Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Painted Hutch

On a recent trip to my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore I stumbled across a fantastic dresser/mirror set and a cool, stand-alone hutch; all of which I picked up for under $40.00!  ReStores are great places to search for unique, one of a kind items that are perfect for DIY and up-cycle projects.  You can find a wide variety of used and surplus building materials at a fraction of retail prices.  The proceeds from a ReStore are used toward Habitat's mission of building homes for those less fortunate and the concept of reselling keeps these unique, one of a kind treasures out of landfills and dumps.  Its a win, win, all around!

Back to that hutch - it was sitting in a corner, all by it's lonesome, screaming, "paint me!"  I couldn't resist.  The accompanying dresser was nowhere to be found so I decided it could be used as a wall-mounted shelf or even a children's book shelf.  And I also decided it would be a great way to test out my skills at stenciling.  I had mentioned in a previous What I Want Friday post that I was very interested in working with stencils.  This would be my first stencil project.  And I wanted bold!  I pictured glossy, black paint and crisp, white detailed stenciling. There it was, the Idea in my head, no looking back, as they say.  This would prove to be a fun, and definitely challenging project, not without a few trial by error steps along the way.


First and foremost, this is the first time I've ever worked with a high gloss paint, and let me tell you, that sheen and shine is addictive!  I plan on incorporating high gloss into many more projects!  This was also my first time working with black paint.  Here's where the learning comes in.  To prep the project, I started out with my hand sander and lightly went over all surfaces of the hutch.  There wasn't much to sand and I just wanted to achieve a uniform smoothness.  I also removed two decals from the hutch that had been stapled into the wood.  They didn't work with the look I wanted and honestly because they were stapled into the wood, looked cheap and unnecessary.

Cheap details are details better left out.

Staple through the back.  Easily removed with flat head screw driver.

Then onto priming.  First misstep.  Not the priming, but more-so the prime color.  I primed in white.  This simple step added 2 extra coats of black paint to the project, not to mention extra hours of work trying to cover up all of that white primer.  One phone call to my Dad gave me the solution:  Prime in black.  I am embarrassed to admit that I did not know primer comes in white and black.  Well, you learn something new every day, huh? 

Primed and ready to paint.
This is after TWO coats of black paint!  What a pain!


It took 3 coats of paint to fully cover up that white primer.  Lesson learned...  Now, onto the stenciling.  I picked up some DecoArt floral stencils at Home Depot.  There are a ton of stencil companies out there right now with varying prices and sizes, but since this was my first time, I wanted to start small.  The DecoArt stencils are sold at Home Depot and come packaged individually.  They retail under $3.00 and are better for smaller scale projects.  I chose the Jacobean design and you can learn about that style here.

Foam roller brush + stencils = easy application.
 I thought it would be better to try some test runs first, so Boyfriend was kind enough to head into the depths of our scary garage and find some cardboard for me to experiment on.  It was as easy as cutting out a decent-size square, taping it to the table and painting it black.  

I experimented with a few different colors and also wanted to try an antique finish to the floral design.  Martha Stewart has a great line of additives that can be used to add distressed, crackled or antique finishes to paint and I happened to have the antique finish on hand.  It is tint-able and works with most paints.  You can find it at many craft or hardware stores.

Simply add the tint to your paint, mix and apply.

Thank goodness for that test run because the tint did not work with stenciling.  Additives cause the paint to thin and thin paint does not a pretty stencil make.

Frog Tape, or any painter's tape works perfectly when securing the stencil to your work surface. 

Any small, foam roller brush will work with a project like this.

The paint was just too thin when combined the antique additive.
Here's a few tries with a teal paint:
Again, too leaky and thin!

I didn't like the teal against the black background.  Another reason to test your colors!

What a mess!
The final test was just the white paint, by itself:

I liked the way the white popped against the black background. 
The testing cardboard was also helpful in honing my technique.  I learned that pressing too hard with the foam brush caused the paint to bleed and that also doing a few practice rolls on a porous surface like paper towel or a paper plate, removed excess paint from the brush and prevented bleeding and smudging.  With testing complete, I got to work.

Frog Tape to secure.

I used a sweet card from Boyfriend to measure distance from edge of hutch wall to edge of stencil. 

Not a perfect first try, but not that bad either, eh?

Using the Boyfriend card to measure, I was able to stencil each shelf wall within a matter of minutes.  Overall, the stencils were easy to use and cleaned up nicely.  I am definitely stenciling again!

There you have it.  The ReStore hutch was $10.00.  The black paint and stencils were purchased at Home Depot for around $15.00.  The cardboard idea supplied and installed by Boyfriend for free.

$25.00 for a Happy little hutch!


Thank you Boyfriend!

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