January 26, 2016

My DIY Hutch Makeover.

Guess what? I did a DIY project!
I know, it's crazy. (Pigs must be flying right now!)

A few months after Jarryd and I got married and moved into our first apartment, my father-in-law bought an old hutch at an antique auction. This hutch--one that is in great solid condition, might I add--went for only $35.00! Uhhh-mazing!

AND, he decided to give to us because we had hardly any furniture in our newlywed apartment. I was flattered, absolutely. But at the same time I felt pretty hesitant to take it home with us because I am not a huge lover of antique dark wood pieces. Nothing against it, to each his own, but my style is a total 180 from that. I love brights, whites, and lights! Anything that brightens up a room is what my true heart believes in.

Despite my hesitancy, we brought it home and we were actually really were happy to have it. Because it is a huge piece of furniture, it is a fabulous storage piece!

But it scared me.
It was like this big dark thing hovering over me as I would innocently watch tv. (I know it doesn't look that scary in the above photos, but that is because I did you a favour and brightened them with iPhoto. You're welcome!)

Then, when we moved into our two-bedroom apartment this past August, we even hid it in our spare bedroom; a room that hardly sees human life.

With it being "out of sight, out of mind" I almost forgot about! Then noticed on Pinterest a series of "hutch makeovers". I quickly realized, hutches were IN...and they looked GOOD. Hmmm...
I mean, I didn't LOVE them enough to actually go out hunting for them at thrift stores, but I figured since I already had one at my "disposal", why not make the most out of it?

All this time I had a fear that antiquer-people would come into my home and attack me for even flirting with the idea of painting over the dark wood. But I finally took control of my life, because I am the one who has to live with this thing. I am the one who has to walk by this thing every day and acknowledge its presence! So I was finally going to do something about it!

One of my best friends up in Canada made-over her hutch into this gorgeous seafoam green colour, and it looked amazing!! So I had to ask, "how how how HOW did you do it?!"

The answer was--and always will be from now on--:

Chalk paint eliminates the need for sanding. And seeing as I am not an avid DIYer, I wasn't about to go buy an electric sander. Also having to sand this huge hutch down by hand with just a few sheets of flimsy sandpaper would be about as fun as sanding my eyes out. From there on out I knew that chalk paint was a gift from the heavens above.

A determined woman, I went to Lowe's and picked up:
  •  a 29 fl oz can of "Valspar Chalky Finish Paint" in "Trousseau Blue". (I was fearful this wouldn't be enough paint, but I actually had more than enough paint leftover)!
  • a can of "Valspar Sealing Wax". As I had never seal waxed anything before, this was weird and definitely something to get used to. I suggest watching youtube tutorials first.
  • a can of glossy black spray paint (for the hardware).
  • a paintbrush!
I gathered from much of my "hutch makeover" research that the thing to do is to remove the upper cupboard doors to create open shelving. Open concept is IN, people!
So, after removing the doors, it was lookin' better already! (But still looks a little scary, right?!)
I was also working on finding the perfect spot for this monstrous thing. The above photo is not where it ended up because it didn't quite fit along that little wall.

Anyway, the next thing I did was remove the drawer, the doors, and all of the hardware. To put it as nicely as possible, this was a total pain-in-my-rear. The screws must have been made in the 1700's because they were in horrible condition; their "crosses" were no longer "crosses" but blob-shaped indentations. I was sweat-drenched by the time I got those suckers out!
Now this was the fun part! I LOVE painting. I could paint all day! I would be totally happy to paint and get paid for it! Jarryd, on the other hand loathes painting. I guess you either love it or hate it?
I did two coats of paint on the Friday evening, a coat of paint on the Saturday afternoon (three coats in total), a coat of sealing wax on the Saturday evening, and a second coat of sealing wax on the Sunday evening (two coats in total).
I then gave the rusty old hardware a fresh coat of glossy black spray paint. Despite breathing in the fumes and having an awful headache for the rest of the day (a mask would have been a good idea...), that was also a fun activity!
Lastly, I screwed everything back into place and...
VOILA! It's finished and it seriously felt SO good to be done!
I absolutely love the result. Even the colour turned out to be the perfect shade of light blue.
It's no longer a scary dark monster, but a cute monster dressed in--an almost--Tiffany Blue.
The way the wood curves beneath the shelving is probably my favourite thing about this hutch.
I put only my favourite mugs on display, of course. (Jarryd's John Wayne mug or his Yoda mug have no place on this hutch. Ha ha! ;)
My modest cookbook collection. We all know I'm more of an online recipe kinda girl. ;)
The shelves on a hutch are a perfect place to show off some memorabilia; For example, here I have one of our favourite weddings photos placed between my Eiffel Tower figurine from France and my teacup from Germany. It's perfect. :)
I appreciate the fine detail here!
Our little espresso machine! We didn't put a hole in the hutch to run an electrical cord through, so when we make espressos we just carry the machine to the kitchen. Haha! (Posers!)
The hardware turned out quite nice! During the planning process I was deciding between gold or black for the hardware, and I am so glad I chose black. It gives a really nice contrast to the blue paint, I think!
There! I even found the perfect spot for it. :)
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and that is really all that matters. BUT I would love to hear what you guys think of the result! Would you have left it dark, or left the top doors on? Painted the hardware a different colour? Whatever it is I would love to hear! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my (successful) DIY adventure! :)


  1. Beautiful!! DIY is totally in right now. AND if any antiquer was ever truly upset that you painted over an old hutch they could just sand off the paint and re-stain it. problem solved.

    Its amazing how cheap some solid wood pieces are, and all they really need is a little love. Better to do-over an old sturdy solid wood piece of furniture than to buy a brand new low-quality particle board hunk-of-junk that looks "modern".

    I applaud your creativity and being able to see the potential in a dated $35 hutch. Doesn't it kind of make you want to go out and buy a bunch of cheap used wood furniture and do it all over again?

    p.s. great colour choices!! knowing me, I would've picked grey. lololol

    1. You're so right! It's not like I ruined the hutch, right?! They can always strip the paint :P
      My three options for colours were white, grey, and light blue. I figured our apartment is too white already, grey might look too "drab", and light blue is just so me. Plus it's our apartments' accent colour! ;)

  2. It looks SO good Jenny!!!! LOOOOVE IT! The black hardware looks so good too!!! I'm glad you decided to take the plunge haha!! Maybe you could come and wax mine for me ;) procrastinating at its finest! Now tell me, with the real chalk paint you bought, was it easy to chip or scratch? Like before you waxed it?

    1. Thanks Julie!!! Seriously, you and your hutch were my inspiration!!! I found that it did chip easier when I hadn't added any wax yet! They say it takes 30 days for the wax to really settle into the pores. So now that I have waited a few months, the paint doesn't chip at all (from what I have noticed). Granted, I have been extra cautious. But when I feel the areas where I haven't waxed and where I have, the wood feels so much smoother where it is waxed! So I would definitely recommend it! The wax also lightened the paint colour which I was hoping for :)