DIY: Mother's Day Vintage Mahogany Hutch Painting Tutorial

About 6 months ago my mom bought this gorgeous vintage 1940's mahogany hutch at the store to replace a bakers rack in the kitchen of her shore house. The bakers rack was cute but not functional. This little beaut will house the oh-so-ever-used wine, martini & pilsner glasses in the top shelves and piles of serving platters in the bottom - making shore family dinners a little more functional.
She asked me to help her shab it up to fit in with the motif down there. This is the BEFORE & AFTER, if you like what you see, read below for a tutorial on how to do it to a piece all your own!

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Before (beautiful but not going to work for the space)

First, the shelves, doors, glass, and inserts were removed (we decided the inserts dated the piece too much and we did not put them back in)
Everything got a good sanding (fine grit)
We were using spray paint primer so we raised all the panels up onto boxes to avoid anything sticking to the cardboard.
We also removed the dated pediment on the top of the piece, it took a little doing and a BIG hammer!
The WHOLE piece was sanded, inside and out
The spray primer didn't go as far as we thought, we ending up using 3 cans (YIKES). BUT it was a lot faster than hand brushing & since we were going to shab it up, it didn't really matter in the end.
Spray! Spray! Spray!
Frog tape was used to make a clean line between inside & out
The inside got a beautiful custom blue
... as did the inside of the drawer, shelves & the interior side of the doors (those little strips are the molding that holds the glass in place, they got blue too)
Coat number 2 of blue... then coat number 3...

Did I mention, I'm a messy painter?!
The doors were painted with the creamy-white color and after they dried, they were sanded. I used medium grit paper for this part. No real technique here, just rub the paper in all the raised spots and it makes a smooth natural distressed look
The blue was brushed over the white in some spots & then sanded for a cohesive finish
The blue on the doors was sanded too
Everything got a coat of the creamy-white

We decided to paint & distress the hardware too. A great trick it to screw the hardware into cardboard before painting, it makes for an quick & easy job.
Problem averted... the cabinet door needed a little TLC. The previous owner replaced the hinge screws with ones that were too wide and it split the wood a little, making the door hinge loose.
Easy fix; fill with wood putty, clamp, let dry & rescrew (do this before you paint though :)

Doors were returned home without the dated inserts, see them to the right. (Also to the right is MY hutch, just in case you thought you were seeing double, not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but I'm sure you will find out :)
And the sanding began. I just roughed up the edges a bit like I did for the doors, then picked a few spots to wear. If you don't like the wear marks you make, you can just paint over them and begin again.
(This is my favorite part of shab finshes)

Coco stopped by to inspect my work, how does it look coco?

Sanding makes a mess! Once finished the whole piece will get wiped down with a damp cloth.

VIOLA! She is pretty much done, just need to add a clear wax finish, to make it smooth & durable.
I will post a FINIAL picture once we deliver it to the shore just in time for Mothers Day. 


~Angela for Phantastic Phinds

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Phantastic Phinds 631 Bethlehem Pike Erdenheim PA 19038 215-233-3325


  1. What a Phantastic job!

  2. love this! where's the update though? M's D was 4 months ago! lol

    1. Hah, it might be a while. The hutch went down the shore and I forgot to take a photo last time I was there... It looks so pretty too, the top is full of wine and pilsner glasses. until next summer :)


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