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Vintage Hutch Makeover

We all love happy endings. Don’t we?

Let me tell you a story that began with many hiccups, but eventually reached a happy ending.

One of my clients collects tea sets and displays them in a hutch. She wanted to give her hutch a makeover but since the piece was massive I could not bring it to my shop. We tried to fit it in my car then hers with no luck.

So… I thought it would be easier to work at her house. I was happily working on site, progressing nicely and all of the sudden a door fell apart! As in, the door joints opened up and the glass crashed to the floor, fell apart.

Fortunately this hutch was not a heirloom and my client was not worried about repairing it. In fact, we agree it was better not to replace the glass since the door joints might be compromised and the new glass could also fall.

Now she had no hutch for her collection.

I was not going to let my client’s hope for a vintage hutch makeover die there. I drove an hour away and found a very similar piece and set my mind to give it such a transformation that would make my client forget how this journey started.

Supply List

* This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase from one of these links, I could make a commission at no charge to you.

Tool List

  1. Surf Prep Sanding Kit (Use coupon code BELLARENOVARE10)

Prep Work for a Vintage Hutch Makeover

Because this hutch will be used to display tea sets, I wanted to paint the inside in a light color that will make them stand out.c

The best way to properly paint the inside of the hutch was to remove the back panels. I suggest that you always label the pieces you remove from furniture. That way you know you are putting them back where they belong.

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

I cleaned the hutch inside and out with cleaner. Always use water and a clean cloth to remove any residual cleaner. 

Before starting to paint with Baja Gray I scuff sanded the interior of the hutch. The exterior did not need sanding because I was planning to use chalk paint. 

When I was done painting the inside of the hutch and its shelves I put the back panels on again.

Moving to the exterior of the hutch, my first step was to use a primer. With older pieces like this, or those with very dark wood I always recommend using a primer to avoid bleeding. Many times you cannot tell there would be bleeding until you apply the top coat.

I painted one side without a primer just to show you how bad it would look. The top sections does not have primer. The bottom does.

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

Blending and Highlighting

I started with Blue in the legs. Be careful not to miss the spots behind the legs or under any ledges. I usually lay my pieces on its back to help me reach those sneaky spots. 

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

From the legs up I wanted to create a blended look, starting with one coat of duck Egg on the entire piece.

When blending, I use a different synthetic brush to apply each color and a clean brush for the blending. 

Working one section of the hutch at a time, I first used Blue to outline where I wanted my darker areas. Then I applied Duck Egg directly next to it, blending both colors with a clean brush for a seamless transition. 

For the center of each area, I used white as a highlighter. 

I kept toggling between these colors until I was happy with my blend.

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

If you are new to blending you might think it looks intimidating. But it does not have to be. The key is to keep the area moist with a mister bottle and use a clean brush to feather the colors together. Use different strokes moving your brush, vertically, horizontally, and in circles until you get a smooth transition. Walk away, take some time to look at your piece so you can visualize how would you like the blending to look like.

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

Final Touches

I am asked all of the time how I remove paint from mirrors and glass. I use a utility knife to gently scrape off any paint that got on the glass. I know some people prefer to cover the glass with tape or cards before painting, but I prefer the sharp lines I get from my utility knife.

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

I sealed the entire hutch with Easy Peasy Wax. Spray the wax freely and then wipe it in with a clean microfiber cloth. Let it dry for one hour.

To add dimension I added with a small brush in all the cracks and crevices to create a shadow effect. I wiped the excess wax off with a clean cloth. 

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by CrysDawna

To remove the black wax even further I sprayed Easy Peasy one more time. Easy Peasy works not only as a sealant but also as some sort of “eraser” for the wax. I did this to lighten up any spots that look too dark.

The final touch was to lightly brush Gold Gilding Wax focusing on the edges, curves and corners of the hutch. 

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by Crys'Dawna

Isn’t this a happy ending?

Vintage hutch makeover. China cabinet makeover. Bella Renovare by Crys'Dawna

Are you a a hutch lover? Then you might want to check out this other amazing transformation.

If you want a more in depth explanation on how to recreate this vintage hutch makeover check out the video tutorial



See you next time and happy creating!

CrysDawna BellaRenovare Furniture Artist

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