Remaking a Hutch – Cabinet for our Dinning Room

Remaking a Hutch – Cabinet for our Dinning Room

remaking a hutch

I love dishes, and fun display pieces for the kitchen.  I have collected a lot over the years!  Most of them we use somewhat regularly too.  Especially when we have guests over.  You can even see them from time to time in my reviews for photos.  I am always on the hunt for somewhere nice to be able to store them all and display some at the same time.

I did have this 9 cubby shelf I picked up in Alaska, but after a few long moves, the shelf was not stable.  I had 2 small cabinets/cubes from Walmart but again, after a couple moves and one terrible move…..they were not exactly usable any more.

So, I was on Craigslist one afternoon, just kinda browsing and ran across this hutch.  It was posted for $10 and had the best lines, exactly what I was looking for.  It needed some work though, so I emailed the owner right away but had to wait for the Hubs to get home before getting it.

Luckily it was only 2 blocks away and Hubs picked it up after work.  Upon looking closer at it, the whole piece is 2 pieces with 4 doors.  2 glass doors and 2 solid.  The exterior of the piece was covered in cheap plastic laminate, which was missing in areas and chipped in several others.  The inside, was solid stained wood.  It was pretty, I am not sure why the outside was not finished in the same way but it was not.  It also smelled funny, like old moth balls and funky feet.  Not pleasant….

I came up with a plan.  I used an iron and a scraper to remove the damaged laminate areas.  I left the other areas that were not damaged alone.  I think if I were to do it over again, the only laminate I would leave on the entire piece was the server top and solid doors, and remove everything else but that is not what I did this time.

This is not my first remake, check out our kids kitchen post to see previous furniture projects but this was the first one I did just for myself.

Priming the laminate

After removing the damaged laminate, I primed everything – except the server top and doors.  I used Kilz primer because that stuff sticks to everything! First, I taped off the top of the server to make sure it stayed nice, and removed the doors.  I cleaned it very well.  Just like I learned over at Sawdust and Embryos, if you are doing a project – check out some of her awesome tips and funny stories.

I left the primer to dry over night, both times!  Primer is so important you do not want to rush this step, especially on laminate.  If you do, your final paint will scratch right off in sheets.  It would be so sad to loose all the hard work because of rushing this step.

I did two coats of primer.  The laminate was so dark I did not want to risk messing up my final paint because I was going with a light color.  My finishing colors are Slightly Bitter Absinthe, and Antique White (both from Walmart) and then I left some of the original brown in there as well.

I wanted to keep one side of the unit a bit different than the rest, a place to put photos – Christmas cards and the like.  And break up the look of the whole unit, which is highly visible from the front door.  Its a big piece of furniture, and is taller than Hubs (who is 6’4″).

Using foam core board, quilt stuffing, fabric, and ribbon – I drew out the dimensions of the sides, and then covered the board in stuffing and fabric.  I used the tacks to hold it temporarily in place, but then I used hot glue to secure everything once it was certain that the fabric was straight.  I even found a fabric that matched my paint color!  Then I used ribbon, in criss crossing patterns to create a grid which will hold cards, and photos.

     These panels are attached to the top and bottom pieces using the command velcro strips, and a piece of ribbon on the edge completes the panels so you can not see the velcro behind them.
     I did not change anything about the glass doors for the display.  They remain exactly how they were.  The upper cabinet is Antique White and Slightly Bitter Absinthe.  The only green portions are interior background and the top trim.  I left the shelves in the original stained wood color.


     On the bottom cabinet the only green is the top trim and 2 of the 3 door stripes.  To create the stripes on the doors I measured and taped them off using painters tape and then primed them twice.  Then I added the color.  Each stripe is unique.  I knew that I would never get them to be exactly the same width so I went for vastly different, rather than having it not be perfect and look like a woopsie.


I still need to rehang my dining room art work on the wall.  I wish I could put the hutch in the center of the wall, but then it would block the heat vent and be 10 inches from the wall so for now its on the left side.  I just love the look of the whole display, with all my favorite items!  One of my favorite items in the house, and it is very me!


  1. Wow!! That turned out amazing!

  2. It looks fantastic!