Re-purposing old furniture is a great way to save money and one of my favorite ways to decorate our home. This storage hutch is a classic example of that! Check out the transformation of this outdated piece and see its new home in my office!
We’re getting closer to the end of my office makeover!! You guys may recognize this storage piece from its former home in our dining room (check out the original video tour of the room here). This hand-me-down has beautiful detailing and provides a ton of storage, but the dark, outdated wood tends to completely take over the room, making it feel less like a bright, airy farmhouse and more like your grandma’s dining room from the 70’s. We certainly don’t have a bunch of fancy china that needs to be displayed in here (um… have you met my family full of rowdy boys?), so why not re-purpose this beauty into much-needed storage for my office?
Here’s the before…
(our barn makes quite a nice paint studio in the summer!)
And the after…
SUCH a big difference, right? Before I get into the rest of the beauty shots, I’ll give you the rundown on how I painted this massive piece. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of intimidated by this makeover. I knew it needed to be painted, and I knew I could handle it, but the thought of doing it by hand with a paintbrush made my palms sweat and my right eye twitch uncontrollably. All the curves and grooves and details would take FOR-E-VER. Prepping, sanding, priming, painting, and sealing something this size… no way, man.
I purchased a paint sprayer to refinish some dining chairs a few years ago, and in an effort to get my eye to quit twitching, I decided that busting out the paint sprayer again would be the only way to tackle this beast. “But I want to use chalk paint to avoid sanding everything… but can you use chalk paint in a paint sprayer? …would I need to thin it down? …would it clog up the sprayer? …would it have a nice finish? …should I just give up and get rid of this stupid hutch?” All of these thoughts were running through my head, but I finally decided to bite the bullet and give it a try… CHALK PAINT in a PAINT SPRAYER.
And guess what… it worked!! It took a little trial and error, but here’s my experience with using chalk paint in a paint sprayer:
There are some affiliate links located within this post… thank you for helping support our blog!
– The paint sprayer I have is the Wagoner Flexio 590, which comes with a regular sprayer and a detail sprayer. I HIGHLY recommend using the detail sprayer when painting furniture. The first sprayer I purchased didn’t have a detail finisher, and I returned it immediately after seeing how uneven the finish was. Just spend the few extra dollars to get a nice sprayer that will tackle every project on your to-do list and last you a long time.
– Normally I use a high-end chalk paint like Annie Sloan or even DecoArt’s Chalky Finish paint, but I was almost out of my chalk paint stash and needed quite a bit for this project. Last time I was in Lowe’s, I noticed that Valspar came out with a chalky finish paint. The price wasn’t too bad, so I picked up a couple cans in the color “Kid Gloves”.
– I prepped the furniture by removing all the hardware and doors and wiping every surface with a wet rag to remove any dust.
– At first, I thought I would need to thin down the thick chalk paint, so I filled the sprayer container with paint and mixed in a small amount of water until it had a consistency closer to regular paint. As I painted more, I realized that the paint didn’t actually need to be thinned at all! As long as the spray pressure was turned up, it sprayed like a dream. Every once in awhile, the tip of the sprayer would get a small glob of paint built up, but it just takes a second to wipe it off.
– I sprayed the top cabinet first with 3 coats of chalk paint and 2 coats of my favorite Varathane Matte Finish Polyurethane. Yes, the poly can go in the paint sprayer too! Now here’s where things get a little tricky… After I finished the top cabinet, I noticed that some areas started chipping and flaking just a bit. Other areas (like the doors) looked like they needed a coat of primer to seal in the old finish before the chalk paint was applied. Bummer! Rather than stripping and repainting the entire piece, I decided to just go with it. Rustic, chippy white paint is not the worst thing in the world… am I right? Usually that’s the look I’m going for anyway! I grabbed a putty knife and carefully scraped paint off in all the grooves and edges of the cabinet. Crisis adverted!
