Upcycled TV Stand Distressed With Fire!




Today's DIY project: Upcycle a louvered door and lapboard doors into a television stand.

Thank you for viewing my instructable! This is my first tutorial, and, if it goes well, there will be many more to come! This tutorial will focus on the design and techniques I used to build my tv stand. I won't be too specific as far as the size and the measurements go because you will need to determine that based on your needs and your materials. Please feel free to ask any questions and leave any constructive criticism under the comments.

My girlfriend and I purchased our first home about a year ago. Since then, we've done quite a bit of remodeling. From completely gutting and updating one bathroom, to opening up walls and ceilings, there isn't much I haven't done. I've played the part of a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber and now a designer. We needed a tv stand that would match the decor in the master bedroom and we were having a hard time finding something both affordable and fitting. We saw this tv stand at Target and instead of spending $200 on it, I figured I could make a nicer version of it for way less. So, I decided to go through some old materials I had kicking around in the attic. I found this louvered door and a pair of lapboard basement doors that I figured would do the trick! My plan was to cut the louvered door down for use as two cabinet doors and use the lapboard doors to cover the frame of the cabinet.

The materials used are pretty easy to come across; people throw this "crap" out all the time. I'm a huge fan of flea markets, tag sales and Craigslist. Another viable option is to take a peek in a dumpster outside a home that's being remodeled. If you see anything good, ask the contractor if it's okay if you snag it. You'll be really surprised at what people throw out. Between these four options, you can find just about anything you need for any project, and on the cheap!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools used:
Miter saw
Table saw
Skil saw
Drill bits
Portable propane torch
Palm sander
Paint brush
Carpenter's square
Trim nail gun and air compressor (not necessary but very convenient!)
Proper safety equipment including a fire extinguisher or garden hose

Louvered door
Shiplap board doors
5- 2"x3" pine studs ($2 something each)
4- 8' pine shiplap boards ($7 each)  to cover what the shiplap doors won't cover
4- 1"x3" pine trim
4- Door hinges
2- Door latches
2- 2'x4' sheest of 1/8" plywood ($11 each)
Stain (I chose Minwax provincial, but you decide depending on the look you want to go for)
Polyurethane (I used Minwax satin)
Finish nails
Wood screws

Step 2: Doors

Knowing this would be the hardest part of the build, I decided to get the doors done first. Plus, as the center point, it's easier to build around the doors, rather than have to try to make them work in an already done frame. It's not as simple as just cutting two sections out of the one door. Both sections need to be framed, and in order to do that I had to salvage wood from each end of the door. I had only one door to do this with, so, if I messed up a measurement or a cut, I would need to find another!

I started by cutting the door down to just the louvered section to make it easier to work with. Then, I figured what height and width I wanted to use. I figured a tall 24" door would be good, and I wouldn't have to worry about the width just yet.
So, I measured off the top of the door and cut off the 24" piece that I needed.

Then, in order to have a frame around all of the edges of the door, I decided the most logical way was to cut the boarder piece at the top in half. Then, screw the remaining piece on the bottom to complete it (use the pictures as a guide as this might be tricky to understand by text).

Once I had the doors cut and framed on all four sides. I wanted to make sure the width of the frame on each side matched for a uniform look. The top and bottom were 2" after I cut them down. So, all I had to do now was run the two remaining sides in the table saw to make them all an equal 2" border.

The last step was to use my palm sander and quickly hit the doors and my cuts to smooth everything out.

Step 3: Frame

I chose pine materials mainly because I was concerned about the weight, plus it's cheap. I needed something that would accommodate up to a 42" tv. This particular frame is 3' 6" wide by 2' deep and 2' tall. Keep in mind the overall dimensions will be slightly larger once the boards and trim are added. The most important part of building the frame is to make sure all your measurements are exact! If you choose to slack when constructing your frame, it will show during final assembly when doors don't fit or are crooked, and trim and boards have gaps in them. Yeah, we're giving it the rustic, distressed look but we want it to look professional and uniform... right? That said, always predrill your holes for screws to prevent wood from splitting or moving.

I used 2"x3" doug fir studs to construct the frame. I built two rectangular boxes 24"x42" with a stud in the center of each to strengthen them up a little.
From here I cut four studs at 2 feet in length to join the top and bottom frame together.

