Hutch Makeover with Chalk Paint Across the Blvd

Charleston Room Makeover on A Budget Series

My final piece of furniture makeover in my Charleston Room is this large china hutch. This piece is one that my mother had in her home from 1974 until a couple of years ago. I’m very glad that I practiced on several small pieces before I attempted this makeover. Practice might not have made perfect, but it did make this a much easier job than I originally thought it would be. 

China Hutch BeforeThis is the before picture. The dark brown wood worked well enough all those years for my mother, but it wasn’t working for me at all. My father and I picked out this cabinet as a gift for my mother in 1974. It matched the dining table that they had purchased the year before. It was always home to my mother’s best china and pretty dishes. When she sold her home to downsize a couple of years ago, she asked me if I wanted it. Without even thinking about it, I said yes. 

At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I already have a china hutch in my dining room. The only other place that it would fit well was in my sun room. It’s been in this room, filled with some of my favorite dishes for two years. Once I decided to give the room a fresh, new look, I knew I would need to tackle the cabinet. 

Starting with small tables and working my way up to this cabinet was the plan and it worked out well. By the time I was ready to begin giving the cabinet its makeover, I had gained a lot of confidence in using chalk paint, distressing and finishing off a furniture piece. 

The first step was to clean it with TSP. Unlike some pieces found at thrift stores, this only needed a quick cleaning and it was ready for painting.

One advantage of using chalk paint is that there is no odor, so that makes it easier for painting indoors. I spread plastic down and used  pieces of wood underneath the cabinet to lift it off the plastic. This hutch is two separate pieces, so that made moving it much easier than it would have been.


Before painting, I used paper and painter’s tape to protect the glass windows. Since I was going to be painting the interior, I taped paper to both sides of the glass. Obviously, I wasn’t going for neat, just protective! I also removed all the hardware from both pieces.

glass protection

I used Annie Sloan in Old White for the outside of the hutch. I gave both pieces one coat, allowed it to dry and then gave them a second coat. I used various brush sizes to get into all the little crevices and detailed areas. 

I used my palm sander along with some medium grit sand paper to distress both pieces.

cabinet bass chalk paintedI debated and discussed what color I wanted to paint the interior. I worried that painting it using the same Old White would just make it look very nondescript. After some suggestions and ideas from Gloria and Matthew, I decided to look for something in the peach family. The walls in the room are a very soft shade of peach, so I wanted something that would be a little bit bolder. I found it at Michael’s. It’s Craft Smart Chalk Paint in Deep Peach..

I removed the glass shelves in the cabinet and painted the entire interior of the cabinet. Before I was finished, I knew I was going to love it. 

painted interior of hutch

To add some contrast to the base cabinet, I painted the existing hardware with the peach paint.

base with hardwareI also painted the cabinet door pull peach.

door pull

The final step was to give it a protective finish. As I explained in my rocking chair makeover post, I’ve chosen to use Minwax Polycrylic instead of wax. I worked on small areas and used a round brush to apply the polycrylic and cheese cloth to wipe it off.

Once it was dry, I enlisted the help of Gloria and Matthew to put the two pieces in place. 

Chalk Painted Hutch Makeover with Chalk Paint

The fun part was deciding which pieces I wanted to display. I thought I would be using it for my milk glass collection, but the white and the off white didn’t look great together. I’ve filled it mostly with clear glass pieces and a few off white pieces I had.

Chalk Painted Hutch Makeover with Chalk Paint

I had anticipated that it would take me quite a while to finish this piece, but since chalk paint dries so quickly, it didn’t take long at all. From start to finish, I worked on it for two mornings and it was done. 

I love that since this piece has some sentimental value to me, I was able to give it a makeover to match my decor. It’s now the focal point of my Charleston Room. I bought only the paint, keeping this a budget friendly china hutch makeover.

China Hutch Makeover Across the Blvd

I think the one thing I’ve learned while giving this room its makeover is to take the plunge! Start with small, more insignificant pieces and work your way up to the larger ones. Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.


