Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reconstructing Roadkill

Mr. Charming brought this piece home for me.   He rescued it from the curb side.   Yes.. someone was throwing this away…tsk tsk.
This piece is all real wood.   I believe the previous owner was using it as a chest.  He nailed the doors shut and made the top removable.
wooden entertainment unit 001a
wooden entertainment unit 006a

I really liked the stain on this chest but it was very scratched, and very glossy, besides I had something else in mind for it.   Even though the appliques were not all in perfect condition, (some were broken)  I decided to leave them on as is.
wooden entertainment unit 011a
So now that you get the gist of this chest, lets rework into something a little different.
First we put the removable top aside and put some wooden braces on the inside.
wooden entertainment unit 015a
We already had some finished plywood and cut a piece to fit inside the existing frame and on top of those braces.   This finished plywood was glued to the braces and nailed from the inside.
wooden entertainment unit 022a
The nails were removed and the doors were opened.  I primed the inside of the cabinet and the raw finished plywood with the same primer.
2038-01-22 001 002 - Copy
I gave it all a good couple of coats of Valspar’s Porcelain.  At this point I saw the very noticeable nail holes in the appliques that weren’t noticeable when the unit was darker.  I filled the holes, smoothed them out and gave it another very light spray of color.
wooden entertainment unit during3a
Now it’s finally ready for glazing.
wooden entertainment unit glazing 001a
Using my own mixture of brown paint and glazing medium The entire piece gets brushed with glaze, then wiped down and dry brushed.
wooden entertainment unit glazing 002b
wooden entertainment unit glazing 011a
I also painted and glazed these three pieces of wood that were measured and cut to fit on top. You’ll see these a little further down.
wooden entertainment unit glazing 016a
Now back to the top piece we took off.  This is an amazing piece of wood, but it needed to be sanded down to remove a lot of lacquer and stain.
wooden entertainment unit 030a
Armed with my tools… a power sander (a larger one would have been nice, but I work with what I have),  some good stripping sand paper and a very good face mask.
wooden entertainment unit 033a
I had every intention of stripping this right down and then staining it again…
wooden entertainment unit 036a
but as I got further down, I liked the little stain that remained.  It had a weathered, barn board look.  I liked it…so it stays.  I passed over it again with a finer grit sand paper just to smooth it out even better.
wooden entertainment unit 040a
To keep the rustic barn board look I used a satin Polyurethane from Minwax with a foam brush.
wooden entertainment unit glazing 019a
Those three pieces of wood that were cut, painted and glazed were measured to fit underneath the stained top.   Braced with wood previously removed from this top, these pieces are screwed in at three different points…
wooden entertainment unit after 006a
..and the wood was placed on top of the unit.
wooden entertainment unit after 009a
The old discarded chest is now repurposed into a media unit.
wooden entertainment unit after 016a
*** Just a side note that these pictures show the unit being used with my TV that was already mounted on the wall for another cabinet.  This cabinet was made for someone else and their flat screen will be sitting on the top.***
wooden entertainment unit after 012a
You’ll notice that there are no handles on the doors.  I thought that handles or knobs would interfere with the appliques and I opted not to use hardware.
wooden entertainment unit after 015a
wooden entertainment unit after 022a
You can make your own media centre with any dresser simply by lifting the top or adding a great piece of wood for the top.
wooden entertainment unit after 025a
Remember the cabinet was made for a flat panel tv with a stand, so the ledge on top will be the perfect size.
wooden entertainment unit after 038a
wooden entertainment unit after 046a
wooden entertainment unit after 049a
Yes, the doors do work… and in place of hardware I decided on magnetic push latches.
wooden entertainment unit after 065a
I’m lovin’ it.
wooden entertainment unit after 053a
wooden entertainment unit after 027a
Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Oh wow, that is gorgeous! You did a great job!

  2. Lisa, you just amaze me. That turned out so great. I am in Australia until end of Jan. Maybe when I get home I will start posting and blogging again. I also love your creative irt.
    Smiles, Alice

  3. Great piece, Lisa! I was wondering about those three pieces of wood; what a great idea! I was going to say "magnetic push latches" for the doors and you did it already. : ) Thanks for the quick tip. I picked up a bright white dresser yesterday {I believe it was recently painted by the dealer and/or his wife}. I'm going to need to tone it down. While I hate to do it, the white just doesn't work for me. I need more of a creamy look to go with my bedroom.

  4. It looks beautiful. I never would have thought to use it for a tv. I love how you left the top wood with the stain. It's a great finish.

  5. What a wonderful entertainment unit. It would look great at my place. Who would have thought that this discarded piece turned into something that could be use for years. Great Job!

  6. First of all, props to your hubby for bringing it home to you.

    Secondly, WOW! I love it. You did a beautiful job. Major props to you!

