• Decor / Decorating Tips / DIY / Kitchens

    How to Update an Old Hutch {Before & After}

    You know those unfinished projects that sit around in your home for months on end, with the hope that you WILL get to them one day? Ya, we all have them. Sitting there, collecting dust and more and more promises that they will one day, get worked on. 

    Well, this past Labour day weekend, the hubby and I decided to finally tackle one of those projects! Last summer, we purchased an old buffet and hutch from Kijiji (Canada’s version of Craiglist), for $80. It had already been “refinished” but not well. 

    How to Update an Old Hutch

    For starters, when the previous owner was placing it into our van, he dropped it and one of the panes of glass shattered. So it’s literally sat for a year, in our kitchen, with a piece of glass missing, while we debated what we wanted to do about the broken glass (you probably can’t even tell which side is missing the glass in the picture!). We thought about replacing it, but then quickly realized, that would work because the two side doors don’t open. Then we thought about breaking the other side pane of glass and putting chicken wire on both sides. But, that seemed like a lot of work. So, it sat for a little longer, unfinished. 

    how to update an old hutch

    After a few months of staring at it, I decided that it looked too closed in and that I couldn’t really see anything in there. Hubby also hated the color. It had quite the glossy finish on it which he also wasn’t a fan on.

    So, this past weekend, we came up with a final plan and just went for it. My husband basically rebuilt most of the hutch part. He took off all the doors, cut down the side trim, took apart the glass shelves and cleaned up the inside (it was full of random nails, cords and a light). He built new shelves and put on new trim to finish off the look.

    This is the ONLY “during” picture that I got! I’m not good at stopping and taking progress pictures (although I did ‘snap’ a few pictures and videos for my SnapChat followers. If you want to follow along, my username is amidstthechaos).

    IMG_7715Then I mixed up some chalk paint, using our Benjamin Moore “Chelsea Gray” paint and went to town on painting this piece. It took me FOREVER! I really loved the recipe I used (I will do a post on that soon), but it was a little thin, so that meant multiple coats. And there are so many crevices and finer details that I had to take my time with. 

    After three coats of the chalk paint, it was time to wax. If I thought painting three coats was time consuming, I had another thing coming with the wax coat. You have to wax over top of chalk paint and as you apply the wax, you have to buff it out…so it’s almost like doing two things at once. Lots and lots of “elbow grease” put into this. BUT…the end result is better than we expected! 

    how to update an old hutch

    I absolutely love the open look of these shelves now. I went through and really edited which pieces I wanted to display. I even went into my cupboard and pulled out some of our white serving dishes to put on display.

    So if you have been thinking about redoing an old hutch, I would make sure you set aside a few days, because it is a BIG project. But it is SO worth it! Don’t be afraid to take down the doors and open the shelving up. By purchasing inexpensive trim at the hardware store, you can finish the front of the shelves to make it look like it was in fact built exactly like that. This project cost us about $20 of materials, using paint we already had.

    how to update an old hutch

    When it comes to styling your hutch (or any open shelving, for that matter), make sure to shop your home first. You will be amazed at what you can find. And as I said, open up your kitchen cupboards and see what you can put on display from in there. For mine, I used the white serving trays and bowls, a cutting board, a punch bowl and a few smaller bowls. 

    Then add in your thrifted finds. I found this amazing metal scoop at my local Value Village and I knew it would look amazing on the shelf. If there are any items that your family is no longer using, ask if you can have them. For example, my mom’s old dish set, that she started collecting before she was married (over 34 years ago), she had packed away in a box. So I asked if I could have it to display in our kitchen! I love having pieces like that, that tell a story!

    Finally, you want to add in some crafty pieces. I made the EAT sign from letters that I got at Hobby Lobby and then modge podged them with paper. I also wanted to add in a little bit of nature, so I found some pine cones in a box (that I’m pretty sure are Christmas decorations, but that’s ok). I then went out to the field behind our home and snipped a few dried flowers to finish the look!

    how to update an old hutch

    how to update an old hutch how to update an old hutch how to update an old hutch

    how to update an old hutchI’d say the before and after is pretty incredible! The whole piece looks twice the size. It feels like there’s more “breathing” space…it’s not so confined, not so closed in. And by darkening the color of the hutch, it really makes our pieces stand out that much more.

