before & after: hutch, cabinet and desk makeovers

today’s second before & after post is all about the hard work of three talented women who changed great found and secondhand finds into fresh pieces of furniture. up first is designer kristen f. davis, whose home was on d*s this past june. kristen bought this heaven wooden piece second hand and used leftover paint she had sitting around to give it a face lift. then, inspired by the patterned paper people have been using on befoe & afters, decided to add some pattern to her piece. but rather than using paper, kristen hand painted the dahlia flowers on with a paint pen- and voila! a custom piece of furniture she’ll have with her for years to come. great work, kristen!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? just shoot me an email right here with your pictures!]


CLICK HERE to see 2 more makeovers (kat’s hutch and laura’s desk) after the jump!

next up- laura graham from groovin with the grizas. laura found this desk for $17 at goodwill (creepy doll not included) and decided to repaint it because of the state of the current finish. after a new coat of glossy paint, she repainted the existing hardware citron yellow and added patterned paper to the inside of the drawers- not she’s got a truly cheerful place to work- all for under $20. click here to read more about laura’s project.


last but not least is kathleen conner of katch studios. she picked up this cabinet/hutch duo from craigslist for only $80 and added another $40 worth of materials to create this gorgeous green cabinet for their kitchen. i love the color she chose- what a lovely place to keep everything organized in the kitchen. great work, kathleen!


  1. Green Key says:

    All three – so nice – well done! I’m especially impressed by the hutch.

  2. Annisa says:

    Ooh I love all three. Nice job with the ‘afters’ ladies!

  3. annie says:

    stripping and repainting is so much work, and these look fabulous!

  4. they are all so great! But I especially like that kitchen hutch. What a deal too. I need to keep my eyes open for something like that.

  5. Erin says:

    Those are hand-painted? WOW! Looks so good!

  6. gnomeangel says:

    That desk is too cute. I love the chair that goes with it.

    The Hutch is divine. What a bargain!

    Great work!

  7. Erik says:

    I love refinished stuff! Looks great! Keep up the great work!

  8. Marlene says:

    Nice, nice, nice!!! Specially love the first one, the yellow knobs add the right touch.

  9. LG says:

    I would love to know the Colors and Paints Kristin Davis used on that first piece. It looks amazing! Did she give any info about her process?

    1. grace says:


      anything she sent i posted- i’ll see if there’s more info on her blog…


  10. What a nice detail to line the drawers of the desk. I did that with my dresser and it always makes my smile when I get dressed first thing in the morning.

  11. Tara says:

    I love the hutch too — what a great find / steal!

  12. Tara says:

    Ok I just noticed the desk details — drawer liners that match the chair fabric. Very nice detail!

  13. Kate says:

    Question from a hapless attempted DIY-er. I painted a desk very similar to the one done here, with a white semi gloss latex paint, and now the finish is so sticky, the drawers get stuck and paint has come off on a few items. I tried sanding a bit but it didn’t seem to help much. Where did I go wrong?

    1. grace says:


      sometimes if the layers of paint are too thick the finish stays a little tacky. i find finishing it with a coat of clear poly helps…


  14. rachel says:

    oooh i LOVE these! especially the first. adorable. love!

  15. I love these! Just need to improve my ability to see the possibilities..

  16. Stephie says:

    I love the lamp on the first one soooo much! Do you know if it’s vintage?

  17. hey guys, glad you like my cabinet :)

    i will see what the colors i used were, and post them to my blog later on! the lamp in the photo is actually from home depot (crazy, right?). i have two of them…i got them a few months ago for $50 each. go get one!! :)

  18. also – i LOVE the hutch. sooo pretty. i want a green hutch now :)

  19. prettythings says:

    Katie said: Question from a hapless attempted DIY-er. I painted a desk very similar to the one done here, with a white semi gloss latex paint, and now the finish is so sticky, the drawers get stuck and paint has come off on a few items. I tried sanding a bit but it didn’t seem to help much. Where did I go wrong?

    You can also rub the sticky parts with beeswax.

  20. Jane says:

    All these makeovers are lovely and for me the most exciting discovery is one of the tiniest details here- what?! you can paint hardware!? That gives me a great little weekend project to restore some worn bathroom cabinet handles. Thanks!

  21. Renee Smith says:

    I have a cabinet/hutch combo I got from my grandmother and another from a cousin that belonged to my great grandmother. Neither match our style/decor, and both have much more elaborate carving details on the doors and drawers. Would it still be worthwhile to paint such a piece? I haven’t seen much painted furniture with detailed carving on the original piece.

  22. robin says:

    amaaaazing!!! all of them :O)

  23. Megan says:

    What is the paint color of the green cabinet/hutch? It’s lovely!

  24. rhondarella says:

    These are all great examples of wood that is CLEARLY happier when PAINTED! :) They made me smile today.
    Also for Katie who had problems with her paint project. IF you did not strip your finish off the piece before you started the latex paint may have reacted with whatever surface was beneath. To make it right you may have to strip it back and repaint… :(

  25. LG says:

    Also for Katie who is having trouble with the sticky paint, use oil based instead of latex when painting furniture to avoid that stickiness, the scratching off, etc. It is much harder to paint with but much more durable.

  26. emily says:

    Those are all gorgeous. Can someone tell me what kind of paint (finish, oil/latex) was used on the hutch? Thanks, I’d love to replicate it!

  27. Carrie says:

    all three projects are unbelievable. kudos to you!

  28. Anna says:

    The hutch is so beautiful and I love the green!

  29. Shelley says:

    The cabinet & the hutch (& the desk is cute too) are adorable after their makeovers! Thanks for posting!

  30. I have a cabinet that I have to paint and check your wonderful site for inspiration. I don’t know, I hope mine turns out like these! If it does, I’ll try a desk next!

  31. kendra says:

    These are wonderful! I’m wondering if one of you would mind putting step by step instructions of how exactly to paint furniture? Especially the desk and how it is darker on the edges, dlove that and have absolutely no idea how to create this look. Thanks!

  32. Julie says:

    I love them all. Anyone know where the lamp in the first one is from?

    Thank you!

  33. Ann says:

    I am sooo loving the silvery-gray cabinet finish on the makeover by Kristin Davis–I checked her website but can’t find info on what color it is…I’d love to makeover my china hutch like that. If you have info on it let me know Thanx

  34. olivia martinez says:

    We’re moving to a new smaller house after 28 years . First thing I did after reading Design*Sponge was run to rescue some pieces we had got ridden of !!! You, devils !!!

  35. Candace Walton says:

    Would love to know the colors/techniques for the fabulous green hutch.

  36. Stephanie says:

    Would love to know the Green you used in the hutch! Thanks.


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