Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maple hutch with tutorial for wood finishing

A big thanks to Maryann at Domestically Speaking, for the heads up on the free paint 
last Sat at ACE! Not That I need anymore paint! Seriously, I counted. I have over fifty...yes 50,
containers of paint in all different colors! But, I didn't have this color!! Since it was FREE, and I already have a bazillion colors on hand, I got COBALT! My fave color. I don't have 
anything to paint this shade....yet! I'ma lookin'. Isn't it yummy??

              Here is my latest project. A pretty nice score from CL. I don't think the owners ever once  polished, cleaned or even wiped this baby down! She was pretty grimy!! 

       I'm going to go over some wood finishing steps while I'm working on this project. I have been refinishing wood a lot longer than I've been painting it.  I couldn't believe what a beautiful top the lower part of this hutch had. I know, you're looking at it and going, "yeah, right." Just wait.  This hutch is solid maple. I couldn't believe my eyes when I sanded off that stain. Pure, solid maple butcher block.  Even those shelves are solid. I sanded those puppies down as well.
                                    I will be adding bits to this day by day until I'm finished.

This baby was just a tad, um, filthy!

                                               Filling in a crack w/some wood filler.

This left leg had a some serious gouges and a chunk missing from the molding. No problem.
I will fabricate the missing piece with Plastic Wood. It dries quickly and sands easily. The benefit over the wood filler is that it will not shrink and crack. For really big fill jobs, use an epoxy filler.

Here's what it looks like after sanding and staining.

 And here's what it looks like after painting! I don't think anyone would have known.
And those deep gouges kind of faded after I hit it with sandpaper.

Ok...So off to the top! 

I start with my orbital sander and a 60 grit, then 150, and finishing with 220.
Go easy around the edges or you'll hog 'em off! I usually do those by hand. 

Um, hello??? Can you say pristine maple?? Like butcher block maple quality???
It's gawjus!  So now comes the fine tuning with a 320 grit that I 
use in a block sander, going with the grain. This gets any circular
marks the orbital may have left behind and really gets it
feeling as smooth as a baby's behind! 

I used this pre-stain to avoid blotchiness. 

I sand again (with a 320 or 420 grit)  after applying this because it tends to raise the grain.

Maple takes stain very easily although it's difficult
to get very dark. I used a dark walnut, which it sucked right up,
and then went over it again with jacobean. I use a foam brush
to apply it and then a lint free rag to work it in and wipe
off the excess.

Very important to use a seal coat. This locks in your color and gives you a
finish you can sand without stripping your color.   you can also just apply a clear coat topcoat of your choice. any further sanding should be done with a very fine grit 600-1000. I use a wet sandpaper if I need to remove any nubs between clear coats. 

Last night I put on a poly finish in gloss, water based. I have the oil based too, but since
this isn't going to get that much usage, I chose the water. Plus the water base
is easier to brush on and clean-up is with, well, water!  I hate
cleaning oil stain brushes! 

I use a 0000 steel wool. Once the poly dried, I gave the top a once over
with the wooly. Go easy and try to see where the streaks are. Yes, you will
dull the finish. Thats okay cuz you are going to put on at least another
2-3 coats (sanding in between each one). 
You never stop at one coat.  
A lot of work you say??? Why yes, it is. But that's why it will look 
so good when it's done! 

This is the inside bottom shelf. I gave it a quick sanding, a once over with some stain and one coat of the poly. 
I'm calling it a day on this part. It was in decent shape and I didn't take it down to the bare wood. 
I think it looks beautiful. Look at that rich color! 

Here's a sneak peak at the hutch part. I did the same procedure to the shelves as 
I did on the top. They were the same maple quality. I debated about
painting.  I hate covering up nice wood and I thought the
contrast would work well with colors. 

So I just finished the bottom portion and brought this in
the house. I've since acquired a new piece and I need
room in the garage! Repeat after me,,,,,,
I have a furniture addiction!

I came across these vintage knobs at the Re-Store.
The pulls came from Lowes. I tried to spray the originals, 
but I didn't like the way they came out. I think these suit the 
hutch better. 

I'm so in love with the way this top finished. This is after two coats
of glossy brush on water based Poly. I could probably
use one more coat. 

Ok finally! DUN!  Waxed her up and couldn't find a good place
to put her to take photos. The color of my walls in the other rooms do not
go at all with this hutch. So it's in my bedroom by the 
back door! 

In case you forgot the before.....

I used my home made chalk paint on the white. 
Behr "divine pleasure".  The aqua color is regular latex
with about 3 different colors I had on hand mixed together. 


  1. What a gorgeous piece! & thanks for your chalk paint tips, I just finished my second chalk paint project using a different ratio and only a little water to dissolve the PoP and it worked like a charm. This time, though, I did use TSP to roughen the surface.

    Thanks for visiting!

  2. beth,this is fabulous! i love the contrast with the white and the wood. thanks for posting on my blog, it's great getting to 'meet' new people who share the same hobbies. i'm totally following you now.

  3. This looks great! Nice to know about plastic wood - I have some dresser drawers that may need some of that. :)

  4. I love your re-do!! I would love for you to share this with my "Unveil Your Genius" link party.

    Happy Sunday!

  5. Beth--thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. This piece is FAB-U-LOUS! Great job.

  6. You've got some great pieces! Thanks for your comment on my blog, I tried to reply to you through email but you have "no reply" setting. Great work!

    1. Bought my first piece to shabby yesterday. Cruising around getting info on the "how to". Your blog is full of great stuff. Thanks

  7. Beautiful job Beth! I love it white with the stained top!

  8. The original wood was beautiful you should of just refinished it sorry but I really don't like it to shabby looking!

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  10. Beth, I love this! I have a maple set so similar it's probably made by the same company. I have the dining table and 4 chairs to match, it was my grandmothers. What would you suggest be done with those pieces?

  11. Very informative and great details!! Wonderful blog,Great article and blog. Thanks for sharing your design talents with the rest of us. toolsadvisors

  12. But the end result - it's just wow! (And perfect for displaying those gorgeous plates). Demir Leather & Furniture

  13. Thank you so much, Beth. This is exactly what I needed to see.