Here are the pictures (finally) of the china hutch that we refinished. This was a fun project and sort of a test-run of what is and has been to come. I found this china hutch on Craigs List and paid $60 for it. I needed a tall hutch, not a wide one, so that it could fit into my living room. I was excited to get my china out of the boxes and bubble wrap and into the open where it belongs.
At first I thought I'd want to paint the hutch a nice antique white. Then I saw a picture in a paint catalog of a piece of furniture painted a nice light blue. It stood out. It looked just enough different to make it a point of interest instead of the expected. I liked it. My husband made many, many trips to the paint store for me. He came home with paint, sand paper, tack cloth and tons of advice. My in-laws were thankfully here and willing to help out big time with this project. This is the "before" picture of my $60 hutch.
So--here is a little step-by-step of our furniture refinishing process.
1. Clean the wood. We used Windex. Anything with ammonia should do the job.
2. Lightly sand with a medium grain sand paper. This is just to rough up the surface a bit and give the primer something to stick to.
3. Use a fine grain sand paper to smooth out the wood.
4. Tack cloth to get any dust particles off the furniture.
5. Primer--we used oil based because this is a piece of furniture that will be touched and used a lot. It needs to be durable. Plus, the wood had finish on it already that was not totally removed. Put on a first light coat of primer (or have your mother-in-law do it if she's as nice as mine). Use a second coat of primer. Now--as for dry time, the primer dries pretty fast--but it takes longer to "cure". If you have the time, use it. Let each coat dry a day or two before you move on to the next. This allows the primer to really adhere to the furniture so that it won't chip. Don't forget to use fine-grain sand paper in between and after the primer coats to smooth out any drips and prep the surface for paint.
6. After two coats of primer, move on to the paint. We also used two coats of paint. The paint was oil based as well. However, we used a fairly new product that is oil based, yet can be cleaned up with water. I highly recommend it. It goes on easy, does indeed clean up with water and also does not smell at all like an oil based product. Once again, we sanded with fine grain sand paper between coats. Oh, I almost forgot--I used a different color on the inside than I did on the outside so that there would be a nice contrast. I wanted the china to be the focal point and not the color. So I did use the original antique white I had liked for that part.
7. Let it dry for quite a while. Again, patience is key here. We should have exercised more. Because we didn't we have a few dings in the paint where the doors stuck and where we bumped it while setting it up. If we had waited to move it and put it back together after it had cured, I don't think we would have had that problem.
8. Put it back together and place it where you want it.
9. Have a blast filling it with china--or whatever you want : )
I replaced the hardware on my hutch to help modernize it. Since I only needed 4 knobs I splurged and got them from Anthropologie. Target, World Market, Home Depot, etc. all have some cute knobs as well. There were two other designs I liked better--however they were too wide to be placed side by side on the door like these needed to be. Bummer. But these ones were cheaper than the others at least!
I love looking at this piece of furniture. It adds a lot to the house, it allows me to use my china when I have company, and I always think about how cheap (monetarily, not as far as time and effort go) it was. Since the hutch we've moved on to refinish a dresser for the girls' bedroom and are currently working on some wagon wheel bunk bed frames my parents gave me for Ezra's room.
Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma Giesbrecht for all your help on this project!