Tutorial: DIY Color Block Hutch

Today, I'm sharing my tutorial on how we made our color block hutch for the CWTS contest. I've been meaning to share this on the blog along with my bar cart and aluminum sunburst mirror (which is coming up later this week).
We've been looking for a tall hutch for our dining room, but didn't want to pay the huge price tags which normally come with similar furniture. The alternative is to make it yourself! I found an old buffet table at a local thrift store. It was out dated but sturdy. This was the perfect candidate for the base of the hutch we've been looking for. The  CWTS challenge was just the motivation I needed to make this happen! 

Here's how we made it...

At first I had painted the table with an Annie Sloane Chalk paint, but the whole look of it still bothered me. I really didn't like the raised panels so I filled in all the scroll work with some patch and sanded it. I didn't prefer the scroll work because I felt it really dated the piece. However, we decided to just pry those babies right off! So that's what we did to give it a sleeker, updated look. 
 We were able to remove them using a hammer and chisel. We also removed the old and outdated drawer hardware. We filled in the holes left by the hardware with Ready Patch (sort of like Bondo).

The next step was to design and build the bookshelves that would be attached to the top of the buffet table. We wanted the hutch to be about 8 feet tall so we made the bookshelves tall enough to make up the difference. Here is the high-tech sketch with our master plan…
Lumber can be expensive, especially the birch plywood we used, so we planned the cuts ahead of time to make sure we use each piece as efficiently as possible. This is how we planned out the cuts for some of the bookcase.
Material List:
·      2 sheets of ¾” birch plywood – This makes up the bookshelf carcass, shelves and dividers.
·      1 sheet of ¼” birch plywood – for the bookshelf backing
·      1”x2” pine (C-Select): – for the rails and the divider stiles
·      1”x3” pine (C-Select) – for the perimeter stiles and rail
·      1”x4” pine (C-Select) – for the base trim around the bottom of the bookshelf
·      Crown molding
·      1 ¼” wood screws
·      Wood glue
·      Brads (nails)

We ripped the plywood as laid out above using a table saw and cut the shelves, sides, top, and bottom to length using a miter saw. We made ¾” slots ¼” deep in each of the bookshelf sides using a router where we wanted the shelves to go. If you don’t have a router, you can also nail shelf support boards out of 1”x2” boards.
You'll notice how saw dusty I got in our workshop. Also, you get a glimpse of our space in the unfinished basement which Steve has been framing out. 
       When all these pieces are cut, we assembled the bookshelves using wood glue and screws.
Then we added the trim using a brad nailer and glue
We built 9 dividers but did not nail them in quite yet as we wanted the flexibility to move them around if needed. Once we found the spacing we wanted, we nailed them in place.
We then topped off the bookshelves with crown molding. We didn’t nail the backing up yet as it was easier to prime everything without the back in place.
Now that the canvas was created, it’s time to start painting!
We used Sherwin Williams Pro Classic line of paint as it coats really well and the end product is very durable. I wanted different shades of blue for the color blocking. The four blue paint colors used: 
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (center)
Sherwin Williams St. Bart's (top left)
  Shermin Williams Meander Blue (right)
Behr Soar (left bottom)
Once the painting was complete, I styled the shelves with sculptural pieces. Some of the pieces are from thrift stores, Target, and Homegoods.

I painted the inside drawers shades of blue to match the cubbies for another fun punch of color. We love how the buffet and hutch turned out. If building shelves is not in the cards, another option is to go to IKEA and get yourself some inexpensive bookshelves, attach it to a console table, and then add trim like we did here.

Let me know if you have any questions on how we built the hutch. I love how unique this piece is and it's nice to have some extra storage for table linens and kids crafts. 


  1. Love this! You never would have guessed that the base started out as that old and dated console and the fact that you made the hutch yourselves is so impressive! I'm sure you'll keep this piece for years to come!

    1. We really do love the look of the hutch now. I like how the outdated console got a major face lift. Thanks for your kind comments.

  2. I think this is just amazing! Well done! I love it. I've found a similar buffet, but doubt it could ever turn out this well.

    1. Oh, I'm sure you could do something like this. It's great to update an old buffet and make it new again or your style. Thanks for stopping by here, Elisabeth.

  3. Brilliant! I bet we will see this pinned every where!