Our most recent build was this DIY Ana White Hutch & Console. If you’re new to this kind of DIY or interested in getting started, we’re sharing a 5 beginner building tips we’ve learned the hard way. 🙂
- My hubby for helping write the tips for this post since he does the bulk of the building around here.
- D. Lawless Hardware for sending me these gorgeous anitque copper knobs for free. I posted on Facebook about needing help picking out knobs and they were kind enough to allow me to choose some from their site and I think they’re just perfect on this piece. Thanks D. Lawless!
It’s pretty amazing what you can create from a pile of wood.
First, let’s talk about a few building tips and then I’ll show you the rest of the Hutch & Console!
5 Beginner Building Tips
1. You Get What You Pay For.
For our first few builds, we went and bought the cheap wood. When you do that, you save a little money but your finished piece looks cheap and crappy (which it a total bummer after putting so much time and effort into a piece). I’m not saying you have to buy the best wood out there but get something better than the cheapest stuff they offer. Take time picking out pieces that are nice and straight and your end result will look much more professional.
2. The Right Tools.
Of course you need the basic building tools (a good drill, saws, wood glue, sander, etc) but you can get a much more professional end-result by using special tools like a Kreg Jig and clamps. The Kreg Jig helps hide your screws to make corners properly. For the clamps, use small pieces of cardboard between the clamp and the wood to prevent dents from the pressure.
Tools like the table saw are super intimidating at first but once you use it a few times, it will become one of your favorite tools. I actually won this GRR-Ripper push block from Tatertots & Jello a while back and it keeps your hands away from the blade while you push the wood through the saw.
A Dremel is really handy for detail work like the curves at the top of the hutch.
3. Go Slow.
Measure once. Measure twice. Then measure again. Taking your time minimizes the chance of mistakes that frustrate you and/or force you to take more trips to the hardware store for more supplies. But when that happens, it’s ok! (See tip #5).
4. Start small.
Practice your cuts on scrap wood. Practice using the Kreg Jig on scrap wood. While the tools aren’t hard once you get used to them, there is a learning curve. Practicing on scrap wood lessens the chance of screwing up on your main piece. Once you get basic cuts and tool use down, move on to small projects and grow from there.
5. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Don’t expect perfection. Wood isn’t perfectly straight. We’re human and no matter how much measuring we do, we always have something that doesn’t come out just quite right. Sometimes, it means re-doing a whole drawer that came out just a little off. Other times it means adding pretty trim to hide an unplanned gap (we do that a lot and it works beautifully)! 🙂
All things considered, there is nothing like the feeling of pride that comes from taking a pile of wood and turning it into a beautiful piece of furniture.
Ok, back to the Hutch & Console!
After the Hubs was done building, I stained and painted it in the laundry room because it’s so cold out right now! I used Minwax PolyShades in Pecan for the staining and a custom mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® using roughly 2 parts Provence to 1 part Florence for the paint.
When I painted the bead board, it didn’t cover well due to the coating on the bead board…which turned into a happy accident. As it dried, it gave it this awesome vintage-y look so we decided to keep with that way and we love it!
The accidental chippy look…
I’m usually very decisive but I had the hardest time choosing knobs for this piece. In the end, I think the antique copper knobs ended up being great on it though, don’t you?
I couldn’t believe how I lucked out with these wire bins with copper handles from Target the same week! They fit the look and the bottom shelf perfectly.
I hope you find these tips useful if you’re thinking about diving into building your own wood projects!