Monday, December 14, 2015

Unfinished Wood DIY: Dining Room Hutch

My husband and I have wanted a hutch/buffet/cabinet for our dining room for, well...ever. But have you seen how much a nice, well-made one costs? Argh. Needless to say, our dream hutch was on a never-ending backburner.

Alas! My husband's parents had this old, unfinished solid wood cabinet/hutch in storage for years; I noticed it collecting dust for a long time, and eventually I broached it with the hubby: "Think we could have that?"

It was unfinished, yes. The hardware was dated, yes. But FREE? You can't get a better deal. He was on board, and I like to think his parents are happy that one of their kids is using it.

The furniture in our dining room is black with an aged, distressed look to it. Black furniture isn't my favorite look per se, but you make do with what you have, right?

I watched some YouTube tutorials on painting furniture to give it that same look.

[The best one I found is on this blog, The Yellow Cape Cod].

Here's what I needed (much of which we already own because I'm obsessed with painting & refinishing projects):

Black Paint (Flat Black latex paint by Rustoleum)
Finishing Paste/Wax (Minwax)
Wood Stain Pen
4 new knobs and 2 pulls 

All that added up to about $50.

The rest was all a labor of love!
(And yes, it took a long time.)

Here's the base and top before I did anything:



Here's the after:

In short, here's what I did:

Removed all hardware
Lightly sanded entire unit
Painted one coat of primer (let dry)
Painted two coats of black paint (about a day apart)
Sanded edges and corners where I wanted it to look worn
Used a Wood Stain Pen (like this) over the newly exposed wood:
Let stain dry...
Applied a big glob of dark paste wax to a cheese cloth and rub it around the entire unit
Let the wax dry about 10 minutes, then wiped excess off with a cloth
Installed new hardware (I ordered mine from Home Depot)

We love it. We love it even more because we didn't go into debt buying it! Now we finally have a place to display beautiful wedding gifts that had been tucked away in the basement for years.

P.S. Curious what a hutch like this might cost at, say, Pottery Barn?

It's on "special" now for $2,799! I could buy a decent horse with that! Or a magnificent vacation! Or a lifetime supply of K-cups!

Oh, and before you go thinking, "Wow, she's really on top of things, painting a big piece of furniture like that with two little kids at her heels!" Let me tell you, friends, I've been itching to paint the dining room walls for FOUR YEARS! It has yet to happen. I also rarely vacuum, shave my legs, clean the kitchen, workout, or cook involved meals. You win some, you lose some, and I pick my battles :).

What about you? What projects are you hoping to tackle sooner rather than later?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Psssst! You can read a funny little post I wrote for Bon Bon Break here.

Subscribe to my newsletter!

* indicates required
Email Format


  1. Handsome hunk!! Ahem, hutch!!! I don't want to sound cheesy but it is understated elegance. Good Job!I am waiting for my afghan throw to finish itself. We stare at each other numerous times a day and say together, " nah! It ain't gonna happen!" Well,at least I am painting. That stops me from taking the plane to nowhere.;):)

    1. YES, you are painting! That is huge! I start to wither if I'm not creating something-- anything. Thank you for the hutch compliment :). I am very happy with how it turned out. It was definitely a labor of love.


I love hearing from you, and I always try to respond, so be sure to check back.