Makeover: Mid-Century Modern Dresser to Savvy Media Cabinet
I love finding old neglected treasures at thrift shops and auctions and giving them a fresh new look. Not only does vintage furniture tend to be sturdier and better constructed compared to modern pieces – hello solid wood! – but, they also provide a unique, one-of-a-kind element to your décor. In other words, re-purposed treasures are an essential ingredient of what I call meaningful decor.
After all, we could all furnish our rooms by buying all the furniture and accessories featured on the page of a Bouclair catalogue and it would probably look pretty good, but would it reflect your individual style? And, don’t get me wrong, I love to purchase the odd piece from Bouclair or HomeSense – just not the whole room!
And…I haven’t even mentioned the positive environmental aspect of transforming an old, unused object into a needed item that will be used!
So…at one of my regular visits to the local thrift shops I found this great old solid wood dresser in pretty decent shape. And, as a bonus – the dresser had MidCentury Modern design elements – a classic and very popular look.
In case you’re wondering Mid-Century Modern design describes mid-20th century developments in modern design from roughly the mid -1930s to 1960s. The style is known for its clean and simple lines and quality construction.
Since I had a client looking for a unique media cabinet – he had already seen a picture of my dresser to media cabinet makeover and admired it – I took it home and set to work.
- The entire piece was cleaned with TSP, a terrific all-purpose cleaner for removing old grease and grime. Just make sure you wipe the piece down with clean water after cleaning.
- After filling in the deep scratches with Elmers Wood Filler, the top and sides were sanded well with medium grit sandpaper.
- The top drawers were removed and I had a piece of 1/2 inch pine cut to fit the inside dimensions by Home Depot. My handy carpenter friend removed the top drawer supports and installed the shelf, just above the middle drawer support. We added a piece of trim to cover the shelf edge.
- The exterior shell and the top shelf and interior were primed with KILZ Original Low VOC oil based primer. I find that oil based primers add durability to painted finishes. One of my tips is I use a Chip Brush, purchased for approximately $1 that I throw out afterwards.
- I then added two coats of Benjamin Moore Satin Simply White paint and two coats of Varathane Diamond Wood Interior Satin Finish on the top and sides and inside the shelf area.
- I stripped the old varnish on the drawers with Minwax Paint & Varnish Remover.
- I then added one coat of Minwax Early American Wood Finish Stain.
- I finished the drawers with two coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly.
- The unique original brass hardware just needed a touch up with Rub n Buff (a wax metallic finish) in Antique Gold.
My client loves his new media cabinet! Since we are working on the rest of his interior, new pictures of his living room featuring the cabinet will be forthcoming.