It is made of plywood and had a dark stained veneer that was worn in places, and the poly coat was crackling in a not-so-pretty distressed fashion. The plywood bottom had warped a little, separating from the wood center slat that keeps the magazine to the left and right. One bottom corner of the end piece had some chipping, with little pieces of the center ply missing.
The simple design is a bit dated to woodworking hobbyists in the '70's, as the wood finials that screwed onto the ends hold the entire thing together. This made for super easy refinishing, though, as 10 finials unscrewed let all of the pieces separate from each other. The screws were in great condition, no rust. I took wood putty and filled in the gap of the center piece at the bottom and the bottom end corner that had chipped. I sanded the putty down once dry, and lightly sanded the entire piece to give the paint something to adhere to. As I was using spray paint, I didn't work too hard at the sanding, though should have, as one spot I had to sand again and apply a 2nd and 3rd layer of paint, because it had a waxy residue that repelled the spray paint. So, I have a little 'paint blob' in that area. Live and learn.
I should have found toothpicks and properly spray painted the finials while they were suspended, but I have plans to 'dress' them up in microbeads, so didn't worry too much about their even-coatedness. This is the end result of the high gloss black spray paint treatment.
It looks good, but still a bit dated by its very design. So, I am off today to buy micro beads to coat the finials in, to give it some 'bling'. I also will be looking for just the right stencil to apply to the end pieces, as I think a little imagery will help bring it to the 21st century. I will post pictures when that is done!