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First timer hacker turns HEMNES into MCM Media Console

I wanted a new MCM media console, but didn’t want to shell out $1400 for one. 

This is my first time making anything like this. I came in with no skills, a little will and hours and hours of Youtube videos which helped me complete the project. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

I’ve been reading IKEA Hackers for years now, and FINALLY pulled the trigger and made my own hack.

IKEA items used:

hemnes tv stand

Buy HEMNES TV stand | IKEA.com

Other materials and tools:

MCM media console hack 

1. Take your HEMNES TV stand, remove the shelves and drawers, and flip it on its top so the legs are facing the ceiling. Using a saw, cut the legs flush with the bottom edge of the TV stand.

2. Using a 3/4″ sheet of cabinet grade plywood that is 4′ x 8′ in size, cut it down to two strips that are 18 inches x 96 inches (8 feet). You will not need the remaining 12″ x 96″ feet length.

Make two cross cuts on the two 18″ x 96″ boards so that you have two 18″x73″ boards, two 18″x16.5″ boards, and two 18″ x 6.5″ boards that will not be used. (I used mine to test stain colors).

3. Using screws and wood glue, connect your two 18″x73″ boards (the top and bottom) and two 18″x16.5″ boards (the sides). The longer pieces will sandwich the shorter side pieces. Once they are connected, you should have a box that is 73″ x 18″.

plywood box - MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack

Assembling box

4. Lightly sand the face and edges of the plywood, taking care to not sand through the thin veneer. Start with 220 grit sandpaper and then move to 400 grit. Sand by hand, an orbital sander can be too aggressive. Remove all sawdust using a vacuum/wet rag/tack cloth.

Test your stains

5. Choose a stain color you like, making sure to check how the color of the stain looks on the type of wood you picked when you picked your plywood. My stain is English Chestnut by Minwax on white oak. Using gloves to protect your hands, rub on your first coat of stain. Wait 5-15 minutes and rub off any remaining stain. Let the stain dry and repeat for a second coat. Let dry again, over night is best. 

testing stains

Stain choices

stained plywood - MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack

Box stained

6. Paint the inside top of the box you made white, because you will see the inside top in the finished product.

painting the underside

White paint on underside of top panel

7. Remove any dust from your unit and apply a thin layer of polyurethane to all surfaces of your unit. Let dry and apply again. After the second coat, lightly sand the whole unit with 400 grit sandpaper and wipe clean of all sawdust. Continue applying light coats of polyurethane until you are happy with the finish. My unit has 6 coats of Minwax Wipe On Poly

polyurethane - MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack

Polyurethane on top of stain

Add hardware

8. Decide on hardware. You will need 4 legs and 3 drawer pulls. I chose legs from Amazon that I thought looked like they would match my unit, but they didn’t and I needed to sand them and stain them the same color. When the stain dried, I applied two coats of polyurethane to the legs.

legs - MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack

Sanding and attaching legs

9. If you want to replace the drawer pulls, you will need to remove the old ones. You can find simple single knob pulls (like the kind that are pre-drilled on the HEMNES) at any hardware store, but if you want a different style of pull, you’ll need to fill the holes that are on the HEMNES drawer fronts.

drawer fronts
drawer fronts

Filling holes in drawers and repainting

Using wood filler, over fill the hole, let dry, and sand level using 120 grit sandpaper moving up to 220 grit and then 400 grit to make the surface smooth.

Then, clean the drawer free of sawdust and paint the face with white paint. You can then add a top edge drawer pull or a drawer pull that requires two holes, just drill the holes at the appropriate locations on each drawer and attach the hardware.

10. Remove the top that comes with the HEMNES unit, and slide the unit into the box you have created. Then replace the drawers and shelves, and attach the legs.

And your MCM media console is done!

MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack
How long and how much did it cost?

It took 7 days, but most of that was not knowing how to do things and then making mistakes. I spent $60 on plywood, $8 on stain, $10 on paint, $10 on polyurethane and $60 on legs and drawer pulls. The cost of a new HEMNES TV stand is $229.

What do you like most about the hack?

I love the color and the grain of the wood, and the shine on the top. Frankly I can’t believe I am responsible for it. 

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Definitely the exposed plywood edges. They absorbed stain in a very uneven way, which required a lot of sanding to get rid of the splotchy-ness. 

What to pay special attention to?

I removed the existing drawer knobs, filled the holes with wood filler, sanded and painted the drawers so I could add edge drawer pulls at the top instead. It gives it a cleaner look.

MCM media console IKEA HEMNES hack
Looking back, would you have done it differently?

I would have sealed the exposed plywood edges with poly before staining so that they didn’t absorb the stain. 

~ by Mike