If you recall, we picked up a couple mid century stereo units a while back. They were in pretty rough shape at the time, but we whipped one of them into shape pretty quick. Here are a few of the “BEFORE” photos:
As you can see, this stereo (even though it still looked kinda cool in it’s beat up condition) had definitely seen better days. We started this DIY mid century modern stereo makeover by taking out the guts. It was a delicate process because we didn’t want to damage any of the bones of the unit. After a couple hours of tinkering, we successfully pulled out the record player, the speakers and all the wiring and electronics that had become home to many a spider and other bug.
After taking out the guts, we needed to cut out the speaker cloth areas as cleanly as we possibly could because we still wanted to use what we cut out as the new cabinet doors. We quickly found out the the speaker grill pieces were simply a cloth covered insert that just popped out easily. That made it much easier to see where to cut. I used an oscillating multi-tool to give me a nice clean cut around the speaker area. For the most part, I think tools from Harbor Freight are total crap. This multi tool got the job done but I just wish the blade would stop coming off from the vibration! So annoying!
After those face pieces were cut out, we made simple shelf/box inserts out of MDF to fit inside each space. We pre-painted the box inserts before we installed them. The corners on the stereo had separated a bit from being out in the weather for who knows how long, but a little caulk made quick work of the gaps that I couldn’t close.
Next we cleaned up the edges of the speaker area face pieces, gave them a little more rigidity by adding some MDF to the backside, and then found a pretty sweet, modern herringbone-esque fabric to wrap around the two cabinet doors. Attaching the fabric consisted of using some heavy duty 3M spray adhesive on the front of the cabinet door, and pulling it tight and stapling it to the backside of the cabinet doors.
Next, using melamine we framed up a 1-inch deep form that were the dimensions of the top of the stereo. This would be the form for the concrete top. The sliding door on the top was cool, but hey….this is called a “makeover” project…..not a “leave it as it is” project, am I right? Once our melamine concrete form was ready we mixed up some Quikrete and filled the form. We vibrated out as many bubbles as we could by using an electric sander all over the form. It didn’t get rid of every single bubble, but it was pretty dang close. We pulled the form off the next day and let it sit out and air dry for a couple more days after that before test fitting it to the top of the stereo. It was heavy. Duh. But it fit and we were happy!
With all the above finally taken care of, it was time to finish sanding the stereo and paint it! When it came time to paint, I rested the stereo on a lazy susan so I could spray the paint and simply spin the stereo around 360-degrees so I could only spray in one direction the whole time:
We also mounted hinges on each door (that we painted satin black) magnetic push latches that worked out AWESOME. We also painted the metal tips on the stereo legs the same satin black color as the hinges before reattaching them. We put everything back together, adhered the DIY custom concrete counter to the top of the unit and put it in place! We love it love it love it and think it’s an incredible improvement! What do you think?? Check out the pics below….but PLEASE PLEASE pay no attention to our rust-orange carpet. New carpet is on our to-do list but we want to get more dirty projects done before putting in new carpet :) Thanks for coming by! (as always, be sure to pay a visit to Zelo Photography as well)