Step 4: Skin and Trim

Now that the doors are done and frame is together, I began sanding and removing the white paint on the lapboard doors to use them for construction.

There's a couple of different ways you can approach this part of the build, depending on preference.
I started by adding the boards to the top of the frame. Once I put the boards on the top of my frame, I trimmed the top and bottom frame all the way around with 1"x3" pine. THEN I did the sides. The look I was going for was more flush all the way around.
You don't have to do it the way I did, in fact most would probably do it the opposite. You may prefer to have to trim more exposed. Simply cover the top and sides with the shiplap first. Then, install the trim around all the edges.

Step 5: Doors and Shelving

Once the frame was completely covered and trimmed, I measured and cut the plywood for the bottom shelf. From here, you can add a center shelf if you would like.

Once that was done, I installed the doors. I added a piece of trim down the center by nailing it to the left door. This trim will open and close with the door, it's simply just for looks.

Step 6: Now for the Fun Stuff!

This was the most fun of the build! Now, I get to burn and beat up this box I had been working diligently on!

My first step in giving this the worn and weathered look was to remove the crisp square edges. You can use sandpaper here, but I used a hammer and gently tapped and rounded over the edges and corners.

To achieve the darkened look on the planks, I took a portable propane torch and gently toasted the edges of the boards and the trim. I started dark at the edge and faded out as I came toward the center. It helps to work the torch in a "C" shape. Don't hold the torch in one spot too long or too close because it's easy to toast and you don't want to burn your project down to the ground! A good tip is to start off light. You can always darken it with the torch but it's very hard to fix it once you've gone too far. Try practicing on a scrap piece of wood. Also, keep in mind what color stain you are going to be using. The darker the stain, the darker or more burnt you will want your piece to be.

I took a hammer and screwdriver to beat up some random spots on the wood. But, the best tools I had to distress my cabinet was a pair of pliers, a screw and the torch. Holding a screw very tight with a pair of channel locks, I heated up the screw with the torch and then burned the screw into the wood in different patterns and holes all over.

After distressing the entire piece, I was then ready for stain.

Step 7: Stain and Poly

Almost done! Here I gave the cabinet two coats of stain and two coats of polyurethane. I used Minwax Provincial stain and Minwax satin polyurethane.

Once dried, I moved it upstairs to the bedroom! Now, all I need is a bigger TV!

I hope you enjoyed my instructable! Thank you for reading and enjoy!



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    27 Discussions


    5 years ago



    5 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulation for such a great piece of work! A simple concept, a smart idea for the 'aging' effect and what a result! You definitely get my vote for the contest.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is one of the most creative and beautiful instructable furniture builds I have ever seen! Such a great idea to give it the 'burned' look! Fantastic job! Can't wait to see more of your instructables!


    5 years ago on Step 7

    It probably won't work well for the more intricate pieces (louvers, etc.), but for bulkier items of furniture, I like doing a similar method, except I burn a full char, and then scrub it off with a brush, and seal it.

    It's really messy though, but it gives the wood a nice brown-black color (depending on how hard you scrub it with the brush), and really brings out the grain. plus, it's pretty easy, and you get to skip the sanding part.

    Nice job though, looks nice.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Really love this! Looks very sturdy and well-made. Fantastic that you re-purposed wood.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! Would be a great way to hide some out of place looking stereo speakers in.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That's a really good idea. Soon I'll be finishing the bar for my pinball cave. Maybe I'll incorporate some speakers into it.


    5 years ago on Step 7

    Love the work you did on that cabinet. Very inspiring


    5 years ago on Step 7

    This is beautiful! Great job.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I really like this! I'm doing a very similar project this weekend and this has given me new perspective. Thanks!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks to everybody for the kind words. I've got a couple more projects to do so I'll probably be posting another instructable soon!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I just built an outdoors farmhouse style table that is huge. I planned on just staining it, but I think I might run a torch over it first. Good tip!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That's awesome! One thing I forgot to mention... Watch out for runs in the stain around the toasted areas because the wood tends to reject the stain a bit.


    Beautiful job, I love the blow torch distressing I haven't seen that done for a long long time.
    I look forward to seeing what you show us next.


    5 years ago on Step 7

    Wow very nice i like the torch distressing i might have to try that some time.