19 November 2012

Our painted-then-stripped-and-stained TV stand

What I really want to talk about is the final, finished TV stand.  But first, a little background: I want to remind you what our living room looked like when we first moved in.

Eeeks.  I think I've said enough about it, though, so I'll move on. Back to the TV stand.  I do not want to count the number of hours I have spent on this thing.  When we first got it, it was painted black ... and painted badly.  (It was also a buffet table; the two shelves are actually drawers that we removed). We got it before we knew we would have a mantel, so we decided we wanted to paint it white.  So paint it white I did.  To refresh your memory, here's what it looked like:

Not bad, but not great.  The dark hardware and lines of the piece made it feel a little country to me - which isn't bad, but not really our style.  Then we added the mantle, also painted white, and it was just way. too. much.  So back to the drawing board. I decided I wanted to strip it down to its natural wood ... well, veneer ... and stain it.

Don't ever, ever decide to do this.

Stripping wood is the grossest, messiest job I have ever done.  And I've worked in a dish pit in a restaurant. From beginning to end, it's just a gloopy, smelly mess.  

Just don't do it.  Please.

(I also managed to kick over a full can of stain on my foot and the garage floor during this project, which my father-in-law very kindly cleaned up for me while I tended to the stain job - thanks again!!!)

Anyway, this is the end product.

I also repainted the hardware.  It now matches the handles on the fireplace.  Let's back up a little.

Yep, we also moved the placement of it.  We uncatty-cornered it, moved the chair, opened up the windows, added curtains and a tree.

Um.  This is my new favorite room in the house.  Isaac (He Who Does Not Like Change) disliked hated it at first ... but he says he's come around.  I'm going to take him at his word ... 'cause I don't want to put it back.  I love it too much.

Here's a shot of the wider room.

You can read about the mantel here; to remind you, it's a 150-year-old mantel from my family's farmhouse.  We love it more every day.

And the slightly tweaked sofa table (read about that here) and picture shelves (DIYed - much thanks to Ana White's instructions over at Young House Love).

And one more shot of that corner.  Seriously, it's my favorite place in the house now.

Do me a favor and scroll to the top to the old pictures and scroll back down to these.  Doesn't that make you happy?  It makes me happy.

We still need a new chair (yep, we've given up on the free ones); I really like this one (click picture for source), but I'm not going to pay $400 for it.

So that's were we are.  With a new chair (and probably a new ceiling fan), this room will be finished.  I won't know what to do with myself!

Yes I will.  Sit and enjoy.  I can't wait!


  1. Nice Job, Kids!!! Mom and I love all you have done. It really looks good! I like the TV stand much better stained than white. The whole room looks so different from what it did!!!
    Keep up the good work!!!
    See you soon.

  2. Wow Ashley. It all looks great. Where were these skills when we lived together? How long did we have old restaurant cabinets in the living room that we (okay...I) never turned into an entertainment center?

    I didn't even notice the windows in the before shot, but you've really made them stand out. Now they add so much character to the room. I guess it's past time for me to come up and see it in person again.



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