before and afterDIY

Before & After: A Craigslist Credenza Gets Dressed Up

by Maxwell Tielman



If there is one type of furniture that often gets the short end of the stick, landing forlorn and forgotten on the curb long before its expiration date, it is most certainly office furniture. With functionality rather than personal preference guiding most workplace purchases, office furniture hardly ever gets the chance to work its way into our hearts, forming the connections that we typically reserve for the furnishings in our homes. This is a real shame, because old office furniture—despite its industrious raison d’être—can function just as well in the home as in the workplace. Just ask . When this Redlands, CA resident found that the midcentury credenzas she coveted were out of her price range, she turned to Craigslist, purchasing a dinged-up metal office cabinet with a laminate top. After giving it a glossy layer of mint green paint and a new wood top, the piece was transformed from a sad cast-off to a focal point that fits perfectly into the home. Check out all of the photos, Alice’s notes after the jump! —Max

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  • 2″ walnut edge banding
  • PSA Walnut flat cut veneer
  • Medium & fine grit sandpaper
  • Kilz primer 
  • Valspar spray paint in Mellow Spring



  • Removed draws and took out chrome drawer pulls
  • Taped off legs and chrome base using plastic sheeting and Scotch blue tape
  • All over sand with fine sand paper
  • All over prime
  • 5 coats of spray paint
  • Ironed on walnut edge banding. Lined up the bottom of the banding to bottom edge of laminate. Trimmed the top level using a Stanley knife.
  • Cut a piece of veneer just larger than the top. Very carefully, starting from the center, stuck veneer down.  Used a scrap plank of wood (end sanded) as a veneer scraper to force out any air bubbles and get the surface completely smooth.
  • Trimmed edges with Stanley knife.
  • Waxed the walnut Howard Feed n’ Wax
  • Put the drawers back in et voila – job done!


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