Before & After: A $90 Vintage Hutch Gets an Expensive-Looking Makeover for Just $20

published Feb 2, 2022
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Before: Vintage hutch painted gray with brass pulls

Here’s a lesson in never overlooking a thrift store find just because it’s not the exact thing you had your sights set on — after all, with some patience, creativity, and sweat equity, most anything can be remade.

Daniel Parkington had been searching for a sideboard to serve as a bar area in his apartment, but the space that he had for it was quite small. “I had specific measurements in mind so I had to look for a long time,” Daniel says. “I ended up finding this hutch on Facebook Marketplace for only $90. It fit all the measurements I was looking for so I pivoted from sideboard to hutch!”

But when he brought it home, it still needed some help: Doors and drawers were gummed up with paint, as were the grooves where the glass slid in. On top of that, it wasn’t quite the vibe he wanted. “I wanted more of a modern display case to help justify my glassware habit,” he says — so he got to making one.

Daniel lives on the fifth floor of his building and doesn’t have a ton of space, so he had to get creative with his paint stripping process. Using the space on his small balcony, he was able to clean up all of the parts of the hutch that he wanted to display as exposed natural wood.

On the parts he didn’t want to expose, he sanded and primed to give himself a smooth surface for paint. Daniel was also able to reuse the same hardware: “The original hardware was great,” he says. “I just had to give it a good cleaning and it was perfect!”

Daniel used a warm walnut-toned brown stain for the exposed pieces of wood — on the front and top of the hutch — and created a triangular shape in front that he filled with charcoal gray and black paint. He used the black color for the frame of the hutch, too. And aside from cramped quarters, he says this project was pretty easy to pull off (and cost just $20 on top of the cost of the hutch).

“I love how this turned out,” Daniel says of the finished product, which strikes a cool balance of vintage and modern. “I feel like it ended up looking like a totally different piece.”

Best part? “It also cleared up so much cabinet space in the kitchen, so it’s safe to buy more glassware,” Danielle says. A thrifter’s dream!

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A $90 Vintage Hutch Gets a Seriously Expensive-Looking $20 Makeover