Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A puppy and a china hutch

Projects around here have been a little slow-going lately, and my best excuse is our new puppy! I have always always wanted a puppy and three weeks ago I GOT ONE! To say I love him to pieces is a major understatement. This kid melts my heart, I'm really just straight obsessed and want to take him everywhere I go. I'd much rather be playing with him or even watching him sleep than do any work around here. I imagine this is a tiny taste of what new moms feel like toward their babies.

So this is Kona!

He is a 4 month husky mix, and we got him at the shelter. I have no clue what else he is mixed with, but his hair is short and he has the cutest freckles on his nose! And the tip of his tail is white, like it was dipped in paint or something! A pup after my own heart :)

I've tried to be creative in keeping him distracted while I'm working/painting, because as cute as I think it would be to have painted puppy paws all over the garage floor, I'm more concerned about him fudging up any of my pieces or chewing on waxy cheesecloth. My solution in the garage is to tether him to a tree in our yard so he can roam around and get just close enough to be near me but not interfere with my work. Except that then he gets tangled around something every 15 minutes, whines, and then I go let him free. That combined with his super cuteness and my obsession for wanting to spy on him all the time make it hard to focus for very long. But then there are the rare moments when he comes and sits by me and watches. *sigh* love him.

When I'm working inside, a Kong full of chicken will keep him quite busy/ out of the way, until I put him outside to play without me (sad).

And since I could talk about my dog all day (somebody stop me!), I'll go ahead and switch over to the hutch!

I got this thing at Goodwill in PERFECT condition for a killer price. I was elated. But really, how 70's and ugly is this!? It has some solid wood parts to it, but the main finish is veneer.

If I learned anything from this project it's that hutches are a LOT.OF.WORK! Boom, nothin' else to it. Time, persistence, and a few cocktails to get me through it, and I am thrilled with the end result.  Isn't it breathtaking?!

I'm not very humble about how gorgeous this piece is (should I be?? I mean, I worked my butt off and it turned out exactly as I invisioned). Especially considering that I had some major hiccups to get it to this point. The first problem: I painted it blue, finished the whole thing in dark wax, and hated it. Which is sad because I bought Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue just for this hutch because I really thought that's what it was asking to be painted! Aubusson Blue is a gorgeous blue-green, especially when finished with dark wax, but this hutch wasn't doing justice to the color, and vice versa: the color wasn't doing justice to the hutch.

It took me a few weeks to recover and find a new vision for it, but I finally decided to try something new and hope for the best. This is when my clear vision took over. I mixed up a custom antique white chalk paint and gave it two coats. Then I did a technique I'd never done before but have been wanting to try: I dry-brushed Annie Sloan Cocoa over the entire thing. The effect was so cool! Like a fancy smancy finish you only find in fancy stores. I lightly sanded the entire finish with #400 to "blend" in the Cocoa with the antique white just a little, and then used #150 sandpaper to rough up some of the edges. The blue ended up showing through and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it! It gives the piece a deeper dimension and more customized look.

It's hard to see in any photos, but the inside is grey. That is where I had some other hiccups:: I tried to spray paint the interior. Bad idea. It was drippy and awful and I cursed a few times. I really couldn't get into all the corners and sides of the interior because the glass didn't come off. So I had to sand it down and brush paint it, which required me to cut the handle off my Purdy brush because it just wouldn't fit inside the small area. That in itself was a mournful process because my Purdy brushes are my babies. But really people, they should make brushes with shorter handles!! I know it'll come in handy on many other pieces. And even though I taped the glass, I still managed to get tons of paint on the glass. Thankfully a razor and some patience were enough to give a clean crisp edge. 

Then I gave the hardware a new look with Krylon's Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. I like their ORB better than Rustoleum's because Rustoleum's has a slight shimmer/glitter to it that looks cheap and cheesy.

And that's the hutch! It's for sale now, because even though I so badly want to keep it, I have no where to host it in my house! I'll leave you with one last shot of my puppy and the hutch together (what could be more appropriate!?)


  1. I love the look of this hutch; even though you didn't like the blue you painted it in the beginning, it looks like after you sanded it a little blue shows through in places and I think that it looks great!!

  2. I just love Kona and even more so the fact that you got him from a shelter!
    He is beautiful! You should post some new pics of him! I'm sure he has gotten big! I love the hutch it turned out great! I really enjoy your blog and have learned a lot!

  3. What chalk paint did you use?

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