How to Makeover a Vintage Stereo Cabinet
How many times have you seen one of these old Stereo Cabinets and just dismissed it as a worthless?I found this old Stereo Cabinet one day while out walking my dog. I believe people put stuff out on their driveways with a free sign-up because they know I will pick it up.
It sat in my garage for a few weeks before inspiration hit. I realized that instead of trying to restore the original turntable inside (trying to rewire something from the 1950s? WHAT was I THINKING?!!) I could remove the turntable, speakers, etc. and our current turntable fit into the metal shelving already in place. This piece was meant to come to me!
Whenever I am about to start a significant junk makeover, especially if I got it for free, I seriously feel like this: Dumpster Diving Super Hero.
This is what I really look like when I am deep into a project. I still see myself as the picture above until I look in the mirror…..
Back to the Vintage Stereo Cabinet makeover. With some patience and simple tools (plus the ability to just use blunt force to punch and kick out certain guts of the thing) you can do this too!
I began by removing all the unnecessary parts. The giant speaker, the extra wiring, etc. My first plan was to create a drop in holder of some sort where I think the radio once was on this pull out bin.
The wood was solid and not agreeable to being cut apart. I abandoned this idea and just pulled the whole thing out. This left a large hole in the middle and a shelf would have to be built.
I used a large piece of scrap MDF, measured the length, the depth
I used Gorilla Wood Glue to secure the shelf down. No screws needed. The weight of the shelf + the glue helped secure it in place.
Next I turned my attention to the cabinet doors. The door below the turntable holder was a mock door and didn’t open. I had to get creative to figure out how to replace the inserts. I laid the cabinet face down and had to perform complicated acrobatics to lean over into it and unscrew the wire and fabric that were previously so lovely in the cabinet doors. You CAN do this! Just be sure to do some stretching before and perhaps have a loved one on standby in case you get stuck inside the cabinet.
I stained the Luon Sheets with Debi’s Design Diary Dark and Decrepit Liquid Patina. When they were dry, I used Gorilla Wood Glue again and small 1/4″ wood screws to place them into the cabinet frames.
I then taped them off to begin painting. Looking back, it probably would have been easier to do this part last, but I like to make things difficult for myself….It makes a fun challenge. (NOT)
Time to get started on the fun part! I cleaned the entire piece with a mild detergent and did a light sanding. I have found that this fakey Mahogany stain that was used from about 1920-1960s is a killer bleed-through. I used Zinsser spray Lacquer and covered the entire piece with two thorough coats. When the lacquer was dry, I mixed dark grey and light grey DIY Paint to create this soft grey.
After my 1st coat dried, I noticed I was still getting a little bleed-through. Sometimes you will need to apply a little more lacquer where the bleed-through is occurring. I spot-treated it with a spritz of lacquer, you can use clear nail polish and a steady hand to get the same effect. I like to use lacquer because the result will be more seamless. When the lacquer dried, I painted the 2nd coat.
I finished my piece with a light 320-grit sanding and an all-natural furniture wax.
Suffering Husband and I hauled it up to our bedroom; I found this crate, already stained at Hobby Lobby, which fit perfectly in the space where the pull-out bin had been. The cabinet below was perfect for our growing vinyl collection.
Suffering Husband is loving it, especially with all the cool albums I recently found at one of my favorite Vintage and Antique Stores, Block 100 in Provo, Utah.
Next time you find an old stereo cabinet, don’t assume it is useless. Vinyl has made a big come back and with a bit of patience and a sense of humor for the challenges you will find along the way, you can have a pretty sweet Vintage Stereo cabinet playing your old favorites.
That’s it for this week’s Trashy Tuesday. I have TONS more junk to share with you soon. I hope you have the trashiest week full of tons of junk.
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