What I Did With What I Thrifted: Rustic Media Bench

November 2, 2014

Today I have done seven loads of laundry, finished stripping two chairs, delivered the rustic floor mirror to it's forever home, and worked to put together our living room to accommodate our new media bench.  So happy to have an extra hour thanks to the time change! A week of Before & Afters with What I Thrifted has left me wiped out, but I love everything we've created.  And our new media bench is the perfect cherry on top to a busy week!  We picked this 14' reclaimed wood beam up last weekend at our favorite salvage warehouse.  It's like a hardware thrift store, chock full of cabinets, windows, reclaimed wood, sinks, bathtubs, anything you could ever need for your house. We snagged this wood with intentions of building a new stand for our TV.  It's a project we've wanted to tackle for a while, but we couldn't decide how to build it.  Pinterest came through like a champ and helped inspire some ideas, along with a couple previous custom furniture builds we've done for clients.  Finally we were able to agree (enough) on what we wanted to warrant pawing through some reclaimed wood, and this guy fit the bill quite nicely.

 

First thing we did was give it a good scrub.

Once cleaned, I bleached the wood.  Nobody was present to take a picture of me applying the bleach because we were on our way to a crab feast (hi Joyce!) and someone had to take a shower.  But I did it.  I promise.

 

After the wood dried out, it was time to cut!

Seriously, this was a really big piece of wood.  14' is long ya'll. 

It was at this point we got into a fight.  In all of our coversations on how to build the damn thing, we never actually discussed how big it was going to be.  When he made the first cut, I thought it was a leg.  He declared it was the top.  It was about to be the world's smallest media bench.  It was more like a media loveseat with his specs but luckily I won, and we made this guy 5' long and 2' tall. And here it is!   

I am so proud of this piece.  We didn't do anything to the wood itself.  No sanding, no staining, just a high-gloss lacquer finish that I love!  The high-gloss is unexpected on a rustic piece like this, but it brings out all the "imperfections" in the wood that give this piece character.

I love this cut - it captures the grain and keeps it consistent from the top down the side.

We even left the nails in the wood.  I forbid making a cut that would leave the nails as scrap, and I love that we worked so hard to keep them.

This piece is exactly what we wanted.  Clean cuts, rustic character, modern finish.  A piece like this is easily adaptable to any home-decor style, and completely customizable.  We built this piece to meet the needs of our space and our TV.  I absolutely love it and can't wait to show off the room, which will (hopefully) be my next update. 

 

Thanks for following my first-ever week of Before & Afters.  Are you as tired as I am?  It's been fun!

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