Asked on Jul 04, 2019

How can I finish the backside of a piece of furniture?

by LK

How to finish off the backside of a piece of furniture?I am downsizing my home. I have a dining room hutch that I love and could provide storage space in a smaller home. The problem is with all of these open space concept homes there is very little wall space so I will need to use my hutch to separate two rooms. I’ve attached a picture of the front of the hutch and tried to get a picture of the back. The back is basically pressboard and it’s very rough and unfinished. Has anyone successfully finished off the back of a piece of furniture so that it would presentable If it was facing a room?

Backside of the hutch on the lower half

Backside of the hutch on the upper piece

Front view of my hutch… Yes, it was a DIY project!

  12 answers
  • Matt Windley Matt Windley on Jul 04, 2019

    Cloth for fabric store

  • Gk Gk on Jul 04, 2019

    You might be able to use some wallpaper on the back of the hutch. I would use some primer first and then a coat of paint just to make sure if you ever wanted to change the wallpaper that it would come off easily. It won't look pretty with the primer and paint so I doubt you could use it without adding the wallpaper or fabric as someone else suggested. You might have to add some trim on the sides if you are going to use it as a room divider. You also may be able to glue on a ship lap kind of backing using thinner wood-perhaps 1/4 plywood.

    • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

      Love love the idea of wallpaper. I will definitely look into this. Thanks!

  • Janice Janice on Jul 04, 2019

    You might consider painting the pressboard in a contrasting color or even the same color as the walls and then hang artwork on it, or add some hooks and a few decorating items to make it look intentional.

    • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

      Interesting idea to hang something on the back of it… Something to think about. Thank you!

  • Dee Dee on Jul 04, 2019

    You could purchase a sheet of plywood 1/4" thick and cut to size to cover the back then paint.

    There are other options probably cheaper than plywood. Take a look at your local box store.

    • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

      This idea scares me, LOL. I don’t think my DIY skills are good enough to create a smooth pattern and cut the plywood; I’ll have to give it some more thought – thanks!

  • Pat Pat on Jul 04, 2019

    Do you have enough room to put a small bookcase against the back of your hutch? Paint the back of your hutch to match the front of your hutch and get a bookcase and paint it the same color....good storage too. If your hutch is tall, you could paint it all, put the bookcase against it and hang artwork on the back of your tall hutch. If it is a low hutch, just get a bookcase of equal height and it would look okay with nice storage.

  • Sue in wy Sue in wy on Jul 04, 2019

    Could you hot glue (or nail) a thin strip of wood or even plastic from the hardware store to cover the rough edge? (Most stores will make a free cut for you, so have the length measurement with you.)

  • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

    I think about that – I love any project that involves a hot glue gun! Thanks

  • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

    I think about that – I love any project that involves a hot glue gun! Thanks

  • Gina Hanson Gina Hanson on Jul 04, 2019

    How about Contact paper? I was just looking into it to cover a desktop. Many colors and patterns - even wood grain. Might be less pricey than a wallpaper and can be easily removed if you want to try something different.

    • LK LK on Jul 04, 2019

      Yes, I am liking that idea along with some thin trim along the edges to finish it off Dash somebody else suggested the trim. It just might work

  • Dindo Dindo on Jan 24, 2021

    I would be interested in what your final

    decision was ... I too am trying to use a long side table to separate my dining room from living room in a very open concept. I have few walls. I do need to separate the space Abd I don’t think I want to put up a pony wall. Did you try painting over plywood or using wall paper. Thank you if you can advise

  • LK LK on Jan 24, 2021

    Well, I did not end up using the hutch as a room divider. What I ended up doing was putting it on heavy duty casters. In the kitchen of the new house there was a small pantry. I removed the pantry door and put the hutch in front of the opening, with the hutch now on casters. So now I have the storage and access to the hutch and if I need to get into my pantry where I keep my pots and pans, I just wheel it out-of-the-way enough to give me entry to the pantry. If you search for “can I put a hutch on casters “on this home talk channel you’ll see the photos however I don’t know if this is going to help with your project.

    There was a time when I separated my open space living room from my dining room with a long, sofa table. I put a piece of mirror on top of the table with some green plants. It turned out that the mirror from a full-size mirror like you get in dollar tree was the exact same size as my sofa table so it fit perfectly.