Missouri or Bust
line decor
line decor

Earlier this winter I went to an auction to look at an old hoosier-style hutch that was listed. I was thinking it would give us more storage in the kitchen. It was pretty beat-up. Painted with yellow wall paint, warped doors and water-damaged sides. I bid on it anyway not knowing what it might be worth and ended up winning it at $110.

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I did some web searching and found a lot of information about old Hoosiers and hutches from other Manufacturers made in the same style. There were several companies that made these hutches and the value varies widely based on the age and quality of the piece. I found this website that inspired me to try to restore my hutch. http://www.myoldattic.com/klearfront.html. I even bought a book to try and figure out the manufacturer of mine. With no labels or legible markings, I still haven't figured out who manufacturered this hutch. It is probably a newer vintage and certainly made of paint grade woods. Maybe a Sellers, with the off chance it is a Hoosier brand. I will just enjoy it for what it is. Many people strip these down to bare wood and stain them, but the mismatched woods never look as good as the original oak hutches that were intended to be stained. I prefer painted hutches anyway.

The awful yellow paint and the white coat under scraped off easily. I was as fastinated to discover the original color and the original stencil that was on the doors. I felt like an archeologist at an ancient ruin as I peeled away time in layers of paint.

I weighed whether to try to try to keep it original or to make it more to my style. I opted to keep it as original as possible. I did replace the flimsy bottom with a thicker plywood and added rails on the sides to hide and stabilize the water-damaged sides. One drawer was hopelessly warped and Danny helped me make a new drawer--much better quality than the original if I may boast. The tambor door had a couple of broken slats, so I took off the twill backing, cleaned it all up and made replacement slats.

Tthe original hardware was intact, though rusty, except for one broken hinge on the bottom door. It was challenging trying to find the same style hinge. I found a listing on ebay for some old Hoosier hardware with what appeared to be the same hinges, but I lost out on the bidding. However, the seller put me in contact with the buyer. Dan and Leslie were SO helpful. They didn't need the hinges and offered to send them to me for FREE! I also found some websites that sell reproduction products for Hoosiers and bought the tambor twill & glue, and new casters.

In order to get the exact color paint in oil-based enamel, I had to buy a gallon of each. I ended up spending more on the paint than I did to buy the hutch. Plus, the paint store mixed the beige incorrectly. After they had mixed a new can, they realized that they had neglected to put one color in the first one. They fixed that gallon and gave it to us for free. Now I have enough to paint everything in my house in green and beige. The paint should have been sprayed on but I didn't want to go to the trouble of cleaning the spray gun 5 times so I just hand-painted it.

The original door design was probably silk-screened and I didn't want to get involved with the expense and learning curve. I ended up cutting out an acetate stencil and pouncing the paint. I started with the original design but it was too complex. That and the wrong paint just made the paint smear under the stencil. I came up with an art deco design I liked more and applied it with oil paint. It came out okay if you don't look too closely.

It felt like it took forever to get done. Having to wait for things to come in the mail and making time to work on it. Then waiting for the paint to dry. It finally sits in the kitchen and it is slowly filling up with junk.