Custom Wall Media/Entertainment Center

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About This Project

Birch Plywood and Pine

We purchased our first LCD TV, which meant we needed a new entertainment center to put it on. We looked at quite a few furniture stores and couldn't believe the price tag on the big centers. I wanted more than just a TV stand, so I convinced my husband to help me build an entertainment center ourselves. I looked at a lot of different entertainment centers, even a few on this site, and then I drew up a picture of what I was envisioning, tweeking things here and there (I have three little kids so I needed to make sure the center piece was high enough to keep little fingers off my expensive TV, and I also knew I wanted all Satellite Receivers and DVD players out of reach), and we went to work figuring out dimensions. We designed the TV opening around the exact dimensions of our new TV (it's a 46" tv, if that helps you imagine the opening size) and then figured out the rest of the dimensions after that. Once we had the dimensions figured out, my husband went to work calculating what materials we would need. Then we got to work. We built the center in four different pieces (two side shelf units, the middle bottom stand, and the middle top piece). We spent every night for the next week working in the garage to build the entertainment center, and it turned out absolutely beautiful! And the best part? The price, of course. In total, we spent $546.00. That includes wood, trim pieces, paint, primer, hardware (knobs and hinges). Not too bad for a beautiful entertainment center made of real hardwood!

Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
We used an oil based primer, tinted as dark as possible, and then an oil based semi-gloss (satin) black paint. After painting was finished, I distressed quite a few areas (edges and around drawers and cabinets) and then used a q-tip and stained them with a cherry stain.
Estimated Cost: 
$550

Comments

I was worried the crown and bottom moulding would be tricky, but it wasn't too bad. To make sure it all lined up perfectly, we screwed together all the pieces (the top center piece to the two side shelving pieces and then both the side shelving pieces to the bottom center piece) first. We had it all put together just as it would be in the house and THEN we measured and cut the crown and base moulding. I had painted all the moulding first and then just touched it up after we put it on the entertainment center. I think we wouldn't have been able to get it to line up perfect if we hadn't screwed it together first, screwing it together get it a nice snug fit.

If I didn't actually see the building process of the entertainment center, I wouldn't have believe you built it yourself!

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,
Donna Foster

I wouldn't believe it either, if I hadn't been the one spending so many hours in the garage building and painting! Thank you! :)

This is exactly what I need! Happen to have the dimensions? I know I could modify it to fit our TV but I'm really wondering how deep your side bookcases are. Thanks!!

Thank you! The dimensions are as follows:

Side Bookcases:
19.5" Wide
12" Deep
72" Tall

Center Piece:
54" Wide
19" Deep
84" Tall

Hope that helps!

Wow! Your entertainment center is beautiful and seems wonderfully functional! Just wondering what the height is of the ledge for the TV in the center console. We have little ones too and need TV and componenets to be out of reach! Also, would you mind sharing which plans you used as inspirations for each part? I think it is the Basic Collection for the bookcases and the Tommy for the center? Is that correct?

Hi, sorry for the slow reply! I am not 100% sure (I can't find my tape measure!) but I think the TV ledge is either 30 or 36 inches high. I wanted it high enough that it wouldn't be hard to watch the TV while sitting, but enough that it would be hard for little fingers to touch the TV.

Hey Kristen,

Your entertainment center looks beautiful!

Did you use Pine wood for the entire project or did you use plywood for the top of the side book cases and the top part of the Media center. Did the paint cover up all the knots?

Thank you! We used plywood on part of it, mostly for the center pieces. If I were going to do it again, we would have used plywood more because it was knot free and much straighter. The paint did a good job covering up the knots, and I am overall really happy with it!

Thank you! We used plywood on part of it, mostly for the center pieces. If I were going to do it again, we would have used plywood more because it was knot free and much straighter. The paint did a good job covering up the knots, and I am overall really happy with it!

Thank you! We used plywood on part of it, mostly for the center pieces. If I were going to do it again, we would have used plywood more because it was knot free and much straighter. The paint did a good job covering up the knots, and I am overall really happy with it!

My husband was sure we wouldn't be able to tackle building an entertainment center until we saw your photos. We are excited to take on this project. Yours turned out beautifully! Can you fill us in on the finishing that took place after this blog ends: doors, etc.?

Thank you, we love it! And we loved building it ourselves and saving a ton of money while we were at it. Sorry for the slow reply on this as well. We cut and measured the doors, gave them a simple finish by routering the edges, and hung them. For the drawers, we build a basic box, added the runners, and then finish nailed the drawer front onto the box. They work perfectly! I distressed all the edges once everything was completely finished and hung.

What is the style/ color of knobs and pulls you used on this project. I am in process of building this. ALso, what is the cherry stain? Did you use that on the distressed parts of the center??
Thanks for your help!
Chris

Congrats on building the entertainment center! You will love it! I ended up using brushed bronze knobs and hinges (similar to this: http://www.handlesets.com/rusticware-950-1-1-4-modern-mushroom-knob-from...). They turned out perfect with the black paint. They stand out enough, but not too much to distract. As far as the stain, I just used a Minwax Cherry gel stain. I would wipe it on the areas I had distressed (around the drawers, cabinet doors, edges, etc.) then let it sit for awhile and then I wiped it back off. It gave the distressed areas enough color to not look raw, but it still stands out. I hope that answered your questions!

No, sorry, there are no official plans for this. I just drew a picture of what I wanted and my husband calculated everything out from the picture. The general dimensions are listed above, though, if that's any help!

You guys did a beautiful job! I am so glad to see someone built almost the exact unit I was picturing. :) Ana's inspiration strikes again!!! I didn't see one, so wanted to ask if you blogged this elsewhere so I can read more details about the process. Thanks!

Those arches are most easily cut with a jig saw. You can clean up with a curved rasp and file, or a spokeshave.

I love the the shelf above the TV. If you make that shelf about 6 inches tall, you would have enough room for a center channel speaker, or for an XBox Kinect.