With the recent completion of our media wall and the addition of our new 3.1 surround system (soon to be 5.1, if I can convince the lady of it’s necessity), we were left with a common dilemma: Where do you keep all of those pesky remotes so they’re within reach but out of sight? Kim is slightly obsessive in her hatred of multiple remotes cluttering the coffee table, so I had to come up with a solution before she made me disconnect all of my new electronic toys and start from square one.
In the future, I’d love to sync all of our remotes into one handy unit like the Logitech Harmony, but a couple hundred dollars for a remote control just isn’t in the cards right now. A free cigar box and a $4 can of spray paint, however, is totally doable.
Okay, let’s back up. A customer of mine is a great liquor store with a walk-in cigar humidor, so I asked my buddy Paul if he had any cigar boxes laying around. He pointed toward a few knee-high piles and let me grab whatever I wanted! While many of you may not be on a first name basis with a cigar store employee, politely asking for cast-offs at a tobacco shop is easy enough. If you’re too bashful to beg for handouts, keep your eyes peeled at flea markets and vintage stores. They’re a dime a dozen, and I picked this guy.
While it’s great as is, the honey colored wood just isn’t our thing, and we were aiming for something a bit more polished. Kim started by peeling off all of the labels, then followed that up with a light sanding using 220 grit paper we had on hand.
As with most painting projects, the majority of the time was spent on the prep work. Kim spent the better part of a half hour blue-taping the inside edges, hinges, and trim. And speaking of hinges, those guys were tricky! Sure, we could have bought new hardware, but we decided to try and tape what we could. On a whim, we smeared any exposed metal with Vaseline, thinking it would make our paint resistant to stick, making for a quick clean up. Rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip helped to clean up any messy excess (to make sure any leftover goo was really gone). We weren’t sure if it would work, but figured it was worth a try.
Once it was ready for paint, I hit the box with a quick dusting of primer to keep our color in place – we chose Rustoleum’s Navy Blue in gloss. Two coats would’ve done the trick, but I went spray crazy with four light layers.
And holy smokes, it turns out the Vaseline trick saved us a bunch of scraping duties after all! Once all the tape was removed, it only took another 15 minutes to score and scrape the blue overspray with a thin knife. We’re definitely putting that tip in the ol’ brain archives. Check it out:
Start to finish, this project cost all of $4 and took about an hour (and a half or so) of segmented work broken up over an afternoon. Another nice perk of this storage solution is the amazing cedar scent you catch while reaching for a remote. And the original inside label is a fun, colorful surprise, too.
My geeky wife (love ya!) must’ve been on a styling kick after all the media chaos, because I surely didn’t choose to have tulips in my manly remote post. But I have to admit it looks – I’ll say it – pretty on the coffee table. Much better than a gaggle of mismatched controllers anyway.
Now it’s your turn to spill the beans, folks. How do you store all of those chunky, button clad hunks of plastic around your house? This solution seems simple enough and works perfectly for us, but we’re curious how the hidden-remote-battles hash out around your home, yeah?