Hutch to China Cabinet Makeover

3 Materials
2 Days

My niece Melissa, aka Knotty Momma Woodworking, is at it again. One day while scanning the online market on her phone, she found a listing for the upper portion of old hutch for only $30! She did what any woodworker-in-training would do. She snapped it up before anyone else could and brought it home!

Melissa’s paint of choice is Fusion Mineral Paint. For this piece she used Homestead Blue for the interior and Raw Silk for the exterior:

Melissa removed the trim, glass and the wooden frame from the doors, sanded everything and primed. If you can remove the glass, it makes things so much easier; no need to tape!

What she learned was never to prime with shellac on a hot day! She ended up sanding down the primer because it was drying so fast that it was getting lumpy. Live and learn (or rather, Melissa lived it, but you can learn from her experience).

It took three coats of Raw Silk to cover the body of the hutch. As an accent colour, only two coats of Homestead Blue on the inside and the shelves was necessary.

Fusion paint doesn’t necessarily need a top coat. But to protect the inside, Melissa used polyurethane. For the outside, she used Fusion Tough Coat over the light coloured raw silk, so it won’t yellow with time.

The hardware looked like solid brass.

Melissa wasn’t going for an aged look so decided to clean the hardware. Below you can see a before and after.

Melissa used vinegar to scrub it clean and then remounted it. Now it looks all shiny and bright!

If you have extremely dirty hardware, you can actually make a paste by dissolving a teaspoon of salt into 1/2 a cup of vinegar and add flour until it thickens. You can rub it in and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and buff dry and your hardware should look just as good!

After putting all the pieces back together, it was time to add legs to give it some much needed height and make it look like less of a hutch and more like a cabinet!

Pine legs were purchased at a local big box store and painted to match. To secure them to the hutch, Melissa also bought these tee nuts.

She drilled a hole the size of the leg thread in each corner, then used gorilla glue and hammered the tee nuts in place. The only thing left is to screw the legs on.

It’s hard to get a well lit picture where there’s no natural light but I can attest that the colour combination is stunning!

Melissa hasn’t decided whether to sell her ‘new’ cabinet yet through her  Knotty Momma Woodworking site, but I suspect she’ll be keeping this one for her herself. She’s planning on moving in the near future and a few key furniture pieces like this will be just what she needs to decorate her new home.

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
    on Jun 13, 2019

    Can that paste used on brass be used on any other metals like silver? Incredible talent and execution of your vision! Fantastic! Thanks so much


    • Estasban
      on Jun 17, 2019

      I too would urge much Caution/"Don't Do It-ness on the silver- salt application.

      I have the "Family Silver Wear" which was "cleaned" with a similar solution. Due to her 101 year old mis-remimbering on what the exact recipe was and a "..well I've done this before" so it must be close... The silverware is very, very, very, antique looking (like it was buried in a salt mine for a century). Sigh- the silversmiths mark gives us a reminder of its past glory.

      We keep it as it is now part of the family lore which is priceless to us.

  • Heather
    on May 31, 2020

    Stunning makeover, BUT, why did you Use mismatched screwheads? As an App type, it would drive me nuts after all the hard work, to have folks see the screwheads! Even if original to the piece, matching is always preferable, in my opinion.

    • Cheryl Farfalla
      on Jun 2, 2020

      If you look at the hole for the screws on the two handles they are different sizes, she would have to drill one out to match two larger head screws. It looks like she used the right size screw for the hole that was there.

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