Antique Hutch Revamp (Part 1 of 2)

So it all started with a text from my mom (Jan)…
She wrote, “Look what I got today for FREE!”

Attached was the above picture.
Isn’t she gorgeous? Jan’s friend recently moved, and didn’t have room for this vintage hutch. Luckily, Jan acted quickly and brought it home with her before anyone else could snatch her up. (Way to go Janimal!)
So, I planned a weekend trip home specifically to meet my new beautiful hutch

Me: Hey there beautiful…
Hutch: Silence.
Me: Let’s strip you down and stain you up (rubbing the wood beneath my fingertips)
Hutch: Silence.

Okay, enough with me being a creep to furniture.
When I originally saw the hutch in the above picture, I thought I would paint her white.

But, upon closer inspection I realized it would be a sin (a sin I tell ya!) to cover it with paint.

The details were just way too ornate and handcrafted to cover up with paint.

But I definitely had to do something to her. Look at the top of the piece…

The wood was dry and in need of some TLC. There were also some water spots that needed attention.

Aren’t the antique knobs and pulls absolutely GORGEOUS?!

But they too, needed some TLC.

So I came up with a game plan to re-store the hutch: Condition the wood and deepen the natural color, and give the hardware a nice new shine!
I also wanted to cover up the flowers on the top part of the hutch. Yes, they were painted on there so beautifully, but it’s just not my style (don’t hate me!)

Here is what I gathered to get ready for this project…

Palm Sander
120 & 220 Grit Sandpaper
Sanding Block
Minwax Polyshades in American Chestnut Satin ($8)
Wood Stain Paint Brush
Noxon Metal Polish ($6)
Drop Cloth
Clean Cloths
Steel Wool
TOTAL: $14
My first step was to remove the hardware…
And then sand down the piece, making sure to smooth out any damaged parts of the top.
I used 220 grit sandpaper for the front and sides of the piece. And then a coarser 120 grit for the top.
I also sanded down the top of the mirror piece, to get rid of the painted flowers (goodbye!)
Then, after wiping off any excess dust, dirt, or wood shavings I cracked open the stain.
It is VERY IMPORTANT to go in the direction of the grain of the wood. Just trust me on this one!
Also, make sure you don’t glob on too much stain. There will be plenty of time to deepen the color, in the next 2 coats.
Just after one thin coat, I noticed a huge improvement!
Here’s the entire hutch after just one coat of stain.
And here is the top piece…
Lookin’ good already!
The stain directions said to wait at least 6 hours before applying the next coat. So I let the hutch sit overnight.
While watching the Olympics (go USA!), Jan and I polished up the hardware.
And what a difference it made!
The next morning, I lightly sanded down the furniture with steel wool. This got rid of any stickiness from the first coat of stain.
I then stained that bad boy again, and again. 3 coats in all.
Sadly, this is not the end where I show a fabulous before and after picture of the hutch. This is the time where I wait 6 days for the hutch to be driven from Chicago to St. Louis (by the one and only Janimal..don’t I just have the best mom?!)
So I promise in Part 2, you will absolutely get that satisfying before and after picture. In the meantime, I’m dreaming up how to decorate and accessorize this new piece of furniture for our home…