Let’s see if you have been paying attention. 😉 I set out a few months ago to build a media console for our bonus/kid’s play room. If you recall, I was so darn proud of how my first furniture build went, I decided to keep that rustic x console in my family room. This is what it looks like now, all decorated for fall (and most likely a bit dusty):
I’m still enjoying this console in my family room and totally NOT in any hurry to move this monstrous piece of furniture upstairs. Plan B for a media console in the play room was needed. I saw this console from the ladies at Shanty2Chic and really liked it:
I had found my inspiration, and my good luck was still coming! The Shanty2Chic ladies teamed up with Ana White who created building plans for the piece. I love her plans because they are straightfoward and relatively easy to follow. I really appreciate her material, tool and cut lists because they take so much of the guesswork out of building. You can find the plans here.
The chunky legs and the distressed finish on Shanty2Chic’s console is just my style. But there are a couple things I don’t love: the casters and the center. Also, it was a bit longer than I needed so I made the mine a few inches shorter.
My first step was to sand all the wood with a coarse (100-grit) and then a finer (150-grit) sandpaper. I don’t particularly enjoy sanding, but I like to do most of it before I cut and assemble my piece. I find it is easier than trying to get into all the corners after a piece is built. I do a final sanding once the piece is assembled with a fine sandpaper (220-grit). It does go a lot quicker if you have an orbital sander. Actually, it would be excruciatingly tedious to sand without one of these babies.
I cheat a little bit with my sanding because honestly, its a pain. I labeled sides of the the boards that would be on the inside of the finished piece, or have another board on top of them, and therefore, would not need to be sanded. It saves a bit of time.
After (almost) everything was sanded, I measured my pieces and used my miter saw to make my cuts. I followed Ana White’s material and cut list with a few revisions to make up for not using the casters and for the shorter length. You can find my material and cut lists at the end of this post.
It is amazing what you can create out of such little raw material and with minimal effort. All the cuts are straight and (almost) all you need is 2 x 4s, 2 x 6s and 4 x 4s. Once the pieces are cut, assembly is next. I used my kreg jig set at 1 1/2 inches to make pocket holes. These holes and 2 1/2 inch kreg screws and wood glue were used to assemble the top of the table so the screws were not visible.
I also used pocket holes to assemble the frame, checking often to make sure everything was square.
The plan calls for the cross braces to be inset about 1/2 inch from the front of the 4 x 4s. I used a couple pieces of 1/2 inch scrap molding to prop up the 2 x 4 while I screwed it into the leg. It worked great and I didn’t have to worry about trying to hold the 2 x 4 in the right place while I attached it.
Once the sturdy frame was assembled, I had to add the bottom shelf before attaching the top. I used a 3/4 inch piece of laminated pine for the shelf, but you could also use 3/4 inch plywood. I placed the shelf on the floor and flipped the frame on top of it. I used a pencil to mark where the leg cut-outs were and then used a jigsaw to cut those pieces out.
I used a brad nailer and 18-gauge, 1 1/4 inch finish brads to attach the shelf to the frame, and wood filler to fill the small holes.
Next I sanded everything with a 220-grit sandpaper and painted the underside of the console top and a few parts of the frame that would be tough to reach once the console was assembled. I attached the top of the console to the frame using pocket holes that I had drilled into the top 2 x 4s of the frame before assembly.
Next, it was finally time to work on the final finish of the piece. I had never distressed anything and was excited to give it a try. I liked the look of the Shanty2Chic piece so I followed their directions. First, I spray painted most of the console with a dark brown color, using Rustoleum Matte Bittersweet paint and primer.
This is what it looked like after the brown paint. Kind of weird, but I was confident I was on the right track.
After the brown paint dried completely, I rubbed vaseline petroleum jelly on the parts of the console where I wanted the brown to show through. I did this on the corners and edges, but also lots of other places too. I wanted my piece to look pretty distressed so I was liberal with the vaseline. You can see where I applied the vaseline in the following photos. The console appears shinier/darker on the spots where I applied it.
Next I used a natural bristle brush to paint Rustoleum Ultra Matte Chalked paint in Aged Gray on the whole thing. One coat was enough.
You can still see in the photo below where the vaseline is, now covered by the gray chalk paint.
Once the chalk paint was totally dry, I used 80-grit sandpaper and a sanding block to sand over the spots with the vaseline.
At first, I thought the sandpaper was too rough, but I kept with it and absolutely love, love, love the results. I actually had to stop myself from continuing to sand because I liked the distressed look so much!
The last step was to apply two coats of satin-finish polyurethane over the entire piece with a foam brush, allowing plenty of dry time between coats, and sanding lightly with a 320-grit sandpaper after the first coat.
Here is the finished console, right before we moved it upstairs. Its my favorite project so far! And the best part, is the price tag…the total cost for this project, including wood, screws and paint was only $114!!!
And here it is, the kids finally have a place to rest their itty-bitty tv. They are hoping for a larger one someday! 🙂
Materials & Cost: (only $114 for everything!!!)
- 4- 2 x 6 @ 8 feet long ($17)
- 3- 2 x 4 @ 8 feet long ($8)
- 2- 4 x 4 @ 8 feet long (NOT pressure treated) ($22)
- 1- 3/4 x 24″x72″ laminated pine ($34)
- 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws
- 1 1/4 inch finish nails (brads) 18-gauge
- sandpaper (80,150, 22o, and 320-grit)
- Rustoleum Matte Bittersweet primer/paint spraypaint
- Rustoleum Chalked Matte in Aged Gray ($17)
- Minwax clear satin polyurethane
- Foam Brush(for poly)
- Paint brush (for chalked paint)
- wood filler
- measuring tape
- speed square
- safety glasses
- hearing protection
- gloves (optional but I always wear them)
- random orbital sander
- miter saw
- kreg jig
- circular saw (optional)
- jig saw
- brad nailer
A weekend, but a lot more if you have kids!
- 4- 4 x 4 @ 28″ long
- 4- 2 x 2 @ 46″ long
- 4- 2 x 4 @ 14″ long
- 4- 2 x 6 @ 55″ long
- 1- 53″ x 21″ laminated pine with notches cut for legs