowers. It really looked like the blue I chose for my new bench. So I bought 3 yards of the fabric.

When I got home I was amazed to find that the fabric had the exact same blue in it as my paint. I was thrilled. I knew I had a piece of upholstery foam in the back of my closet left over from an outdoor furniture project I did years ago. I wondered if the foam would be the right size for the bench. It sure would be nice to think that I kept that leftover foam all these years for good reason. When I took it out, it was a little too wide and not quite long enough to go end-to-end but it would still work. I was going to get a nice cushion for my new bench at minimal cost!

I cut off the extra 3 inches from the width of the foam and got out a bunch of leftover quilt batting. I placed 4 layers of quilt batting over the foam and put a few basting stitches in the layers to hold them in place. Then I made a muslin cover first, just like a pillow cover. The muslin would be the lining for the bench cushion and the template for the cushion cover as well. Once the muslin cover was done, I slipped the foam and batting into the muslin and sewed the opening shut. When I made the cover from the flower-print fabric, I inserted a zipper into the side seam so the cushion could be removed and the cover will be washable.

The cushion very nicely sits on the new bench, like they were made to go together. I love re-purposing pieces like this. The only problem I have now is that I don't need it. Good thing I have a son who just bought a new house. I think this will look nice in his currently empty home!

Entertainment center makeover

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