From Speakers to Wine Rack: Transforming our Retro Stereo Cabinet

On Friday I showed off our finished wine buffet, which started its life as a retro stereo cabinet, which we found for free on Craigslist!  Today I’m back to share how we made the wine racks to fit into the old speaker spaces.Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - In Living Room - #thissarahloves

I still feel like an awful blogger for failing to snap a proper before picture.  But that’s water under the bridge right.  Here’s what it looked like (from the back) right after Andy stripped the components (and insulation) out.  From the front it looked very similar to this one, except with more molding detail on the front.

Summer Projects - Retro Stereo Cabinet - StrippedOnce the components were stripped out we wanted to create wine storage where the speakers had been, and under the lid where the record player and radio had been, create deep storage for pitchers and other alcohol, and shallower storage for appetizer plates & cheese knives.  This may give you a better idea of our vision.

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Creating Storage - #thissarahlovesToday I’ll cover how we made the wine racks & I’ll be back later in the week to tell you all about creating some shelf storage in the middle.  So first things first, we measured the size of the openings & had 0.25″ MDF cut to fill in the gaps.  (Two panels per side – one for the necks of the bottles & one for the ends!)

This was our inspiration. {Source}

We determined that we had 8″x 12″ in which we wanted to fit 6 wine bottle spaces.  This meant that we couldn’t use the more traditional 4″ opening, and instead we went for a 3.5″ opening.  I marked out a 2×3 grid of 4″ squares & then found the center of each of those squares.  Darling hubby then attacked each piece of MDF with the hole saw.  {There’s a bit of a learning curve, so make sure to do a few practice ones on a spare piece of MDF first!}

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Wine Racks - #thissarahlovesThis was relatively easy, but I wanted it to be precise, so I double checked all my measurements. Drilling the holes took some time but wasn’t a difficult task either.  About halfway through the drilling, a screw fell out of the middle of the chuck on our drill.  After a quick phone call to Black & Decker we determined that it was okay to continue using it for now & Andy finished making all the holes.  (Yay!)  A few minute later, we had this.

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Wine Racks Done - #thissarahlovesNext up we sanded down the cuts & painted it all in Behr’s Harbor Blue (left over from the bench makeover).  Attaching the front panels were easy, as we just glued them to the inside of the cabinet with some wood glue.  To attach the back panels (#2) we measured out 6″ from the front panel & used cut down pieces of 2×4 as supports.  A small piece in each of the top corners (#1) & a longer piece at the bottom (#3).  All the piece were screwed to the cabinet & the panel was then glued to the supports.  As you’ll see below, we had to paint the bottom support the same color as the inside of the cabinet (#4) to help it blend in.

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Wine Racks Installed - #thissarahlovesThe only problem was, you could see into the empty spaces below the deep and shallow storage when looking through the wine racks from certain angles.  Boo!  How did we not plan for this?  Luckily this was an easy fix.  I grabbed some foam core from the craft store & trimmed pieces to fit into the gaps.  Then I gave them a quick coat of paint (paint both sides to correct any flexing that occurs from the first coat of paint) and used hot glue to attach the foam core pieces into the cabinet.  Easy.  Here’s a quick look at what it looked like before & after we added the foam core pieces to either side of the cabinet.

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Hiding Gaps with Painted Foam Core - #thissarahlovesHope you managed to follow along!  It was a long process, but worth it in the end.  We LOVE how it turned out.  Here’s a close-up of the wine racks from the front side of the cabinet.  Thanks to the painted foam core you can’t see into the unused space under the deep storage!  {This picture was taken before we reattached the back, so in reality, you can’t actually look through the cabinet.}

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Wine Racks Painted and Installed - #thissarahlovesAhh, finished!  Now we just need to buy a few more bottles of wine to fill up all the empty spots!  {And perhaps host a party to show off our new cabinet & our new furniture layout in the living room!}

Retro Stereo Cabinet Makeover - Finished - #thissarahloves

Check out all of the details about this makeover by clicking on the links below:

11 thoughts on “From Speakers to Wine Rack: Transforming our Retro Stereo Cabinet

  1. Pingback: {Furniture Fix-Up} Retro Stereo to Wine Buffet | This Sarah Loves

    • Hi Steph! No I have to update you guys on the new furniture layout still. The quick story is we sold the desk in the guest room & put the loveseat from the guest room on our patio. Then my desk & dresser went into the guest room & the stereo cabinet is where the desk used to be. It’s a much more functional layout for me getting work done while Andy’s only teaching summer school half day! Also, it meant we actually have a spot for the cabinet & the blue bench!

      • I can’t wait to see how it looks!! It’s crazy how something simple like rearranging furniture can totally change the look and feel of a room!

        • It really did change how our front room feels! It’s also nice to have my desk in the coolest room of the house.
          I’ll try to get some pictures this weekend for an updated mini-house tour.

  2. Looks great, I had no idea it had storage in it for other things! I am on the hunt right now for a liquor cabinet; I may have to keep something like this in mind. Can’t wait to see how you finished the rest.

    Manda Wolf @ Our Wolf Den

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