Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Michael's hutch

Those wonderful little hutches from Michael's have all sorts of possibilities. They can be bashed, of course, and parts of them used for upper and lower kitchen cabinets but even as is they can be finished quite nicely.

My favourite way to finish them is to 'paint' them with a black or red marker and give a coat of satin varnish.

The trick is to remove the doors so you can get into all the nooks and crannies more easily.

I've always done this by heating the top of the hutch with my hair dryer but the glue on this one just would not release. So I tried something I had read about but never tried myself.

I popped the entire hutch into the microwave oven for exactly one minute on high. That loosened the glue enough that the top piece of the hutch could be pried off quite easily and the doors removed.

This model has a fake drawer at the bottom. I wanted to remove the front of the fake drawer so I could make a real drawer so I popped it in the microwave for another minute and got the drawer front piece out.

I then pulled off the door and drawer pulls with a pair of pliers. I may put them back later or I may replace them with beads of some sort.

The doors are absolutely flush with the shelves so if I add 'glass' to them, they won't close properly so I need to remove the shelves and trim them by 1/16". So back into the microwave for another minute.

After the shelves are trimmed, everything has to be sanded, then stained. (I use the furniture touch up pens from Dollarama.)

Once the stain had dried, I cut plastic for the 'glass' for the doors. When I'm doing something like this I measure for the size I need (in this case, 1 1/2" x 3") and 'draw' templates that size in a Word document. I tape the template to the plastic I'm using and cut to size then glue it in place.

Here the doors have been put back in place.

I spread wood glue along the top of the hutch, and replaced the top, making sure that the top hinge pins fit in the holes in the top.

Tomorrow I'll build a box to make a drawer for the bottom and put handles on the doors and drawer.

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