Big Purple Hutch

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This hutch has been with me for a little while now. I bought it when I was living in North Carolina at this really cool antique furniture shop (BTW, amazing antiques in the deep south!!) and hauled it home from Raleigh strapped to the roof of my car with an hour and 15 minute drive. Totally worth it! At the time I was just getting into furniture building and refinishing and I had first learned of chalk paint and waxing so that’s what I did to this piece, and purple to boot. Not my best work but again, I was just learning. There have always been elements of this hutch I haven’t loved right from the get-go such as the legs, and I always wanted to change and do something with it but never did anything about it until….. . As the story goes, I had let my 10 year old son demolish a very old and flimsy book shelf with a sledge hammer because I couldn’t get it up the stairs from my basement without it falling apart. What could be more fun for a boy, right? The sledge hammer was left downstairs, sitting right next to the big purple hutch and one day I just got bored and curious. Kind of like, when you look at a wall with a corner of old wall paper lifting up and you grab it, pull it and take a big chunk off. Oops, now there’s the motivation to finally tackle the project and do something about it because you can’t leave it like that. Ya, I took the hammer and whacked the crap out of it. Broke it, now it have to fix it! Hey, you never get anywhere in life just staying stagnant, right? So glad I swung that hammer because I would never have the beautiful piece I have now that is so much more functional, modern, and fun! Never see things as a mistake, only an opportunity to find a solution.


Materials:

  • Sledge hammer
  • Heat gun
  • Putty spatula
  • Orbital sander
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • 320 grit sandpaper
  • Miter saw
  • 1 ½” x ½” poplar board
  • Furniture oil
  • Drill
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Primer
  • Furniture legs
  • Adhesive wallpaper
  • 1 ¼” wood screws

Instructions:

 
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First and best part of this project was demo time. Removing the glass door and unscrewing anything that could come apart before swinging the sledge hammer, I knocked off the front panels, drawer sides, and legs. This truly was a moment of not having a plan before jumping in there, but just knowing there were certain aspects of the hutch I didn’t like and wanted them gone. Figuring out a solution would come afterwards, knowing what I had left to work with. I find the excitement in the unknown!

 
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I realized there was a lot of wood veneer on this piece and, like lifting up a corner of old carpet and discovering beautiful hardwood flooring, I started removing all that old veneer. The best way I found was to use a heat gun on the highest setting, heating up the veneer, and sliding a putty spatula underneath to lift it off. Pretty slick!

Sure enough, there was beautiful wood underneath that needed to shine!

Once all of it was removed, I sanded everything down starting with an 80 grit, then 180, and finishing off with a 320 to get buttery smooth.

 
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I didn’t want this entire piece to be solid wood because I though it would look too boring. So, I mixed it up by keeping it part wood and another part painted in navy blue. It is a beautiful contrast. Before painting my color, I made sure to prime first.

On the parts that I left wood, I wanted to keep all the beauty of the wood grain since it had been covered up with wood veneer for……well, ever! So, all I added was some furniture oil to let the wood grain and natural color pop. Absolutely love the simplicity!

 
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For the “wow factor” I applied a large floral print decal to the inside back of the hutch. You can find beautiful printed wallpaper for this. I happen to have a family that owns a sign business, so it was a bit of a treat for me to sit down and design this print myself and print it off on vinyl. This truly makes it a custom, one of a kind!

 
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Because this unit didn’t have shelf brackets before, I had to cut some pieces of poplar board on the miter saw to the same width as my shelf, sand them, prime them, paint them and install them with some wood screws.

 
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I really did not care for the thick, spindle legs that were original to the hutch. So, I found some really cool cast iron legs from Hobby Lobby and screwed them to the bottom of the hutch for some gorgeous new legs.

Shelves were put back in place and the hutch was carried back inside to it’s new spot in my home.

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Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!! What more can I say other than good bye big purple hutch and hello gorgeous!!

Cami TannerComment