Several years ago I got it in my head that I wanted a hutch for my kitchen. The catch was it had to be small enough to fit on this one particular wall next to the bathroom door, so I spent a couple weeks trolling Craigslist for something that would suit my needs, and that I could refinish if needed.
I found this lovely example of 80’s Country Chic for $25. Surely much dusty-rose colored flowers adorned this at one time, but I don’t really “do” hearts on furniture. And there were hearts EVERYWHERE. That thing on top, etched into the hardware…. bleh.
But it had the characteristics I wanted – lots of storage underneath, some decorative shelves up top, and a drawer that would become my husband’s “junk drawer” so he wouldn’t spread his wallet, chapstick, loose change, phone, receipts, nail clippers, and papers all over the kitchen island.
And it was only $25!
The previous owner was very apologetic about the scratches and wear on it – I told her not to worry since I was going to refinish it.
For those that have never refinished furniture before, you need sander/sandpaper/sanding blocks, patience, some basic tools, and a dust mask. I removed that top piece with the heart on it, and took off all the hardware and stuck it in a baggie. That meant I had 5 pieces to refinish – the base, the hutch, 2 doors and a drawer.
I used an electric sander to take off the existing finish (wearing a dust mask), and then I spray painted the pieces with a flat white paint. I wanted it to look hand-rubbed and not glossy when done, which apparently I didn’t communicate to husband well because he stepped in a spray painted it for me with HIGH GLOSS white. So I had to re-sand it. And then spray paint it with flat white. After I did my edge finish technique (more on that in a bit), I coated the whole thing with 3 coats of matte clear coat to protect the wood. I got new hardware for the drawer and door knobs (keeping the old hinges because those are insane to try to replace with a different type). And voila!
The total cost for this, after the $25 to buy it, and hardware and spray paint and clear coat, was maybe $50 total. We had all the tools already, so it was definitely worth it to get a piece of furniture I’m happy with, even if it took me a couple years to finish the dang thing. Apparently I got distracted by making quilts? And now that it’s done, my husband can once again park in the garage again.
I like the look of the pre-worn edges on furniture, especially when they are going to be in a high traffic area like a kitchen. To get this look, after you get all your base coat of paint on the way you want, you take a sanding sponge and rub the edges where wear would naturally occur. Then I used a stain marker (in cherry), and colored in the edges a tad darker than natural color, wiping off any extra stain before it dried on the white paint. I got the idea from this tutorial from Ana-White.com, which is great for DIY woodworking projects.
The added bonus of this finish is that when you are hauling this up the basement stairs by yourself (with the help of your seven year old daughter, of course) because your husband is still recovering from shoulder surgery, you can bang the crap out of it against the stairs all you like and it only adds to the natural wear.
Naturally, I need to make a runner for the top, and for the triple mini quilt frame you can see on the middle shelf in the picture of the entire hutch. In fact, I probably need to make multiples so I can switch them out!