Tuesday, July 31, 2018

From Bland to Glam on a Budget - TV Console DIY

This post came sooner than planned, but I am so excited to be sharing with you this DIY for refinishing a TV stand / buffet. I have to give credit where credit is due, and have to thank the real MVP Todd for doing  80% of the work on this project. We are getting closer and closer to revealing our living room design, and I can't freaking wait to show y'all! 

When I first started curating the design for the living room one of the pieces I had the hardest time finding was a TV console that was navy, tall enough to hold a space in the vaulted living room, felt modern, and was slim enough so it didn't protrude too much from the wall (per Todd's request). Honestly I couldn't find anything close to what I was envisioning, and also fit within our budget (big shout out to our mortgage for sucking us dry #itsfineimfineeverythingsfine). 

Back when I was redesigning my office (posts here) I had to stick within a budget, and from that is where I learned that I love refinishing furniture. When I redid my office was during a time when Todd was away for a week, and did all the work myself. With having Todd around for this made the finished product 10x better since he pays so much attention to detail. 

I am so in love with how the finished product turned out, and that it was a project we worked on together. If you are looking for a DIYfor a TV stand on a budget keep reading below. 

Art: Minted here and here (each is 30x40) c/o / Handles: Hook and Knob c/o / White Box: Home Goods (similar here, here, here, and here) / Gold Sphere: Amazon

Thrifting for the Perfect Piece

When we both decided that we would refinish a buffet or console we immediately started to search for the perfect piece on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, and thrift stores. When I lived in Arizona the thrift stores were golden, and found so many amazing pieces for my office. In Pennsylvania the thrift stores were all a bust, and lacked a variety of furniture. A couple weeks went by, and ended up finding the buffet on Facebook marketplace. They were originally asking $35, but Todd talked the owner down to $30! 

Pro Tip: When you are first learning how to thrift be aware that it may take a little while to find the perfect piece. Give it some time, and search diligently online and thrift stores regularly. 

What to Look for When Thrifting

You can find some gems out there when thrifting, and can do a 360 transformation if you have bare bones to work with. The types of things you want to look for are:

Pieces that are real wood.
No deep scratches.
Furniture matches the dimensions of your space and your trunk (if this buffet was one inch bugger theres no way that we could have fit it in our car)
Look for potential not perfection. 
Are the repairs more than you want to take on?

Here's the before image of the console we bought. What attracted us to this piece was that it was solid wood, had a glass door that would be perfect for us to put our dvd and Apple TV in, had storage where we could put dvds, and was roughly the height and width we were looking for. 

Cutting the Depth of the Console


  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Measuring tape
The console was originally to deep for what we wanted so Todd decided to saw ten inches off the console. This is probably a step that isn't necessary for most people, but just know it's always an option. Since the back of the console was plywood we removed it first by unscrewing it, and placed it to the side to be used as the back for the new console. Todd took a hand saw, and cut the console in half. A power saw would have worked better, but the hand saw was all we had. Funny enough, the trash half of the console worked as Todd's work bench. 

Since the shelves were going to be too deep for the new console we had to cut those as well. We saved the extra wood from the shelves for legs later on in this post. 



  • 60 grit sand paper $4
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand plane
You can probably tell by the image quality that I finally remembered to grab my DSLR camera at this  point in the DYI tutorial (photographer fail). 

To prep our console for sanding we removed the shelves, doors, hardware, and the top/bottom moldings off the console. You can use either a screw driver or drill to take off everything.

The top and bottom moldings read "old" to us so we decided to remove them to make the console more mainstream. Once we removed the moldings Todd used a hand plane mixed with sanding to smooth out the wood. 

Both of us tackled sanding the whole console, doors, and shelves. 

Putty Work


  • Putty (we used DryDex. Won't crack. Can be sanded and painted) $6 each, and we used 2 for total of $12
  • 60 grit sand paper
  • Putty knife
When we were discussing how we could make this console more modern Todd came up with this idea. Todd told me that we could use putty to fill in the grooves on the console sides and doors to make the piece more mainstream. We took a putty knife and applied the putty generously in the areas we wanted to fill. Since we were going to put new hardware on the console we filled the previous hardware holes with putty. The putty we used takes a few hours to dry so we waited until the next day to sand or reapply more putty. Once we got the putty to fill the gaps seamlessly we sanded the dry putty to create a smooth surface. 

Making the console taller - Adding Legs


  • Wood for legs or can purchase premade legs at Lowe's or Home Depot. We used a piece of wood from Lowe's $10
  • Drill or screw driver
  • Hand saw or power saw
  • Nails
  • Wood that will act as a "covering" for the legs. We used wood from the shelves we cut earlier in this post. 
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post one of the things we were looking for in a console was a specific height. Our living room has vaulted ceilings, and need pieces of furniture that have some height to hold the space. The original form of the console was too short for what we were needing so we decided to add an additional legs to it. If you are planning to do this to your piece of furniture make sure that doing something like this will work for your piece, and not look like its sitting on stilts (you'll see what I mean soon). 

We got a piece of wood at Lowe's, and Todd cut it into 4 legs that matched the height we needed. Since this wood wasn't going to be seen we looked for something sturdy, and not necessarily pretty. 

We flipped the console over, and screwed in the new legs. If you look at the picture below the legs look a little funny, and the console looks like its sitting on stilts. 

To make the leg look seamless Todd cut the wood from the extra shelf wood to make a covering for the new leg. For the front legs he used two pieces to frame the leg so you wouldn't see the stick leg from the side. Once the legs were framed we then puttied the seams, holes, and allowed to dry over night. Once dried the putty was sanded for a smooth surface. 



  • Gallon of paint (we used one with a primer) $25
  • Tarp 
  • Paint brush
  • Damp rag
We finally made it to the best part! PAINTING!
For those new to painting make sure you do this before you paint. Vacuum or sweep up your painting area so it's clean of saw dust or dirt so nothing sticks to your paint. Also, wipe down everything you are painting with a damp rag. I learned this lesson the hard way a while ago, and ended up getting flakes of saw dust in my paint. 

Once everything is wiped down its time to get to painting! When we applied our first layer of paint we realized that the blue was too bright for what we were going for. The swatch inside of Lowe's looked darker in the inside light, but looked so bright in direct sun. Since we didn't want to buy more paint we went to Lowe's and they tinted our preexisting gallon a darker blue without charge. I am so glad we did that so the console didn't look like it needed to be in a nursery. 

We applied three coats to the console, shelves, and doors. 

Putting Everything Together - Ta Da Moment


  • Hardware - Handles. I got mine from Hook and Knob c/o. We got the 3 -7.5 inch ones at $6.99 each.
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
Here's where everything comes together. When the paint has dried reassemble your console (don't forget to place the original back on it). The part that made me so happy was these gorgeous handles from Hook and Knob. They also have different sizes if the 7.5 doesn't suit your piece. 

As you can see that it didn't take much money to turn this console into something completely different. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you got some ideas for your next project :)

Big thank you to Minted for providing the gorgeous artwork, and Hook and Knob for providing the gorgeous hardware for this post!


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