Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Dining Hutch Transformed ~ Be Still My Heart

It was not a quick decision, painting my 24-year-old dining hutch. If you've been hanging around me very long, you know the fondness I have for wood furniture. It makes my heart skip a beat.

Although my hutch isn’t solid wood, I still spent the better part of a year thinking about it, imagining the work it would require to get it done, researching the how-to aspect of it, and looking at before and after photos of similar pieces.

In the end, I said yes to the little voice in my head that told me I would love it.

I don’t have photos of the step-by-step process but will share them via words, which means what you have here is a long and boring post. So ... if the details don't interest you just scroll on down to the amazing transformation photos.

First thing I did was empty and dismantle the the hutch, removing all doors, all hardware and all of the glass shelves and side panels. I didn't empty the bottom part, as I didn't plan to paint the interior, and I'm a neat painter, overall. I then cleared the surrounding area and placed a large drop cloth (plastic tablecloth, in this case) on the floor.

The next step was opening a can of CeCe Caldwell’s Vintage White chalk paint from Rosy Revival in Old Town Spring.

With CeCe Caldwell’s chalk paint, no priming is needed, so woo-hoo! Here we go! This picture is about three coats in.

A little hindsight tip: Even though I know you should sand with a fine-grade sandpaper between coats of paint, I failed to do that and I can see where it would have been the best choice.

But all’s well that ends well, and it ends well. 

After I was satisfied with the paint coverage on the hutch and doors and drawer (I used the whole quart), I started the sanding process. For this piece I used a "super fine" grit sandpaper, but would probably go with a “very fine” grit if I were to do this kind of project again. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, Google "sandpaper grades" and you'll find charts and such.

I admit it’s scary when you start to sand a painted piece of furniture, but you’ll soon discover it’s the only way to get a smooth finish. Before sanding, if you’re using regular chalk paint, you will have a very flat finish, not a finish I’m fond of. Sanding gives the piece more of a satin finish, and a hint of a sheen. (Be sure and wipe the piece down after each sanding.)

I’m not a fan of the super chippy look, but I wanted to do some minimal distressing, in order to bring a sense of depth and character, giving it a naturally aged look.

What I chose to do is sometimes referred to as “linear distressing,” which means, in general, to go with the lines of the piece. I added a few distressed touches here and there, outside of the "lines," but it’s really all about personal preference at this stage.

After distressing, it was time for the two final steps: Waxing and buffing. 

I used a wax product called Briwax, but there are numerous options, including several waxes from CeCe Caldwell's line. 

Using a lint-free cloth (an old T-shirt works beautifully), I applied just enough wax to “moisturize” the hutch, similar to how you would apply face moisturizer. Make sure you don’t leave clumps in the corners or grooves. The amount of time to let it stay on before buffing seems to vary person to person. Based on my research, and looking at pieces I liked, I left my wax on for 24 hours.

When it was time to buff, I used a clean, lint-free cloth (again, cutting up an old T-shirt works great) and buffed the hutch to a wonderful sheen. It takes up to a month for the piece to fully cure, so keep that in mind if you’re painting a piece that has lots of use. This hutch doesn’t get touched much, so no problem.

Before the hutch was ready to reassemble, I had to address the matter of the mirrored backdrop. I considered numerous options, but, ultimately, chose to simply cover the mirrors. 

I found plain mat board in sheets at the frame department in Michaels and chose a dark tan color. In addition, I used a Martha Stewart stencil and stenciled the mat board, using a craft latex paint called "Vanilla."

In order to have some contrast, I decided to leave the mat board plain on the bottom (see photo). I am very pleased with the results. 

I used the old hinges (they looked great) and chose simple door/drawer pulls to complete the transformation. Overall, the makeover of the hutch is dramatic, and I happen to be fairly in love with it. I knew it would transform my dining room, and it has certainly done that. Even though it was a lot of work, I would do it all over again.

And now, finally, some uninterrupted photos for your viewing pleasure. Pardon the photo overload; I'm excited about it, if you can't tell. 

I'd love to know what you think about the finished project, pros and cons.

Until next time, sweet friends, whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might. Lord willing, I will be shifting gears this week, getting the house ready for Christmas. If I'm scarce in blogland, I'm probably tangled up in a string of lights. 



