Blog, DIY

Furniture Refinishing Project: Failure to Success

By: Amanda Magnus

As promised, here is my second refinishing project of a small china hutch. I seriously love refinishing furniture! I don’t know that I could ever love doing it as a job though because I would want to keep everything I refinished. It’s always so fun to see the finished project come together, especially when it turns out how you were imagining. Although, this is not always the case. DIY refinishing projects are not always a success and can often times turn into a fail. Which this project almost did.

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I hate…I mean HATE having to re-do anything. I usually try to convince myself it looks fine or that no one but me will ever notice. Most of the time that’s usually right. However, with this refinishing project there was no denying that the original color I picked was not turning out how I had wanted.

So let’s get to the project. Here is a picture of the original china hutch before I did anything to it.

Original china hutch before any painting was done.

I asked for some help from my Facebook friends of how I should paint it. I decided to do a gray and a coral color. So I headed off to my local True Value store to get my paint. I decided to do the color Benjamin Moore Rock Gray on the outer parts and the shelving area Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise which looked like a coral color. Once I had my supplies, I started painting the interior shelving area. As you can see from the below picture it was looking pink and nothing like the coral I had hoped for.

The pink color that was supposed to be coral.

But I decided I needed to give it a day or so to let the color grow on me and see if it started to look more coral. I wasn’t kidding when I said I really hate having to re-do things! So after a day I took a bouquet of pink flowers and set them on the shelf to help convince myself it wasn’t really pink. As you can see the paint was most definitely pink and there was nothing coral about it!

Pink flowers to help determine if the color was really as pink as it appeared.

I had no other choice but to figure out a different color for my refinishing project. I called up True Value and much to my surprise they said they would take the pink paint back and let me pick out a new color. That made things a bit better knowing I didn’t have to pay for more paint. So I checked out some more corals and just wasn’t confident any of them would turn out how I wanted. So I changed my color palette and went for a yellow by Benjamin Moore called Sunflower Fields. I am pleased to say this turned out much better than the original pink color.

The new yellow paint color I had picked out.

Next it was time to start painting the gray color as well as paint the bottom half and the drawers. As soon as I started painting with the gray color I loved it! I was beginning to think this refinishing project may turn out!

Top half of the china hutch finished!


The bottom half of the china hutch in the process of being painted.


Once I finished painting everything I sealed the top yellow part of the drawers with Minwax Polycrylic so that it would protect the paint from everyday use. When everything was dry, it was time to move it into our kitchen and get it set up. This is another one of the parts I love so much about refinishing furniture is finding a use for the piece! So, here is the refinished piece! Tell us what you think! Would you have kept the pink color or changed it like I did? Have you recently done a DIY refinishing project? Tell us about it! And if you haven’t read our other blog posts on refinishing projects you can check them out here and here.

The finished china hutch!

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