– Even though I decided to go with distressed look, I wanted to experiment with the bottom cabinet to see what might have gone wrong the first time. This time, I lightly sanded (and I mean BARELY sanded just to scuff the surface a little) and sprayed on a coat of primer first. Then I followed with the same 2 coats of chalk paint and 2 coats of matte polyurethane as the first cabinet. What a HUGE difference! It covered perfectly this time and didn’t have any chipping at all. But of course, the bottom cabinet had to match the top, so I used the putty knife again scrape away layers of paint in the grooves and edges.
– Now it’s hard to say exactly what went wrong with the first cabinet. I’ve never used the Valspar brand of chalk paint before, so it could just be a lower quality paint to begin with. Or maybe this chalk paint would work fine with with a brush, but not in a paint sprayer. Or maybe the coat of primer before the chalk paint is key to getting good finish. But either way, my recommendation is to start with a coat primer and then move on to the paint. Chalk paint can be quite expensive (depending on the brand) anyway, so it will save you money by using an inexpensive primer for the first coat.
In a nutshell, YES you can use chalk paint in a paint sprayer, but use a coat of PRIMER first. It is NOT NECESSARY to thin the chalk paint, but if you need to, you CAN use a small amount of water to get the desired consistency.
Phew… that sure was a long explanation, but I hope it was helpful!
I didn’t do a thing to the original hardware… a fresh coat of white paint against aged, antique hardware… be still my heart!
These cabinets hold ALL my craft/DIY supplies now… paint brushes, ribbon, glue, thread, stamps, and everything else in between. The glass jars and white photo boxes came from Hobby Lobby and the wood crates came from Joann’s. I dry brushed some dark wax onto the crates to give them a more rustic look and made little paper labels with my computer and printer for the photo boxes. I’ve dreamed for YEARS about having all my supplies in one beautiful place… organized, labeled, and easily accessible. Man, does it feel good to finally have this task checked off my list!
desk lamp / braided rug / antique door + office sign
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what YOU think of the makeover! Where do you store your craft supplies? Have you used chalk paint before? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!
Check out more posts from our office makeover!
LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!
Subscribe to Blog | Browse my Shop | Follow on Facebook | Follow on Twitter
Follow on Google+ | Follow on Pinterest | Follow on Instagram
LOVE the idea of using the buffet and hutch in your office! It’s totally unexpected and absolutely BRILLIANT! Who knew you could use chalk paint in a sprayer? Thanks for the tips Liz, will definitely be trying it out!!! Have a great weekend!
It came out amazing! The power of paint never fails! I also think using the China hutch in other rooms and not storing China is so smart. I have one in my bedroom that I use as a dresser. I’ve also seen one used in a little girls room for clothing at the bottom and toy storage at the top. And a paint sprayer is a must especially for the inside of the hutch–that is so time consuming with a brush.
It came out stunning… trial, error and all.
I love it!!!!! She is a beauty.
So in love with this. I’m totally jealous right now of your incredible storage place that is not only functional but really pretty to look at. The labels on the white boxes are really decorative.
Wowza! Talk about the power of paint!!! A truly amazing before & after!
Holy smokes! What a difference. A piece that big would have intimidated me as well, but I’m sure you are so happy it is done and looks that beautiful.
love the transformation. your room is fab. one question, why the heavy machines on the top shelf? do you not sew that often?
Hi Susan! I do sew, but not all that often. The crates and boxes store items I use more frequently (paints, brushes, tools, etc.), so I decided to put those on bottom. The height of each shelf also varies slightly, so the top shelf was the best fit for my big machine! Thanks for stopping by to see the makeover!
lik it a lot. I have not painted mine but am using it for literally OFFICE supplies. as I gradually begn taking over the china cupboard with ssupplies I had no idea it would be such a takeover so it stll looks the same and emptying for the makeover makes my heart do crazy flips
Wow! I love how it looks now! What a huge difference. I just have a couple of shelf units for my supplies.
Liz, I love your style so much! White makes everything better. Of all the blogs out there these days, yours is one of three that I follow. I look forward to every post. Keep up the great work 🙂
Stunning! Isn’t chalk paint the very best thing in the world? I recently purchased a furnished beach house with black (yes, black!) furniture that I transformed with chalk paint. Your office is divine!
