What To Do With an Old Dresser Hutch

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 -

If you hoard collect furniture like me, I'm sure you've ended up with some random items taking up space. 

Judging by the number of Craigslist ads, I'm not the only one who ended up with a lonely dresser hutch in my garage. A hutch over a dresser used to be cool back in the day, kinda like a matching mirror 

*Side note to all of those matchy-matchy people out there: a large matching mirror attached to the dresser is no longer "in"

I inherited this vintage Broyhill set from my nieces last year.

The dresser is long painted, waxed, and sold (You can see the final result here), but the dang hutch sat in my garage for months, waiting for me to have some time to spend on it. Finally, I was between projects, so it was time to go all Frankenstein on this bad boy.

The first step was a trip to Home Depot. If you want to try this project, you'll need to measure your hutch and buy lumber according to the size you need.

For me, I needed:

2 - eight foot 1 x 12
1 - four foot 1 x 10
2 - eight foot 1 x 2
2" finish nails and wood glue

For the time being, I only have a crappy little 10", non-sliding miter saw, so using it to cut the 1 x 12's wasn't an option. No problem, I just used a couple saw horses, some clamps, and a straight piece of wood to work as a guide and cut my boards perfectly with a circular saw. Old school.

I then used finish nails, my pneumatic nail gun, and wood glue to create a box. 1 x 12's on the back and sides, and a 1 x 2 frame for the front. The sides ended up being 10" deep. For added support, I nailed a couple scrap pieces of 2 x 2 to the inside corners. Totally not necessary, but it helped beef the whole thing up and like my husband always says "When in doubt, build it stout".

Next, I cut 2 pieces of 1 x 12, 2" longer than my box, and gave them a pretty edge on 3 sides with my router.

I then attached my routed boards to the top and bottom of my box with finish nails and glue, keeping the board flush to the back, allowing it to overhang the side and front by 1".

Next, using the 1 x 10 board, I created a cabinet door to fit the front of the box and fancied it up with the router, matching the box top and bottom.

Almost all of the furniture I build has second hand legs from a Craigslist score. So much cheaper than buying new legs! The downside is, I have about 8 crappy table tops scattered in my backyard. This time, I was lucky enough to find a guy selling just a set of end table legs, sans table. Perfect. Saves me time and trunk space.

I wanted the Queen Anne look, but that top part wasn't going to work. I should have used a miter saw and just chopped them off, but my miter saw was buried and my table saw was just sitting there looking lonely...

It worked.

The next step was to drill holes in my newly decapitated feet.

Then, using 2" wood screws and glue, I attached a leg in each corner of the bottom side of the box.

Back to the hutch, I prepared the top for some crown moulding by nailing on some scrap pieces of wood, flush to the outside edge.

That gave me a nice vertical surface to nail my crown moulding to.

I needed to attach the hutch to the new base. Enter Kreg jig and pocket holes. 

I drilled a pocket hole in both front corners, and 5 across the back, along the bottom rail. Then, I placed the hutch on the base and secured it with screws. Once the hutch was tightened down, I filled the pocket holes with plenty of wood filler.

The original back board had a boo-boo, so I simply cut a new piece of 1/4" hardboard to fit.

The whole piece was then cleaned, sanded, primed, painted and waxed. I attached the cabinet door and some beautiful drop bail pulls, courtesy of D. Lawless Hardware.

Here is my new monster.

The paint is a custom blend of chalk-based paint that I mixed up. Its a warm, creamy ivory. I also mixed up some DIY Antiquing Wax, with raw umber universal tint and classic grey stain, and lightly brushed some shadowing into the crevices.

The new base opens for some handy storage. I also added a small catch to hold the door shut.

The solid brass pulls are just beautiful. To go with the antiqued ivory paint, I gave the shiny brass a little of my faux tarnished brass finish, giving them an aged look.

I wanted to create a little more opulence, so I decided to create a gold, diamond pattern on the back board. Just a tip; don't try a pattern like this with the back board still attached. Just pull it off, paint it, wax it, and staple it back on. Your life will be so much easier.

I think the hutch looks great with its new caboose. The lumber and hinges cost me $55, and the legs set me back another $15. I had the nails, glue, moulding, paint and wax on hand. So, I ended up with a solid wood, hutch/ shelving unit for $70. 

What do you think? If you love it, check it out under the 'Shop' tab.

Linking at:

Furniture Feature Fridays Liz Marie Blog The Shabby Nest Craft Frenzy Friday ThePinJunkie Three Mango Seeds..Twigg studios


  1. Wowza! That is beautiful. Great inspiration. I would love for you to share on my Chic By You Link party at http://chicbytab.blogspot.ca/2014/03/chic-by-you-wednesday-link-party-2.html. Hope you can make it!

  2. Nice job! I can't believe you built the bottom part for it--it looks like this was what it origally was!

  3. I love it, you did a wonderful job! I love the door with the fake drawers. I could do that, but not make real drawers.
    Thanks for the ideas, Phyllis

  4. Very cool! What a great idea! Love your commentary on matchy match too. Hilarious!

  5. Holy cow! You are crazy talented woman!!


  6. Way out of my league; but, omg how beautiful. You are amazingly talented!

  7. I am going to have to take lessons from your awesomeness....This is Amazing! You go girl! I love it all!

  8. such a great idea and it turned out beautiful, i would love to feature it , if that would be ok please let me know,

  9. Incredible! It turned out so beautiful!!

  10. Wow, love what you did to that hutch! You're pretty talented with the power tools too - I'm impressed. Thank you for sharing with us at the DIY Sunday Showcase Party.
    Marie @ The Interior Frugalista

  11. Wow, really great transformation! I love the gold pattern and how the drawer opens up. I'm also stopping by from Much ado about monday...Hello!
    leelee @ paperbagstyling

  12. Great idea - looks pretty, functional and like it belongs to a different time. What a nice job. Thank you for sharing this.
    Gentle Joy

  13. Very, very nice. I would never have come up with this plan, so thanks for the inspiration. It really looks terrific. I saw your post on Three Mango Seeds/It's So Ver Cheri. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey

  14. Your projects always amaze me! Thanks for sharing at Our Sunday Best Showcase!

  15. Wow!!!!! Awesome job!! I'm pinning this one for sure!!!!! Thanks for sharing on DIY Sunday Showcase!


  16. Oh my! You did an AMAZING job! The whole piece is so lovely!

  17. This piece is gorgeous and I think YOU are incredible. I don't know why I haven't been following you before but I will be now! Thank you for the wonderful step-by-step instructions. Love this piece!

  18. You are amazing. Still trying to figure out how you painted the design.


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