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Refinishing wood for a HT Room Make-Over - Need Advice

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Towen7, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    What do you guys think about the difficulty of refinishing stained wood cabinets and wainscoting? The owner of this game room wants to convert it into a home theater and he wants all of the wood to be black. It's a lot of wood because the wainscoting is on the remaining three walls and the room is 19X17, not to mention the crown molding.

    FWIW these built-ins will be the back of the room and there are three matching doors that belong where that old TV is now.

    Can he get by with a light sanding and painting or will all of the old finish need to be removed?

  2. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    Oil paint can go on top of it no problem.

    Are you helping this with some sort of reward expected?
  3. Botch

    Botch I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S! Superstar

    Enamel can go on top of it too, no problem...

    ...but, jeez, I hate to see beautiful woodgrain painted over... :(
  4. malsackj

    malsackj Well-Known Member

    I think he should think hard about keeping the built in cabnets as they are.

    I would remove the waynes coating along the three other walls. Set up the rest of the room for the home theater. Use the nice cabnets in the rear for storage. equipment rack and nick nacks. I think those cabnets add to the value of the home and the home theater will not have a resale value unless you have an enthusiest.
  5. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The owner is indeed agonizing over the decision. He want's his HT done right and to his tastes but he doesn't want do something that he may regret later.
    The owner just prefers the look of black. I would like to see them re-stained in a black or super dark brown to preserve the woodgrain. I'm no expert but I think that would take a ton of work.

    As for reducing the re-sale value. Even if the HT equipment were removed I think the room can be decorated so that black cabinetry doesn't detract. I've seen a lot of high end homes with black cabinetry. I think it's a more modern look and wouldn't hurt at all... assuming it was done well.
  6. Botch

    Botch I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S! Superstar

    I was going to suggest that, but realized, "That'd take a ton of work..." ;)

    If he keeps the opaque curtains, and closes them while using the HT, that'll take care of the majority of the problem. If you do decide to refinish anything, I'd suggest going with a flat, as opposed to gloss, finish.

    I'm actually going thru a similar conundrum in my living room. The large picture window, directly behind me, has solid plastic slats that slam shut and cut out any light when I close them, except for a thin bright line leaking out the bottom which reflects off the bottom window trim (glossy tile, WTF? :shock: ) which, of course, reflects off my TV screen perfectly in the middle. :angry-banghead: I keep looking at it and thinking about flat black paint, or black felt, or a hydraulic system that pushes the slats tightly against the window, or....?
  7. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The desire to go with black is not from a need for light control. He plans to keep the opaque window treatments and/or install shutters. He just thinks that black is a more contemporary color choice and would be a better match for his black theater seating, black speakers, and black trim around the screen.
  8. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    It may be quicker and likely to give better look if he removes the entire cabinetry (and sell it maybe?) and put new contemporary looking cabinetry in place. The existing one is designed as traditional looking (paneling, hardware and etc.). Changing color only won't give the result he is looking for from what I can tell. IOW, it's going to look like $hit.
  9. Maximo

    Maximo Well-Known Member

    I agree. You'll have way more time invested in refinishing those cabinets with mixed results at best. I would pull the cabinets and start over.
  10. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I appreciate the input guys. But replacing the cabinets and wainscoting isn't going to happen. That alone would eat most if not all of the budget. I spent some time with him today and while he hasn't made a decision, I'm confident that he won't paint them and thinks restaining would be a disater. I think his choices boil down to accepting the tradional look of what he has and build his HT around it, or have more a contemparary room with no HT equipment.

    Thanks again. I'll keep you posted as to what finally happens.
  11. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    Or he could replace the doors and hinges only with something more contemporary looking. Then remove the wainscoting and trim at the top of cabinet which will look more modern. Then he can paint the remaining surface with matching color of new doors.
  12. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Problem solved!!

    He bought a set of four brown leather HT chairs, a free standing brown bar that matches the contour of the HT chairs, and 4 brown bar stools with brown leather seats.

    I think it would have looked better in black but a brown HT is better than no HT.
  13. Botch

    Botch I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S! Superstar

    Cool,that's a happy ending to this thread!
  14. DIYer

    DIYer Well-Known Member Famous

    Who does massages here? :shifty:
  15. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator


    Well... We finally had a carpenter come out and give to us a bid to turn that gaping hole where the TV is in the pics into two shelving bays with adjustable shelves, and to add glass doors to each of the three bays. Apparently there is a severe shortage of ash plywood and that has driven prices way up (something to do with Asian beetles, whatever). It took him more than a week to even source the material. Because of the wood costing more than twice what it normally does , the carpentry work and staining will end up being close to $1,000.

    We could use a cheaper wood like oak for $500 but we'll never get the stain to match. So we'll likely have to paint and as stated earlier that means painting all of the wood in the room. The price for that will also be $1,000.

    So much for getting a new sub.


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