Riley’s Painted Built-in Entertainment Center
By Riley Rasmussen from Vail, AZ
Added on May 27, 2013
Back in 2009 I built an entertainment center for my brother in his garage for practice with an old ryobi router and table saw and realized I really enjoyed it, so a few months later after acquiring a few more tools, I built one for my parents. When I moved to AZ, my wife wanted one in our home which led me to this project.
I usually like natural finishes but the wife insisted on white paint. After seeing the recent Poll regarding painted furniture and the lack of interest in using paint, I thought it would be a good time to submit my project even though I built it about 18 months ago.
When I moved To AZ from Seattle, WA, I had a lot of unused maple but the pieces were all the rejects I didn’t want to use on a stained or natural piece so it worked out great for this project. I could hide blemishes with the paint and red bondo I like using on painted pieces. Because this is built-in, I figured MDF would be OK for the carcass. I know, I know, I used the M word…but MDF is cheap, sands and paints well and if your not moving it around, you don’t have to worry about its durability. I used solid maple for the frames and doors and the face. I made most of the moldings with my woodmaster moulder. I just used 4×8 sheets of “beadboard” for the back.
The arches were made with a home made circle router jig. I routed a 3/4″ wide arch that matched the radius and then put a ogee profile on them. I built this prior to joining the TWW Guild, so I did not feel comfortable cutting dovetails by hand so I used a Jet dovetail jig for the drawers with blumotion soft closing under mount slides. I installed accuride pocket door sliders so I could hide the doors inside the cabinet when watching TV, and then hide the TV when not in use. I used my Fuji HVLP sprayer with SW oil primer and SW Dove White oil based paint and SW pre catalyzed lacquer for the drawers. The whole thing is roughly 14′ long and 8.5′ high so it was a beast getting into the living room. I built the boxes in my garage and built all the moldings and doors and installed them when it was in the house to get a good fit. I also sprayed it in place, so the wife and baby left for the week and I tented off the whole room and sprayed for 2 days. I have since learned better techniques and if I were to do this again, I would change several things, especially how I built the inset doors. I should have planed and sanded to fit to get a more even reveal, but overall I hope this project adds value to my home since it is now part of it. Hope you all enjoy!