TV Multimedia Console, Part 1

George and I spent the weekend helping our daughter and son-in-law build a TV-multimedia console.  Brianne and Brian found online plans that would suit their needs, but desired storage with more of a mid-century flair.

How to Specialist: How to Build a TV Stand

The inspiration choices were narrowed down. However, it still wasn’t quite what they had in mind. They didn’t want all the wiring and electronics exposed, but were concerned about enclosing heat-producing electronics.



A trip to Home Depot solved the dilemma. The solution was to insert radiator sheeting in the doors and cut ventilation into the back of the unit. In addition, the legs were switched out for round 5.5 inch wood turned legs reminiscent of the Mad Men era.  

The console is basically a wood rectangular box with a divider and shelves.  A channel was routed into the doors in which to inlay the radiator sheet. A center divider holds up shelving for the variety of electronics. 





Brianne started staining the console doors, but isn’t sure if she likes the color. 


This project will have to wait until another weekend. That leaves time to attach the legs and muddle over the stain/paint matter. 🙂

Have a good week! – – Joanne

TV Console, Part 2

5 thoughts on “TV Multimedia Console, Part 1

  1. Hi Joanne, I think that is a beautiful design for a console. Brianne sounds like she is unsure whether she likes the color of the stained pine. Is it the wood she doesn’t like or the color of the stain? Perhaps they should paint the piece. Love that they used the radiator sheets. They add a fabulous decorative accent and will serve their purpose for ventilation. I just looked up the below information five minutes ago, so I am including it. I sanded and am just staining the top of a vintage mahogany drinks server tonight. The wood between the three drawers is pine, not mahogany, so I need to go get wood conditioner because that wood won’t take the stain like mahogany. Normally, I wouldn’t stain mahogany because it IS mahogany, but the top would be too light compared to the rest of the piece. The rest of it has darkened over the years. (This comment may go on record as the longest comment ever.)

    Wood Conditioner
    Probably the easiest, and most common, fix for these problems is wood conditioner. Most every manufacturer that makes oil-based stain also makes a wood conditioner designed to prevent splotching; however, because of the way it works, it also reduces excess stain absorption, which in turn helps minimize the photonegative effect. Typically, oil-based wood conditioner is a mixture of common stain solvents and a small amount of clear resin. Think of conditioner as clear stain, and you’ll be close.

    The instructions will tell you to flood it onto the raw, sanded wood liberally, then wipe it all off. The important thing is to stain while the wood is still wet with conditioner. Allowing it to dry before staining will decrease its effectiveness. Areas prone to splotch absorb the conditioner but not excess stain. No more splotch! In essence, you have pre-stained the wood with colorless stain. Because of that, the end result is that the stain will be less intense than if you had applied it to untreated wood. To get around this, choose a darker stain to begin with.

    With conditioner, you stain while the wood is wet, but when pre-sealing, you must wait to stain until the sealer is dry. As with conditioner, pre-sealing will both eliminate splotching and minimize grain reversal and excess stain absorption. It will also leave the wood lighter in color. My favorite pre-sealer is Zinsser SealCoat™. After reducing it by half with denatured alcohol, flood it onto clean, sanded wood, and wipe it off immediately. Stain the wood when the SealCoat has dried.

    Exceptions to the Rule
    If you don’t mind grain reversal and want richer, darker staining, you can get that while avoiding splotching with two stain options. Water-soluble dyes color richly and more uniformly and are not prey to splotching problems. That’s because they contain no solvents to soften the sap pockets. However, be cautious with pre-mixed liquid dyes: they may contain a little solvent. Powdered dyes that mix only with water are the best bet in this case. The other interesting alternative is stain made from latex paint. Take any color of latex wall paint, mix it with equal parts of water, and apply it like a stain, flooding it on and wiping it off. You’ll find that it, too, eliminates splotch while coloring evenly and, since you can have it custom mixed, it comes in every color imaginable.

    1. Ginene,
      While you may think it a long comment; I certainly appreciate the information. 😀 As a “seat of her pants” DIY-er, I appreciate (need) all the help I can get. I have tried the paint/water technique with pretty good success. But, I did not realize the potential for wood conditioner. I’m saving this information and sharing it with Brianne. Good luck with the mahagony drinks server. Hope to read about this project on soon! ~Joanne

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