Antique White Hutch Transformation

10 Materials
6 Hours

My friend Amanda recently re-did her dining room, adding a shiplap wall, and repainting the space in a new color scheme. She had a custom table made, but still needed a hutch. She found and bought a hutch that would be the perfect size for her dining room, the only problem – it’s a big project to tackle alone.

antique white hutch transformation
I’ve been refinishing furniture of all shapes and sizes for a while now, so I told her I’d teach her the process, and before we were done she would not only know how to do it herself, but also have a finished hutch! The other thing is this – to go out and buy a brand new step back hutch like she envisioned would be too costly, but finding a used one that just needed a makeover was much more in her budget and would add the character she wanted for the space.

I was excited to show her how to do it. I find the process very relaxing to do, I love to paint and get lost in a project. Also, when you are finished there is such a sense of accomplishment, I was excited to share that feeling with her! If we got stuck, we were able to talk through it and keep going, the nice thing about wood is you can’t break it! One step at a time and we got it done.
antique white hutch transformation
So here’s how the hutch started – beautiful, classic lines, but locked away in a storage unit.It had seen better days. Here’s what we did.

Step 1: Remove the hardware

antique white hutch transformation
Step 2: Scuff sand the piece with 220 grit sand paper.  Clean it with a mixture of denatured alcohol and water.
antique white hutch transformation
Step 3: While I was scuff sanding the piece, Amanda sanded down the top to raw wood.  The wood of the hutch matched her brand new table, so she wanted to leave the top wood.  
antique white hutch transformation
Step 4: Pick new hardware and fill holes.  Sand the spots down once the filler is dry.

antique white hutch transformation
Step 5: Stain the top with oil based wood stain. Let it dry overnight.

Step 6: Prime the areas to be painted.  Because this was cherry wood, I knew it had the potential to bleed through the light cream paint.  So we needed to give it all a coat of primer to be sure that wouldn’t happen.

Step 7: Begin applying the topcoat to the wood top.  We decided to use Arm-R-Seal, it’s a fantastic product that will enhance the look of the wood and protect it from any water stains that may happen in the dining room.  This topcoat does take a few coats and with dry time between, this was done over the next few days.  
antique white hutch transformation
Step 8: Once the topcoat process began, we started painting using a good brush.  We used General Finishes Antique White Milk Paint – a beautiful creamy, not-too-yellow white.  Painting took a while, but it was worth the work!  
antique white hutch transformation
Step 9: When the paint was all dry, it was time to re-install the hardware.  We had to drill new holes for the hardware, but the new hardware really fit the style of the piece perfectly.

Step 10: After touch-ups, we brought the piece into her dining room and Amanda decorated it with her great grandmother’s china, and décor.  It’s the perfect fit for her dining room, centered on the wall it looks like it was meant to be! 

I unfortunately broke a corner of the glass when I was working on one of the doors, so we did have to replace that (oops)!

antique white hutch transformation
Here's what Amanda said about the process:

"Never having painted a piece of furniture before watching my friend Jenni turn old rough pieces into gorgeous outcomes, I did not think I could possibly achieve the product she produces. I was extremely nervous to mess up everything. Jenni offered to help me with every step along the way. So we began by simply preparing the pieces to stain and paint."
antique white hutch transformation
"And then we began painting. I thought, 'This does NOT look good. There are visible brush strokes everywhere.' I was even following Jenni’s specific instructions of long, even brush strokes. But after that first coat, I knew I wasn’t good at it. But before we began her specific words were “hang in there after the first coat, it gets much better.” And so I did. When I was applying the second coat I immediately started to think “This is really starting to look good!”

antique white hutch transformation
"There are so many steps to taking an old piece of furniture and transforming it into a brand new masterpiece ready for my home. If you want to achieve a great outcome, the work has to be done. I realized that using a paint designed specifically for wood furniture as well as a good paint brush are crucial for success. Also having a friend that is a professional at this is a major advantage as well! I am extremely excited with out this piece turned out and can’t wait for it to be used well over the years in our home!"

Don't forget to check out my blog, using the link below, for more furniture makeovers just like this one!

Also, be sure to subscribe to my emails for the latest tutorials, helpful tips and creative support and follow me on Facebook @rootsandwingsfurniture!

Until next time, stay creative!! 
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Jenni Ingram

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Mary
    on Apr 29, 2019

    The project is beautiful! Wondering how you finished the project? Did you use wax or a different sealer to protect the project?

    • Jeanne Martin
      on May 1, 2019

      She said she used that Armor Seal for the stained wood top. No mention of what she used for the painted parts. However, I've redone many pieces of furniture and I always put a couple of coats of polyurethane for protection. If it's outdoor furniture I use spar urethane which is a marine quality protection.

  • Susan
    on Apr 30, 2019

    I’m just curious with all that work, why you didn’t paint the insides of the doors? But it looks great!!

    • Deana Lewis DalMolin
      on May 7, 2019

      I'm always happy I managed the outside. I just throw my hands up and say '' Thank God I'm not OCD! "

  • Heide
    on May 1, 2019

    Did you tape off the glass, or if not - how did you remove the paint? Thanks.

Join the conversation

2 of 66 comments
  • Honey Do
    on May 10, 2019

    I see old wood pieces and I want to paint them. My husband even enjoys. We've redone a Buffett, coffee and end tables, the hutch from the buffet for a separate cabinet, a desk, a cart, and my dining room table and chairs. Love all our pieces..

  • Maureen
    21 hours ago

    Beautiful hutch!! You did an awesome job & it looks amazing!!

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