Remember back in January when I announced my Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions? Well check another one off that list!

About a year ago, I bought this cabinet on Craigslist for $10. It was in rough shape…

…the record dividers were missing, along with the bottom “finish” board on one side…

(Chalk drawings courtesy of my Nephew Noah.)

…the finish was chipped all the way around and the whole piece smelled like cigarette smoke…yuck…

Even the knobs were on there last legs. However this cabinet didn’t have to go the way of the record…with a little revamping it could be cool enough to hold today’s gadgets.

First I needed a small piece of plywood to patch the bottom left part of the cabinet. Then I sanded all the finish off the outside and front of the cabinet (since I wanted to stain the outside) and lightly sanded the inside and the doors (which I would be painting instead of staining). I left the legs alone since they were in pretty good shape and were very close to the color of stain I chose. I figured I could always unscrew them later and refinish them quickly if I wanted to.

I bought these 3/4 in flush round pulls for about $1.50 to replace the old knobs. Using one of my trusty hole saw bits, it only took a minute to make two holes that were perfect for the new pulls. I simply used the old screw holes as my guide.

Not knowing how well the old wood would take the stain, I decided it was best to use a pre-stain wood conditioner to try and get the best finish I could.

It was super easy to apply – only needing 5-15 minutes to soak in before I could start staining.

I chose Jacobean colored stain for the cabinet for 2 reasons.

1) The dark stain more easily hides flaws in old wood (and this old wood wasn’t even good wood-more like plywood than hardwood)

2) The TV cabinet and Barcelona style chair are dark (so this cabinet coordinates with those) and the wall we are putting it on is a lighter stained wood paneling. I wanted the cabinet to stand out, not blend in.)

I put two coats of stain on the outside of the cabinet, let that dry for several days and then put two coats of Acrylaq to seal the stain and all of it’s fumes. On the inside of the cabinet (as well as the doors) I primed (with Kilz primer to block the smoke odor), painted (using left over wall paint from the living room) and topcoated with two coats of Acrylaq for shine and durability. After applying all those coats of stain and paint, I let everything cure for about 5 days before putting the doors back on the cabinet and loading it up with stuff. It’s hard to wait, but after all that work I didn’t want to mess up my finish!

Ta-da! The cabinet is done!

With all my talk of possibly making my kitchen have Mondrian cabinets, I thought it would be fun to “test” the Mondrian style on the media cabinet doors to see how I like it. ( I do!)

My adorable husband Jim likes that he has a place for all his video games…

…and his controllers and other various things…

I like the look of the new pulls…

…and how the cabinet doors further spread the wall colors around the room…

6 Retro Ranch Revamp Resolutions down, 1 to go!



  1. I’m IMPRESSED with your refinishing job …. looks great in the LR and with your other furniture. Like the color on the doors and the new pulls instead of knobs. Nice recycling of furniture that was headed for the scrap pile. 🙂

  2. You are my hero! That is brilliant! That gives me the inspiration to go get to work on some of my retro “projects”. I LOVE what you’ve done and what your doing with your house, I look so forward to each and every update!

    • Aww thanks Becky! I can’t believe it has been a little over a year since we started revamping the ranch! I look around and see so many more things that I want to do, but also what I have done…it’s a great feeling! “Retro projects” sounds cool…what do you have lined up? Painting/refinishing/reupholstering? Good luck!

  3. Pingback: HOUSE TOUR – LIVING ROOM AND DINING ROOM « Retroranchrevamp's Blog

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