Growing up a baby boomer, I distinctly remember my mom painting this MCM record player stand DIY bright sunshine yellow. She was an avid DIYer and I know that sparked my own love of DIY.
You might want to shield your eyes when you look at the before. I guess this was fashionable in the 60s!
When I opened the door, I saw that it had been converted form a record player stand to storage with the addition of a shelf. Great potential!
After finding the record cabinet hiding in Mom’s basement over a decade ago, she let me strip the sunshine back to bare wood again. Using a heat gun, I got most of the yellow paint finish off. However, those last vestiges of yellow paint on the doors?
It was much more challenging to remove the paint from the grooves in the panel doors than stripping the whole thing so I gave up. Then life got busy and it sat until after my mom passed away (more about that later).
Do It Over Designers
Today we’re taking part in the Do It Over Designers blog Hop hosted by Ann at The Apple Street Cottage.
We’re a group of bloggers who take something old and/or unused and ‘do it over’ into something new. These items can be found in closets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! Check out the other projects at the bottom of this post. And be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!
Record Player Stand DIY Supplies
- Heat Gun
- Lacquer Thinner (wear a mask and use outdoors)
- No Pain Gel Stain – Picklin’ White
- Clear Coat Satin
- Applicator pads
- Silk All-in-one Mineral Paint – Cactus
- Magnolia Transfer
- Finger Pulls
Embrace the Imperfections
Now that we’re clearing out my mom’s house, I didn’t have the heart to let this mid century modern piece go. Even though it’s quirky, and there are some gaps where the doors meet the sides, it has sentimental value. So we’re going to give this record player cabinet DIY another shot.
We’ll make it over so we can sell it and donate the money to fund Alzheimer’s research. After all, that’s what we’re all about here at Birdz of a Feather! All the proceeds from our blog fund our Alzheimer mission. You can read more about this year’s donation in this trash to treasure post.
Do you ever make over a piece for sentimental reasons? It’s far from perfect, but we’re embracing the imperfections!
Watch Record Player Stand DIY!
Watch this video to see the transformation. You’ll learn how to apply no pain gel stain, the magnolia transfer and learn what not to do when using Slick Stick primer.
Record Player Stand DIY
Hubs gets to work washing off the vestiges of finish with lacquer thinner (wear proper protective equipment; gloves, googles, mask).
I’m envisioning a white pickling stain on the piece as he washes away.
Don’t forget about the legs.
They are easy to remove; they just unscrew.
After cleaning, the legs get a scuff sand.
While Hubs cleans, it’s time to tackle the remaining paint from those grooves.
No easy task; no wonder I procrastinated this step 10 years ago! But eventually a heat gun, scraper and patience removes the bulk of it. Then we sand smooth using the edge of a sanding block to get into the ‘V’ shape.
Repair with Wood Filler
Fill any gaps with wood filler. We know it will show through the stain, but again it’s going to be perfectly imperfect!
Before filling, we always use painters tape to protect surrounding wood, then peel the tape away.
However, we leave a piece of green tape beside the repair so we can remember where to sand once dry! Wood filler can be easy to miss.
Scuff sand the cabinet and smooth the wood filler repairs.
Then remove the dust. We like using a barely damp old cotton sock for this. Or use a silicone free tack cloth.
Staining the Record Player Stand DIY
Next, we’re using an applicator pad to apply No Pain Gel Stain.
Tip: If you have a serger, like we do, you can cut these in half and serge the raw edge to economize.
You can’t reuse the pad when using an oil based stain like this Picklin’ White. To safely toss it after use, place it in a metal container filled with water for disposal. NEVER ball up rags or pads like this and toss them in the garbage; they can easily combust and start a fire.
First, don some gloves and mix the product well.
When using a product for the first time, like we are with No Pain Gel Stain, try it out on something small like these legs to get used to it.
