DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage Radio

Radio Cofee Bar2Broken Vintage Radio to Modern Coffee Bar

About five years ago I got a call from my mom asking if I wanted to go to an auction with her.  Though my house was already busting at the seems with furniture, I love auctions and love hanging out with my mom and so I opted to go.  Four hours later and $600 poorer (this was when I was still employed and pre kids!) I left the auction with lots of furniture I didn’t need!

Most of the pieces I purchased were awesome but I definitely had major buyer’s remorse over the $50 vintage radio & record player.  It was my first purchase that day and I bid on it completely on a whim.  Anyways, for four years it sat in my garage and was used only as a horizontal surface to store things on.  I had dreams of re-furbishing it to its former glory and using it as a functioning record player and radio.  Unfortunately, I don’t know the first thing about tube radios.  It took four years after abandoning that vision before I finally came up with another purpose for it…. A COFFEE BAR!

The DIY Process

This DIY project really only required screw drivers, Windex, paint, and Minwax clear furniture wax.  I forgot to take the actual “before” photo but the one at this link is a pretty close model.

The first step towards creating the drink cabinet was to rip out the tube radio guts, remove the faceplate and dial so I could clean them, and remove the nasty fabric over the speaker area in the front of the cabinet.

Next, I removed the hinges from the bottom of the paneled door and moved them to the left side so that the door would swing open and provide full access to the interior area.DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage RadioNext I cleaned it off and painted it a hideous sky blue color.  You can see the bad color on the plastic tarp at the base of the cabinet.  After that debacle, I painted it dark blue/grey with Annie Sloan Graphite Chalk Paint and coated it with a layer of Minwax clear furniture wax. DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage RadioI then used Windex to clean the red radio face plate, spray painted the buttons and dials silver, and stripped the finish from the wooden face plate.

Radio Face PlateThen I began working on installing shelves into the interior of the cabinet.  I used the existing slides that previously supported the record player to create a sliding shelf for koozis and other drink necessities. I also installed a lower level shelf for mugs, glasses, coffee condiments, or whatever needs storage.Vintage Radio sliding Shelf

DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage Radio  The last step was attaching a cute drawer pull and accessorizing the top!DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage Radio  DIY Coffee Bar from Vintage RadioBoom!  Vintage Radio Coffee Bar!


Total Cost… About $90 give or take.

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