The project I’m featuring today is one I did about a year ago, before this blog was ever started…so please excuse my blurry phone camera photography. I wanted to show some photos of my husband’s Grandmother’s old hutch that sat in a pantry for many years, being used for storage.
The hutch was given to his mother after his Granny passed away in 2001. I have heard so many wonderful stories of his Grandmother, who was quite the cook and an all around kind and loving person…who raised ten children, by the way. I hear she spent many hours in her day cooking for her family and the many guests she had in her home. Keith still talks about her large skillet she used to cook fried chicken over her wood stove. Ever since I have known him there hasn’t been anything that compares to his Granny’s chicken. I am sorry I didn’t get to know her, as Keith and I met just a few months after she died. I can just imagine all the use she got out of this hutch and I was excited to brighten it up with a new coat of paint now that it can be seen in his mother’s kitchen!
His mother had her kitchen completely remodeled last year with new cabinetry, appliances, and flooring…and the complete removal of a wall to add more space where the walk-in pantry once was. The hutch is still in the same spot that it was before, but is now surrounded by drywall and a pretty paint color instead of cinder blocks and pegboards. The contractors had to saw the upper shelves off from the bottom cabinets so they could get it out the door. It’s a huge piece of furniture! So, when I got around to working on it, it was in two pieces.
The shape it was in was exactly what anyone would expect of something that had been hidden away and used for storage. It really just needed cleaning and a fresh coat of paint, but the most challenging job would be the hinges. We had thought about purchasing new hinges for it, but really wanted to try and keep the original hardware if we could. We were all happy with how it turned out, but removing the paint was quite a process.
I soaked them in a chemical paint remover that did work to remove the paint. I had to scrape most of it off after I let it soak. I would recommend an alternative method such as using a slow cooker, that you can find here at The Family Handyman. As careful as I was, the chemical paint stripper still ate through my gloves and irritated my skin. Since then, I have come across some safer products to use as well.
I was so happy that we were able to keep the original hinges and that they were no longer painted over. I prefer metal hardware to stand out and not be painted over, but some people don’t want to remove it before painting…and I understand that! I set the two pieces back together with some really strong wood glue so the top would be secure. We finished the hutch with a coat of primer and painted it with Benjamin Moore’s Waterborne Satin Impervo, which is what I use on all my trim and cabinets. We decided against smoothing out some of the areas that were slightly dented or damaged because it gives it character. I think a piece of furniture that has a story attached to it should keep some of it’s wear and tear.
I think Granny’s old hutch looks beautiful now that it is brightened up and really stands out against our mom’s new kitchen paint color. The wall color, by the way, is Kangaroo from Benjamin Moore. Now this beautiful hutch can be seen and still provides plenty of storage while displaying many pieces such as her ceramics and cookbooks…which add even more color. I quickly snapped this picture on Christmas day when she had the table set. My husband’s sister helped her arrange everything on the shelves. I think she did a beautiful job!
I hope to replace this blurry photo with a better one soon. I hope this will inspire you to bring out that old hidden family furniture piece and put it on display in some way. My husband’s mother is enjoying this hutch a lot more now that it is included in the kitchen decor…and that she can see it without a wall in the way!