A new adventure with an old hutch

After the first two coats of paint on Cindy’s gorgeous hutch, I decided that I would make this a two-part blog series.  There have been a lot of steps throughout this process since it’s such a large piece of furniture.  Plus, I want to keep you coming back!!  Once again, my darling daughter, Jordan is editing my lengthy tutorial clips.  It has been a learning experience to say the least!  First and foremost, I am learning that I need a better lead in to each clip than “um and so”  Stay tuned at the end of this tutorial segment to view a nice gag reel brought to you by Jordan.  It’s funny and embarrassing, but there is also that sense of pride because my daughter is hilarious and a reflection of me!  Enjoy!

I have very quickly decided that it’s too time consuming to get myself all cleaned up to work on furniture.  It has been blazing hot outside and super humid.  It’s completely unrealistic, especially when I’m working on this large piece in my toasty garage!  Chip Gaines sweats while Joanna must have a constant cool breeze on her sweet face. For this tutorial, I am a sweaty Chip Gaines! I apologize for my appearance in advance!  Keep  your eyes on the furniture!

My childhood friend Cindy told me a few months ago that she wanted me to keep an eye out for a hutch for her dining room.  I have only painted one – my kitchen hutch – but it was a fun project!  A few months later (they were a busy few months) I ran into Cindy and remembered her hutch search so I began looking.  Facebook for sale pages are wonderful!  You can find great bargains.  You can also find things quite overpriced.  This hutch was a steal! I found it in the morning and she had picked it up that same afternoon!  No messing around.

After discussing colors, she decided that she wanted a yellow shade at the request of her daughter, Jennalee.  We browsed around for different tones – Pinterest is amazing for this!!  You can seriously put in General Finishes buttermilk milk paint (yes, I meant the double milk) and it will pull up pieces of furniture painted in this color! It’s a great way to do research.  In our hunting, we found some two toned pieces.  By this, I mean that it has a base color that shows through after the top color is distressed.  Cindy decided that she wanted a blue paint with a yellow top coat.  Yellow can be a hard color.  You want something bright and summery in your room.  You find the shade that is exactly what you’re looking for and it literally looks like a dandelion exploded in your space.  I know this because I have done this, twice.  With my hutch, my mom said, you are going to want to tone that yellow down just a bit.  I knew best and decided to paint the brighter yellow.  Dandelion explosion.  I ended up adding cream paint and redoing it.  The other time was my son’s room and a University of Iowa theme.  It was more mustard explosion than dandelion, but it’s grown on me.  Anyway, we decided on General Finishes Coastal blue and Buttermilk yellow.  Both gorgeous and complimenting colors!  This color chart is a huge help when deciding!  Milk Paint Color Chart48818cf019382ec5e41d38e94c7134e5--woodcraft-stores-color-charts

When doing such a transformation, I want to dig in and start painting right away! Unfortunately, unless you do plain tables all of the time, you are going to have at least some hardware to remove.  This hutch has a bunch.  Drawer knobs, door pulls, door stoppers, glass holders, and hinges.  It was quite time-consuming.  I was feeling super ambitious with my screwdriver but then decided quickly that a power drill would speed up the process.  Make sure to keep all of your hardware together – I always keep 1 gallon plastic bags handy for this.  You can label them, too if you’re working on other projects.  Once I had all of the hardware removed, I did a light sanding on a few rough spots and then started in with my painting.  Milk paint is wonderful and adheres easily to most surfaces.  This is a solid oak cabinet so I knew we’d be just fine.

The Coastal Blue immediately added a deep richness to the chest.  I will admit that I was a little nervous throughout the start of this project wondering how the pale yellow was going to cover the blue, but it does!  And it’s beautiful!  To get full coverage of the paint without wood grain showing through required two coats.  I find that this is the norm.  You want to try and keep your brush strokes going in the same direction.  I know this can sometimes be hard, but it keeps it a little more uniform.  I was also reading some of the FAQs on the General Finishes site and found some information that I didn’t know.  My husband finds this absolutely hilarious because I am not one who is known for reading directions.  (I’m a habitual skimmer – unless it’s an amazing book!) This milk paint is designed to harden as it dries.  Which is one reason that it’s so amazing to use and super durable.  They say it’s best to sand within 2-3 hours of being painted.  That being said, I have always been able to distress my pieces even if it’s been days after painting.  I just think it’s easier the earlier you are able to start.  It’s nice to know there is a resource page to go to at the General Finishes site for any questions you may have. This is an image after the first two coats of blue.  Will that creamy yellow really cover??

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It was a glorious day last week when my mom and I stopped by the Woodsmith store to stock up.  As I’ve said in the past, the ladies there are so helpful to answer questions.  And if they can’t answer it, they will find someone who can.  We were there for quite a while chatting and sharing pictures of projects that we have proudly completed.  When we left, I had 3 quarts of paint in different and very beautiful shades, and one quart of General Finishes High Performance Waterbased Top Coat.  That is quite a mouthful!  I chatted with the Woodsmith sales lady and she highly recommended it.  She also recommended adding a layer of the topcoat between the navy and yellow.  The wonderful thing about this is that its non toxic.  While it’s probably never fabulous to be inhaling any kind of fumes, this one isn’t bad at all.  It comes in matte, satin, and gloss.  I like a little bit of luster but not a ton of shine so I normally use satin finish.  satin

Another thing she recommended was a sponge applicator.  I picked up a couple of these Shur-line Handi Painters at Walmart.  I also grabbed a couple of sponge painters in various sizes for getting into the curves, nooks and crannies.  Such a different process!!  After thoroughly stirring the top coat (do not shake because it infuses bubbles) I poured it into a small paint tray so I could dip the applicator in and then squeeze off the excess.  I was able to carefully slide the applicator across the top and front of each surface.  I was learning as I went along since this was a new process to me, too.   I needed to make sure that the sponge was saturated enough that it coated and didn’t wipe the poly off as I went along. – The first coat is always the easiest.  The paint has a matte tone to it.  In contrast, the top coat generally has some sheen.  With the first coat, you can tell from the matte to shine what has been coated and what hasn’t.  Be careful to watch for any drips or build up because it will dry thicker and discolored. –  After using the handi painter to add the top coat, I went across it lightly with a sponge brush to make sure it wasn’t too thick and to get those drips and buildup.  This top coat dries in just a couple of hours which is amazing!  You can complete a piece in just one day!

This portion of the project was done within the first 24 hours.  Twenty-four hours that also included a wonderful birthday party for one of my great-nieces, Charlotte Grace.  Happy birthday little peanut!  After finishing this part, I decided that it would be best to break this into two segments so you will have to stay tuned for the second portion coming soon! (Even though I am done and DIYing to share the final results! I crack me up!)  The transformation is amazing and I look forward to doing another project like this again soon!

Disclaimer – I do not recommend painting in white shorts.  While I didn’t get any paint on mine that afternoon, there is always that risk.  In fact, that was a lucky day!  I generally walk away from every painting experience with smears, drips, and splatters in random places.  I must have been feeling particularly cocky that day!  Ha!  Find something old or something that you don’t mind getting paint on.  It’s inevitable

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