  7. Great save Lisa!! It makes me sad to think that this might have gone to the dump! Amazing job! Glad it's back to useful and beautiful.

  8. Simply fabulous and I mix my own glazes, too.

  9. HEY LISA,

  10. Not only did you save some great old wood from the dump or burn pile, you created a beautiful new life for it. Such great vision in seeing what that neglected piece could become. Lucky new owners!

  11. Il est magnifique, bravo.
    Bonne soirée

  12. Danielle @ Antique RecreationNovember 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I'm lovin' it too! Can't believe someone was tossing that! What a great transformation!

  13. What a beautiful piece of furniture! You and hubby did good :). I hear of all the stories about finding pieces of furniture on the side of the my dreams. I live in California. Unfortunately, they don't do that here. BUMMER.

  14. Wow! This turned out the color and the glaze you mixed. I was getting lost re: the 3 pieces of wood but the puzzle didn't last long. :-) You are very creative! Wish you were closer...I need help.


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  16. Wow! I can't believe someone would just throw this away! Great find!

  17. Lisa, wow!!!! I LOVE this piece! Every single detail is perfection! I love that you lifted the top like that and I so deperately want this as my TV stand! :) Great job!!

  18. wow...I wish I'd find roadkill like that on my country roads! Really clever and looks nice...I'm sure your customer is going to love it.

  19. Amazing find! Excellent re-work, salvaging the top piece was brilliant.

  20. wow, never would have thought of raising the top like that. It looks awesome and your husband is awesome too for bringing it home to you!
    Beautiful makeover.

  21. Once again Lisa you amaze me ~ looking at the before picture I could hardly wait to scroll down to the bottom to see the finished product. The recipient for this piece is indeed a very lucky person!

  22. Wow! Did this ever turn out amazing!! I love how you made some modifications to really make it your own!

  23. This is beauiful! I'm so conflicted. I usually love darker wood finishes and I'm getting ready to refnish a bunch of our furniture and this makes me do a double take about my plan....I don't know what to do anymore....

  24. oh my thanks for the step by step I have a dresser I want to redo as well.
    Would luv for my readers to discover your blog, will you please join our weekly party at
    have a great crafting week!

  25. What a great save! It looks great with it's new personality!

  26. What an amazing transformation! I absolutely love how it turned out! AMAZING job!

  27. I like it very very much! I like too the corner next to it!

  28. Thanks for the homemade glaze tip! I'm passing the "Tell Me About Yourself" blog award to you! Please see my blog post and follow my can see it here:

  29. what an awesome save and repurpose! it is STUNNING!!! who throws that away, now, come on?!?!

  30. i love it. it looks good.

  31. All your hard work really paid off! I love the final product and wish we had something this lovely in our family room!

  32. Hi Lisa, what a fabulous job you both did with rescuing this piece of furniture. It looks gorgeous now. Best wishes from Sault Ste. Marie. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  33. OMG... I LOVE this. I can't believe the stuff people throw away!!

  34. That is amazing! Beautiful! Thanks for making uninspired people like me take a second look at that piece of furniture I'm about the throw out or that piece of "junk" at the thrift store.

  35. Amazing transformation, thanks for the tutorial. Now not only is it beautiful but you made it functional as well.

    I wondered what kind of paint do you add to the glaze? I recently found some clear on sale and added a little craft paint but wasn't pleased with my results.

  36. Absolutely beautiful! I'm your newest follower, stop by sometime

  37. I love this! Beautiful job, very inspiring!
    Leanne @ Because (I Think) I Can

  38. WOW - just WOW - that looks fabulous - i would have never come up with that. Awesome job!

  39. Oh.My.Goodness!!! First of all WHO would throw this out??? And how lucky that you are the one who rescued it and turned it into this AWESOME piece of furniture!!! It is absolutely FABULOUS!!!! I am not kidding...I LOVE it so much!! I will be keeping my eye out for a chest to do this very same thing to!

    GREAT piece!

    Lou Cinda :)

  40. very beautiful.....this is my inspiration to a project I am about to be working on, however, when you talk about the glaze and paint at a ratio of 4:1, what kind of glaze are you talking about using so I will know what kind to look for and use? You can reply to This info is very much appreciated!

  41. This is amazing! I have a beautiful sewing cabinet that I am wanting to refinish. It has a top that folds back, strongly considering removing it and "popping" it up in a similar fashion.

  42. Are the 3 support pieces attached to the base unit??? I am doing something similar, but don't know if I should attach it to the main unit... please help

  43. sorry I forgot to leave my email in my question on the attachment of the 3 supports to the main unit.

  44. I love the color of this! Can you tell me which kind of brown paint you used to mix with the glaze and also what type of glaze?


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