Something Painted White

Amazing Custom Industrial Media Console
by Dee

This attractive and functional industrial media console is the centerpiece for a couple of my favorite activities: listening to music and watching TV.  It proudly takes its place as the holder of our entertainment options, and I’m proud to say that I built it myself.

We had tried using a couple of different pieces of furniture as the media center in our house… an IKEA tv stand that was just too big for the area (I gave that one an upgrade and it sits behind our couch) and an old radio/TV cabinet that was a great barn-find (that one was too big and is now in our office area).  Nothing that we tried there seemed to fit, so we started looking at custom pieces or something DIY.

I loved the look of the industrial-style open shelving in the kitchen and was looking for an industrial media console to put the stereo, X-box, Apple TV, center speaker, and other electronic accessories.  It also needed to look good with our newly installed faux-brick wall, align with the tower speakers AND fit not one, but two (yes two) subwoofers.  That kind of list just comes with the territory when you’re a DIY-er married to a music and TV-loving uber-geek.

We decided to do a custom build, so I was off to the design studio (which was actually Visio in our office) to draw out something that could work for all of the toys.  The drawings we created were sized to hold our electronics; you might need to make a few adjustments for your setup.

Top view layout for industrial media console design.

design top view

Front view layout for industrial media console design.

design front view

Industrial Media Console Materials

Industrial Media Console Tools

  • screwdriver
  • drill
  • sandpaper/sander (an electric or air sander will save you hours of time and several ounces of IcyHot)
  • eye protection
  • mask (paint fumes and sawdust do not belong in your lungs!)

Getting Ready

I got the boards in the Appearance Boards section of my local Lowe’s, but I’m sure you could get something similar at any hardware or lumber center.  Ask the nice people at the store to cut both boards to a 5-foot length.  You will use the extra 3 feet from your 8-foot board to make the bottom shelf.  You’ll also have a foot left from the 6-foot board that you can use to make a nice sign or a giant coaster or whatever you want… I’m not the boss of your leftovers!

If you can also get them to cut the dowels into 11.5-in lengths then you won’t have to do any cutting at all.  I took my dowels home and cut them on my miter saw.  Cuz I’m handy like that.  However you get them cut, make sure the cuts are straight, and that they are all the same length.  Accuracy counts here.

Before you paint and stain the boards, drill a small hole in each place where you will connect the vertical “pipes’ that hold the shelves up.


I stained these the same way I did the open-shelving in the kitchen.  Using Miss Mustard’s Milk Paint in Curio to make a wash with 1 part powder to 4 parts water.  After sanding the boards to get any rough spots off and to soften the front edges a bit, I washed the paint mixture on and let it dry which only took about 30 minutes.

Sanding the wood for your industrial media console.

sanding the boards

Staining the wood for your industrial media console.

staining the boards

I love this color made into a wash because, 1) you can control how dark or light you want it and, 2) you don’t have to mess with stinky, sticky stain. Easy Peasy!  Once they were dry I wiped on a nice coat of Hemp oil and let it sit for a few minutes before rubbing it in with fine-grit sandpaper which makes the surface so smooth and silky.

Making the “Pipes”

I decided to use dowels for the “pipes” holding the shelves for 3 reasons:

  1. to make the console lighter
  2. it’s easier to work with wood than metal
  3. to keep the costs down

With each “pipe” cut to 11.5 inches, I used a punch and a hammer to put an indentation on both ends of each dowel.  The primary purpose was to make it easier to align each pipe with the boards, but it also came in handy when I hung each pipe to paint them.

Painting the 'pipes" for you industrial media console.

painting the “pipes”

Putting it All Together

With all the pieces painted and stained, the final step was just to put it all together.  Line up the pipes with the holes you drilled in the boards, put a dab of wood glue on the pipe and screw it together.

When the shelving is all connected, attach your casters to the bottom and ba-da-bing!  You’ve got yourself a custom industrial media console!

The Finished Product

The industrial media console turned out just as I had imagined it, and there is not only plenty of space for the electronics, but space to add some decor as well.

Let me know if you build your own media center… I’d love to see it!



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Often referred to as “that long-haired computer guy”, Dee Hathaway is a government technology leader who loves figuring out how to do things better and then bragging about it on his blog. His first book Here's What Let's Do: Stop Being Average and Start Being Awesome was an Amazon #1 bestseller.
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Hi! I'm Cindy...

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