China hutch, redux

One of the projects that consumed a lot of time and energy was the china hutch for the new house. Which was the same as the china hutch for the old house, except, since we actually have a dining room now, not.

Remember the first time I redid it? It ended up like this.

china hutch after long shot

I wanted a china cabinet with doors on it for the new dining room, and I knew it would have to go with the distinctly modern slant the room would have. I browsed Craigslist for midcentury hutches and thought about building a new one, but those options ended up being ruled out by budget and energy constraints, respectively. So my mission became to de-emphasize my old hutch’s extremely country-styled roots as much as possible.

I gave it a new paint job using my Critter Sprayer (let me digress: I love that thing. The mister gave it to me for Valentine’s day — aw yeah, he knows how to woo me — and it was flat out amazing to use both for this and my kitchen cabinet repainting. Worth. Every. Cent) and swapped out all the rustic hardware for sleek nickel.

the same china cabinet as before but with doors reattached to the top half, a crisp new white paint job and shiny nickel hardware. it is filled with vintage-modern dishes and glassware.I’m very pleased! It’s certainly come a long way. I think it looks cool and crisp and will nicely merge the 1906 Craftsman bones of the house with my modern dining chairs and pendant lamp. Neither of which I have set up yet … but that’s the way it goes.


Dresser transformation

I don’t have a workshop. In good weather, I have a picnic table in the backyard and a tangle of extension cords. In bad weather, I have a 5×7′ porch, a porchlight and a tangle of extension cords.

I don’t have precision woodworking tools. I don’t even have a table saw. I have an inexpensive miter saw, a downright cheap circular saw, a drill, a brad gun and a palm sander.

Given these limitations I am extremely pleased with my latest project. I turned this:

into this.

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Salvage stepstool

Today I wanted to take a break from larger projects and make a “quick small project” so I built a stepstool. It was a good lesson in how a “small project” isn’t necessarily a small undertaking, especially when you factor in using new skills or tools. To make my little stepstool I ended up hauling out my miter saw, circular saw, drill and power sander, on top of giving both my jigsaw and Kreg Jig a first whirl. It took all day and made a huge mess. Still, it’s a cute stool, and making it only cost me a buck or so for screws and sandpaper. Continue reading