Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Do Part 1 {A Series}: Hutch Rehab

Welcome to Making Do, my first-ever {mini} series. It's about using what you do have instead of wishing for what you don't...a message aimed primarily at the one writing it.

I didn't set out to be all intentional and philosophical with these tweaks and makeovers I'll be posting. But as I began making a few changes in our home over the last several months, I realized that they were part of a larger plot. A plot that reveals just as much about the inner workings of my heart as it does the external changes in my home. So without further adieu, here's part one of my "story":


I bought this hutch at a thrift store for $150.



It was an insane amount of money for me to spend on something I didn't absolutely need. But for years I'd been searching for a giant hutch with glass doors and when I saw this one I began to swoon. So I bartered with the worker, begged my husband to let me spend the money, and called a neighbor with a pick-up truck.

I loved this hutch so much that it sat in my garage gathering spiders and dust for 3 years. Pathetic, I know. The Man urged me to sell it in the last 2 garage sales we've had....but I couldn't. This hutch, something I'd initially planned to use for kitchen storage and some cherished pieces, was instead going to become my schoolroom.

We have a smallish home but I have an almost 300-square-foot bonus room upstairs. I have big dreams to use it as our homeschool room and a place for the kids to play. {Yes, this is the part where I'm wishing for what I don't have.} It is unfinished. It will remain unfinished and therefore unusable until we have funds to do it...which means it may remain unfinished until our kids have completed their eduction. And that's okay...

Because I have this hutch, an unexpected remedy to my unfinished bonus room.

It unobtrusively houses all of our school books and supplies. Sneaky isn't it?

I didn't take a good BEFORE photo, but here it is again.

And now....

She is a beauty if I do say so myself.

All along I'd planned to paint her black. I paint almost everything black. But I changed my mind on a whim, afraid that such a large black piece in my very light-colored great room would suck up all the light and hog the stage. Now she looks like a pretty extension of my white cabs. She's still big but very blendy.

I borrowed the Nester's idea of tacking scrapbook paper to the back. I like it.

Hobby Lobby came through with these glass knobs for $2 each.

I wanted glass doors to showcase this beautiful and incredibly sentimental tea set my parents hauled back from Germany just for me. It was a lavish gift and I can't tell you how much I love it.

The rest of the contents are a work in progress. Eight-year-old Blondie saw me loading my tea set and she really wanted to add hers in as well. It's a bit knick-knacky in there right now but I love that she wanted to copy me, to place her special things alongside mine. One day she may not want to mingle so much.

The process: I sanded it down a bit, wiped the dust off with a tack cloth or baby wipes, applied 2 coats of Behr paint and primer in one with a brush, lightly distressed the edges, and finished with a thin coat of Minwax Polycrylic {which I only did because the hutch will get lots of use.}

The paint job could be better but I can live with it. I painted it on a rainy weekend with my mom's help {thanks Mom} and the finish got a little tacky.

Cupcake walked off with the first can of Polycrylic {brand new and unopened} and dropped it on the driveway at just the perfect angle to send the lid and its contents sailing. By the way, Polycrylic seals really well. A kidney-shaped portion of my driveway is now forever waterproofed and scratch-resistant. He is ever so helpful.

A big shout-out to the folks at Home Depot. I took back the empty can of Polycrylic {because it's $16} and told them my silly story of what happened. They exchanged it. Can you believe that? So go buy yourself some paint at the Home Depot and tell them The Scooper sent you and that she'd like some free supplies to finish up her bonus room. Thanks.

Linked up with Kimba's DIY Day {A Soft Place to Land.}

For part 2 of the series, click here.


  1. Beautiful! It looks great in your kitchen, and go you for taking the paint back-I think I wouldn't have bothered but now if that should ever happen (which is a good possibility around here) I'll follow your lead!

  2. She IS beautiful!!! Great job! It must feel great to have a place for all that stuff. I love your tea set, too!! Blessings!

  3. I LOVE it! When will I ever see it in PERSON?? And did I see a pretty little Anthropologie Teapot hiding among the sea of white dishes? :)

  4. You've done a WONDERFUL job with it! Looks like it just belongs in that space.
    I heart pretty knobs!!

  5. too funny.....
    where is miles today???
    i need some home improvement here too.

  6. Scooper,
    That's a beautiful peice of furntiture and thanks for sharing the process.
    Cupcake is so cute in the last photo.
    Love how the hutch looks like an extension of your kitchen cabinets. Nice!

  7. Your hutch looks beautiful! I'm proud of you--what a great use for a wonderful piece.

    When I homeschooled, the dining room was our schoolroom. It may not have been ideal, but it worked. When Will got his SAT scores, I said, "Remember I'm the one who taught you to read, write, and cipher." All at the dining room table. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading this mini-series. I could sure stand to grow in this area. A lot. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Love you! You are marvelous!

  8. Fantastic post! The pictures, wonderful as they are, don't really capture the beauty of the piece. This is a long-simmering makeover completed. File that away in your encouragement box. As for the comment about loaning Cupcake out for home improvement projects . . . my laugh for the day! (Until I find another one!)

    Love you forever,

  9. I'm so impressed with your hutch. It looks fabulous and fits perfectly in your home. I have a dresser in my garage that has been waiting for paint and its new home for over two years. This helps give me courage to just do it.

    Also, your post about couponing still has me thinking.

    Maybe Cupcake and Tru can join forces for "extreme makovers" :)

  10. just so you are aware...i L.O.V.E. the hutch! how crazy that you changed your mind at the last minute and painted it white! great choice! been thinking about you lately! Miss you guys!

  11. I love it! You made it sound so easy, but I know it was a lot of work, so Great job!! This is a bit weird to comment on the contents of your drawers, but it looks like you might be a fellow classical conversationest????

  12. Well, this post made my day! A fabulous makeover, a funny kid story, and a happy Home Depot ending? Bravo!

    ps - thank you so much for you lovely (and FUNNY) comment about my dressing room!

  13. I'm in LOVE! I adore your hutch... and seriously, it's a steal at $150. I'm glad you painted it light... I like black, but I think it's just perfect.

  14. Your hutch looks great! I love the idea of making do and making it into something you love. Great Job

  15. It looks AMAZING!!! Seriously, LOVE it!

    And YAY for Home Depot, what a cool thing to do!

  16. beautiful! it blends perfectly with your rooms.

    i'm here via Kimba's- so nice to "meet" you!

  17. I just clicked over from a soft place to land. I try not to click that FOLLOW button much -- just too many blogs and too little time, but I found a kindred spirit and couldn't help but click away!!!

    Your description of your kitchen table as you blogged and the fact that the hutch was in the garage for three years strikes a definite cord with me.

    Looking forward to reading along.

  18. WE have snow and ice but when the roads clear up I"m heading to Hobby Lobby to scope out those glass knobs. I didn't know they sold glass knobs! New to your blog and love it!

  19. Im copying everything! Mine is not the same kind of hutch but a bakers rack type thingy that will be painted white

    Wondering....what color creme/yellow are your walls


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