DIY Repurposed China Hutch


When it comes to updating the home, there are two routes you can choose from; the “out with old, in with the new” route, which involves buying entirely new pieces, or the “work with whatcha got” route, which involves taking pieces you already have and giving them a fresh, new look. I, for one, prefer the second option. Not only is it more frugal, but I also just think it’s fun to experiment and try to find the true potential of furniture instead before it’s tossed to the curb.

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This is our hutch. It was given to us by a family friend when they moved, and for awhile we were using it to store our glasses and dinnerware. When we moved into the new place, though, we converted our other hutch to use in our dining room, rendering this one as useless. Or so we thought. 

It didn’t take me long to figure out that this hutch would make an excellent TV stand; nice and wide, adequate storage underneath for all of our movies and other electronics, and overall just really appealing to look at. I measured out our TV and once I found out that it would fit almost perfectly, we set out for some supplies and got started!

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Step one: removing the doors. Easy peasy. Removing the beams that separated the doors proved to be the more challenging part.

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They were pretty secured on there, but with a good hammer and some of Michael’s super strength, they came off no problem!

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Next came the shelves. Now these things were really wedged in there. Michael ended up sawing each one down the middle then pretty much kicked them out. (Not recommended, but it definitely got the job done.)

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All cleared out! The only real problem we ran into with this process was something we didn’t anticipate; the inner walls were notched out in order to hold the shelves in place a little better. To remedy this, we globbed on a ton of wood filler into each of the notches and let it sit for a few days.

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We used the Elmer’s brand, which I like because it starts off as purple and turns white when it’s ready to sand! We also used it to fill in the hinges from the doors.

And while Michael was doing all this demo-type stuff, I decided to tackle a much easier job…

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Painting! (After Michael sanded it down, of course). The color we chose was a bit of a modified egg yolk, and I think it turned out great! Yellow is definitely an accent color in our living room, so I thought it was a terrific choice.

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These doors were a doozy! They have so much detail, it was a bit time consuming to make sure everything was coated evenly. It all worked out in the end, though! 🙂 I purchased new knobs to better match our color scheme, and all we had to do was wood fill the old holes, sand them down, then drill all new holes and paint!

After the bottom was all painted, we were eager to get it inside so we could start using it to hold our TV. Although it looked nice the way it was, I knew that I wanted the full effect so we quickly got to work on finishing the top!

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Painting was a piece of cake. The harder part was applying the wallpaper. I had never worked with it before, but once we got the hang of it, it turned out to be a pretty simple process. We measured all the pieces out, stuck them on, let them dry overnight, then trimmed up the edges and voila!

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And lastly, came the shelf. I knew I wanted to store all the consoles up high, since a  certain little boy named Brodie kept pushing all my buttons (quite literally)! To accomplish this, we picked up a 3/4″ plywood board from Home Depot and had them cut it down to size. To secure it, we measured out where we wanted it, then drilled two holes in either wall, then screwed it into place. 

One thing I noticed with the wood we used was that it was slightly bowed, and appears to “droop” now that it’s all put in place. Although it doesn’t bother me much, a quick solution would be to just add a couple supports underneath to give it a little boost. 

And now… the moment of truth! Our finished product!!

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Wow! It’s almost unbelievable that this is even the same piece of furniture. Plus it really seems to brighten up the room, which I just love! I decided to leave the bottom drawers out altogether and instead add some fun baskets to add a little more character. Also, the TV fits like a glove!

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I think this is a great example of how you can spruce up your furniture and really bring out the true potential. I’m glad that we were able to find a way to keep this hutch in our home and I can’t wait to see what else we can redo to continue making our house more “us”. 🙂

Some tips:

  • Always prime before you paint. Although a lot of paints nowadays come as a paint and primer in one, it’s always a good idea to add a coat or two of primer beforehand to help the paint stick and to smooth it out. The extra effort is worth it!
  • When using wood filler, the more the merrier. Since it gets sanded down anyway, it’s okay to add a little extra just in case. I’ve come to find that if too little is applied, it’s more prone to cracking and chipping when sanded. 
  • The air bubbles will come out when using prepasted wallpaper. After we applied the first couple pieces, we were nearly driven crazy trying to get out all the little groves and bubbles! After letting it dry overnight, though, we were pleasantly surprised to find that all the bubbles had worked their way out!
  • Wood quality is important. Because I am a true saver at heart, I made sure to buy the cheapest wood I could find for the shelf. (Especially since they’re only sold in larger sizes). While this worked for us, if you want a higher quality product, it’s worth it to invest a little more money. I personally think the shelf adds character, though! 😉 

Until the next project!

DIY Repurposed China Hutch into a TV Stand!

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