A Devil of a Hutch

Eight years ago I spotted this hutch at an antique fair and just knew I had to have it.

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The piece isn’t very sturdy (it’s made of only plywood and pine) and it needed A LOT of TLC.  But, it had so much character and I loved the hand carved detailing and antique glass.  Plus, the seller knocked 40% off the price (I’m a sucker for a deal).  When I bought it I was a newlywed with no kids, no dogs and I just knew I would have plenty of time to give it a makeover, however, I somehow managed to find other things to do.  Fast forward 8 years, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 4 moves later and there it still sat, with no love and now I really didn’t have any time on my hands. One day last summer, for some inexplicable reason, I woke up and thought, “NOW is the time!”  So what if I had to refinish the piece in my garage…in Texas…in July?  GREAT idea!  So, off I went to purchase supplies…

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Since I don’t want to bore you to tears, I won’t go into each detailed step of the refinishing process (feel free to ask me questions about it, though).  But, I am going to tell you Citristrip is the most amazing stuff ever.  It makes removing old varnish a breeze….And I had LOTS of old varnish to remove.  Let’s take a look at all of the before shots, shall we?

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It  had clearly seen better days.  After stripping off the varnish, the hutch looked like this (sorry, no pics of the top half.  I think it melted)…

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Now, keep in mind I am in the midst of a Texas summer, with ZERO wind.  At this point, I really wanted to forget the whole thing.  I was in hell, dripping sweat, and my hutch was mocking me.  She was the devil and I just assumed use her as firewood the next winter.   Seriously.  Then, I added the first coat of gel stain.  Hmmm, did I just feel the hint of a breeze?

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So, I carried on and am so glad I did.  After a week in the heat, this was my end result…

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No more reddish, uneven, chipped, neglected finish.  My hutch is now a rich, even chocolaty brown.  Here is a side by side before and after comparison…

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Isn’t she beautiful?!  So, was refinishing this piece in a garage when it was eleventy billion degrees worth it?  You bet!  Not only did I sweat off 5 pounds (bonus!), but I have a piece that I will be proud of for years to come.

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3 thoughts on “A Devil of a Hutch

  1. I have a hutch that was my grandmothers in about the same shape. I’ll send you a picture and tell me what you think I should do. I was thinking about painting it.

  2. Pingback: My Favorite Things (Part 1) | A Nester's Nest

  3. Pingback: A Reflection on Round Top | A Nester's Nest

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