Why Buy New When You Can Customize It For You?

When my parents gave me their ginormous entertainment center five years ago, I took it. It was massive and kind of dated but if held a lot of stuff (all my DVDs and CDs fit on one of the slide-out shelves) and it served as a bulky home for my television (also "stolen" from my parents).

My last move took its tole on my entertainment center. Made of that fake wood particleboard, part of it came off the side while taking it out of the Uhaul. Everyone’s first inkling was to junk it. Instead, I saw a massive blank spot in our kitchen as an opportunity to repurpose it.

After nailing the falling off piece back on, Sean helped me take apart the top and bottom pieces (which were only held by four screws). Then I painted the bottom part black (1/2 gallon of black and some left-over primer: $20). It took about four coats to make it so the fake wood was no longer showing through.

To make a counter, I got a scrap piece of birch from the pile of leftover wood at my local hardware store (they gave it to me for $5 and cut it to size), some cheap moulding to put around the edge, and polyurethane to seal the whole thing when I was done (all totaling about $25).

My mom and her Miter box helped me cut the molding and nail it with tack nails to the side. I put four coats of polyurethane over what would become the counter of the island.

I then attached the counter to the black-painted island. It just seemed to need one last thing.

My brother-in-law helped me order fork, knife, and spoon pulls for the island (and then paid for them without telling me). Sean installed them for me as a favor one afternoon.

So with a little help from friends and family and about $50, Sean and I now have more counterspace for prep as well as a place to store those slightly obscure kitchen appliances (I really should use my blender more…). Here are the before and after shots (forgive the bad MTV show playing in the background. That was back in the cable days!)    

In addition to not spending a ton of money on a piece of furniture, we’ve helped keep it out of the landfill at least a little longer.

And what happened to the top part of said entertainment center? Well that’s for another blog…

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