Oxidized Wood Entertainment Center

I love my husband so very much and for so many different reasons. One of the things I love most is the passion he has for his hobbies. I mentioned in the post about the DVD shelf his obsession with movies and everything that has to do with them. That includes what he watches them through (notice the difference in TV sizes in the pictures below) and how he listens to them.
Back in January he got himself and new sound system. Then this is what my living room looked like: IMG_6936Beautiful, right? He’s really creative in the styling department… If you look over to the left, that speaker is balancing on the arm of that chair. That takes skill, people!
I knew that the current entertainment center wouldn’t work so I went on the hunt for a new one. I thought it would be more fun (and somewhat cheaper) to build one ourselves. I found this tutorial on Pinterest and loved its simplicity and rustic look so I put James and my father-in-law to work.
For the finish I decided to try a steel wool and vinegar stain.

OW Entertainment Center

For this stain you need the following:

OW Entertainment Center7Fill the jar with vinegar and then take a piece of steel wool, break it apart, put it in the jar, and seal it. What is supposed to happen is your steel wool essentially dissolves and you begin to see signs of rust in the jar within a few days. That’s not exactly what happened to mine. The steel wool floated at the top for 3 weeks. I dipped my brush in and tried some on a scrap piece of wood and it still worked so I went with it. As you can see from the picture above, it all eventually dissolved once I started using it. I used this tutorial for the stain and she explains how it all works very well.

Because the top of the table was a different species of wood, it wouldn’t stain as dark as the frame pieces. This is where you can use things like black tea, green tea, and coffee to bring out a certain color in the wood. The black tea made it darker, as you may have already guessed, so it was my ideal choice for brushing on the top and on the inner shelf pieces.  The interesting thing is that the tea doesn’t actually change the wood color until you put the oxidizing solution over it. This may not blow your mind but it does mine! The outside frame pieces didn’t need any help from the tea, all I used was the oxidizing solution.

OW Entertainment Canter5

OW Entertainment Center2It takes about 20 min for it to get this dark. When it’s completely dry, if it’s too dark for your taste, give it a light sanding to even out the color.


Here’s the living room way back when we first moved in. The shelves are long gone but the entertainment center arrangement pretty much looked like this up until the new speakers came.OW Entertainment Center8 OW Entertainment Center3 OW Entertainment Center4The new piece gives everything a much cleaner look and it somehow makes the living room feel bigger. As you can see, all his speakers (except the sub, not much I could do there) fit nicely into this one space instead of sitting wherever they wouldn’t topple over.

IMG_7137My favorite detail is the criss-crossed sides. It gives it a great dynamic.

IMG_7130I tried to balance out the black as much as possible…



You’re probably dying to know where the old entertainment center went! I dragged it down to the playroom and filled the boxes with toys, puzzles, blankets, and purses. The colors are perfect for this room. My heart smiles every time I walk by unless it’s a complete disaster which is 85% of the time. In that case I just focus on the curtains and let them warm my heart. IMG_7142

The cool thing about this room is that everything in it had a different purpose or home at one point. I have never bought anything specifically for this room. The desk was my grandmother’s, the curtains from my wedding, the fabric strip wall from a party, the pillows used to be on my couch, the child is even someone else’s! If that’s not the definition of frugal I don’t know what is! OW Entertainment Center6

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