My friend Amanda recently re-did her dining room, adding a shiplap wall, and repainting the space in a new color scheme. She had a custom table made to fit her family, and all that she wanted to complete the space was a new hutch. She found and bought a hutch that would be the perfect size for her dining room, the only problem – it’s a big project to tackle alone.
So I told her I’d teach her the process, and before we were done she would not only know how to do it herself, but also have a finished hutch! The other thing is this – to go out and buy a brand new step back hutch like she envisioned would be too costly, but finding a used one that just needed a makeover was much more in her budget and would add the character she wanted for the space.
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So here’s how the hutch started – beautiful, classic lines, but locked away in a storage unit.It had seen better days. Here’s what we did.
Step 1: Remove the hardware
Step 2: Scuff sand the piece with 220 grit sandpaper. Clean it with a mixture of denatured alcohol and water.
Step 3: While I was scuff sanding the piece, Amanda sanded down the top to raw wood. The wood of the hutch matched her brand new table, so she wanted to leave the top wood.
Step 4: Pick new hardware and fill holes. Sand the spots down once the filler is dry.
Step 5: Stain the top with oil based wood stain. Let it dry overnight. (We used Minwax English Chestnut to match her table).
Step 6: Prime the areas to be painted. Because this was cherry wood, I knew it had the potential to bleed through the light cream paint. So we needed to give it all a coat of primer to be sure that wouldn’t happen.
Step 7: Begin applying the topcoat to the wood top. We decided to use Arm-R-Seal, it’s a fantastic product that will enhance the look of the wood and protect it from any water stains that may happen in the dining room. This topcoat does take a few coats and with dry time between, this was done over the next few days.
Step 8: Once the topcoat process began, we started painting using a good brush. We used General Finishes Antique White Milk Paint – a beautiful creamy, not-too-yellow white. Painting took a while, but it was worth the work!
Step 9: When the paint was all dry, it was time to re-install the hardware. We had to drill new holes for the hardware, but the new hardware really fit the style of the piece perfectly.
Step 10: After touch-ups, we brought the piece into her dining room and Amanda decorated it with her great grandmother’s china, and décor. It’s the perfect fit for her dining room, centered on the wall it looks like it was meant to be!
Here's what Amanda said about the process, "Never having painted a piece of furniture before watching my friend Jenni turn old rough pieces into gorgeous outcomes, I did not think I could possibly achieve the product she produces. I was extremely nervous to mess up everything. Jenni offered to help me with every step along the way. So we began by simply preparing the pieces to stain and paint.
And then we began painting. I thought, “This does NOT look good. There are visible brush strokes everywhere.” I was even following Jenni’s specific instructions of long, even brush strokes. But after that first coat, I knew I wasn’t good at it. But before we began her specific words were “hang in there after the first coat, it gets much better.” And so I did. When I was applying the second coat I immediately started to think “This is really starting to look good!”
There are so many steps to taking an old piece of furniture and transforming it into a brand new masterpiece ready for my home. If you want to achieve a great outcome, the work has to be done. I realized that using a paint designed specifically for wood furniture as well as a good paint brush are crucial for success. Also having a friend that is a professional at this is a major advantage as well! I am extremely excited with out this piece turned out and can’t wait for it to be used well over the years in our home!"
What a fantastic transformation, don't you think?? If you are local to Pittsburgh and want to learn how to do this too - I just posted summer classes! Come join me to learn how to refinish furniture like a pro!
More projects coming your way soon!
Until then -