Thursday, April 3, 2014

Craigslist Credenza

I'm a fitful Craigslist user. Some weeks I am scouring everyday in the hope of hitting the jackpot (you know when you find that item) other weeks I can take it or leave it. Thus allowing myself the illusion I'm not a compulsive bargain hunter.

This particular purchase was found on a random flick through day. Everyone needs a credenza, right?

Here is the original image from Craigslist.

Not the best picture, but a bad Craigslist pic is a good thing.  It can often disguise a hidden gem that only you, with your trained eye can spot.  Also it can mean less interest (those without your superior 'eye' pass it up) = plenty of wiggle room on the price.  It was the chrome legs that sucked me in...

I wanted to paint it mint green. The best colour match was a Valspar spray paint called Mellow Spring. I love the colour but won't be using Valspar spray paints again. 5 cans later its still not the best finish but I feel guilty enough about the environmental impact of those 5 cans, not to mention the light dusting of Mellow Spring on everything in the garage.

To cover the laminate top I ordered PSA walnut veneer and edge banding to fit around the sides. It was worth a shop around on the veneer as the same product seems to vary greatly in price.

Having lightly sanded the cabinet all over I covered the chrome base and loosely cover the top. I applied one coat of primer to the cabinet then went all out with the 5 cans of spray paint.

The next stage was the application of wood veneer.  As there was wood involved Mr. got in the mix (I think woodworking is considered more manly than regular re purposing).  After much deliberation with decided to do the edge banding first. 

Ironing on edge banding
Using a Stanley knife we trimmed it down to be level with the top.

Smoothing down veneer with homemade scraper
Sticking down the top piece of veneer was a little more tense. Its pretty sticky stuff so there is no margin for error. Having cut a piece bigger than needed, we started by lowering the middle down then applied pressure outwards, smoothing as we went.  Mr. fashioned a veneer scraper from a scrap of wood which he used to smooth out any air bubbles. Fortunately there were just as many air bubbles on his side as mine! They did all come out.  I then did the final trim around the top.  We were both very impressed with the results. The edges are extremely neat and it could pass as a solid piece of wood.

Several coats of beeswax and orange oil furniture polish (the best BTW) and we were good to go.

Just look at those edges and corner!

Beautiful wood

Break down of costs

Credenza $60 (advertised as $100)
Walnut edge banding (plenty leftover) $22
Walnut veneer (inc shipping) not all used $60
Spray paint $25

Total cost for one-of-a-kind credenza = $150

Not the cheapest piece but I can see it being of use to us for many years to come. 

Alice xx


  1. Beautiful job! I am also a huge midcentury fan and live in Highland. It is so hard to find good pieces that aren't completely overpriced in this area. I saw your work on DS. Congrats.

    1. Thanks for your comment Abby. I actually bought the credenza from a lady in Highland! Alice x

  2. A very cool piece, indeed. Those edges came out so crisp!

  3. Do you finish it with a varnish or polyurethane? I did a similar project after seeing your DIY (thanks for sharing!!), and I don’t want the pretty veneer top to get messed up when I put a lamp or other things on it. Is the Howard Feed n’ Wax enough to protect the veneer or should I apply a varnish?

    1. Hi Amanda, I just used the Feed n' Wax. I have lamps, books etc on top of the credenza and they do not mark the veneer. It is a very matt finish so if you wish for a bit more gloss (!) and protection I would go for a varnish as well. Hope this helps, Good luck!