Mid Century Credenza Upgrade

6 Materials
3 Days

This credenza had really good bones and way made of solid walnut, so when I purchased it I knew once I sand it down its going to have gorgeous wood grain underneath. It was 6 feet long and would perfectly fit in my client's living room as a TV stand. So I got to work and started sanding


I used my electric orbital sander to get down to the grain. I used 120/220 and 320 sandpaper grit to take off the old varnish and achieve a smooth finish in the end.

All sanded. Once everything was sanded down I wanted to do something cool on the doors to match their current living room. I decided to do a similar design on the doors as they had on their rug.

Masking tape

to achieve the look I used painter's tape for delicate surfaces. I taped out my design and used a cutting blade and ruler to make sure that the lines were straight. By now I have a lot of practice with the tape, so the more you practice the better you get at "eyeballing " stuff.

I was happy with the evolving design and decided to stop here :) sometimes that's the hardest part. Knowing when to stop. Less is more.

Paint and stain

I decided to go with a classic black and walnut color that would compliment the chrome pulls. I used stain and black paint to achieve this look. Where i had the painters tape cover up the doors the wood's original color was peaking through.

To make sure that the stain and or paint doesn't leak under your tape, I used a just a little bit of stain on a rag to wipe on. For the paint same thing try not to load your brush with paint. If you do notice bleed through just wait till its dry and think of your sandpaper as your eraser. Fold a 220 or 320 grit paper in half and sand it down a bit so you have sharp lines again. Also don't expect to have perfect lines. This is a hand painted piece and so it won't be completely perfect.

Clear coat and done

once it was all dry I applied 3 coats of semi gloss polyurethane and she was done.

Look how cool design in the front turned out. This is now a modern piece with a custom design that will fit my clients home. If you liked this transformation follow me on Instagram to see them transform in real time. And many more live tips!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Sandra L Warren
    Sandra L Warren
    on Aug 17, 2020

    That is stunning! Can someone (Anyone) tell me the difference between a credenza, a buffet, a sideboard and a server?

    • Rose New York
      Rose New York
      on Aug 17, 2020

      side board, & buffet are interchangeable: all have drawers or cabinets to store dishes and linens

      A server doesn't have to store anything, it can just be a narrow table that you serve food from.

      Credenza is a storage cabinet and can be used in any room , sometimes and office or hallway

Join the conversation

3 of 35 comments
  • Suzanne Beckett
    Suzanne Beckett
    on Sep 11, 2020

    Love it! Beautifully done!

  • Dmotan
    on Sep 25, 2020

    I hope. your client likes it. The value of this credenza prior to changing it was about $2,000. Now, not so much. Mid-century furniture is very in and extremely expensive.

    • Andrea Palmai
      Andrea Palmai
      on Sep 26, 2020

      Thanks for the update...I am familiar with mid century furniture and it's pricing. It was not worth $2000 dollars when I purchased it as it was in bad shape. It's worth as much as you can sell it for. Looking up prices online don't reflect what a piece might actually sell for...The client was very happy with their piece. Also you don't know how much it sold for ;)

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