Dip the applicator into the metal container to pick up a small amount of stain. Working in sections, apply the stain in long strokes – with the grain. Go back and use the back of the pad to remove excess stain (or we also like to use cotton t-shirt rags). Be sure to wipe back as you go; once the solvents evaporate it will get sticky and you won’t be able to remove the excess!
The best way to let them dry is to punch holes into a box. Then pop the screws through the holes.
This is one side before gel stain.
Here is the other side after one coat. You’ll see how to apply it by watching the video.
The beauty of gel stain is that you can apply multiple coats (with about 6 hours of dry time in between). This gives you the ability to have transparent or more solid coverage.
Again, apply with the grain (and try not to ‘swoosh’ the strokes or you’ll you see arches instead of smooth blending).
We end up wiping on three coats. You can still see the woodgrain.
We’ll wait another 72 hours between before spraying on a few coats of clear satin topcoat.
MCM Record Cabinet Doors
Now for the doors. Back when this piece was originally stripped I didn’t take the time to put the doors back in correctly, so they look pretty wonky here in mom’s basement:
We shuffle them around in different configurations on the front and back tracks to make sure we’ve got them fitting better into the record cabinet.
Before continuing, place painters tape on the back of the doors and mark the left and right sides. Also place an arrow so you know which way is up and exactly how they should go back in!
The door pulls are dinged so the plan is to replace them. Remove them for painting.
Because the heat gun was too high, you can see there are some scorch marks on the doors. So always start with the lowest setting that will do the job – and keep that gun moving!
Primer will fix that up!
Prime the Doors
A slick surface, like these melamine doors, needs a gripper primer, like Slick Stick, so the paint will bond. In this case, we’re applying with a foam roller.
Sometimes I get ahead of myself! I forget to brush the grooves first and then roll the paint! You’ll get a smoother finish that way.
If you watch the video you’ll see I made a miscalculation that almost derailed the doors. Time will tell, but we think it will be ok!
Green is my favourite colour, yet this is the first time we’re using it on furniture!
After drying 2 – 3 hours, spray Silk all-in-one Mineral paint in a colour called Cactus. Hubs showed me how to paint using a spray gun last year. So I love that I get to practice spray painting on the door!
The drawback to painting outside is that anything can land in the wet paint, like this big piece of lint!
After lifting away the lint, it leaves a noticeable mark. But there’s a way to hide it!
Embellish Doors of Record Player Stand DIY
You can use a fine touch up brush to hide marks after removing lint that lands in your paint. Or you can apply a transfer instead! We’re using the Magnolia Garden Transfer, which you can also see on this pretty hand painted sewing box.
We’re only using a few transfers for this record player stand DIY. But if you want to make the best creative use of the Magnolia Garden transfer, see this magnolia garden dresser makeover by our friend Denise at Salvaged Inspirations. It’ll wow you!
How to Apply a Transfer
Configure the design
Before applying the transfer, note the direction of the doors and lay them out on a table. Nothing worse than finding out they are upside down after they’re on!
Cut and tape sections of the transfer together and play with it on the doors until happy with the layout.
2. Tape into Position
Use low tack tape to position your design on the door.
3. Apply transfer
You can peel the backing completely and apply. However, I prefer to bend back a corner and stick it down first to get it exactly where I want it.
Then I lift and pull the backing as I lay down the transfer. Be sure to smooth from the centre out as you go to avoid air bubbles.
4. Burnish transfer
Take the stick provided in the package and burnish well. Then lift a corner to see if it will release. Use a push and pull technique to apply pressure as you are also lifting.
Keep burnishing as you lift the transfer. If you notice any part of the image still sticking to the clear sheet, lay it back down and burnish until it releases.
5. Burnish edges to mimimize ghosting
I did run into issue with the transfer because of the primer (as you’ll see in the video). But the flowers are flourishing on the doors. It must have something to do with the original sunshine yellow – or my mom is looking over me 😉.
For a final touch, I add a butterfly. We also wanted to add these new pulls, but unfortunately they were too big! The old ones are fine for now.
