Upcycled TV Stand Makeover

Check out this fun upcycled TV stand project! I found a large TV cabinet in rough shape on Craigslist and brought it back to life with paint and a lot of sanding!

Well, it’s been MONTHS since I first began working on the upcycled tv stand for our living room and I’m so happy to say that it is finally finished!! I’d like to say that I was diligently working on this since March, but I haven’t. I took a lot of time off between 2 coats of primer, 3 coats of paint, and 4 coats of poly, plus filling in holes and attaching new hardware, especially in May when I had the blues. But the point is, it’s done and we love it! Refinished tv standThe back story on this tv stand goes back to when we bought our new couch and gave the living room a makeover in late February/early March. The new couch was way bigger than our original couch and it dwarfed the old tv stand. Not to mention with where the couch was situated it could be difficult to watch the tv. We spent a few hours rearranging the room, but nothing really worked. This picture sucks shows how we moved the smaller tv stand and the tv as far to the right as they would go. It worked but definitely wasn’t a long-term fix especially since you couldn’t see over the arm of the sofa when laying down. #firstworldproblems TV placement

We decided to invest in a new tv stand that was taller, had storage options and would take up the entire wall across from the couch. Easier said than done! It’s next to impossible to find a tv stand 72″ long and at least 26″ tall on a budget! I searched Craigslist for months and even made a trip to IKEA, but nothing really had the look, or dimensions, I was going for. Then finally, I found it! A tv stand with all the right dimensions, fun lines and at a great price. We drove 45 minutes on a Saturday morning to pick it up, which was worth it for the $50 price tag. TV Stand - BeforeIt had some visible scratches and wear, but nothing that was a deal-breaker. I definitely didn’t realize how much work it would be though! After we got it home and I started taking things apart I realized that the piece was actually in rough shape. All of the backing and the bottom liners had water damage and were just disgusting, so I did a little demo and dismantled the whole thing. TV Stand disassembledThe previous owners also used a ton of nails and staples and screws to attach the cardboard backing, so I had to take a Dremel to some of the nail heads and staples to cut them off. We also bought plywood to act as the new backing so it would be more durable in the future. Dremel on tv stand

Then it was time for priming, painting and more painting. After this picture was taken I decided it would be easier to flip the whole piece over and prime, paint and seal the bottom before working on the top. TV Stand - bottomAfter everything was painted I realized that I didn’t want to reuse the same hardware because I didn’t think it went well with the new bright white color. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up some fun red knobs, and was so excited. But the drawers used to have pulls not knobs, so I had to fill the holes, with wood filler, all over my new paint job. Face palm. Using wood filler to fill handle holesFilling the drawer holes meant the drawers needed another two coats of paint since I had to sand down the wood filler. And since I had to repaint anyway I also decided to caulk several gaps and gauges that became more visible with white paint. Seriously guys, do all of this stuff BEFORE painting. It will save you hours and tears.TV stand - progressAfter all the painting was finally done I spent 3 weeks sealing the whole thing. I used 3 coats of poly, sanding between the first two coats. Then it sat in the garage for a week to fully cure. My worst nightmare was it not being fully cured and sticking to the bottom of the tv. Then this weekend I attached all of the new hardware and reassembled it. Then plopped my butt on the couch to watch tv. TV Area - Living RoomThe new tv stand definitely fits the scale of the room, and the couch better than the previous piece, plus now everyone can see the tv no matter where they are sitting or laying. We still have to push the tv to the right, but it doesn’t look as weird on this large piece as it did on the small stand.TV Stand refinish I’m on the hunt for a large vase or something of that sort to incorporate on the left side of the stand, just to keep it visually balanced with the tv. And so there’s something pretty to look at as soon as you step in from the foyer. Practical TV StandThe new hardware is definitely one of my favorite things about this piece now! I really love the subtle pop of red from the knobs and the antique key-hole look of these pulls. Plus the drawers provide great storage for our DVDs, video game controllers, extra wires, remotes and other living room knick-knacks. Refinished tv standThis being finished brings us one step closer to being done with the living room! Our to-do list is looking more like this now:

  • Curtains for the windows so they aren’t naked anymore. I’d prefer something with a red pattern that I can buy, but I’m open to making them if I have to.
  • Finish the sofa table we started this weekend. It needs to be about 5 inches shorter (length wise) and to be stained. We are actually mounting a shelf behind the couch instead. Coming soon!
  • Finish sewing the pillows for the couch. It’s been a work in progress for weeks and I just need to get them done.
  • Hang art over the couch to fill in the space and make things more homey.
  • Find a new, longer, tv stand. Now that we moved some things around the living room is seriously lacking storage for DVDs and game system accessories, so I’d like a bigger tv stand. If you’re local, I’m looking for something 72″ wide and no more than 26″ tall. Now I have to redo the one I bought!
  • Get a chair, or two, a side table and a plant to fill the corner of the room opposite the couch. Still hunting for the right chairs, at the right price!
  • Paint our mantel white, maybe add some molding to it, and secure it to the brick so it is more sturdy. I’d also really like to add a large mirror to the mantel to give the room the allusion of being deeper, something it lost with the large sectional being added to the room. Coming soon! (I hope!)
  • Replace the carpet. It needs it. I’d settle for a rug or two in the meantime though!

We are relieved to finally have the tv stand out of the garage and in the living room and to have this project finished in general! I’m hoping to have at least 2 more of those to-do list items finished before July! It’s good to be back in the swing of things!

*Linking up with Serenity Now, Virginia Bloggers, Remodelaholic*

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  1. Love it! Plus I had to say that I heart your extended editions of LOTR. I have the same ones sitting on my TV stand right now 🙂 Keep it up!

  2. I LOVE it! It’s the perfect size for the spot.

    Poly. I always skip that step (because I’m a rebel like that). Way to do the thing the right way!

  3. It turned out really nice! I love the bright white; it was worth all the time spent fixing it!

  4. Funny, this past weekend I was thinking about ways I could spruce up our TV unit in the family room!

    Even though from the sound of it this project was a bit (or a lot!) of a headache, your TV stand turned out great 🙂 I love the little pop of colour from the red pulls – definitely worth the extra effort it took to fill the old holes and repaint 🙂 And the scale works really well in your room.

    I hope you have time now to sit back and relax and enjoy some TV 🙂

  5. Fantastic transformation. I’ve been looking for just the right size and height media stand for a long time, and this gives me hope!

  6. I love a good make-over. The cabinet definitely came out great. I love that you repainted it and did some structural work as well. It looks great in the spot across from the sofa. Enjoy watching your favorite TV shows. 🙂

  7. Love the new stand. The red knobs are perfect! What about hanging some short floating shelves on the wall to the left of the TV to give some height and balance the television? It’d be a great spot to store a few décor pieces or frames, would balance the tv and if done in white- would probably even look like part of the tv stand. You would have to relocate the large wall clock though. Just a thought!

  8. I love attempting the same project (almost exactly)..it has been a nightmare! It was already black (glossy) but needed some touch-ups. Attempted to spray paint…. Mistake! Long story short,what kind of paint did you use?

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