Okay y’all, I know I’ve had a whole lot more not-sewing tutorials than normal this month with the patio project we did, but I hope you’ve enjoyed them and if not, I promise a return to sewing talk on Thursday. But I wanted to share one last patio project – our outdoor TV cabinet – even though I have two more besides this one and the whole patio before/after photos that I haven’t shared. Maybe I’ll get to those in October, September is already all booked up.
Here’s how the TV cabinet came about. One evening, when I THOUGHT we were done with the patio, my parents were hanging out at our house after dinner. I get all my DIY genes from them, so we were trying out the newly made couch and admiring the coffee table I have not posted, etc. Soon, my brother and his family came strolling in our back gate (my parents and middle brother all live less than 3 miles from us) to hang out too. And what did all the men talk about? They talked about how they were staring at a blank wall, and that we should have a TV there.
Sigh. I have to say, I think an outdoor TV is excessive, but there’s some manly thing about grilling and watching the game at the same time or something. I finally said a SMALL TV wouldn’t be terrible, if that was something the Coach really wanted. Like a 30 inch one. It might help you to understand this more if you knew that we don’t have a huge TV anywhere in our house; I just don’t see the point in having a big screen if you’re going to be sitting that close to it.
Fast forward about a week and my parents call to tell me and the Coach to meet them in our driveway to help with something. We went outside and my parents opened the door on their car to reveal a HUGE, GINORMOUS, TV box. They claimed it was a birthday present for the Coach. It’s probably helpful to explain that the Coach’s birthday was months before this, but that he basically never, ever, has celebrated it as an adult and barely lets me and the boys take him out to dinner. This isn’t due to a traumatic event or anything like that, he just doesn’t like celebrating his birthday. We all have our weird things. But he was happy to accept this gift because it was way bigger than anything I would have bought, and it’s not like you can say no to the in-laws. And that is how we ended up with an extra TV. The new TV replaced the one in our living room and then that old TV came out to the porch.
Anyway, the outdoor TV cabinet was the last patio project, and after making Snapchat stories for the rest of the projects and stopping every so often to get photos, the Coach made a video for his Instagram account too! I guess my social media posting rubbed off on him. Also this is another indicator of how excited he was for an outdoor TV.
So, to make this, we used:
- A wall mounting kit for the TV
- 2×6 lumber – enough to build a box around the TV
- 3 inch and 2 1/2 inch exterior screws.
- Corner braces to hold the box together
- 1/4 inch plywood for the doors
- House paint – both in the off white that our house is painted and in 4 sample size jars of accent colors
- Pre-primed lattice boards
- Hinges with screws – we got outdoor hinges like you’d use on a fence gate
- Cabinet knobs
Important Note – Our TV is on a screened porch well away from most elements that would harm it. I would not suggest this project if you want to put a TV in an outdoor area without a roof and screened from rain and wind. This project is not airtight or secured from all the elements.
First, the Coach punched a hole in the wall to add an electric box where we were going to plug in the TV, and ran power to that. (Important note 2: my dad and brother are both electrical engineers, and the Coach had a summer job running wiring and pipes in new construction back in college. I recommend having an electrician come out to do this step if you don’t have that kind of background and help.)
Next, he built the box for the TV (I did not have much to do with this project until the end because I was out of town for part of it). Coach anchored a 2×4 scrap to the wall studs, then attached the box to that with wood screws, checking that everything was level at each step. He painted the box inside and out to match our house wall. Then he added the TV mounting hardware, again making sure to attach this to the studs of the house.
Here’s my video of assembling the doors.
He cut doors for the cabinet out of the plywood, then painted those. And then he cut the lattice pieces to 4 different lengths for me to attach to the doors. I used the sample jars of accent paint colors and first dry brushed the lattice pieces in a random pattern. But I didn’t like how stark the white peeking through looked, so I went back and watered down a little of each color of paint and then wetbrushed each of the now dry pieces of lattice. Then I was satisfied – the wood looks weathered, which was the look I was going for, not like I did a crappy paint job which is what the dry brushing alone looked like.
We used wood glue to attach the lattice to the doors in a random pattern, then stacked the doors one on top of the other and added another piece of plywood on top to make a sandwich and clamped it for the glue to dry.
Finally, we attached the doors with the hinges on the outside of the cabinet and screwed on the knobs. Which is when Coach finished his video.
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