Put a piece of t-shirt cotton on your finger and rub the edges to help eliminate the ghosting around the edges.
The transfer is subtle; the colour of the magnolias are pretty with the cactus green!
How to Spray Clear Coat
Transfers have to be sealed. We usually wait overnight to clear coat over a transfer.
Before giving the credenza another coat, we very lightly scuff sand it. That’s because we waited a few days between coats. For subsequent coats, you can spray again right away after an hour of dry time (up to three coats).
Again, instead of brushing, we’re spraying Dixie Belle’s clear satin. Because the clear coat doubles as a decoupage medium, and we’re using an open jar, we find It’s too thick to spray. So we water it down slightly.
Another coat goes onto the legs too.
Old record cabinet doors are notorious for sticking. So the last step before reassembling is to add Big Mama’s Butta into the rails where the doors will slide.
Wrap a popsicle stick with t-shirt fabric to apply it.
Record Player Stand DIY Reveal
Maybe in another 50 years, someone will once again come across this record player stand, embrace its flaws and put their own spin on it!
Until then, we’ll enjoy it until we sell it and I’ll remember how my mom sparked my love of all things DIY!
By the way, that clock above the record cabinet is actually also a planter for air plants! We removed them to change the batteries and didn’t get a chance to put them back up again. See this wooden wall art DIY if you’re curious to see how it looks with greenery!
Browse here for more paint techniques.
UPDATE: the record cabinet sold to a lovely family with a 16 year old daughter. I hope she love this piece as much as I do!
Pin Record Player Stand DIY
Pinning is always welcome and appreciated.
Do It Over Designers
Our talented blogger friends have some amazing and inspiring DIYs for you! Don’t forget to visit these posts for more upcycled do-it-over transformations!
- Sum of Their Stories
- Tea and Forget-Me-Nots
- The Apple Street Cottage
- Birdz of a Feather
- Exquisitely Unremarkable
- Purple Hues & Me
- Southern Sunflowers
Record Player Stand DIY FAQs
1. Do you need to seal no pain gel stain?
No, because no pain gel stain is oil based, you don’t have to seal it. However, for added durability we recommend at least two coats of a water based finish like Dixie Belle’s clear coat satin.
2. How long does no pain gel stain take to dry?
Between coats of stain wait at least six hours. Wait 72 hours before brushing, rolling or spraying a clear coat finish.
3. Does a second coat of gel stain make it darker?
No pain gel stain is highly pigmented. Adding additional layers will deepen the colour so add as much or as little as you like. Even with 3 coats, you’ll still see some of the richness of the wood beneath.
4. Should you sand between coats of gel stain?
With no pain gel stain, an oil based product, it’s not necessary to sand between coats. However, if you forgot to sand smooth the wood underneath, a scuff sand can smooth out some of the roughness before applying the last coat.
5. Why is my gel stain still tacky?
Gel stain will remain tacky until the solvents evaporate. The rate of evaporation can change depending on humidity and temperature. Be sure to wipe back excess product before letting it dry. Too thick an application will slow down dry time.
6. Why don’t my transfer stick to the paint?
Paint has to be totally dry before a transfer can be applied to the surface. Allow at least 24 hours dry time before applying a transfer.
If you primed, you also must allow adequate dry time between the primer and paint because that can also affect the moisture content of the top layer of paint.
7. How do you burnish a transfer?
After applying the transfer to the surface, rub all over with the burnishing stick from the middle out toward the edges. Lift one corner. Continue to burnish with a push and pull motion: push the transfer with the stick and you pull up on the plastic backing. The transfer should come away from the backing as you continue to burnish. Keep an eye on the backing as you lift. If some of the transfer remains on the backing, set it back down and burnish until it sticks.
Once the transfer is on, rub with a finger to burnish over the transfer. Then take a finished pad, or a cotton rag over your finger, and burning the edges to remove any ‘ghosting’.
Lastly, seal your transfer with a top coat to protect it.