Refinished Living Room Media Console

You may remember back in May I introduced you to the new-to-me console for my living room that I bought on Craigslist. After it’s introduction I worked on it pretty steadily, and it began its new life as my media console in July.

Here’s how it started:

My new Craigslist console

My new Craigslist console

Here is the little piece of missing trim around the front:

The damaged trim on the front - I have no idea how I'm going to fix this.

The damaged trim on the front – I have no idea how I’m going to fix this.

Here is the damaged piece of veneer on one side:

The damaged veneer - it's about the size of a deck of cards

The damaged veneer – it’s about the size of a deck of cards

And here it is, in all its refinished glory:

My refinished Craigslist console

My refinished Craigslist console

The damaged trim – fixed. Repaired front trimAnd you’ll never guess what I used to repair it.

Chopsticks to repair trimYup, those are wood chopsticks. I had been planning on using wood dowels, but they were just a wee bit too thin. I always have wood chopsticks around because I use them to stir small cans of paint and varnish. The chopsticks were the perfect size – I just cut them down and attached them with wood glue. After staining they’re not a perfect match as they’re a different type of wood, but from a distance it’s not really noticeable.

Chopsticks cut down for the repair

The damaged veneer has been fixed as well. I replaced the entire section which was a little bit of an adventure. I definitely learned some things. Here too it’s not a perfect repair, but given it’s location on the piece I’m not at all concerned.

Repaired veneer prior to staining

Repaired veneer prior to staining

One other thing I did was build a shelf for the inside. I knew there was originally a shelf inside, but when I bought it there were only the supports remaining the shelf was removed at some point. I carefully measured the inside of the cabinet and then had Home Depot cut down a piece of plywood to fit.

The plywood shelf before staining and edge band

The plywood shelf before staining and edge band

I then used the walnut edge banding left over from my dresser project to finish the visible edge of the shelf.

Applying the Edge banding
After being sanded, stained and protected I can now use the entire space again for storage.

Console with new interior shelf
And now a few more pictures as I’m pretty happy with the end results.

In all it's glory
Close up of the brass hardware
So there you have it – my second furniture refinishing project completed. What do you think – not bad for a $40 Craigslist find is it?

Ready for its new role

Linked to: Primitive & Proper, The Kurtz Corner, {Primp}, Beyond the Picket Fence, {AKA} Design, Addicted 2 Decorating, Craft-O-Maniac, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Polish the Stars, Coastal Charm, The Kurtz Corner, Mod Vintage Life, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, The Shabby Nest, Miss Mustard Seed


  1. Sandy says

    I Love this transformation and I actually recall reading the blog post about when you first found it months ago! I’m so glad I happened to stumble upon your blog again and get to see what you did with it! It looks amazing!!! I too love wood and am so glad you decided to refinish it rather than paint it although I do know it look really good with a fun color as well! :)

    • Michelle says

      It is quite intimidating to refinish a piece the first time, but I promise you the results are SO worth it! When I did my first refinishing project(my dresser) I went into it already knowing that if things went really badly I was just going to paint it Kelly green – that way I knew that if I screwed up somehow I already had a plan on how to make it better. You could also find a thrift store piece to practice on – something that if you mess up it’s not the end of the world, but if your attempt is successful is a nice addition to your home.
      I hope you give it a try!


  2. says

    Beautiful “after” and the soft aqua rug is a great compliment to the wood tone; looks great with your other furniture and seems to be the perfect size for your TV. I love reading a redo that refinished the wood (I”m a major lover of painted pieces but I have two pieces of furniture that hubby says must remain natural wood, and they need redo’ing.) Could you share what product you used for the “protected” step (poly, wax, other … and brand?) Thanks.

    Robin @

    • Michelle says

      Hi Robin,

      I’ll be doing a ‘how to’ post in a week or so – I just need to gather all the photos together:)


  3. says

    You are so resourceful to use chopsticks like that! It is a beautiful piece and I am sure it is quite pleased you have brought it back to life. Great job!



  4. says

    This is a really nice sensitive restoration. The piece has a military chest feel, and you did it justice. Well done. (And thank you for not just slapping creamy paint over it!)

  5. Megan says

    Hi! Great job on the transformation! I’m starting my first reno on a mid-century modern esque nightstand I snagged on craigslist and it has horribly wrecked veneer. How do you replace / repair veneer? Is it possible to strip it off and sand the wood underneath or am I asking for trouble by doing that? Thank you!! Great job!

    • Michelle says

      Hi Megan,

      Sorry for the delay in replying. You could strip off the veneer, but it’s likely that the wood underneath wouldn’t be very nice (hence the veneer). I think it depends what you want to do with the piece and depends on how large the damaged portion of veneer is – the larger the piece the more difficult it will be to replace.
      I bought sheets of veneer from Lee Valley, and used carpenters glue to adhere it, however where my repair was is hidden so the fact that it ended up being an imperfect repair wasn’t a big deal. If the damaged piece was on the front or top of my piece I more than likely would have ended up painting it.
      Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling you could try the repair, but have the back up plan of paint if things go off the rails a bit. For help with damaged veneer try Youtube for tutorials – I watched a number and then sort of winged it.
      Hope that helps a bit!

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