Phew – that beast of a hutch is done! And it’s so cute now!
We knew it would take some work to refinish the wood when we first picked it up a few weeks ago, and that was confirmed when it rapidly turned into one of those projects that required a whole lot of stuff, a whole lot of patience, and several days of work overall. We had all the supplies on hand, but I won’t lie – if you don’t have these on hand (below), I do think a makeover to this extent could add up quickly. This hutch was a bit more work than a more simple wood refresh; the old polyurethane was on thick, it had yellowed quite a bit over time, and we needed a solution for the weird wood-striped back. And now that it’s done? Ugh, I mean, I’ll say it again – it’s just so cute!
No-rinse TSP / deglosser
Murphy’s Oil Soap
Restor-A-Finish in Walnut
1/8″ thick pine trim strip
Spackle or wood filler
Zinsser 1-2-3 water based primer
Valspar Optimus paint (BM Intense White)
Minwax Polycrylic in satin
Cheap Paintbrush for Citristrip
Orbital sander with 120/220 grit pads
2″ angle brush for paint/poly
4″ foam rollers for paint/poly
Super fine sanding block
WHAT WE DID: First things first, we absolutely had to get rid of the weathered polyurethane, and because it had been applied pretty thick, we chose to strip it first, rather than just sand it. (This would save us time once we got to that step.) Scott and I used old paint brushes to apply Citristrip, and within 30 minutes, it began working it’s magic. We used a putty knife to scrape it off – which is pretty fun, really! – and applied a thin second coat on some of the more stubborn areas.
Once every last bit of Citristip had been removed, we used mineral spirits to clean off the residue and moved onto sanding. I started with 120 grit sandpaper and worked my way down to 220 grit, being careful not to get overzealous with my orbital. Parts of the hutch were solid wood, but other areas were a veneer, so I had to work slow around the edges. Also? I did accidentally create a knick or two in the veneer, and at the end of this project, I used a dab of brown paint to touch those up; no one’s the wiser!
It was looking so much better already, but it was time to move on to the most satisfying part of the job – bringing back that color. Using soft rags, everything was washed with no-rinse TSP, and I followed that up – inside and out! – with Murphy’s Oil Soap to get off every bit of grime. A new rag soaked with Restor-A-Finish brought out a rich, medium-brown shade (way, way less orange color than the original), and once every bit of the exterior had soaked this up, I nourished it with a liberal application of Feed-N-Wax. Two days later, I applied another round of Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax to darken it up even more, and I did this again over the weekend. The hutch was thirsty!
After a bit of back and forth, we decided to nix the glass altogether, which meant we’d need to get rid of the grooves the glass doors rested in. But once that came off, we were left with a lip that was set back a bit too far (looking disjointed), so we filled that in with a thin piece of pine trim. A touch of spackle filled in any scratches and dents (wood filler would work, too), and I finished off the shelves with a bead of caulk to close up any gaps.
Lastly, it was time to paint! We didn’t want to go overboard with color in the kitchen, although we definitely considered it, but since we have our minty pocket door and vintage rug, we opted for the same color as our kitchen walls – Benjamin Moore’s Intense White, color matched to Valspar Optimus paint. Because the hutch will get a workout with our bar supplies, the goal is always to make it last. Using the right products is everything when it comes to painting furniture, and we used our tried and true method: ONE coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 water based primer, TWO coats of paint and THREE thin coats of Polycrylic in a satin finish. I used a 2″ angled brush to get all the corners and a 4″ foam roller for the large flat surfaces, and a super fine sanding block was used between each coat of Polycrylic to further help with adhesion.
We allowed the paint to cure for a handful of days, mostly because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but also because our kitchen still needed paint at the time. The waiting, of course, is the hardest part, but definitely worth it to avoid damaging the new paint job. We’re not sure if it’ll go here (to the left of the furnace wall) or to the right of the back-wall-of-windows, and once the cabinets are installed, we’ll have a better idea. But! Cute!
The hardware is truly a showstopper, the most perfect finishing touch. We chose these bevel edge bin pulls and mission drawer pulls from Rejuvenation in a burnished antique finish, which are so subtle. So pretty.
The trim piece we installed looks nice and polished, and although I had toyed with the idea of filling in the grooves along the sides, I’m happy Scott convinced me otherwise. They’re nice little details that add a little something extra overall:
And the storage! We have way more booze to stash away (obviously), but we’d like to collect more glass decanters for the open shelving and stash larger handles below. Looking at the guts of the hutch – which received nothing more than a good cleaning with the oil soap – you’d think the exterior wood tone was always this shade!
Once the hutch was complete, we turned our attention to the island (watch out, I’m a painting machine, I tell you!), and it’s a few coats of Polycrylic from being done with the paint job. We’ve been shopping around for an odd-shaped butcher block that’s affordable, but the more we research, the picker we get. (Is anyone else that way?) I think we’ve narrowed in on a winning hunk of maple, but we haven’t completely counted out Ikea. It looks like our favorite Swedish megastore has recently updated it’s inventory of counter options, but has anyone purchased butcher block from Ikea? What do you think?
Rejuvenation provided the hardware for our hutch, and we’re so, so thrilled they wanted to be a part of our renovation. As always, thank you for supporting those that support us.