Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vintage Record Cabinet to Sleek Nightstand

Vintage Record Cabinet Makeover

Because I LOVE a good before and after picture!

This project may be my least expensive and most instantly gratifying makeover yet! 

As I continue to makeover my guest bedroom, I was looking for a nightstand to match the custom bed I was making. I stumbled upon this little beauty at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. It was $20 dollars! I instantly saw the potential in it, I even kinda liked the little lion pulls on the front (though I knew I would change those too, cause I always change EVERYTHING). When my mom saw it she said "You know what this is? It's a vintage record cabinet." I thought..."Well I am about to sand the vintage right out of it!" So, I brought it home and it sat for months in my garage. I wanted to first build and finish the bed for the guest room so I could match the stain. 

Here is how I did the quick makeover:

Before- Beat up, but charming.
The inside- what makes it a "record cabinet".

First, I dusted the piece pretty well with a wet rag. Then I started sanding with my orbital sander. 

I definitely used my mask for this project, especially since I am allergic to mold. You never know where vintage pieces have been. 

I continued to sand, sand, sand...

The gold detail came right off with the sander.

To get into the corners, I had to use my "mouse" detail sander. Then again, I knew I was staining it very dark, so I was not too picky about getting every single spot off. 

After sanding it looked something like this:

Then I vacuumed it clean and wiped with a wet rag to remove all of the sawdust. 

I started staining with this stain:
Ebony Stain

Go with the grain of the wood.
And wear gloves otherwise you will get a very dark "sunless tan".

I coated the table with two coats of stain, waiting one day in between. 

Then I added two coats of Minwax Poly- Acrylic protectant in clear satin. 

Use a paintbrush.
Make sure to clean up "clumps" and "globs" and "drips" of the poly.
I sanded VERY lightly, with a very fine grit sandpaper block in between coats of poly. It goes on in a milky color, but turns clear quickly. 

Then I added new hardware, I think they were $3 each. 

Showing the new hardware, though the old lions were charming too!
I'll use the lions for another project, I'm sure. 

If you are wondering about the inside of the cabinet, I just cleaned it out, this was a time sensitive project and the inside looks great the way it is.

Here are some more afters:

In my "Jewel Box" Guest Room
Ohhh.. BTW- I found the "matching" record table online- looks like someone else saw the potential in this little cabinet "The Poppy Cottage"- She sold it on Etsy!

My cabinet's twin- somewhere out there. 

Hope you like this quick makeover. It's so fun to find something cheap and then make it into something beautiful!



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  1. Very pretty, Kirsten! Can you tell me about the Habitat for Humanity Restore? I'd love a look through that place!

    1. Grace- here is a link to their website! There is one in Gaithersburg and one in Downtown Frederick. They are employed by volunteers and all of the items in the store are donated. They have everything from leftover paint, to toilets, to tools, to furniture. Once I saw Red Lobster's old booths and tables in one of them!

  2. Beautiful! Where did you buy the knobs?

    1. Just Home depot. Here is a link- They are $3.97.

  3. Awesome! I have a record player from the 1960's and I have thinking for over a year in the color so I think this ebony stain might just make it even more more beautiful. I'll share the after soon. Thanks for sharing

  4. Does sanding take the mold smell out of a piece?

    1. I think so, Especially after you either- prime it or stain it then add poly- acrylic, then it smells like stain LOL! But make sure you wear a mask, because you can develop a sinus infection getting all that dust in your nose. I have had a couple after sanding. After time I think the piece does not smell much anymore.

    2. a 50/50 mix of wite vinegar and water wash will take the musty smell out. I just bought this exact piece at a resale shop for use as a t.v stand in a bedroom, do you know what kind of wood it is?

    3. Tom- Not sure what kind of wood it is. I will try the vinegar solution soon. What are the chances but my sister in law gave me another cabinet almost the exact same one that has been around since her husbands college days. I am going to refinish it as my other nightstand. Are you going to refinish the tv stand?

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