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How to Get a Large Buffet and Hutch on a Tight Budget

This is one of those projects I want to share with you because it just shows you how much YOU can do with an old or even mis-matched piece of furniture!

springtime in paris stencil

We refinished this piece for our last house’s dining room. It was actually made up of TWO completely different pieces of furniture. The top was a Sears original hutch. We were given it by a friend because they could never figure out what to do with it without its bottom mate. Instead of relegating it to a spare room as they had, we searched for a long dresser to pair it with to create a one of a kind buffet and hutch.

Once we found a suitable partner on kijiji, both pieces got a light sanding. The drawer fronts got a little patch job too, so that new handles could be added easily in a slightly different position than the originals.


Dean attached the two pieces together with screws from the bottom to keep them hidden and to make the piece extremely sturdy.

Then I painted it with three coats of Behr Swiss Coffee, distressed it by sanding the edges and finished it with a glaze. We purchased some half cup drawer pulls from Lee Valley Tools and spray- painted them and the knobs that came with the hutch to match in a rich brown colour.

To give you an idea of how you could create such a large piece for your own home on a budget, here is an approximate price breakdown:

  • hutch $0 (even if you had to buy it you may find one second hand for less than $100)
  • buffet/dresser $75
  • Swiss Coffee paint $0 (on hand from other projects)
  • glaze $0 (on hand from coffee table project)
  • paint to mix with glaze $3 (oops! paint at home depot)
  • spray paint $0 (on hand from painting outdoor chairs this summer)
  • hardware $35

TOTAL $ 115-215

So here is the before again:

And the after:

buffet and hutch

Here are some close-ups of the distressing and glaze.

So if you’re on a budget, you can still totally have a large piece for your home. Just use a little ingenuity and a touch of elbow grease! I KNOW you can do it!


(P.S. The lady who bought our old house loved this hutch so much that she bought it with the house when we moved!)

I'd love it if you'd share:

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. lindsay says

    omg i freakin love it
    that is it, i need to start finding pieces to redo, problem is no one seems, around ehre at least, to get rid of furniture at garage sales!
    and the salvation army, don’t get me started, in hville is ridiculous as far as prices go!
    you guys did a fabulous job!

    • aka design says

      Thank you! That’s what my mom has been telling me about the thrift stores up there too. Bring a big truck when you come down to visit next spring!!! S.

  2. Jenn says

    Beautiful Shannon!! I have a kitchen table that I’d love to paint white (you know the one that got damaged when you visited all those years ago?!?!) but I would have no idea how to go about it! Seems extremely time consuming.

    • aka design says

      Thanks, Jenn. As I recall, it was damaged before we visited…something about Brian and a big stainless steel bowl of hot pasta?! S.

  3. Susan says

    This is just fantastic. Everything about it is perfect. I love that it doesn’t “go” together, yet it “goes” together! Great job!

  4. cassie says

    that looks gorgeous!!! the new hardware and paint are fabulous, and you have it set up so nicely! thanks for joining my party!

  5. Danielle Molloy says

    Don’t mind me while I pick my jaw up off the floor. That is absolutely stunning! It looks like a completely different piece. Am I drooling? I’m pretty sure I am! Fantastic job!

  6. Oona says

    Um. Wow. I am nearly speechless. I NEVER would have seen that after coming. I was unsure where you were going with the dark brown hardware concept, but oh. my. god. The pop of the hardware against the white of the cabinetry is amazing. I really like the little star you accessorized with too!

  7. Emilija says

    I love the hutch!!! so fantastic – do you have any recommendations where to find something in a similar style?? Emilija

    • aka design says

      Thank you for the comment, Emilija! We love to get feedback.

      I would suggest looking on kijiji or craigslist or even your local thrift stores. Or if you are waiting a bit, you could check out the garage sales in the spring.

      Best wishes with your projects…be sure to let us know how they turn out.


  8. iwong says

    What kind of wood is it? Are both pcs same kind of wood? I will LOVE to do projects like this when I have time .. which means NEVER!!
    Obviously you both r very talented and skillful. It’s absolutely beautiful!!

    • aka design says

      Thank you so much. I’m not sure what type of wood either piece is actually. Since we were painting and distressing it, we weren’t too concerned with the type of wood, more the profile of the drawers and the dimensions. Best wishes with your projects! S.

  9. Tricia says

    I absolutely love it, amazing job. I have my moms hutch since I ws 10. Long story but she passed away and my dad was selling all her antiques to a dealer and I asked to keep it, I am so wanting to do what you did and paint it white but need to know if you painted the Behr paint after sanding or did you put something else on the wood before the paint? Also, Is the paint permanent? Can I go back to wood if wanted to? Thanks for any help
    Scared but willing

    • aka design says

      Hi Tricia,
      I love that you have your moms hutch! I have a question for you…do you love it as it looks now?
      I for one now wish I’d kept some of my family pieces. I actually got rid of some awhile back because they weren’t the right “colour”. Sad. If I’d known I could paint them and still have them be lovely pieces…
      Anyway, we lightly sanded the whole buffet and hutch with a palm sander. You could use just regular sand paper if you don’t have a palm sander. Just give your muscles some time to work at it. Really you just have to remove any glossiness. We didn’t use a primer at all. You could if you wanted to.
      As for it being permanent. We used acrylic paint. You can remove paint with a sander and/or a chemical paint stripper. Just keep in mind that if your piece has many grooves, it will be harder to remove if you hate it. Doable, but tough.
      I didn’t hesitate to paint this piece because it’s made up of two completely unrelated pieces. But I did hesitate when we did the tv cabinet…it was the holy grail of solid wood! But I LOVE it so much more after painting it.
      I do hope that helps!

  10. Erika says

    Hi there! Lil late to comment, but you’re hutch turned out beautifully! Can I ask what type of finish the paint was that you used? Flat, Satin, etc? Thanks so much!

    • aka design says

      I believe it was satin because I used leftover Swiss coffee trim paint and we use satin for that. 🙂 Never too late to ask a question!

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