Help me figure out how to fix record player console paint job!
August 17, 2014 11:23 AM   Subscribe

We recently acquired this record player console from family. I had the genius idea to paint it to go with our decor more effectively... And now it looks like this. I am displeased as I feel it looks like children's furniture. Help me fix it please!

I have determined that I think the problem is the color of the insets and it needs to be something darker, but I'm not really sure where to go. I can no longer trust my instincts as I thought these colors looked good together in the first place. These are the paints we are using and the color options. I'm looking for color suggestions for the inset parts, or if there are any other things I can do to make it look good. I have been so excited about this project and now I'm so disappointed with the results. I must fix it!
posted by Quincy to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Just as a heads-up, you've likely done a fair amount of damage to the player's acoustic quality. I don't know if this is a functional piece or a show piece, but if you intend to actually use it, you're going to need to find some way of replacing that speaker mesh with an acoustically transparent fabric. Paint, sadly, is not acoustically transparent.
posted by Jairus at 12:12 PM on August 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

I took one look at the After pic and said, "Oh honey." My heart sank. You have my sympathies.

My vote is to paint absolutely everything but the top with Graphite. Go buy replacement speaker mesh in black or dark gray to coordinate. You may just be able to staple it in.

For the top, I liked the original wood so if it's solid, I would sand it down and restain it. If you can't remove or sand down the paint, I'd paint a graphic/geometric pattern on the top using two other colors. (I like neutrals, so of the colors you have to work with, I would do Atelier and Bauhaus Buff.) A pattern like this might be playful and eyecatching.

Here's a whole page of different ways people painted an Ikea piece, just as inspiration so you can see what different paint treatments work for you.

Good luck.
posted by mochapickle at 1:34 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, the good news is that you would've had to replace the speaker mesh anyway because that shit is dated. Does it have to be fabric? Can you you use some kind of screen grid thing? Hardware stores have all sorts of interesting options.

Also new draw pulls.

Have you checked Pinterest?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:44 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Jeez mate, what have you done?
Strip the paint and sand the console so that the wood shows through the remaining paint and you've got that 'distressed' look. Don't be too heavy-handed because the top of that thing is probably veneered. Oil or polish the wood and replace the mesh.

I think you should look for someone local with a bit of expertise in restoration, myself. A kind hobbyist, who won't cost you money. Ask at the hardware store, maybe?
posted by glasseyes at 4:10 PM on August 17, 2014

I've had good luck having old wood and metal furniture painted by those outfits that paint cars. But the acoustics on this may not jive with that approach. On the other hand--you don't have anything to lose.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:28 PM on August 17, 2014

Oh my. There's a plan that didn't come together.

Actually, without the context of the room/other decor, it's hard to say how dire things are, or what can be done to save it. Are the paints chosen to match everything else? Or to constructively contrast? If it's the former, I doubt that such an approach would have ever really "worked." Painting something to match the wall color is risky, and will only work if it actually matches, which it doesn't seem to do here. Painting something to be match-y with other objects strikes me as sort of juvenile; the kind of thing a college freshman might think was cool.

I would agree that one two-birds solution is to replace the speaker covers; using a more modern material will update the piece and help it play better with your other stuff. I'd also be inclined to get away from that main color and do something more distinguished. Either go off-white all over, or maybe strip it down again and stain a rich dark brown. For the speaker covers, maybe something in a burnt orange; this would reference the spirit of the time period from which it hails, while contrasting tastefully with a wide range of colors.

Oh, and replace those original drawer handles with something more substantial/unique, too.
posted by credible hulk at 4:50 PM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Did you sand the original finish off or not? Was it waxed or varnish? Solid or veneer? Latex paint?

If you are very lucky (or lazy and didn't prep much) the paint might not be adhered well and you might be able to get the latex paint to peel off without damaging the original wood too much, at least so it's refinishable with minimal work. There are paint strippers made just for that very goal. I'd post this question on the This Old House DIY forums and get some recommendations. Those folks are good!

Do it soon, latex paint takes days to weeks to fully dry, it'll come off easier.
posted by fshgrl at 5:30 PM on August 17, 2014

I think it is salvageable if you try and aim for more complementary colours rather than contrast. Like other people have suggested I would replace the speaker cloth in the doors and then base the rest of the colour scheme off whatever cloth you buy. It might be that just the contrast of the two screens is enough and then paint the rest of it in one solid colour, or you might be able to get away with another contrast colour on the inserts in the door and the drawers. I'm thinking a darker version of the body colour, I don't know what that is called, is it taupe or grey? That would be two/three colours: the speakers, the main body, and potentially another contrast on the inserts. If you did that and they were all variations of the same colour, you might be able to get away with keeping the orange red strip along the front.

It might be the quality of your photos, but it seems the edges of the colours are a little bit rough. They need to be as sharp as possible for it really look good.
posted by Helga-woo at 1:57 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is workable. Use what you have as a base coat. Paint everything over with semi-opaque brown, sand the middle parts (panels, I don't know what to call them, the big open areas) until your base colors show through in the amount desired, shaded darker at the edges. Now lacquer the whole thing and it will look nice and aged and be the colors that match your decor. I have done this and the results were very nice.
posted by sunslice at 8:03 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

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