Friday, April 4, 2014

Repurpose an Old Entertainment Center into a Custom Hutch and Trash/Recycle Center

My kitchen is in need of two things: more upper cabinets and a place to hide our trash and recycling cans. This space is the only place are I have to put more storage.

I started designing plans for an L shaped hutch. I was going to build it from scratch until...
I found this beast at DI. I thought maybe I could cut and sand and repurpose it into something to fit my space. It was laminate (which I normally avoid for refurbishing projects), but the finish was so thick I knew I could sand it down enough to get a decent paint job.

I started by taking apart the entire thing removing cam locks and dowels and labeling every part with masking tape.

All taken apart

I wanted to have two separate pieces - a tilt out trash can/recycling cabinet and a hutch with cupboard doors. The two long side pieces would need to be cut, so the top hutch would be separate.

Measuring my trash cans, I knew I'd need to build cabinet doors for the tilt out portion.
I placed the doors on the bottom piece so I could figure out where to cut the board and find out how wide and deep I'd need the trash/recycle portion to be.

Once I cut it down, I added the front and back pieces to make the bottom platform. I drilled all the pocket holes with my Kreg Jig since I wanted to paint before ultimately putting it together.

Since laminate doesn't always wind up with a smooth edge when it's cut, I wrapped masking tape around where I needed to cut and then drew on the tape my cut line.

The parts that I knew would be inside and hidden I didn't spend as long sanding.

I filled some of the holes with DAP Plastic Wood Filler. I needed something that would harden and be sandable and it worked great.

Once I wiped down everything down, I used 2 coats of primer and two coats of semi-gloss paint, sanding in between each layer.
We've been using this bottom part while I got the hutch portion completed. I've been searching everywhere to find hinges that were long enough to take the trash cans out without having  the tilt out doors falling to the floor whenever they were opened. My husband suggested just putting a piece of wood on each side at the bottom as a stopper, so the doors physically wouldn't open further than I wanted.


Works perfectly!

Now onto the hutch. I started sanding two of the doors and the two outside pieces. I decided to make this the same depth as the cabinet it would be sitting next to.

I placed the doors and outside cabinets together to figure out how wide to make the top and bottom pieces. I drilled pocket holes and then sanded, primed, and painted.
 I decided to add a shelf in the middle and had a finished shelf from the "as is" section of IKEA. I just cut it down to size and added pocket holes.
I had some left over bead board from my Entertainment Center project that I wanted to add to the back. They weren't long enough to cover the entire back, but I was able to cover the bottom to the shelf, which should work fine and allows me to mount the top to the wall more easily anyway.

I put together the bead board tongue and groove pieces and painted them on my table.

Then I was able to just nail them in place.

I added a 1x2 to the bottom of the hutch and a scrap board across the back of the top to give it more stability.

The hutch is attached to the trash/recycle piece using pocket holes and it's also attached to the wall.
About halfway through this project I wish I would have just built it from scratch, but I wanted to see it through. At least I saved something from going to the dump.

Update 12/27/14: I added crown molding to the top. It really gives it a finished look and matches the rest of my cabinets.

Linking up to Catch as Catch Can 195:

and Remodelaholic January Link Party


  1. Oh My! First... I'm glad you repurposed a DUMP BOUND piece. That really sells this project for me... I'm all about recycling.
    the other thing...It. LOOKS. GREAT! You did a fantastic job on this cabinet/recycle sorter and hutch. I like how it flows with your kitchen cabinets. The fold out doors and stoppers-- genius.
    I'm pinning it ...
    came here via MRL. I'm new to your blog glad to meet you!

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