Chippy Painted Green China Hutches (Before & After)

Painted Green Hutch via Cottage Magpie

Painted Green Hutch via Cottage Magpie

So, you know how I showed you my family room the other day, with a little glimpse of the cute green cabinets? Just a glimpse because they didn’t have curtains on them and were embarrassing? Well, we’re friends, right? And friends don’t get embarrassed about their cabinets not being picture perfect. They share. So that’s what I’m doing. Here they are in all their messy, crammed with toys, half done glory.

There are actually two of them, one on each side of the smaller window. Amazingly, both of these were bought at Goodwill, and not at the same time! Mr. Magpie found them separately, a few weeks apart. I still can’t believe it. I had been wanting matching hutches for ether side of the window on this wall, but couldn’t see any way to buy anything. We looked at everything, but it was all just too expensive. I had written off thrifting because — two matching cabinets? Riiiiiiiight. But then, poof, there was a hutch, $30, solid wood. We had to get it. I was going to pair it with something non-matching, but then, a month later, poof, a matching one $30, and I had my almost-identical hutches. Magic.

Anyway. You probably remember that originally the hutches in the family room were plain wood, with gold trellises on the glass.

Cozy Cottage Family Room In Progress

Once I started painting them, they completely changed the look of the room, even without any styling or fabric or anything (you can see also the daybed is gone):

Painted Green Hutch via Cottage Magpie

But clearly, I’m so close, I just need to finish them.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the curtains and such that needs to be done. They’re not all the way painted, either. I had started them in sort of a wild, late-night impulse dash in mid-November, but I couldn’t get them done before Thanksgiving, and then it was the holidays, and so now they’re still only half done. Here you can see them both — the one on the left is almost done, and the one on the right is only just started:

Painted Green Hutch via Cottage Magpie

Painted Green Hutch via Cottage Magpie

(Yikes. Anyway.)

I’m really really anxious about finishing them, which is why I’m stalling. For the first one, I scraped the paint off while it was still not cured all the way. The paint was really soft and so it worked really well.

But NOW, see, it’s been two months, and the paint is really and truly for sure cured. As in, it doesn’t scrape off, at least not easily. I’ve tried. I was all fired up to get them done last week when we took down the Christmas stuff and whammo. Denied. So I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid I’ll never get the second one to look like the first one. I mean, it doesn’t have to match perfectly — it never would have — but I was hoping they’d at least look similar. As in, not wildly different. So I’m not sure what to do now. I’m not really an expert at this furniture painting and distressing thing.

My idea was to put more paint on and that maybe that would soften up the underlying paint enough to distress? Mr. Magpie thinks I should try the heat gun. I don’t know. But that’s why I haven’t finished them. Fear!!!

Darn you, fear!!

Any experts in the house? Or heck, I’m open to suggestions from novices, too. What would you do?

~Angela :-)

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  1. Linden Townhouse says:

    Your cabinets are really sweet. What a lucky find! I love that your family room is so welcoming for children. I’m afraid I am not a painting expert either. Would a small electric sander do the trick?

  2. You are TRULY blessed! To find 2 hutches like that? Unheard of! Unfortunately, I have no experience in stuff like this. I just paint and go. Hopefully someone smarter than I will assist you! (in the meantime, I’m stickin’ close to you in case some of that uncanny luck rubs off!)

    • I hate to sound smug, but I do have a knack for finding stuff at the thrift store. I start thinking about how I wish I had something, and poof, it appears at Goodwill. Unless I don’t *believe* it will, (like vintage Jadeite for example), and then it doesn’t. It’s a mystery, but I like it! :-) ~Angela~

  3. Alice Gatto says:

    Hi Angela,
    I love your cabinets too. I think that you could try softening the paint with turpentine on a rag in the places you want to go back to raw wood. If you do a spot larger than you need, you can then repaint and do your regular distressing method. I used to do a bit furniture refinishing and found that with a bit of turpentine, the gentle use of sandpaper and patience you can fix almost any painting error. Can’t wait to see the finished cabinets.
    Alice G.

    • Alice, thanks for the tip!! Now, my question is — will that work on latex paint? I painted them with water-based paint. I’m willing to try it, though! ~Angela~

  4. A sander might work, just remember to go in the same direction.

    Prime over it and start again seems time consuming.

    But then there are the people that use chalk paint, they say it covers everything.

    • Thanks, SJ! I will definitely try a sander. One way or the other I have to make it work, because there’s no budget for new paint! :-) I’ll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by! ~Angela~

  5. Thirkellgirl says:

    I’m remembering when SOMEBODY use nail polish remover (acetone-type) and created exactly that sort of blotch on a perfectly love piece of painted furniture here…

    • Hehehehe! I’m sorry that “somebody” did that at your house, but it sounds like it might really help me solve my problem at my house! Ha! Thanks! ~Angela~

  6. Angela, try a little spot soak of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel (from the cosmetics aisle). I have used both for different weathering techniques. Good luck!

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