How to Update a Family Hutch

Did you recently get your hands on a piece of family furniture that’s now collecting dust in your garage? Is it solidly constructed and in great shape but just not your “style?” I’m here to give you a few tips on how to update your freebie so it can move into a central spot in your home. With a little elbow grease, some paint and updated hardware, you won’t even recognize it once the transformation is complete.

We acquired an Ethan Allen hutch from Brian’s grandparents that’s in excellent shape, so I decided it would be a good candidate to finally try out Annie Sloan chalk paint. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I typically make my own chalk paint for my furniture transformations. But this piece is special so I wanted to go all out! While I am thrilled with the end result, would I splurge on Annie Sloan next time? Unlikely. I have come to love homemade chalk paint and like the control I have over just how “chalky” I make it.

Anyway, back to the hutch. This was such a dramatic transformation that I’m going to share the before and after shot first:

Hutch Makeover

Pretty amazing, right? I simply cannot stop staring at this hutch in its new spot in our home. It fits in so nicely with our other furniture and the white paint brings a crisp and bright look to this area:

How to update an old hutch

Updating this hutch was pretty simple. I’d say the hardest part was the time (though I am sure you can do it in far less time than it took me! I started this project late last summer and then let it go for months … and months). The most time consuming part of this project was definitely painting the hutch. White paint requires more coats than other colors, and even more so when you’re painting over dark wood to ensure full coverage.

Hutch bottom half

Before I began painting, I removed all of the hardware (I corral any hardware I plan to keep in ziploc bags so when the time comes to put it back on the furniture, everything I need is all there). Next, I took the doors off and set them aside because I had decided they weren’t going to be needed. I plan to use the doors for another project so stay tuned! Because the doors would not be reattached, I filled the holes left by the hinges with wood putty. What do you think of the top of the hutch without doors?

How to update an old hutch

Before painting the hutch, I cleaned it with a damp cloth and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Once it was dry, I gave it a quick sand because there were a couple of spots with minor damage. I applied about 4-5 coats of paint to the hutch, then distressed some of the edges with coarse sandpaper. Then I used very fine grit sandpaper (1500) over the entire hutch before sealing it with wax. I replaced the knobs and the drawer pulls but I kept the original hinges which I painted, then distressed.Paint an old hutch with Chalk paint






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1 Response

  1. Charles says:

    Hello I’m restoring a hutch and the top of the bottom cabinet has this layer that looks like cork..not sure how to remove it or what it’s called to look up how. Just wondering if you’ve came across anything like that…thanks

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