A Distressed Wall | Entertainment Center

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Project by Chris Davis posted 07-07-2007 10:04 PM 3063 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a custom wall system. It is built similar to an entertainment center, but this one will be used for just storage. A few thing to note that I did on this project. The first is the pocket doors and adjustable shelves combination. Normally the recess movement pocket doors interfere with having any adjustable shelves. This was overcome by adding a false side over the doors when pushed into the cabinet. This does two things; it allows the shelves to be used, and it hides the door when recessed into the cabinet. One note when building the false sides must be made removable for the ease of finishing and hardware installation.

I also used a lot of beadboard on this project. The doors were 5 piece doors with beadboard centers, I used ¼” bead board on the backs, and for the sides I cut small grooves 3” apart.

Another feature on this project was the distressed finish. I made some worm hole by banding together different size nails. I Drove them into the wood concentrating on one area about 2” in diameter, then kind of feather them away from the center (make lighter or less frequent) along the grain. Almost making an oval pattern I also used a chisel to make gouges in the wood on the flat surfaces and on some edges. Another distressing technique used was to take a very course file pull down the edge. I’ll do one pass to file down the edges to break the edge and a second pass with the file backward at a lower angle. This puts a roll of line parallel to each other at about a 45 degree angle. And the last step is to sand the distress spots and all edges. Remember it is made to look old and warn.

The finish was a dye coat (very thin) followed by Dark Walnut stain by Minwax. On places where people would normally touch and also on the worm holes, I’d try to wipe the stain off a little more than other places. This gave it an even a more warn look. It was then followed by two coats of pre-cat Lacquer.

I don’t do distressing very much, but it seams like I pick up something new each time. I used to hate distressing, but now I look forward to it.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

10 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5504 days

#1 posted 07-07-2007 10:56 PM

Nice job. I really like that hidden door trick.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5383 days

#2 posted 07-07-2007 11:03 PM

It looks great. Thanks for sharing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5596 days

#3 posted 07-08-2007 01:47 AM

Great looking cabinet. Did it hurt when you did the distressing? I would have hurt me!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 5267 days

#4 posted 07-08-2007 02:37 AM

osconer-only when I hit my finger with the hammer. Just kidding. Really it use to hurm me but now I see it as just part of the finish.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5686 days

#5 posted 07-08-2007 02:40 AM

It probably makes some of the other finishing go easier, because if you get a chipout. It’s ok. No Problem.

I like it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 5267 days

#6 posted 07-08-2007 02:51 AM

If we bump it or drop something during final assembly, we say “oops I just added $50”.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5462 days

#7 posted 07-08-2007 05:09 AM

LOL – this is funny. Great way to take your frustrations out and get paid for it.

Looks very nice Chris.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5322 days

#8 posted 07-08-2007 06:08 AM

Really nice piece. I’ve lived through the trials and tribulations of a couple of these. I feel your pain.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5600 days

#9 posted 07-08-2007 11:43 PM

It looks great! Nothing like an eight hour shift distressing shift at work.

View FXCREW's profile


20 posts in 4667 days

#10 posted 03-27-2009 04:13 AM

Chris the wall unit looks fantastic nothing better than getting paid to take out a little frustration.

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