Y’all better buckle up because it has been non-stop projects in this house as of late, and after graduation festivities I’ve finally gotten around to rounding them up and showing them off to you! This little apartment has been having an identity crisis from the moment we moved in. From the generic brown carpet, to the twelve layers of paint on each door knob and hinge from our landlord each time a new renter came in, not to mention our mismatch collection of hand-me-down items and used furniture. It really needed some help.

Of course, we’re still on a budget – just how I like it – so I was off to find a solution for our living room TV stand. We previously owned an Ikea Lack coffee table that was too wide, and too low to the ground, with little to no storage (which we were desperate for) and a modern style that didn’t fit my vintage eclectic look. Problem was, I had extremely specific dimensions I needed to fit my space, and a tight budget of $50 or less for the furniture piece. It took THREE MONTHS of searching on secondhand sites for me to FINALLY find the right dresser (style, size, price, the whole sh-bang).

It was perfect. My plans for this piece was to create two shelves at the top for our video game console and router, and other devices I’m sure will come later (I can already tell a Nintendo Switch is in our near future). Also, found out later when I opened the drawers that this particular piece of furniture was made by Bassett!! What a score!

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Here’s What You’ll Need:

Or at least, what I used for this project.

– Measuring Tape
– Straight Edge
– Pencil
– Wood Glue
– Sandpaper (I used a sanding block too)
– Jig Saw (Here’s the Porter Cable one I used)
– Table Saw
– Drill with 1″ hole saw drill bit
– Clamps (These Quick Grip clamps are a LIFESAVER. I swear by them.)
– Nail gun (Here’s the Porter Cable one I used)
– Air compressor (Here’s the Porter Cable one I used)
(If you need both this might not be a bad option)

– 2’x4’x3/4″ Plywood (2)
– Shop Towels
– Any Multi-Purpose Cleaner
– Behr Paint & Primer in One, Low odor, Satin (The color I used is called Space Black)
– Small Roller
– 2″ Paintbrush, 3″ Paintbrush, and 2″ Angle Brush
Bar Keeper’s Friend

Making the Shelves

Step 1: Remove all of the drawers and unscrew the tracks where the shelves are going to go.

Step 2: Measure the openings for the shelf parts. Two bases, two back walls, and four side walls. I made a template here for my shelves that I could use.

Step 3: After measuring and marking the plywood, use the table saw to cut the pieces to size.

Step 4: Use the jigsaw to cut the irregular shapes, and little notches. I included a little rectangular notch on the back panels for where cords would come out of.

Step 5: Put all of the pieces in place and make sure they fit. Your cuts may not have been precise, or more likely, the piece of furniture you’re working on isn’t perfectly even. That’s okay, just make adjustments as needed.

Step 6: Use the drill to punch out a couple of holes however large you want in the back of the dresser and match them up to where you cut the sections out in the back panels.

Step 7: Put some wood glue on the back of each piece that’s necessary and lay them in place one at a time. After each piece, go back over with the nail gun and nail it in place.


Step 8: We’re Ready to Paint! Stir up your paint can, and start painting your piece. Because of this specific type of paint, I didn’t need to sand or strip or do anything to prep the piece of furniture except clean it!
I rolled the top, and everything else I painted with a paintbrush. I used the angle brush to get into those tricky grooves. Overall, because of the dark color, I only needed two coats to cover the whole dresser
***TIP*** This dresser is about 62 inches long, 16 inches deep, and 40 inches tall, and I only used about a QUARTER of my gallon of paint. So if you’re doing a dark color like me, don’t buy as much paint as I did!! You won’t need that much. A half gallon should be plenty.

Step 9: Easiest step, wait for everything to dry. While you’re waiting, you can move onto the handles!
P.S. This project took me ALL DAY. From buying the supplies, cutting everything out, gluing, and painting. I would have started earlier in the morning had I known the amount of time it would reasonably take me to do this.


Step 10: I’ve explained this tip a couple of times before, so you can find a more detailed tutorial here if you’re interested. Because there were so many handles, I decided to use a toothbrush for this project. Load the toothbrush up with Bar Keeper’s Friend and scrub, scrub, scrub!

Step 11: Final step is just to assemble it all! Put all of the drawers back in place, and screw the handles back in. There you have it! A brand new entertainment center made from a $40 dresser, plywood, and paint.

Because I had all of the tools already, it overall cost me about $100 to create this somewhat custom piece. That’s 1/3 the price of any of the entertainment centers I was looking at for months! Even on discounted sites! If you have any questions, tips, or suggestions, comment below! I’d love to hear from you. And if you like this tutorial, don’t forget to pin it for later! Until next time, à bientôt!

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