Colors for a 1956 Motorola tv console – a good reference for midcentury wood paints, stains and finishes

Available Colors
Oooooh, look at this great color chart – for Motorola television consoles in 1956. Click directly on the photo to get to the flickr photostream of What Makes the Pie Shops Tick – who has some additional images of vintage Motorola’s straight from the 1956 catalog. But back to the color chart — I liked this in particular, because it provides a good reference for paint, stain and finish options for anything wood – furniture, cabinetry, even paneling. Thanks, Pie Shop!


  1. nicole kiley says:

    HI Pam!
    I’m a mid century furniture newbie and I’m in need of your expertise. My husband and I paid way too much for a buffet (actually it’s the same buffet that Java 1888 posted on your retrorenovation flickr acct.) It’s really amazing, but has some discoloration (looks a bit darker and yellower than Java 1888) and one of the drawer’s wood-like blond laminate is now sanded off. I did it. Long story. Tragic one, actually. Anyway… I was wondering if 1. You knew where I might be able to get this kind of laminate to reapply to drawer? 2. If you think that it is in fact laminate. 3. What, if anything, should I use to clean up the whole piece?
    Since the drawer debacle (i used walnut colored restor-a-finish and created a dark stain, which didn’t go away and then i decided to sand off my destruction), I hesitate to tamper with these gems. I would appreciate any help. Please!!!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Nicole, sorry to disappoint, but this is not a fixit site. There are other sites and sources that are way into furniture restoration…you’ll have to hunt those down…Good luck, and don’t beat yourself up too hard. It happens.

  2. vito says:

    I have a Motorola Stereophonic System with Vibrasonic in a Walnut Drexel Cabinet. Model # sk52w. The Cabinet is in excellent shape but the stereo doesn’t work. Do you know anyone that restores them or buys them? It’s been in my family for over 50 years and I hate to just get rid of it. Do you know what year this model was made?

    1. Marc Ferreira says:

      Does this Motorola unit have the optional FM stereo adapter on the back? It would probably be a small metal box mounted on the back, or possibly inside the back. It makes the FM radio operate in stereo rather than mono and was an option available back then. I have an SK52W, have had it since it was new in 1962 but I have never had this adapter and would like to find one.

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