Monday, December 31, 2012

TV Stand / Bench / Any Table : a tutorial

Remember when I said I was going to try out some simple carpentry? Well this is it. And it really is about as simple as it gets. I did this project over the course of a week, all by myself. I did some research online and in book stores of proper staining/finishing techniques, and I'm not sure if I can really say I know much more than I did. Theres a lot of contradicting information out there. Some people swear by one method, and others by another. In the end, I just kind of wang it (wung it?, winged it?). One of those. I'm absolutely thrilled with the results. I was afraid it would look too homemade or maybe too rustic for my space, but I think it compliments my style quite nicely. I love that it's something entirely unique and not just something from a furniture store. Also, I wanted a TV stand that was long and it's very tough to find one over 60" that doesn't cost a fortune. The plan is to find some decor items to place on either side of the TV. I may be hitting up some thrift and antique stores soon. 

Of course I had to document my process so that you might be inclined to try this out yourself. Bear with me, and know that I know nothing about woodworking and just did what worked best for me. Feel free to add any tips/suggestions for others in the comment section. 

As the title of this post suggests, you could really make any table with this tutorial. This stand would make a great entryway bench. A few more, shorter boards could be used to make a coffee table, desk, or even dining table. I think once it gets warmer, I may make a small outdoor dining table for my patio. 

Let's get started, shall we?


Two- 2 x 8 x 7 Boards
6+ Metal Brackets
1 Box 6 x 1 1/4" Construction Screws
Sand Paper 100 grit, 150 grit, 200 grit
Prestain Wood Conditioner (optional)
Wood Stain - Minwax Early American
Oil Based Polyurethane
Mineral Spirits
Paint Brush
Four- 22" Hairpin Legs

We started with a trip to Home Depot. My dad came with me to help make decisions on which lumber to get and to help me haul it home. Remember I said that I wanted a long stand. You may not need such long boards, but the important part is that you purchase 2" thick boards (they are techincally less than 2", but are called 2x4's 2x8's, etc.). I found one long board 2" x 8" x 14 ' board that was perfect for my project. I just had them cut it in half for me. And as you can see the price wasn't bad either.  

Also purchased are my brackets and 1 1/4" constuction screws.  You want the screws to be just shorter than the thickness of the boards. 

Next, I made a trip to Ace Hardware and purchased the following (I ended up using a different Polyurethane, pictured below). The pre-stain may not be entirely necessary and actually I would not recommend if you're going for a darker, richer color than I achieved. But I do highly recommend Minwax Early American. It highlighted the wood grain without staining too dark everywhere else. `

The first step is to sand the boards as smooth as you possibly can. Sandpaper comes in different grits 100, 150, 200, etc. The higher the number the more fine the paper. Generally you start with a lower grit , especially to smooth out scratches, cracks, etc. and you work your way up to a higher grit for a smooth finish. I spent about an hour sanding. I want my boards to be as smooth as possible. Be sure to sand all the edges as well. 

After sanding, before any conditioners or stains.

Next, I used a pre-stain wood conditioner all over the boards. Like I said above, this may not be necessary, especially if you'd like a darker, richer color. The reason I invested in the conditioner is because I hoped to avoid a blotchy look that you sometimes get staining soft woods. 

I brushed the conditioner all over and wiped it off with a clean cloth.

After conditioning, before stain

Then I stained my boards with about 3 coats of Minwax Early American. You'll want to do this in the grass or somewhere where you can get a little messsy. 

Just like the conditioner, you brush the stain all over  and gently wipe it away. You may choose to let the stain sit for a few minutes before wiping. It worked well that I would paint one board, then the other, then wipe the first board clean. 

After staining:

I spoke to an employee at my local hardware store about achieving a slightly darker look and he said that it was likely because of the pre-stain conditioner that I couldn't get it any darker. He suggested an oil-based Polyurethane to get the boards just a shade darker. 

2 coats of Poly (with 30 min. drying time in between. The jar next to the poly is mineral spirits to soak the brush in between coats

I chose a satin finish, but there is still some sheen to the coat. 

After 24 hours drying time, I laid my boards on a hard surface (using old rugs to protect them). Next I spaced out my brackets about a foot apart from each other. I avoided knots and cracks in the wood, as the boards are more like to split there. 

Next I drilled 4 screws into each bracket

After 6 of these brackets, my boards were very solidly stuck together. 

Finally comes the hairpin legs (22"). I got mine from Etsy seller HairpinLove, whom I would highly recommed. These legs are extremely solid and strong. They arrived covered in grease, so I used Goo Gone to clean them thoroughly. 

