Update your old china cabinet with a little bit of paint and stain! Here’s a great step by step antique china hutch makeover to get inspiration for your own china cabinet!
Painted china cabinets can breathe new life into seemingly outdated and uninspiring antique pieces of furniture. With some simple steps, materials and a little bit of creativity, you can transform your old china hutch into something stylish and modern.
In this blog post we’ll be taking you through the process of giving an antique china hutch a makeover, step by step.
We’ll discuss what materials to use, painting techniques and more, so that you feel confident tackling your own project in no time!
This is by far my FAVORITE style of furniture. There isn’t anything quite like Jacobean style pieces, their detail and round feet get me every time.
(Check out this other Jacobean buffet that Natalie painted in this black painted antique buffet makeover!)
This particular piece was sourced for a client that shares the same warm and cozy feelings for these depression-era pieces that we do, so once we got this piece in our workshop we couldn’t wait to get started.
Supplies Used for Antique China Hutch Makeover
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- Krud Kutter
- Plastic Wood Filler
- Surfprep Electric Ray 3 x 4 **Use code RAY10 for 10% off your SurfPrep Order!
- Tack Cloth
- Oil Based Spray Primer
- Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Satin Trim Enamel in Steamed Milk
- Spray Gun (I used the Fuji Semi-Pro 2)
- General Finishes Walnut Stain
- Annie Sloan Clear Wax + Dark Wax
- Wax Brush
- Lint Free Cloth
- Nylon Wire Brush
- Bar Keepers Friend
- Rustoleum 2x Ultracoat Matte Clear
Here’s our list of the best painting furniture supplies that we use on every makeover.
Cleaning Antique China Hutch
The first and most important step in refinishing furniture is to clean and prep, so we grabbed our Krud Kutter, gloves, and a shop towel and got to work!
I sprayed our favorite, Krud Kutter, and used a shop towel to wipe away the dirt and grime.
Then we repeated this process a few times, making sure to rinse with clean water when we were sure the oils and leftover residue were removed from the surface.
We then let the piece dry for a bit before moving on to the next step.
Fixing Damage on A China Cabinet
Working on older pieces, it can almost always be guaranteed that there will be some areas of cosmetic imperfections. Here are our tips for repairing old furniture.
While these are charming and nothing to shy away from, we used some plastic wood filler, applied with a small spreader to fill any small cracks that stood out after cleaning.
Get our list of the best wood fillers for furniture here.
** If you have major damage to the veneer or chipped wood, check out the best way to fix chipped wood furniture here!
Get the Secrets!
Grab this super convenient How to Repair Furniture Ebook with all of our secrets on how to repair furniture for only $14. You can print it out and have instant access whenever you come across damaged furniture, and know exactly how to fix it!
Click on the picture of the book to purchase!
Scuff Sanding Before Painting Hutch
After it dried, I lightly sanded all of the repaired areas smooth with a 350 grit sandpaper since plastic wood is so easily smoothed and then continued to scuff sand the rest of the piece to ensure the paint would adhere.
**Read our honest review on the SurfPrep sander here.
The advantage of using the SurfPrep Sander is that it has flexible sanding pads that bend and mold to the shape of what you are sanding without damaging the profile of the piece.
I started with a coarse sanding pad and worked up to a medium, making sure to remove all dust with the oil-free tack cloth.
How to Sand Furniture Legs
Since the client requested stained legs and shelves with a painted body, the next step was to hand sand any recessed areas that had the old stain, which was minimal sanding since the SurfPrep Sander and flex pads get in the nooks and crannies pretty well.
Learn more ways to strip or sand furniture legs in this post on how to refinish wood furniture legs.
**Check out how to prevent overspray when painting furniture with the 3M plastic tape here!
Next, it was time to prime.
Priming China Hutch
Check out my Zinsser Cover Stain Primer Review here to learn more.
Then I made sure to remove dust with the tack cloth. We did two coats to ensure there wouldn’t be any bleed through once painted.
What is bleed through? Check out this post on how to stop stains from coming through paint to learn what bleed through is and why we prime to prevent it.
Oil and water based products can be used together, as long as the recommended dry time is observed. So, after 72 hours, it was time for the fun part, painting!
Painting China Hutch
Check out my honest Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel review here and learn more about painting furniture with a sprayer here.
Here’s my list of the best white paint for furniture.
Making sure to lightly sand and remove the dust in between coats.
This paint has a long 4 hour dry time, so it is very important to keep that in mind when recoating.
Staining Hutch Legs and Shelves
I applied it with a foam brush and rubbed it back after each coat with a blue shop towel. Check out the best brushes for staining wood here. Read through this post to learn how to restain wood furniture.
Antiquing Hutch with Wax
After everything was dry, even though this paint does not necessarily need a top coat, my client wanted it antiqued.
Then while it was still wet, I used a smaller detail wax brush to apply dark wax to shade and antique in crevices and recessed areas as well as the corners and around any details.
I used a lint-free cloth to soften the dark wax and blend it into the clear wax making sure to remove the excess in the same direction to prevent streaking.
Learn more about topcoats for painting furniture here.
Cleaning Old Hardware
Then I sealed it once it was clean and dry, using Rustoleum 2x matte clear coat to prevent any further tarnishing.
Here it is looking so fresh and updated. Just what my client asked for!
More Before And After Makeovers
Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.
Anne Michelle is a furniture artist in Northern Virginia that loves bringing beauty back to forgotten pieces. Her small business, Amini Design Ashburn, is a source for all things creative – furniture makeovers, artwork and small home decor items.
- Prepare the china hutch for paint by cleaning it with Krud Kutter and a shop towel to wipe away the dirt and grime. Make sure to rinse with clean water as well.
- After the hutch dries, fill any damages or cracks with wood filler. Lightly sand the filled areas. Then scuff sand the rest of the surface and legs of the hutch.
- Tape off the legs then prime the furniture with an oil-based primer. Lightly sand between coats then remove dust with tack cloth.
- Apply three coats of paint onto the hutch. You should make sure to lightly sand and remove the dust in between coats here as well. Wait for paint to dry.
- Stain the legs and shelves of the hutch with gel stain. Apply it with a foam brush and rub it back after each coat with a blue shop towel.
- For antiquing, use a clear wax as the base. Apply it onto the hutch with a wax brush then wipe it back with a lint-free cloth. Use a smaller detail wax brush to apply dark wax to shade and antique corners, crevices and around any details. Use the cloth to soften the dark wax and blend it into the clear wax.
- Clean up the old hutch hardware with Bar Keepers Friend, let dry, then seal with the Rustoleum 2x Ultracoat Matte Clear to prevent any further tarnishing. You can now attach it to your newly painted hutch.
More Painted Cabinet Makeovers
- Farmhouse Cabinet Makeover
- Painting a China Cabinet
- Painted Display Cabinet: Before and After
- Painted Armoire Makeover
- Painted Hutch Makeover
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