Charleston Room Makeover On A Budge Series~
Introducing the Series
DIY Extra Long Curtain Rods
Single Letter Monogram With Lace
Thrift Store Wall Curio
Coffee Table Tray
Chalk Painted Side Tables in Green
Annie Sloan Old White Coffee Table
DIY Open Frames
Coastal Coasters
Rocking Chair Makeover
Map Collage
China Hutch Makeover

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38 Comments on China Hutch Makeover

  1. I love your idea of putting the boards underneath to make the bottom edge accessible. I bought a set of bed risers at a yard sale to use when working on pieces that have legs on them.

    Your china hutch is beautiful! I’m about to do a very small china hutch. Your post has me considering going with a two-tone paint palette. I going to try the Polycrylic on one of my next pieces. Thanks for all the great info.
    Lauree recently posted…Chalk Paint Project: Red End TableMy Profile

    • Hi, Lauree, thank you so much! I have to give credit to my husband for the idea of using the boards. Using bed risers is a great idea, too. I really like the contrast of the two colors and I think it can work well on lots of pieces. I used wax on a small piece and that was enough to send me looking for an alternative. There are many positives for using polycrylic. Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to check out your red end table now.

      • Beverly,
        I have a quick question about the polycrylic – does it have a strong odor? My mom has been trying some projects using wax and the odor really bothers her. I am trying to help her find an alternative.
        Lauree recently posted…Wall MakeoverMy Profile

        • The brand I use, Miniwax, has a very low odor. I can’t say it is odorless, but it’s not nearly as strong as any of the wax products I’ve used. I used it indoors and didn’t have any trouble with the odor. I hope it will work for you, too.

  2. Beverly, The hutch is totally gorgeous!! The peach interior color is simply beautiful. Adding the peach accents on the hardware really adds to the overall look and feel of the cabinet. I’m amazed that it only took you two mornings to complete! You have some beautiful glassware on display too and I like the coastal touch with the starfish. Such a great job! I bet you will enjoy it for years to come.
    Laurie recently posted…Brag About It Link Party!My Profile

    • Thank you so much, Laurie! I had fun deciding what pieces to use inside of it. The star fish seemed to match perfectly. It’s not very clear in the photo, but on the bottom shelf, propped against the back is a glass tray with all sorts of shell designs on it. I found it at GoodWill one day for $1.50! It was the perfect addition!

    • Thank you, Amanda. It needed something and the peach paint seemed be just right. I’m always happy to share at Merry Monday. Thanks for the party each week.

  3. hi Ladies, how are you? I love your beautiful China Hutch Makeover. What a transformation. Thank you so much for sharing it at our Something to Talk About Link Party and I’ll be featuring it tomorrow at our Link Party and on Social Media so I hope you can join us again. have a great Monday, Lisa at Concord Cottage
    Lisa at Concord Cottage recently posted…Homemade Peach PieMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Winnie. I was a little intimidated by taking on this project, but it turned out to be much easier than I imagined it would be. Thank you for visiting!

  4. I admire you for tackling such a big job, however, the outcome is beautiful. That chalk paint has turned many pieces of furniture into wonderful additions to home.Your choice to paint inside relly sets off the dishes as well.

    Thanks for stopping by this week, I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thank you, Wendy! It fits in so much better now. Starting with small pieces was the way to go! I learned a lot by doing several small tables before I tackled this piece.

    • Certainly, Kathleen. I know lots of people don’t like the idea of painting over wood stain. I’m not a fan of it for antiques, but for an outdated 70’s hutch, I didn’t have any qualms about it. When my brother saw it, he thought it was great and he was the first to tell our mother about it. The next time I spoke with her she said, “So I heard you ruined my china hutch!” To each her own! Thank you about the color choices.

    • Thank you, Jenny! I used to think that there was some special skills needed, but once I started with some small pieces, I learned through trial and error how to get the look I wanted. It’s not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I’ve also learned that chalk paint is very forgiving!

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