    For less than $100 dollars, we not only got a buffet/hutch, but we were able to update the entire thing and bring it back to life!

    how to update an old hutch

    I want to know what projects you have been putting off in your home? Let me know in the comments below and let me encourage you to get to them this coming weekend!

    Love & Blessings,



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  • Reply Ashlyn September 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    WOW! This turned out BEAUTIFUL! Now I wish I had a hutch in my home! I love the paint color you used- it definitely opens up the display. I think that’s awesome that you included your mother’s collection, too! That really adds more meaning to the whole hutch display! This was great. I’m horrible at taking progress pictures too btw hahaha!

  • Reply Danielle Greco September 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Love this! I seriously looks adorable! I like the gray color you chose 🙂 . The story about the glass is hilarious! Sometimes it’s so hard to choose what to do with old furnature, I have an old desk/dresser that I just cannot decide on… someday I will ! Great post!!
    Danielle Greco

  • Reply Leslie Wilkie September 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’ve never ever wanted an old hutch until now! I love it! I totally want to do one 🙂

    • Reply Christine October 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Yay! They are fun for your display items!

  • Reply Kelsey September 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    What a transformation!!! I love it!!!!! I also love your styling of the shelves – I’m planning to do shelves soon – so I will for sure be pinning this for ideas!! 🙂

    • Reply Christine October 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Awesome! Thanks Kelsey! xox

  • Reply Brittany Bergman September 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    This looks SO amazing!! I love the color you picked! I totally see what you mean about it looking closed off before. I have a much smaller piece of furniture I want to refinish for the baby’s room, but it’s been sitting there collecting dust for months! Thanks for inspiring me to get to it. I’ve never done a furniture project before, so we’ll see how this goes!

  • Reply Anali Martinez September 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I LOVE it!!! The grey and white compliment each other so well! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kara Benz September 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Wow! What a transformation! I love the color that you chose and it turned out amazing 🙂

  • Reply Laura September 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Seriously! Is there no end to your talents?!? Looks amazing!

  • Reply Nina September 10, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I love that hutch! I’m loving all things gray right now and that’s the exact color I want to paint our dresser. Great job! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply LiNdsay September 10, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    It looks like a completely different piece of furniture. I love it!!

  • Reply Keisha September 11, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Amazing job! Love the colours! Xo

  • Reply Jo-Anne September 11, 2015 at 7:13 am

    It has completely been transformed. Looks beautiful and larger/wider. Dad loves it too. Can’t wait to see it today. Great job guys.

  • Reply Anjuli Johnson September 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Gorgeous!! I need an extra push of courage to finish some diy projects… thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Mandie from YellowDogPinkPig September 14, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Love the gray! Ilooks great.


  • Reply Shelly September 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

    What a beautiful transformation! It was lovely to begin with, but wow! I love the dark gray contrasted with the white decor. Now I want to hit up Goodwill and get in on some projects. 🙂

    • Reply Christine October 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks! Hopefully you find a treasure soon!

  • Reply Liz Jo September 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Wow I love it!!! Definitely a brand new hutch.

    liz jo @ sundays with sophie

  • Reply Penny Struebig September 14, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Great job! I love the new look.

  • Reply Megan @ A Dash of Megnut September 15, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Seriously so gorgeous! and I LOVE those “EAT” letters! so cute!

  • Reply jessica September 15, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    This turned out GREAT! Although neutral in color, the decor pieces pop very nicely. Love the style of the piece and the paint color chosen.

  • Reply Shayah Isabella September 16, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Wow!! It’s amazing what a little elbow grease, paint, and determination can accomplish! The update looks absolutely beautiful and I love the Chelsea Grey – great job!

  • Reply Jaclyn September 17, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Ahh I absolutely loooove the gray paint on that hutch!!! And you styled it so cute!

  • Reply Jennifer June 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Christine! I am just seeing this post. I wondered if you ever shared your paint recipe thst you used for this project. It’s beautiful! Just the color I was looking for!

    • Reply Christine July 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I used chalk paint by Benjamin Moore ‘Chelsea Gray’.

  • Reply Blair September 2, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    This is exactly what I was looking for! I just bought a similar cabinet for $40. It’s missing glass and shelves as well, so I thought I’d just remove the doors, add shelves and paint. So glad I found your post so I know it will turn out well, rather than just taking a shot in the dark!

    • Reply Christine September 5, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      So glad to hear! Best of luck with your project!

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