This is so beautiful! I wish I had a hutch to do this with… so so gorgeous!
Thanks for the inspiration to try to tackle a hutch, I have always been so intimidated as well. I also need to invest in a sprayer too. Beautiful transformation and staging!
This is just stunning! Thanks for the tips on using the sprayer with chalk paint; I’ve often wondered if that would work. Your office is just beautiful! I’m just getting started on mine…problem is it’s so tiny…any tips? I need it to be functional as well as beautiful!
For me, storage is KEY in the office. And it doesn’t have to be typical office furniture… try finding a big dresser that you can put on one wall for storage and add shelves above with baskets for extra storage. Shelves are also a great place to add a little “pretty” in the room! I hope this helps!
Love it! Love how you have painted it and the light distressing and I especially love how you have filled it!
Beautiful as always Liz! Thanks for your feedback about using the chalk paint in the sprayer. I’ve always wondered about that. (PS- I scheduled it to be pinned it to the BHG DIY Board tonight).
You don’t know until you try, right? Now that I have this experiment under my belt, I’m excited to try it out again! And thank you for the pin, sweet friend… you are the best!
I just saw this post featured at Refresh Restyle. I love that you are using that gorgeous piece for your craft supplies! Great job!
Hi Liz, the dresser looks wonderful. Does it come in two parts, is that what u mean by
Buffet and hutch?
What about the criss cross on the bottom, was that wire or just a patten.
Love your website.
Hey Linda! Thank you so much! Yes, the piece is two separate parts: the bottom “buffet” and the top “hutch”. Some of the doors had wire grids in them originally, but I wanted a really clean look for my office, so I just removed them. Thanks for stopping by to see the office!
This is brilliant! I have always wanted a hutch but I just don’t have the room for one in my dining room, I do however have room in my office! I just need to find a hutch now! Thanks for the inspiration.
Love this makeover. And thank you so much for the helpful hints about chalk paint in a paint sprayer. I have been on the hunt for a dining hutch and as soon as I get my hands on one I’ll be doing the exact thing you did so it’s super helpful to have these tips! I was even thinking about painting it with the exact same paint (and color!).
ps – So glad I found your blog. I’m from Indiana too. Love this Hoosier state. 🙂
Your hutch looks beautiful. I would always advise priming a piece of furniture like that because of the colour and the wood. The primer I would recommend is Zinsser Bin 123 or Bullseye and usually put two coats on to make sure the whole piece is fully primed 🙂
This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing. I am a bit confused, though… (I sprayed the top cabinet first with 3 coats of chalk paint and 2 coats of my favorite Varathane Matte Finish Polyurethane. Yes, the poly can go in the paint sprayer too! Now here’s where things get a little tricky… After I finished the top cabinet, I noticed that some areas started chipping and flaking just a bit. Other areas (like the doors) looked like they needed a coat of primer to seal in the old finish before the chalk paint was applied.
The areas that started chipping and flaking were on the BOTTOM cabinet? The top didn’t flake after you applied the chalk paint, correct?
Thank you for any help. I am wanting to duplicate, but not worry thru it.
When I did the top cabinet, I didn’t use primer, and the paint started to chip and flake after it dried. So on the bottom piece, I used primer first and didn’t have any issues with the paint chipping. If you want your furniture to have a smooth, non-distressed finish, I would definitely apply a coat of primer first, but if you’re going for the chipped paint look, go ahead and skip the primer! I hope this helps… so sorry for the confusion!! 🙂
I absolutely love your blog and this post especially. I have a very similar hutch that was gifted to me and my husband and would love to paint it. I had all the same concerns as you and am interested in now buying a paint sprayer like you suggested. Can you tell me what other types of projects you may use the sprayer for? I am concerned about paying the money for it if I don’t find other uses down the road.
Hi Anna! I use my paint sprayer mostly for painting furniture, but I know some people also use them to paint walls, decks and fences as well. Anything smaller than a piece of furniture, I will usually just use a can of spray paint, but for furniture projects this thing is a life saver! 🙂