DIY Upcycling Home Projects

Refurbishing, restoring, andupcycling your furniture can be creative, fun and leave you with an exhilarating feeling that you did it yourself with just about any piece of wooden furniture you may own.  What better time to give your furniture and other home items a new refreshing look.  Amaze your friends this holiday season or anytime with a home makeover that will leave you with the question, “Why did I wait so long?”

Let us help you with an idea from our product team (click on all photos to enlarge).  Kent, our finishing expert and Ben, our turning and overall woodworking guru, started with this 70′s-looking entertainment center, purchasing it at a local Habitat for Humanity store.

They removed all the doors, hardware, and sanded the surfaces of all 4 doors.  Next, they used a Mirlon Nonwoven Total Scuff Sanding Pad from Woodcraft, followed by a good cleaning with General Finishes Furniture Cleaner which removes any previous wax that may have been applied.  This is a strong, heavy duty cleaner with a mineral spirits base, designed for serious cleaning applications.

Ben applied 3 coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stain, Item #826979 to the 2 bottom doors. Once dried, 2 coats of General Finishes Polyacrylic Semi-Gloss Top Coat, Item #817746 was applied.  The photo below gives a good idea of a before and after comparison.

As an option with the Java Gel Stain; you can apply it, and then wipe it off allowing the stain to accentuate the grain if desired.

The upper doors were given a makeover and it was decided to add textured glass to the top doors. This was done by routing along the inside of the door panel, creating a frame to remove the center wood section and replace with the glass.  Rounding the internal corners with a chisel allows for easy clearance for textured glass assembly.

Once the center section was removed the now framed-door was sanded.  Old handle and hinge holes were plugged with dowels for modern style single knob handles and hinges that would be added later during final assembly.  All holes would be covered with the Java Gel stain and top coat hiding all traces of previous hardware.

The plugged holes were Nexabond glued and the door was sanded one final time for the General Finishes Java Gel to be applied. Glass was ordered from a local supply house and added to the framed doors.

Ben sealed the glass around the perimeter of the frame with clear silicone caulking adhesive and used his finger with some added water to even out the seal.

Ben sanded the main unit using the Mirka Ceros 5″ Compact Electronic Random Orbital Sander, Woodcraft Item #849396which was hooked up to the Festool Dust Extractor.  A sacrificial template was pinned to the shelf to create the exact hole diameter with correct placement for new cord grommets using a hole saw.

The interior was refurbished with 2 coats of General Finishes Dark Chocolate Milk Paint Pint, Woodcraft Item #857886, mmm,mmm good!  Ben commented, 1 coat was enough and I used milk paint because I was not as concerned about showing the internal grain.  

The exterior was completed with 3 coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stainand 2 coats of General Finishes Polyacrylic Semi-Gloss Top Coat.  Holes were drilled for the new silver satin finish hinges, and assembled to the unit along with the new cord grommets.  Kent and Ben team up for the sub-assembled wood framed glass doors to the main unit.

Knob handle locations were accurately measured, then drilled with a sacrificial blank behind the door for tear-out protection. Note the exterior bump in the satin silver knob, pictured right.  As the screw is tightened, the knob is defined in placement into the wood by an exterior design bump for secure assembly.

The entertainment center is completely renovated with a fresh modern look.

Let’s take a look at the upcycled cost:

Original cabinet- $75
Glass panels- $86
New hardware, Hinges & Handles- $25
General Finishes Java Gel-$20
General Finishes Polyacrylic Top Coat- $24
Grommets- $3.19
Scuff Pads- $6.59
Foam Brushes, 10pk- $6.50
Mirka Abranet 5″ Sanding Assortment, 35 pack, Item #840644- $30
Nexabond Adhesive-$16.50
Clear Silicone Caulking Adhesive- $3.50
Total- $296.28
Approximate resale value- $500-$600

Project time- 4 to 7 days depending on drying time in your environment.

The pride in doing a quality DIY professional project… Beyond Priceless!

View the video for additional information on how to use Java Gel and upcycle your cabinets,

Make a difference and go above the scale of 1-10.

Be an 11, use your imagination and create a new look today.
See you at the next Woodworking Adventure!
auf Wiedersehen!…Frank

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