  1. Wow Dayle...that looks AMAZING! You did a fantastic job. You know, I have toyed with the same idea but still haven't gotten up the nerve...or my husband's blessings :) It was his mama's... with a matching corner cupboard....actually the hutch is very similar to yours minus the mirrored back wall and side mine would look relatively similar if and when I do this. What a beautiful transformation... you should be proud of yourself :)

  2. I LOVE it!!! Such a huge transformation. I can't imagine ever having the courage, let alone the energy to do all the work, but your end result makes it tempting. Enjoy!

  3. That turned out fantastic. I actually prefer that to the original wood. And I really like what you did with the mirrors.

  4. It looks wonderful! Love the backing you added on the back!

  5. You did a fantastic job! I think you accomplished the perfect amount of distressing. :)

  6. Wow! It looks fabulous! You did an amazing job!

  7. That is fantastic and you did a wonderful job. I love the new look.

    Have a lovely Christmas holiday season.


  8. How lovely!! I am so impressed by this - (I am not a craft-oriented person, by the way!) Looks like it fits in with your room and decorations so well.

    What's next? Flipping a house??? :-)


  9. You already know I LOVE it! Such a drastic difference, and you did a great job!

  10. I love it, it's gorgeous and light, and bright, and everything in it looks stunning. A lot of work, but so worth it.


  11. DAYLE! You parted the clouds and a sunbeam has shown its way into your dining room... 24 years? I know what question you're asking, and it ends with "sooner"! It turned out spectacular! I canNOT get over it. Love the innards the best... The whole new "dress" just causes everything to sparkle!

    Happy week,

  12. Oh it looks so beautiful. Such a difference and wow, it really turned out so pretty. Thanks so much for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  13. Wow, you did a wonderful job! I've been thinking of doing mine like this, but I'm still afraid I'll mess up! You are an inspiration! I like the way you lined the inside of your cabinet also.
    Thanks for sharing,

  14. I'm really loving what you've done Dayle! The transformation is marvelous and love the addition of the background and stencilling - beautifully done. Now I need the courage to do mine!~
    Wishing you a blessed day!

  15. Now, you might recall that this is big coming from me since I'm careful about what I paint and what I do not paint. So here it is.... I LOVE IT!! I'm contemplating a similar look for an oak one in my living room. The truth is that I'm lazy about it because of painting around all the glass and the mirrored backside. Yours gives me motivation. It's beautiful.

  16. I'm going to start calling you Mo, short for Motivational !
    What a great post to get me going.

  17. The hutch looks amazing! I have one that I've been dragging my feet on for fear of messing it up.
    That's for the paint and sanding advice. Nice job! Thanks so much for sharing with us.
    New follower,

  18. This was really fun to read and to see all the steps. I think the artist in you came out wonderfully!
    It feels good to do something different! Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Blessings, Roxy

  19. I love the way this turned out. I've been pondering painting my hutch but just can't quite take that step yet. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment. I'm a new follower.

  20. Wonderful!! I painted my first piece of furniture a couple years ago and just like you it took a year to make up my mind to do it! Now I am obsessed :-) You did an amazing job, it changes the whole room, I love it!
    Happy Weekend to you...

  21. WOW, really turned out beautifully! Great job Dayle!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  22. Funny. If I'd only heard of your plans to transform, no doubt I'd be going, "Nooooo!" Glad you didn't ask! :) This transformation is amazing and simply, beautiful. Thanks for showing us, Dayle!

  23. You did a beautiful job. I'm very impressed by your backdrop and the entire piece is stunning. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey.

  24. Dayle, it's amazing! Thank you for sharing. You will be one of the features at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. The party will be open in a couple of hours. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  25. It DOES end well!! Wow, what a transformation. You made the right decision here--it's just lovely!!

  26. Hi Dayle,
    I love your painted hutch! It looks fresh and brightens up the room a lot. I am also fond of my wood furniture and have a hard time deciding whether I should paint the piece or not. I guess I have to listen more carefully to my inner voice!

  27. Thanks, sweet friends, for your generous comments. I'm so enjoying my "new" piece of furniture.

  28. It looks so refreshing and really updates the piece. Love what you did to the backing.

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle