Madison Changing Table: Part 2 (Hutch)

 So, we saw a pin on Pinterest of this changing table system with the caption “Baby changing table from old Entertainment Center…” We decided to make something along the same lines from this old computer desk/hutch.

The hutch goes on top of the desk

We found the hutch and desk on Craigslist.  Both pieces are veneer and very heavy.  We decided to start off with the hutch and do the desk later. . . .This was fortunate because about half way through finishing the hutch we decided the desk was ugly/stupid/terrible that we’d much rather make the base ourselves.  Luckily we were able to sell the stupid horrible desk on Craigslist and re-cooped the money we spent on it.  After everything is built the whole thing will (hopefully) resemble something like this:

We now have the hutch and side bases complete!

After taking off all the handles/doors we started sanding… which. took. for……e…v….e….rrrrr…er….  We probably over-sanded considering we were just painting over it (oh well). We started off with a belt sander and quickly realized it had too much oomph for the veneer.  We switched to our orbital sander using 100 grit, and painstakingly hand sanded the corners.

After finally finishing the sanding, we wiped everything down with tack cloth and started in on the priming.

We used three coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer.  I think we could have gotten away with only doing two coats; this was our first refinishing/painting project so we really didn’t know what we were doing.

Primer Complete!

After priming we headed to Home Depot to pick out our paint.  JG wanted gray, I did not.  Mostly because we want to paint Hayden’s room gray.  It seems like furniture should contrast the room color (But what do I know?)…  In the end we decided on Irish Mist…

We did two coats of Behr Irish Mist and another two coats of Minwax Polycrylic. .

After this painting project we were seriously wondering if we’d ever paint furniture white again.  We made quite a few rookie mistakes with the finish.  Since this project we’ve painted a few other pieces white and feel more confident with our painting skills.

The first mistake we made was using polyurethane for the finish.  We had left over from our bench and table project.  We thought it’d be no big deal applying regular old Polyurethane as finish for a white paint project, uhh, wrong, really really wrong.  Looking back I have no idea why we thought that was a good idea.  It turned our nice, very white paint yellow!  So we re-sanded and tried again.   This time we tried polycrylic with a regular paint brush.  The result wasn’t as terrible as the polyurethane, but it left big gloppy yellow drips (yuck).  Finally, after re-sanding (yet again) we applied polycrylic with a foam brush, and it turned out great.  We were so incredibly frustrated at this point from all the mishaps,  I’m honestly surprised we continued on with this piece and didn’t just leave it as is.

While building a few other pieces we started playing around with pallet backing.  We did pallet backing for the  Madison Changing Table Side Bases and our letter H project.   We wanted to create a pallet backing for the hutch as well..

Letter H Shelf
Madison Changing Table Side Bases

The backing was very simple.  We used a combination of pallet boards and old fencing that was being thrown away at a neighbors.  We measured out how many pieces we needed and cut them down to size.  Then used our orbital sander with 120 and 220 grit, one coat Minwax Walnut Stain (no wood conditioner because we’re lazy), and two coats of Minwax Polyurethane Semi-Gloss.

Here is a hint for applying oil based stains/poly . . .   Instead of using a foam brush to apply the oil based stain/poly. .  we’ve started using a strong paper towel (for water based products we still use a foam brush).

NOTE:  If you’re staining something that isn’t sanded down well, this will not work because bits of the paper towel will get stuck in the wood.  If the surface is fairly smooth, it goes on nicely without any paper residue.  We started doing this because we got sick of ruining brush after brush while trying to apply polyurethane.  It seems like no matter how many times we wash our brushes they remain hard as a rock after drying.  Obviously, do this at your own risk as we are obviously not professionals and just doing what seems to work for us.  We’ve used this technique about four times and have been very happy, with the results.

This only shows the sides being fitted.  we also fitted boards for the center space.

After stain/polyurethane

 After letting the stain/finish dry we simply used wood glue to attach all the pieces.  We put the hutch on it’s back and placed whatever heavy stuff we could find on the pallets and let it sit for a day or two.  At 8/9 months pregnant I qualified as “heavy stuff” until we could find other “heavy stuff” to replace me.  I was obviously super happy about it.

And TA DA!  Part 2 of 3 was complete for our knock off Madison Changing Table 🙂


Not bad eh?

 We can’t wait until the final piece is done for this project, just one more to go!

 We ALSO can’t wait until we move back to the Pacific NW!!  Soooo excited to move closer to home and actually get to put together/decorate Hayden’s new room and our new home 🙂

-Zinsser Primer
-Foam Brush
-Random Orbital Sander
-100, 120 Grit Sand paper
-Tack Cloth
-Paint of your choice
-Wood Glue


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