Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Repurposing Furniture - Bookshelf turned Hutch

Who's ready for a good before & after? Me, me! So I've wanted a hutch for a long time. Not a gigantic, old fashioned hutch with glass doors - something open, simple, and smallish. I have so many beautiful serving dishes that were wedding presents (or that have been other gifts over the years) and I wanted to display them when they're not in use (they bring nice pops of color to my otherwise neutral kitchen/dining area). I've waited long enough for this hutch that I probably could have justified buying something new...but why buy new when you can repurpose!? There are so many options for finding used furniture these days: Craigslist, Goodwill, Habitat, garage sales...and my personal favorite, mom and dad's garage. This old bookshelf has been in the family for about 30 years? It was a part of my older brother's bedroom's seen California, Wisconsin, Oregon (and perhaps Idaho at some point?). It's seen my brother's room, my nephew's room, and my dad's office. And now, thanks to some paint, elbow grease, and new hardware, our humble abode.

We just love it! And it cost us all of about $10 (for the new cup drawer pulls by Martha Stewart from Home Depot). We already had the environmentally-friendly Green Sure paint from Sherwin Williams from lil J's bookshelves and the little round brushed nickel pulls from an old project. Easy peasy. For the most part. In the spirit of keeping it real, here's what we learned from this DIY furniture repurposing experience:
  1. Be realistic about how long it will take to repurpose your piece(s) of furniture. This is no immediate gratification project. It takes time. Especially when your window to work on the project is after your little one goes to bed!
  2. Do your research. I mostly searched some of my favorite DIY blogs (like Young House Love and Remodelaholic) for the how-to's.
  3. Don't skip the primer. We thought by just sanding we could jump right to painting...and we shouldn't have. Priming is definitely the one thing we would do over if we could!
  4. Work in a well-lit area. We tried working in our garage and there just wasn't enough light. We ended up bringing our painting project inside, which was less than ideal, but it had to be done (thankfully with our Green Sure paint we had little fumes to worry about since it has almost no VOC).

Well that's about it. Any DIY furniture repurposing tips or projects to share?? I'd love to hear about them! Anyone going to go check out their parents' garage to see what gems they can find?

Now for one last look at our "new" hutch...

PS - I'm dreaming of a new camera! These iPhone pics just aren't cutting it. Anyone have some moderately priced recommendations for me??


  1. Love it! The colors look great together and you made a big transformation with a small price tag!

  2. Thanks Carrie! Gotta love hand-me-down furniture :)