I’ve said it before, we come across a lot of unwanted buffet hutches. They are usually dark and dated and not in keeping with the modern preference for light, bright and airy. Painting them out in a beautiful light color can go a long way to making them more appealing. But for a little more charm, add some wrapping paper to a buffet hutch – we show you how below!
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We’ve also used wallpaper a number of times to give buffet hutches a little more pizzazz. The only problem with wallpaper, is that is can get quite pricey which can cut into your profit if you plan to sell the piece. We’d heard of people using wrapping paper on furniture and we were intrigued if it would work as well as wallpaper.
We picked up a gorgeous Malcolm buffet at an auction for almost nothing. I loved the design on the doors and it reminded me of tropical furniture. I also happened to come across THE perfect wrapping paper at Papyrus. So it was decided this would be the piece to try out a wrapping paper buffet hutch! We decided to use the same technique we use when applying wallpaper to the back of a dated buffet hutch:
Step 1 – Remove the back panel of the hutch
Removing the back panel of the hutch is the easiest way to add paper to it. If the back is just tacked in with nails, you can gently pry it off using a flat screwdriver. If the back panel cannot be removed, you’ll need to remove the shelves from the interior so you have a flat surface to lay the wallpaper. Place the back panel on the floor or a sturdy table. If the back panel is still attached, lay the entire hutch on the floor on it’s back.
Step 2 – Lay out your paper
The trick to papering is to match the patterns up perfectly at the seams. Start by cutting your first piece the length of your back panel and laying it out on the panel. Unroll your second piece and line up the pattern with your first piece. You can use sticky tack to hold the first piece in place as you line up the next. When you are happy with the line up, cut the second piece. Repeat until you have enough paper to cover the panel.
Step 3 – Adhere the paper to the panel
We used wallpaper paste to adhere the wrapping paper to the panel. You could also use acid free spray glue.
Using a paint roller, we rolled the paste over the first section of the panel. Wallpaper paste doesn’t dry fast so you can roll out a fairly large section all at once.
Apply the wrapping by working from one end to the other and smoothing it as you go. Use a soft scraper or squeegee like this to VERY gently push out the air bubbles as you move across.
We discovered very quickly that the disadvantage to wrapping paper over wallpaper is that it tears very easily because it is so thin! Also, once the wrapping paper comes into contact with the wallpaper glue it adheres VERY quickly so you don’t have long to smooth out the bubbles!
To be perfectly honest, after we’d glued on the wrapping paper and the past was still wet, I was convinced we’d have to start from scratch with wallpaper because it looked so bad. However, to my surprise, the next day when we held it up to the hutch it really didn’t look bad at all. The small imperfections were barely perceptible once the panel was vertical. And I just loved the pattern so much there was no way I was going to replace it with anything else!
Step 4 – Attach the back panel or reinstall shelves
Tack the back panel in place using finishing or brad nails. Reinstall the shelves as they were before. We haven’t found the thickness of the paper to be a problem reattaching the back panel or shelves. However, if you are having trouble, you can sand down along the backs of the shelves to give yourself a little more space to accommodate the paper.
Alternative for non removable back panel and shelves:
If your back panel or shelves can’t be removed, never fear, you can still use wrapping paper or wallpaper!
Measure the dimensions of the back of the hutch and each shelf carefully. Quickly sketch out your dimensions – this helps enormously because you’ll need to lay out the paper and cut it without the benefit of fitting it in place. After you cut a section, be sure to dry fit it in place to make sure it fits before you start to adhere it. As above, adhere the paper using paste or glue, smoothing it out as you move from one side to the other.
We painted the base of the buffet in a light tropical teal color and the top in Fusion’s Raw Silk mineral paint. The buffet top was sanded and stained using Fusion’s Stain and Finishing Oil in Cappuccino. The original hardware was cleaned with our favorite brass cleaner.
We decided to keep off the centre doors of the hutch to give it a more modern feel and to give a better view of the gorgeous wrapping paper.
Our first choice for the back of a hutch is probably still wallpaper because it’s easier to work with. However, if you’re trying to keep costs down on a project, or you happen to fall in love with a wrapping paper print, wrapping paper is an great alternative as long as you work with it very carefully!
Have you tried using wrapping paper on furniture? What about wallpaper? Let us know what you think of this wrapping paper buffet hutch by leaving a comment below. Happy papering!