Let me tell you a little story. About 3 weeks ago, I had the grand idea to strip the paint off of our 100 year old corner hutch.

 (Scroll down if you’re just here for the new plans. No judgement. I’d skip this story too if I could)
I mosey’d on over to the hardware store, got my Citrus-Strip and my scraper, and went home, full of ambition. Oh the naivety. 

I painted the entire white cabinet with the orange goop, and waited.
30 minutes later, I scraped it right off and the first layer was great! The white came right off. “Why was everyone so against stripping paint? This is easy” I thought to myself, and then I laughed and laughed because I was just so smart. Oh… the naivety. ​

That first white layer came off, but underneath was an avocado green. Why someone would paint an entire, gorgeous wooden built in, GREEN is beyond me. This is where the whole project really went off the rails. 
I slathered on the Citrus-Strip, waited my 30 minutes, and confidently tried to scrape, but to my shock and horror, the wood was literally STAINED GREEN. 

I took to Instagram to figure out what to do, and a lot of people suggested sanding, harsher paint thinners, or just painting the stupid thing and calling it good.  

I’m stubborn and didn’t want to give up on my dream of a natural wood built-in just yet. Harsher paint thinners were out of the question because we have toddlers that like to put their mouths on everything (why???). Sanding was looking like our best option. We got to work. But let me tell you, it was stained deep. Sanding would take hours and there were so many ornate crevices that would require hand sanding.  This project that had started with so much excitement was now reaching *Let’s just pretend the corner hutch doesn’t exist* status. 


For three weeks I ignored it. 
“Do I just forget this whole thing ever happened, and vow to never show my face on Instagram again?” 
The flair for drama is a gift of mine.

Eventually, I buckled down and got to work. The larger stretches of cabinet, that could be done using the orbital sander, were a breeze. I knocked that out in about an hour or two. It was the detail work that I was dreading. 
I used a detail sander for the molding and corbels and within the first five minutes, I knew it wasn’t going to work. I sat there, working within a five inch radius for about 45 MINUTES. Hand sanding was out of the question, because that would take EVEN longer. 

Literally, right then, I dropped my tools and drove to the hardware store to get paint. 
So,that was the long (expensive, time consuming, endlessly frustrating) tale of how we came to paint our hutch charcoal gray.

Now that she’s painted, I’m kind of giddy thinking of all the exciting options available. Painting it really did change the whole feel of the room, so I’ve kind of adjusted that design plan as well, but at this point, this is the direction we’re heading.

​​We went with a one step furniture paint from Amy Howard At Home  (1.) and at this point I’m thinking of adding temporary wallpaper to the backs of each shelf, to add dimension and texture. Kind of like this one from Gemma over at The Sweetest Digs.

I love the idea of using a neutral grass cloth (2.), but I plan to paint the walls and get everything else in place before I decide. The sweet little print (3.) from Juniper Print Shop is kind of the catalyst and inspiration for it all. We’ll fill the built in with pops of dark moody color against that neutral paper, like this vase from McGee and Co. (4.) 

Per usual, I expect the plans to adjust as we go along, but that’s half the fun of design. It’s ever changing and evolving, and you get to play a bit!  *This post may contain affiliate links. All reviews and opinions are my own. For more information on our policies, visit our Disclaimer page.