Restoration China Hutch

Many of you know my husband is in the military, which means there are periods of time when Buddy (our rescued pup) and I go out of our way to find things to occupy our time. This weekend we ventured into a Habitat for Humanity Resale Warehouse. If you have never been in one of these before, I would recommend it. You can find a wide array of things from discounted tile, doors, scrap wood, light fixtures and furniture to old books, frames and children’s games. The great thing is the prices are incredibly reasonable and items are on a monthly rotation, meaning the longer they sit on the warehouse floor the more discounted they become.

Dog Friendly + Military Discount = A Win For Us!

This solid wood china hutch caught my eye. There was something about the curvy lines and aged brass that spoke to me. I envisioned it painted and distressed, holding our wedding dishes and glassware for many family Thanksgiving dinners to come.

Buddy is a great shopping partner because he always sweetens up the sales associates. While Buddy won over the sales rep, the hutch won over me. A purchase this large needed my husband’s approval so I said a little prayer that no one would snatch it up until I had the opportunity to bring him back. Four days later and the hutch was not only still standing proud, but discounted an extra 15% off. SOLD! It was hoisted into the bed of our truck and unloaded in the workshop (our garage).

Now the work begins!
Step One. Unscrew all the hardware, hinges, door stops, shelves and lighting hardware.
Step Two. Tape off the glass, both front and back with blue painters tape.
Step Three. Wipe down layers of dust and grime to reveal the condition of the wood.

One coat of primer.

Step Four. Primer. Because the wood was stained previously, meaning there was no chipped paint to sand, I got started priming right away. Primer drys quickly but takes a day or two to completely cure to the wood. I broke this task up into sections due to its massive size- the buffet bottom, the top, the doors and the drawers. Because I am not using the original hardware, I filled in the existing hardware holes with wood filler in order to save myself some time later on.
Step Five. Painting. I chose Shiplap White chalk style paint by Joanna Gaines. The entire hutch took about 3/4 quart of paint for the first coat and a little less than 2 quarts for the entire project.
Step six. Second coat. I like to use a round chalk paint brush for large surface areas, like this hutch. Chalk paint should go on smooth and not show brush strokes. If the paint gets too thick I dip the brush in a cup of water to dampen the bristles.

Step Seven. Distressing. My FAVORITE part of repurposing old furniture is distressing a perfect finish. An older piece with no distressing is almost a little too perfect to me. I want to see the smile lines of memories on my furniture, that’s what makes it feel like it has been in the family for years. For this step I use 180 grit sandpaper. I think the key to distressing is to sand down the places which would naturally chip or appear worn. Corners, edges, raised surfaces and pretty wood details look great with a little roughing up.
Step Eight. Coat with a protective clear wax. I like to use the same brand of wax as chalk paint. Wax keeps the paint from getting damaged and gives chalk style paint a silkier surface to the touch. For this step I usually brush on the wax and after a few minutes wipe off the extra with a dry rag or an old white T-shirt.

Step Nine. Attach the cabinet hardware. For this hutch I spent a good amount of time debating on what type, size and finish of hardware to choose. The tricky part was finding new “aged brass” hardware which matched the existing, authentically aged brass panes of the hutch doors. After many return shipments to Wayfair, I went with a 6 inch Jeffrey Alexander bar pull on the top and a matching 4 inch pull on the bottom.
Step Ten. Reassemble. This means screwing everything back into place.

Finally, our farmhouse china hutch is complete.

I can’t wait to fill these glass shelves with shiny, old, inherited and new pieces. This hutch took more time than I anticipated to restore, but I wanted to do it justice! In the end, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. This treasure will be serving our family as a home for keepsakes.

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