My husband and I are only the second owners of a 1960 ranch-style home. I don’t know very much about the people who built it, but I do know they were also a young family with four kids when they moved in. They raised their family here and lived here until they died in their nineties.
Oh man, I’m getting sentimental just typing this. It feels like we’ve got big shoes to fill in this house! Though it sorely needed updates by the time we moved in, it’s clear they took pride in this home. Our goal is to update it to our needs and tastes while preserving the character of the original.
The family who built our home was very partial to built-ins, something I’m enjoying-they add a lot of character! One of these built-ins is an enormous wood hutch in the dining room. It is clearly high quality and very beautiful, just wasn’t quite to my taste originally.
Here’s the original:
Very early on in our renovation process, I decided that I wanted this piece to be red. I spent some time on Pinterest looking at images of painted red furniture for inspiration and never found anything that really spoke to me, but I remained determined to paint it red.
Prior to beginning this project, I had already selected a Benjamin Moore paint for our kitchen cabinets, so I decided to look at some red chips when I went to pick up my kitchen paint. I wound up buying two samples of Benjamin Moore, Moroccan Red and Red Parrot.
Red Parrot is on the left, Moroccan Red on the right. I immediately disliked Red Parrot due to its too-bright, orangey quality. I’m always amazed by how different a paint color can look once it’s applied- applying paint samples is definitely not an optional step!
When we began this hutch project, we had already tackled painting the kitchen cabinets. We knew that we wanted this project to be simpler, so we decided on a whitewash-style approach, which would allow the wood’s natural grain to show through.
The first step was to wash the hutch. We then applied liquid sandpaper with clean lint-free rags, to remove the glossy finish and help our paint adhere.
Next, we removed the hardware: the doors, the hinges, and the handles. Originally, I planned to replace all the hinges, but the hinges on this piece turned out to be of an unusual design that would have been difficult to switch out. We decided to re-install the original hinges.
I diluted the paint with water with a ratio of 2 parts paint, 1 part water. When we first brushed some onto the prepared hutch I attempted the classic whitewashing technique of letting it sit for a few minutes and then wiping it off, but I found that this approach removed far more of the paint than I wanted. Instead, we proceeded with painting the entire thing with the diluted paint, without wiping it.
After painting the entire hutch and the doors, we left it all to cure for a day. We then replaced the hinges, placed the new knobs, and re-hung the doors. Only one coat of paint was used for this project.
After the time and effort required to paint our kitchen cabinets, I was very pleasantly surprised by how quick this project was. It was easily completed in a weekend. Also, we painted the entire hutch with just the sample can of paint, making it extremely affordable as well! This may not have been possible had we not diluted the paint.
All in all, I’m very happy with this piece.
Questions about the process? What do you think of the transformation? Let me know in the comments!