Thursday, June 28, 2012

Corner Hutch-Cha-Cha

Another item to check off the kitchen renovation list as "FINALLY FREAKING DONE" is my sweet little labor of love: the corner hutch.  I'm sure you remember how I pretty much chained myself to this baby in extreme protest over its fate in a woodpile.  I'm sure you also remember how I've continuously boasted about how I won the battle in the name of all things cute and historic.  Well, now it's time for me to prove how awesome that corner hutch really is and why it was so dang important to save it.  Behold:

My little baby went from ugly duckling with promise, to swan with swagger.  After many hours of one-on-one time with the corner hutch, I think it's safe to say that it would've been pure stupidity to rip this puppy out.  Look at how stunning it is!!  As a reminder of its awesome transformation, let's take a look at these snapshots:
DANG.  A long, long time ago when there used to be a formal dining room and two corner hutches.

After it got a coat of Almost Aqua on the inside -- really made it look yellowy.

And then here we are today!

Okay, so let me describe the techniques I used in this marvelous makeover.  First I gave the hutch a good wipe down -- not only was it covered in construction debris, but it had a few good decades of filth caked on.  Keep in mind that I only used a damp rag to wipe down the hutch, as I didn't want any chemicals from cleaning agents messing with my paint adherence and finish.

Next, I painted the inside walls of the hutch in our ceiling color, Glidden's Almost Aqua.  This paint made a massive difference in the appearance of the hutch, which only further propelled my excitement about this mini-renovation.  I applied two coats just to be sure I had a solid finish.  Then I painted the shelves and outside of the hutch in pure white satin finish.  Since semi-gloss finishes can get sort of sticky when you sit heavy things on it, I thought it best to go with the satin finish just because I didn't know what the shelves would be used for yet.  This required two coats plus touch-ups as I used regular Behr paint instead of my coveted Behr Ultra Premium Plus with primer.

How did I paint around the window panes so exquisitely, you ask?  The funny thing is, I didn't use tape.  I also didn't painstakingly attempt to paint around the panes; I just slapped the paint on there, coating the edges of the window panes in paint.  Yeah, I am a rebel because I'm not supposed to color outside of the lines when I'm 25.  And for as wrong as it felt, it was rather amusing.  Of course there was an underlying intention in this painting debauchery.  I knew that I had to take a razor blade to each pane and scrape away the decades-old paint that somebody sloppily left behind.  So what's the point of carefully taping?  There is none.

I dreaded scraping that paint off, but it really wasn't that much of a pane in my neck (har har).  I had a good routine going: take a razor and cut around the perimeter of each pane in order to create a clean paint edge, then use a large handled razor to scrape away the excess.  Fun Fact: I've estimated that this is the fourth time the corner hutch as been painted since I found layers of green, brown, and tan while I was scraping the old paint off of the window panes.  The fresh paint that I slathered on came off with little effort, but the older stuff was like cement.  But I didn't want to give up on this hutch.  It had to be beautiful.  Fast forward about 3 hours later and I was done with the nitty gritty.

My tools.

Oh so crisp 'n clean.

The part I looked forward to the most was screwing on the new knobs I bought to replace the outdated porcelain knobs.  After some pinning and a somewhat challenging decision, I decided on the Gemstone Knob in mint from Anthropologie.  At $8 a piece they don't seem like a massive bargain, but if you consider $16 (for 2 knobs) and some paint that I already had on hand to completely overhaul the look of the corner hutch, I'd say it was definitely worth it.  Plus the knobs at Anthropologie offer so much more character than the basics you can find at a home improvement store.
The oldie.

The sweet new thang.

Even when it was ugly, everyone who walked through our house commented on how cool the corner hutch was.  Now that it matches its new owners' style, I'd say that it's quite the stunning specimen and deserves all the attention it will receive.  If you're wondering on what I plan to fill it with, I'm not entirely sure yet.  I was thinking that it would be really fun to showcase some kitchen antiques on the shelves behind the glass doors.  And in all honesty, the bottom doors will probably hide our bills and filed papers.  Either that or dog food.  I'll keep you posted as I decorate!


  1. I have one of these exactly, cabinets. I am looking for a second one. If you ever get an idea of what this "kit" was (I think it was a kit) or who the manufacturer was, I would LOVE to know. I want one!

    1. AND, I'm gonna try your painting idea because your piece is just lovely. Mine looks drab now...I'll let you know what I think. -

  2. I have two of these that are in their original condition. Stained. I've often wanted to pain them but don't have the nerve. I do think I will paint the inside as it's so dark you can hardly see what I have inside.