How to Create the Perfect Media Center (from an Old Dresser)

I love a challenge! ...well sometimes,.. So when I had a client ask about finding the perfect (read cheap) dresser to convert into a media stand I was SO excited! (after I got over my complete fear and dread) I went out in search of something with enough storage and a center area to create media shelves for.

Dresser to Media Stand Conversion





To make this job ABUNDANTLY easier I would incorporate my Homeright Finish Max
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I knew my client wanted a clean solid finish, so instead of fighting brush strokes and pulling pigments with a brush, this guy would lay the paint nice and solid! Winner!

On to find the perfect piece which would be this long Thomasville Dresser.
dresser for media stand conversion
Not bad huh? At least this picture isnt! Great bones for sure BUT its definitely going to take work!  Not only had it been abused and would need therapy BUT remember we need shelves... time to use some imagination.
Dresser ready for media center conversion
Or not so much.  Inside those doors were what was suppose to be more drawers, however some were missing. Thats ok!  This meant me getting it for much less and it suiting my needs perfectly!  Now to get down to business. First, disassemble. I began with taking off the doors and the backside to allow access! I removed any unnecessary trim that would prohibit placing media components in the spaces.  This allowed a 20" width in the center versus a 16" width. Finally I removed the drawer tracks-which could only be done from the backside.  (Let that be a lesson! Much of furniture is assembled front to back from the back side) disassembled dresser for media stand conversion
On to the prep work.  Of course I wanted a nice smooth surface so after I wiped it down with a scrubby and 50/50 water vinegar mix I allowed to dry and began sanding with an orbital sander.  I removed any of the broken finish and knocked down any ridges or bumps.  Once everything was sanded well, I used a the water and vinegar mix again to wipe down everything meticulously! (we dont want to leave any dust behind)
Now to build in the media boxes! I knew I wanted to add sturdy shelves.  The particle board that was already in place was sagging and definitely not made to withstand any weight placed on it.  I decided to use 1/4" birch plywood.  The raw edges weren't all that jazzy so I built up walls and used trim to cover the front.  All were glued and brad nailed in place.  Notice as well, my client wanted it elevated off the ground! So legs would have to be added on...
shelves add for dresser to media stand conversion
Once everything was in place, I used wood filler to fill any holes left behind from old screws or nails.  As well as the area where each panel met. Again I sanded and cleaned to make ready for finishing! Now to prime!  I opted for a white pigmented shellac based primer.  Using a chip brush, I brushed it on and allowed to dry.
primed and ready for paint
Once the primer dried properly I went to work getting the paint JUST right.  I went to my new favorite color.  I call it Coastal Patina, as it is a mixture of General Finishes Coastal Blue and Patina Green.  Something I would encourage you to invest in-should you decide to get your own Paint Sprayer is a strainer!  I strain my paint as I pour it in the sprayer cup to eliminate clumps that could cause havoc!  It takes a little more work in the beginning but it saves you a TON of work later on.  Just look how much clogging potential was caught!how to use a sprayer
Can you see all those lumps?! Whew,.. crisis averted.  I had enough paint to fill 1/3 of the paint container.  Armed and ready I went outside.  I had already placed the dresser inside my Homeright Spray Shelter! This thing is GREAT! No worries of over spray drifting where it should not and there is no bottom, which makes manipulating it as needed SO EASY!  With the new legs added, I went ahead and tested some of the color to see if we wanted full coverage or two tone.
Primed for spray finish paint
Full coverage won! So, using the sprayer, I began going over the dresser turned media stand, each pass slightly overlapping the one before.  The spray came out in such a nice, fluid, yet fine mist.  It was not splotchy, nor were there any places where the paint gathered, ready to drip.  I was incredibly impressed with the consistency.  The nozzle stayed clear! There was no splatter! I have used other sprayers that were significantly more expensive, yet this sprayer with its ease of use, and performance will EASILY become my go to tool! 
I completed the spraying and stepped away for it to dry under the protection of my Spray Shelter.  That 1/3 canister full of paint, did this huge project-and then some.  I was able to do a second pass and used a brush and remaining paint in the canister to do small touch ups.  
Talk about Spraying it Pretty! That drab, worn wood is now GORGEOUS in this teal hue! And so very smooth thanks to the Finish Max!  Do you see those leaves! My finish would have been doomed I tell ya! Whats awesome is I was able to spray into all the tiniest little nooks and crannies! The spray Shelter was able to be tilted and laid forward to allow back side access, so I was able to completely spray the inside of the shelving too.
Media Stand converted from an old dresser sprayed finish.
Hard to see here but the last step would come a day later.  Cleaning out the sprayer I added in some High Performance Top coat to protect the finish.  Two to three coats would do just nicely.  Time to dry.  

Just look at all the awesome Homeright Paint Products you can choose from! I love them!  Click on the image for all the information you need or to purchase from amazon! (Aflinks)
Now to assemble.     
After I painted the inside of the back panel I was able to place it on and use a staple gun to fasten it in place.  ...and we are done!  This pretty piece is soon on its way to be a beautiful accent for someones living room.  Lots of storage as well as new shelving for media components.
I can not wait to see this in my clients home!!  I am so thankful for the Homeright Finish Max!  It made the final push so much more feasible! When you have the right tools, you look forward to really taking on tasks that require more work! You can bet I will be using my Finish Max on many more projects!
Dresser converted into media center


Finished Media Center Conversion
So much prettier right?! Great transformation! 
Thanks for stopping by That Sweet Tea Life!

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