I’m pretty sure that since the very first day my mom and dad brought me home from the hospital, my big sister Debbie has been trying to boss me around. As the typical ‘oldest child’, she likes to be in charge. As a result, she seems a bit annoyed every time I suggest that she is my ‘apprentice’ in the furniture workshop! Nonetheless, I am proud of her work on the hutch that she completed under my tutelage (LOL, she’s not going to like that! It’s true though.)
Debbie needed a small china cupboard for her new apartment. She left her old one behind in New Jersey because it had seen better days and it didn’t fit in the truck. I assured her that we could find something cheap on craigslist and make it fabulous. So one Saturday morning about a month ago, we sat down at the computer and found a sweet little Duncan Phyfe style piece for a mere $80!
It wasn’t in bad shape, just a little dated in appearance. The curved glass on the middle section is quite lovely. Debbie likes the simple lines of this piece. I tried to sell her on something with a little more detail on the top, but she liked this better.
So we unloaded it into my workshop and she got started. She removed all of the hardware and sanded lightly. I cautioned her against over-sanding because this looked like it could be a bleeder. And sure enough it was. When you have a piece that has orange or red stain that bleeds, you want to maintain the original varnish as much as possible to keep the stain sealed in. Your next option is to re-seal it with shellac or the Tough Coat Sealer. In the end, Debbie was able to get by with just a couple spots of sealer needed on the outside, which she painted in Annie Sloan’s French Linen. The inside was a different story. That required two coats of sealer to keep the stain from bleeding through the Fusion Lamp White that she used there. We also ended up removing the back to make it easier to paint the inside. It also made it easier for Ken to repair one of the glass stops that wasn’t holding the glass in place properly.
So much better, right? By the way, Debbie calls it a ‘china closet’. I suspect this might be an east coast thing. I’ve always called these china cupboards, or hutches. What do you call them?
And FYI, I thought I’d leave all of the reflections in the glass rather than erasing them with some editing software. It makes for a fun detective project to figure out what you can see reflected there. The turquoise t-shirt and white shorts? That’s me. You can also see Debbie texting, my old car (I just got a new one this week!), the carriage house … and more!
I hoped that Debbie would take my suggestion and add a stencil to her cabinet, and she did. The “Family and Friends gather here” stencil seemed particularly perfect for a china cupboard.
Debbie finished the piece using my custom blended dark wax.
She spent nearly as much on paint products as she did on the cupboard itself. The Annie Sloan paint was $40, the Fusion paint was $20 and the Tough Coat Sealer was around $15. But she has more than enough of each of them left to paint some chairs for her dining table … her next project. And even at $155 this was a bargain.
Didn’t she do a great job? She should let me boss her around more often, don’t you agree?!