Why make an old hutch into an entertainment center when any old dresser will do?
Since it's original purpose was to display dishes, a hutch is not as deep as a dresser an takes up less space.
I have an wall of plumbing lines that I'd like to hide, and it will give me the look of a built-in unit without actually being built in. Also the vintge character is exactly what I was looking for in this room.
What was I looking for in a hutch to upcycle?
The hutch top has straight sides, no scroll work. It's wide enough for the flat screen to fit inside, and it's up on legs so it won't block the baseboard heat too much.
I took the top part of the hutch off (not an easy task), and brought it into my workshop. I removed the glass door and panels. Next, the door fame was gently pryed away from the frame that held the glass panel.
The finish on the hutch was still in great shape, so I wanted to remove as little of the original woodwork as posible. Since the frames holding the two smaller panels on each side of the door were firmly built in, I left them on and cut away the piece in the middle.
With a hammer, I gently taped against that little stuby piece to get it out of there. (I made sure to clamp that bottom piece of the panel so as not to knock it off as well).
I took that piece of frame that I had cut out to the mitre saw and cut it at 45 degrees, laid it in place, marked the other side and cut it at 45 degrees. I now had a piece that fit perfectly in the empty spot.
I did this for both the top and bottom, glued, clamped and nailed them in place to make it look like one continous frame all around the face of the hutch.
Next, I cut some pine strips to cover the slot that held the glass.
I painted the strips a dark brown and nailed them in place. Then I drilled new holes so I could raise the shelf to a new height. The back panel was painted the same dark brown and reattached.
This is my finished entertainment center. It helps to hide the ugly pipes and (hopefully) goes with the old timey feel I'm trying for in this room.