Transform your vintage china cabinets with beautiful china hutch makeovers.
Do you have a boring, outdated china hutch that is a relic from a bygone era collecting dust in your home? With just a few easy steps, you can take your old china cabinet and give it a fresh new look that will transform it into a show-stopping conversation piece.
DIY China Cabinet Makeover
First off, you'll need to determine what your reimagined hutch should look like. You don't need to break the bank to upgrade your home decor! Learn how to spruce up a tired china hutch without spending a fortune – all it takes is a few cans of paint, a little elbow grease, and some creative ideas!
If you don't have an old hutch to refinish there are lots of places to find one.
- Facebook marketplace finds
- Garage and estate sales
- Vintage markets
- Flea markets
When looking for an old hutch for your painted china cabinet makeover, it is best if your furniture piece is a wood one. If the piece has already been painted it can be hard to get a nice smooth finish. Look here for more assistance on finding the right piece of furniture.
Consider asking these questions:
- Is the wood a decent quality?
- Are the drawers functional?
- Do the hinges work?
- Are the glass shelves or glass doors broken or missing?
Furniture Makeover Supplies
You can use these same supplies for painting furniture that isn't a hutch, but wood furniture is best.
- Paint - Latex paint, chalk paint or milk paint
- Paint brush
- Paint sprayer (optional)
- Electric sander
- Sandpaper - 80 and 120 grit sandpaper
- Top coat - Clear wax or Poly acrylic sealant
- New hardware or you can use the original hardware
- Painter's tape - if you are doing two tone
Prep Work for Painting Entire Cabinet
The first step will be taking the hutch apart and removing all the hardware. It's a good idea to keep all of the hardware in a Ziplock bag in case you are planning on reusing any of it. But it's also nice to hang on to so you can determine the size of new hardware that you need.
Next, remove any and all glass. You can keep the glass if you want to reuse it. If you are painting the back of the cabinet a different color or replacing the back, remove that.
Removing everything you can will make the painting process easier and give you a much better finish.
Next, sand the entire piece with 80 grit sandpaper. You don't need to sand all the stain off. The goal is to just rough up the top coat so the paint color will stick well.
If there are dents or gashes in the wood, sometimes heavier sanding will remove these. Other times you might need to use a little bit of wood filler and then sand it down.
Once sanded, wipe or vacuum all the dust off before moving on to paint.
Prime and Paint
First, apply primer to your furniture piece. Once primed it is time for a coat of paint. I found the most durable way to paint a hutch was with latex paint, but I have used milk paint and chalk paint many times. Apply at least two coats of paint.
However, to get a really good smooth finish I would recommend using a paint sprayer instead of a paintbrush. If you are painting by hand, I get a better finish with milk paint or chalk paint. They all turned out beautiful.
Top Coat for China Hutch Makeovers
After your paint is dry, you may want to do a light sanding before applying a protective top coat like a poly acrylic or a clear furniture wax. This will help with a smooth exterior and longevity. You can also use a glaze to create the look of an old piece.
New Hardware and Finishing Touches
When your piece is dry and sealed, install new hardware and finishing touches.
Latex hutches are my favorite furniture paints. For this piece I applied 2 coats of paint then used a glaze to antique slightly, followed by a poly acrylic to seal it.
As part of the finishing touches on this hutch, I used a little colored paint for the bead board backing at the back of the cabinet. The two tone color combination creates a fun accent and all the details pop with the glaze.
I love the contrast that the colored backing gives with this particular piece.
Feel free to leave out glass and just have open shelving to style your decorations or you can even add chicken wire for a more rustic look.
It is even fun to do a 2 tone hutch. Using a different color on the beautiful details can help them pop.
If you want to add a little bit of color with out it being too bold. I nice subtle blue with a grey undertone is always a great option.
A white paint or other neutral colors are always a good option for a china hutch makeover. But if you want to get a little creative, a bold color can change the look of the china cabinet.
Every hutch has such a different style. Refinishing the wood countertop of a hutch adds a warmth to the piece.
For this painted china hutch makeover, I used chicken wire in place of glass inserts in the doors. Chicken wire is a great way to create a farmhouse style hutch. You can also see how I created a chicken wire sign to hang in my entry way.
Milk Paint Hutches
Milk paint is a wonderful medium to use on your furniture project. Take a look here to learn how you can get a smooth finish with milk paint.
China Hutch Makeovers - Chalk Painted
These two hutches were transitioned into chalk-painted curio cabinets, but essentially are very similar to a china hutch.
I replaced the glass with bead board and wire for a more enclosed cabinet.
Painted China Hutch Makeovers
Don't be intimidated – anyone can create a beautiful china hutch makeover, from experienced DIYers to first-timers. Make sure your treasured family heirloom doesn't just fade away. Give it the makeover it deserves!
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