Remember I wrote how I’ve been a painting phenom of late?
One of the (many) projects that was included in the malay of pieces that needed refinishing was a ginormous entertainment unit that belonged to my friend Kari.
I only have one before photo to show off, and it isn’t of the entire unit (sorry about that) – but you’ll get the idea of what I was working with:
The is the centre part of the media unit; the section that sits above the television (tip your head to the right 90° and it will make more sense) and is one of four components to the media centre.
Since this was going to be a giant overhaul on an enormous piece, it seemed like the perfect time to test out my new Rockwell VibraFree random orbit sander.
This is quite the evolution of a random orbit sander in that it has two concentric rings moving separately – which Rockwell says means it works at twice the removal rate of other random orbit sanders.
These are the sanding rings for the new VibraFree and while they are proprietary, they are easily purchased online through Rockwell or Amazon.
The Rockwell VibraFree weighs in at 3.3lbs – less than my DeWalt random orbit sander (3.4lbs), but for some reason it feels heavier? This is actually a nice feature when sanding horizontal surfaces because you don’t feel like you have to put additional pressure on the sander to get a good finish. The VibraFree just moves itself smoothly along.
Unlike conventional random orbit sanders with a single sanding disc, Rockwell’s Vibrafree has two discs: an inner and outer disc that move in opposite directions of one another to reduce vibration. Vibration is redirected into sanding, not the operator’s hand. As a result, the sander achieves twice the removal rate with half the vibration for greater productivity. ~Contractor Supply Magazine
I put this bad boy to the test and sanded the entire entertainment unit down before priming.
The dust collection system on this sander is neat – a double-compartment, solid plastic casing that clicks onto the back of the VibraFree and has a latch at the back for easy emptying. According to the specs:
The Rockwell sander features a bag-less, filter-less Cyclonic Dust/Air Separator system known as CDS™. This advanced cyclonic air flow design separates dust from the air, while maintaining constant suction. The cyclonic action won’t clog during collection and captures up to 50 percent more dust than competitive sanders. A push-button releases the dust box for easy emptying. ~Contractor Supply Magazine
I like the concept, but I found that the dust did in fact escape at the seam where the plastic container clicked onto the VibraFree. Given the size of the project and the amount of work I did with the Rockwell VibraFree, the escaped dust was actually pretty minimal – but you can see on the sander below where the weak area was. On the upside, emptying it was a breeze because you just clicked the latch and held it over the garbage. No need to remove the container at all.
I did have a couple of concerns with the VibraFree;
- The sanding discs are not (currently) available at your local hardware store, so nipping out to pick up more in a crunch won’t happen. Having written that, they are easily available online and a little foresight will make this concern void.
- This sander is STRONG. So strong in fact that it can pull slightly as you round corners or work on surfaces that aren’t completely flat. A little extra concentration and a decent bicep muscle and you can be prepared and compensate to keep the VibraFree from getting ahead of you.
- I went through the sanding discs that came with the VibraFree fairly quickly – that might not be a reflection on the quality of the discs themselves, but in the size of the project or perhaps because they achieve smooth twice as fast as other sanders. Not a complaint, just something worth mentioning if you are considering purchasing.
How did the Rockwell VibraFree do on the painted entertainment center?
Like buttah baby!
These had to be sanded to remove furniture polish, varnish, some wood filler, and to rough up the surface before priming – and the VibraFree did that with ease.
Two coats of Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer to keep any stain from bleeding through and this big boy was ready for paint.
Kari chose an off-white (Silver Satin) in BM’s Advance formula for her painted entertainment center and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!
This may be my new favourite white – warm without being yellow and crisp without being too cool – you WILL see this colour again (and again and again I’m sure).
The painted entertainment center now lives in their basement and the white is so bright and fresh that it really keeps the room feeling open and airy – not at all like a dark basement.
I’m so jealous! Look how perfectly this media unit fits underneath the basement bulkhead – like it was built to go here! (It wasn’t BTW, it was previously a piece in their main-floor family room.)
The kids can set out their gaming systems and toys, videos and books with more than enough room to spare.
My overall thoughts on this painted entertainment center?
- Rockwell Tools VibraFree random orbit sander – great purchase and with a 3 year warranty it’s right up there (if not surpassing) some of the biggest names in the field
- Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin – gorgeous white with a hint of warmth – perfect for entertainment unit refinishing (if purchased in the Advance formula)
- The overall painted entertainment center? SPECTACULAR!
I’m so glad I was able to give this gorgeous piece a second life – it’s like having a new piece of furniture that you can start all over with!
Have a great one!
This post is sponsored by ROCKWELL® Tools. I was provided with tools to help spread the word about Rockwell® Tools portfolio of tools. 100Things2Do.ca only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. All opinions expressed are sincere and my own. Rockwell® Tools is not responsible for the dialogue of this article.