Furniture Renovation

Dumpster Gun Cabinet to Dining Room Hutch Makeover

Trash to treasure hutch
Transformed and Finished Cabinet

Transformation from dumpster gun cabinet to dining room hutch complete

I found this cabinet literally in a dumpster.

During a torrential rain storm.   The kind we only have around here about twice a year.  People back East might still consider it a drizzle, but it was one beast of a storm for Utah.  I was actually getting really wet and so was it.

Initially this vintage TV sitting on the curb caught my eye.

Curbside TV

I quickly remodeled it into this storage cabinet for all the piano books piling up.

TV Hutch final

But being the snoopy curious person that I am, I also sneaked a peak in the dumpster close by.  To my amazement there among the trash lay the broken, scratched, and beleaguered remains of an old gun cabinet.

Dumpster Gun Cabinet

For once something looks better in the picture that real life, so just believe me, in reality it was much worse.  Go figure!

The owners happily helped the crazy lady who knocked on their door load her minivan with the two items they considered junk.

Like I said, I quickly started on the vintage TV.  Mostly because I had to take it apart to get it out of my car.  In the mean time the gun cabinet scooted around the shop (the space my minivan should have in the garage).

Finally I started to work on the old gun cabinet.  First thing to do was remove the old gun rack and add new shelves from scrap wood left over from making my queen sized bed frame.  Then new beadboard replaced the broken masonite at the back of the cabinet.

I wanted to experiment with an old worn look.  (Dumpster projects are the best to experiment on since they can’t get any worse.)  I wanted it to look old, worn, faded, and covered in years of paint, slowly pealing away.  The best way I know how to get this look is to just start painting.

First I primed and painted it a pleasant gray-blue

Gray-blue cabinet

Then I added turquoise to the edges and sides and patches of lime green to the interior.

Turquoise and green

I almost did a red layer next but didn’t want to go too crazy.

Finally the creamy white spread on, covering up all my other paint patches, restoring sanity for about a day.

Creamy white former gun cabinet

This is where the safe side of me said STOP BEFORE YOU RUIN IT.

Obviously I didn’t listen to that little voice and instead loaded the sander with medium grit paper and went to town.  And I didn’t stop for a long time!

Sanded cabinet

A final coat of dark walnut stain to bring out all the imperfections and tone down the white along with some chicken wire stapled into the door opening finished it off.

Cabinet closeup

So the question is, was it worth it?  Did I ruin it by distressing it so much, or did I meet my goal?  For now I’m happy with it adding color and texture to the dining room.

And I’m not painting it again for a very long time.


I’m linking to:

The Shabby Chic Cottage , Somewhat Simple , Fireflies and Jellybeans , Tales from Bloggeritaville , House of Hepworths “HoH” ,  Beyond the Picket Fence , Life as Lori ,Just a Girl , The Shabby Nest , My Romantic Home , Remodelaholic , Finding Fabulous , Tidy Mom , Mustard Seed Creations , Color Outside the Lines , French Country Cottage , Chic on a Shoestring Decorating , A Little Knick Knack , Home is Where My Story Begins , Be Different…Act Normal , Tatertots and Jello , Funky Junk Interiors , Saturday Soiree at A Little Lovely , Passion for Paint at Mural Maker & More


  • *I absolutely love it. I really despise guns….it is so great to see what you’ve created out of the cabinet. It’s gorgeous. I really wish a had that kind of refinishing talent, you do it so well!!

  • *They both look great! I really like that you switched the hinges for the door to the left side of the cabinet so that it matches up better with the little shelves on the right side.

  • I totally agree with Trisha, switching the door’s hinges to the other side was a good idea. I also love the chicken wire. Okay, I’ll admit that when on the phone I was worried to see what this was going to look like, but duh, of course it’s gorgeous!

    • You’re both so perceptive. I wasn’t sure anyone would notice I switched which way the door swings. Can’t put anything past you guys, though in this case it makes so much more sense. Hinges are usually on an outside edge, not in the middle of a piece.

  • *Wow, love what you did to that tv and to this hutch for your dining room! How creative are you, even that turquoise paint I would have been afraid of and I’m not afraid of paint! I found you on Transformation Thursdays and love your blog and the title etc. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog too. I’m trying to follow you but can’t figure out where or how to?


  • Holy cow! I was pushing for you to keep the blue color, but I love, love, love the final product. I would put this in my house in a heartbeat. Can you to help me redo the old pink desk i stole from Robear years ago, it needs an update and you are obviously the person to help me figure out what to do.

    Love ya,

    • Ooooo…I’ve wanted to get my hands on that desk for years now. Lets do it Brooke. It has so much potential.

  • *Um… you have a great eye!.. my jaw dropped after seeing what you turned that old tv into!.. and the gun cabinet to hutch… amazing!.. great work!.. thanks for sharing!..

  • *Wow! That is darling. I love it. And to think it came out of a dumpster! You did a great job. I love the t.v turned storage also. You are quite the creative gal. Thanks for sharing.

  • *Great finds! I know it was a lot of work but they look fabulous. You are so creative. I would have never thought to transform the vintage t.v. into such cute storage.

  • *I remember your TV cabinet redo and you blew me away then but this gun cabinet redo has stopped me in my tracks. The layered paint, the sanded edges, the chicken wire on the door, the little cubbies on the side….I LOVE what you’ve done! I think I have dumpster gun cabinet envy now, thanks to your great post! Thanks!

  • *Well, I think it’s pretty cool. I love the distressing and the chicken wire. And the fact that you did all that for FREE. I bow down. 😉
    I’d love for you to join my link party going on now!

  • *Oh MAN! That is the coolest thing EVER… you did good and you must have nerves of steel to go ask if you could have it… I’m always too embarrassed! LOL!


  • *Wow!! I totally love your re-do!! They both look just amazing! The t.v. became something so darling and I love the layers and layers of paint on the gun cabinet! You did a great job- thank you for sharing this at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  • *That tv brings back a lot of memories. My parents had one of those for YEARS. In fact, I believe it was the early 90’s before it finally died and my brother and I talked our parents into joining the modern ages. LOL

    Both pieces look perfect. I really like the aging process you did, so don’t worry about that. Hard to believe you could make 2 very pretty and functional pieces out of junk. Guess I need to keep my eyes open for these things more.

  • *I love it! I think it’s a perfect amount of distressing. You did an amazing job. I’m a little jealous because I seem to never find cool junk like that : )

  • *These projects are AWESOME! I love the painting technique – I think you nailed it. And that TV? Holy smokes! What a brilliant idea! I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for something like that! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  • *Hi! I saw this on the Shabby Nest – I LOVE the distressing. It’s alot – but I think its perfect. I love the blue showing through instead of typical brown wood shade, I think its a perfect surprise! And that TV cabinet is amaizing. Was it hard to get the TV out?
    Erin at

  • *You’re gun cabinet turned delightful display cabinet is adorable! So is the old TV cabinet…you are so creative…thanks for the ideas!
    Melody from Nashville.

  • […] I’m the polite kind of scrounger so I ran up to the door, still in my exercise clothes, my hair barely brushed and in a pony tail, and rang the doorbell.  They said I could have it for free as well as a gun cabinet they had just thrown in a dumpster in the driveway.  See its transformation into a dining room hutch here. […]

  • I stumbled across your website and just love it! I have this EXACT gun cabinet in our front room full of my boyfriend’s paintball equipment! How I have some inspiration thank you so much!

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