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Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover

See how I took a $25 TV stand from the thrift store and turned it into a Mid Century Modern Media Console with paint and dowel rods.

Mid-century modern furniture is a popular style that has been around since the 1940s and 1950s. It is characterized by clean lines, simple shapes, and a focus on function over form. One of the most popular pieces of mid-century modern furniture is the media console, which is used to hold televisions, stereo systems, and other electronic equipment.

It seems like there’s been a trend of giving mid-century modern media consoles a makeover lately. As a matter of fact, MCM furniture is trending lately! I even created a roundup of Mid Century Modern media consoles from Amazon.

mid century modern media consoles from Amazon

When I stumbled over this modern mid century looking tv stand at the thrift store for $25, I knew I couldn’t pass it up! Is this a true mid century piece from the 40’s or 50’s? Nope, but I’ve added some dowel rods to give it a more true mid century flair. Let me show you!

mid century modern tv stand

Mid Century Modern Media Consoles are a great way to add a touch of retro style to your living room while providing a functional storage solution for your entertainment needs.

For those of you that don’t want to search thrift stores for a MCM furniture find, I’ve shared a list of some current brands that sell similar types of media stands.

Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links and other links in this post.

Popular Brands and Models of Mid Century Modern Media Consoles

There are many popular brands and models of Mid Century Modern Media Consoles on the market. Some of the most popular brands include West Elm, Joybird, and Article. These brands offer a variety of styles and sizes to fit any home and budget.

One popular model is the West Elm Mid Century Media Console. This console features a sleek design with a warm acorn finish and tapered legs. It has two cabinets and open shelving for ample storage space.

Rejuvenation also makes a beautiful MCM Walnut media console. It’s a stunning furniture piece, but definitely for a higher budget.

McDermitt Walnut Media Console

I’m actually drawing some inspiration from this piece with the vertical lines. I decided to purchase dowel rods to attach to the tv stand I got from the thrift store.

3/8" dowel rods

Preparing for the Makeover

Gathering Supplies

Before starting the Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover, it is important to gather all the necessary supplies. The following is a list of supplies that are needed for the makeover:

Make sure to choose paint and hardware that will complement the style and color of the room where the media console will be placed.

Cleaning and Sanding the Console

Before applying any paint, it is important to clean and sand the media console. This will help the paint adhere better and create a smoother finish. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove any hardware and set it aside. In my case, I didn’t have any hardware so no need for step #1.
  2. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down the entire console to remove any dust, dirt, or grime.
  3. Apply Bondo to areas of imperfections
  4. Use medium grit sandpaper to sand the surface of the console. This will help remove any existing finish and create a rough surface for the primer to adhere to.
  5. Wipe down the console with a tack cloth to remove any sanding dust.
  6. Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the console. This will help create a smoother finish.
  7. Wipe down the console with a tack cloth or lint free cloth AND a degreaser or liquid sandpaper again to remove any remaining dust.

Once the console has been cleaned and sanded, it is ready for the next step in the makeover process.

liquid sandpaper
Bondo wood filler

My go to wood filler these days is Bondo. It dries to the hardest finish (and quickly) of any wood filler I’ve used.

You can see below where I’ve applied it in the cracks between the wood pieces and then sanded it smooth.

Bondo wood filler on a TV console

The Makeover Process

Painting the Console

The first step in the Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover process is to give the console a fresh coat of primer. This can be done using a spray paint or a brush-on paint. Primer is key!

For those that are interested, see a list of the best Primer products for furniture here!

I applied one coat of primer to the entire piece and then added the dowel rods. I measured the console and then cut the dowel rods to size with a miter saw.

miter saw to cut dowel rods

The first coat of primer never looks pretty. Don’t let that deter you from finishing your piece!

applying primer to the tv stand

This is the glue I used to apply the dowel rods to the console.

glue for dowel rods

I applied some painters tape the dowel rods to make sure they dried in place.

gluing dowel rods to tv stand
dowel rods on tv stand with primer

After they were completely dry, I applied one more coat of primer to the entire furniture piece.

after second coat of primer

After this step I had an afterthought. I wanted to dress it up a little, so I went back to the hardware store and bought the dowel rod caps to place on top of the dowel rods. Then I applied paintable caulk around the dowel rods.

applying caulk to dowel rods

Painting the mid century modern TV stand

Choosing the right paint is key for this project. After recently testing four high rated white paints, I chose to use Benjamin Moore Advance in a stock white color.

Benjamin Moore Advance paint

I applied two coats of paint. With the first coat, I used a 2″ brush and then lightly sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper.

sanding first coat of paint on TV stand

With the last coat I used a foam brush to really give it a smooth finish with no brush strokes.

Once the paint was dry, I used some Rub N’ Buff (my go to gold paint/wax) on the dowel rods to give this piece of furniture some colorful flair.

Rub N' Buff antique gold

This is my favorite gold metallic paint (or wax). Make sure to apply painters tape around your newly painted furniture piece.

Rub N' Buff applied to dowel rods on tv stand

Finishing Touches

After completing the Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover, it’s time to add the finishing touches to make it look complete. Here are some tips to style the console:

Styling the Console

When styling the console, it’s important to keep in mind the overall design aesthetic of the room. It’s similar to styling shelves. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Add a plant or two to bring some life and color to the console. Succulents or snake plants are great options that require minimal upkeep.
  • Display a few books or magazines on the console to add some personality and give guests something to peruse while they’re visiting.
  • Consider adding a decorative tray to corral smaller items like remotes or coasters.
  • Hang a piece of art above the console to create a focal point in the room.
  • For a cohesive look, try to incorporate colors or textures that are already present in the room.

Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover

My MCM media console is done. The only thing I might have done differently was add legs. That being said, this is going in my daughters room and she insisted on “no legs.” Here you go baby girl.

Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover

I love the contrast between the white paint and the gold dowel rods. I thought about continuing the dowel rods across the entire “face” of the tv console but chose to add them as a small accent instead.

Modern TV stand with dowel rods
Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover
Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover
Mid Century Modern Media Console Makeover

What do you think?

Mid century modern media console makeover

So far my daughter loves it and more than that it’s a functional piece for her bedroom.

Thanks for following along guys,


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  1. Debbie says:

    Omg what a great find!! I love it you did great job! It’s perfect

  2. Caye says:

    Wow! that really made a difference! I love the idea of dowel rods. Good job with the gold–not too much, just enough. Kudos!