I measured 1" in from each of the corners and used a sharpie to mark the lines. 

Then I just aligned the leg with the marks I had made and screwed 3  screws into each. 

Did I mention that my boards weren't exactly cut evenly? I could have taken it back to Home Depot to have them fix it, but I felt it didn't really matter. It kind of works with the look I'm going for. 

And that's it! This is one strong piece of furniture. It feels extremely solid. I sat right in the middle and felt perfectly stable. It has to be stronger that compostite wood that most cheapy TV stands are made of, right? 

And if you're wondering about the rest of the room, here's a peek. The rug was definitely a splurge, on sale at Pottery Barn. It's the Kalista Kilim 5'x8'. The side tables and lamps are from Target. 

The legs were the most expensive part of this project at $24 each. Assuming you've already got the powertools, the supplies for this project are under $150.  Not too bad for a handmade, unique, statement piece such as this. 

So what do you think? What would you put on either side of the TV? I was thinking I might could find some oversized decor at an Antique store. Maybe some lanterns or funky candlesticks. 

Not sure if I covered everything, feel free to ask any questions in the comments or via email (: 



Haley said...

I love this! Wish I would have seen this before I bought my entertainment stand at the beginning of the month
Also, your apartment looks great. A lot more of a 'grown up' feel than ive been able to acheive in the last year.

Heather said...

I love it! I have been wanting a bench for our entry way and love the look of the legs on your table. I'll have to start pricing out wood for the top!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

this is fantastic! Im so impressed with you haha!

VashtiCouture said...

I adore the table... In fact, I may need to make a coffee table with those kind of legs. As for decor around the tv- I'm a fan of a gallery wall around/above the tv so your tv becomes a piece of "art" and doesnt stick out so much. or a pair of tall lamps would look nice.

Viktoria said...

I absolutely love this!!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the info on completing the project. I love how it turned out, and it's very versatile. You have inspired me - mi ght be ready to give this a go sometime in the near future.

Chris said...

Very cool! I love your rug, those colors are amazing!

You could buy square pieces of art and hang them low next to the tv.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is amazing! It seriously looks like an expensive piece of furniture, good job! xx

Carla Leitão said...

Love it!!!!

Denae said...

Plants on either side would look really nice. I love the project!

The Crafty Novice said...

wow! Great job, I can't believe how awesome that stand looks. Thanks for the tutorial!

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Danielle said...

I love everything on your site. Everything. You are great at explaining how to do what you do! Your attempt at carpentry turned out beautifully, and I'm dying over that rug. It's gorgeous.

Love what you do!


Elizabeth said...

Whoa, this is gorgeous! Thanks for the tutorial. You did such a fantastic job!

mark said...

this is fantastic! Im so impressed with you.Great job, I can't believe how awesome that stand looks. Thanks for the tutorial!
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Hilary said...

You did a great job!! We have a TV stand made out of that cheap composite stuff and it definitely is really weak. I've been looking for a new TV stand for a while, but I'm leaning towards making one like yours. Thanks for the inspiration! By the way, where did you get your couch? :)

Tanpopo said...

Wow ! I'm speechles !! It's beautiful, thanks for the great tutorial ! I have a question though ... where do you hide your DVD player ?

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You are fantastic at explaining how to do and what you do! Your attempt at wood working transformed out amazingly. Thanks for the guide. You did such a amazing job!

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Geneva said...

this is awesome! Maybe I will follow this tutorial and feature it on my blog with a link back! great wonderful Idea. I need a new coffee table and this seems like a wonderful idea!

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I like your blog but i think Compare the number of compartments within the television stand.Too-small television stands will not hold a DVD player or a game console or speakers A good strategy for selecting tv stands includes making sure your stand has at least one 12-inch or 14-inch compartment.

Carl said...

If you didn't share the steps by steps procedure on creating a wooden TV stand, I'll definitely assume that you bought it from a furniture shop. It looks great and well-built! The coating you applied made it look polished. Also, with the quality metal brackets you used to stick the wood together, I'm confident that the entire wood surface will remain intact.

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rremmel said...

I love this! It's super cute and I also really enjoy a long TV table. Thanks for sharing your building process!
I especially liked that you attached the boards with multiple brackets, as I've always thought I would be difficult to attach all the boards together for a table top.

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I like your TV stand. I just built a factory cart coffee table and your beautiful TV stand is inspiring me to continue building.

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Thanks fro this tutorial, i thnk it will be userful for all TV owners. Don't you think it's worth posting these thoughts on Instagram? After all, this social network is now very popular. By the way, I advise you to buy instagram followers in order to quickly increase the number of followers and promote your account to the top.

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