The Media Hutch

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 02/02/2011 - 09:35
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About Project

A beautiful media hutch to match the Cabin Collection. Features two large open shelves for controllers, two drawers for remotes, and a large shelf to customize the fit of the tv and store additional controllers, games, or books.

You don't hear me talk a whole lot about finishing because it's not the exact science of screw board A to board B of construction.  Probably what you hear more than anything is comments that go something like this . . . . "building was the easy part, finishing . . . that was the real work!"

The problem with finishing is that there really isn't a "wrong" way to finish something. If you have achieved the look that you are after, than you have succeeded.  (Of course, you should read instructions on your paint cans to make sure that finish is durable and safe.)

For those of you looking to achieve that edge rubbled finish, most recently seen on my Cabin Entertainment Center, I thought I would put together a few tips for you.  These are just tips, and you should always build to suit your needs first and foremost.

This is really the easiest of all finishes, in my opinion.  Even easier than a solid paint, which requires perfection.  And you gotta consider, if you live in a home with a preschooler, you might just want to accept that you furniture is going to get distressed anyway.  Might as well give em a head start.

Here is just flat paint.  Just needs something, don't you think?



The clear top coat also brings out the color, but in my opinion, the slight distressing warms the entire look up.  So here is exactly what we did:

  1. Sand the entire piece in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper.  Make sure you clean off any sanding residue with a vacuum and a damp cloth.
  2. Spray on one coat of flat paint with primer in it.  A roller would also work (try those cabinet ones with the sponge rollers) but avoid brushing because a brush will put a heavier coat of paint on, completely covering the wood grain.  I also avoid separate primer because then you got this white coat under the colored coat.
  3. Let the coat of primer dry completely.  If you start distressing too soon, chunks of paint will come off.
  4. When dry, with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper, lightly rub exposed edges that would receive natural wear.  Concentrate on corners, outside corners, tops, and around handles - areas likely to wear naturally.  Resist the temptation to use a power sander.  It's too easy to remove to over distress.
  5. Avoid over distressing - just a touch here and there is all you need.
  6. Vacuum off all sanding residue and wipe clean again with a damp cloth.
  7. If you painted a light color, you may wish to glaze the exposed wood with a glaze. You can buy glaze in the faux finishing aisle, but I like to use Minwax Express Color.  Note that the stain may also add color to the painted areas.  If you wish to keep your paint color from accepting the stain, you will need to apply a clear coat BEFORE you distress edges, glaze, and then apply your final clear coat.  I like to work my glaze in with a rag by hand, but others use brushes.  Rags tend to use less glaze, and glaze can be spendy.  Work the glaze into the exposed edges, wiping off and reapplying.  Your weather (hot dry climates will dry very fast) will determine just how long the glaze needs to be left on (and what color you are trying to achieve) so be patient and do lots of testing.
  8. For inside corners, you can apply glaze and wipe clean.  Glaze will remain in cracks and tight corners, creating adding dimension on your finish.
  9. My cabinet was not glazed because I love natural wood and dark gray.  We sprayed on a clear coat of water based poly to give the project a dustable and durable finish.

Now for the center hutch plans.

Just like the finish, you should build this around your needs.  Measure your TV and make sure it fits.

You can adjust the top shelf height and also make the bottom hutch out of 1x4s or 1x6s for added height. The drawers shown above are for 1×8 drawers.


Shopping List

1 – 1×12 @ 8 feet long
2 – 1×12 @ 10 feet long
6 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1/4″ plywood for back (to do both side hutches and the center, you can use the same piece of plywood)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ long (scraps for drawer fronts)

Common Materials
1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 1×12 @ 48″ (Sides)
4 – 1×2 @ 11 1/2″ (Trim for sides, cut it to match the width of your 1x12s)
4 – 2×2 @ 48″ (Legs)
4 – 2×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Front/Back Trim)
4 – 1×12 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelves/Top)
1 – 1×2 @ 54 1/2″ (Shelf Trim)
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 57 1/2″ (Back)
5 – 1×12 @ 7 1/2″ (Assuming your 1×8 drawer fronts are 7 1/4″ wide – adjust to fit your 1x8s)
2 – 1×8 @ 10″ (for 10 1/4″ wide drawers)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1


As we did the side on the rest of the collection, start by trimming out the top and bottom. I didn’t have a nailer handy, so I used 1 1/4″ screws from the inside (flat side) countersunk and glue.

Step 2


These would be the legs if we were making a bookshelf, so I’ll refer to them as legs. I used pocket hole screws to attach, but you can also use 2 1/2″ finish nails and glue or countersunk trim screws (I believe trim screws come in a 2 5/8″ length, which is perfect).

Step 3

Taking Shape

You can do step 4 first, step 3 first – do what makes sense for you. Attach the 2x2s with either pocket hole screws (2 1/2″ long) or the trim screws from the outside.

Step 4


Attach the top to the sides and front/back trim with either pocket hole screws or the trim screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6


I highly recommend a back on the top just because the piece is so large, and the back adds so much strength. If your shelf is fixed, attach to the shelf too with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 7

Build the Controller Shelf

The controller shelf not only adds dimension to the look of the piece, not to mention increased useability, but it also strengthens up the base unit. Measure your 1x8s drawer fronts (you should have some leftover from the media base unit) and cut your 1×12 dividers to 1/8″ (tight fit) to 1/4″ (loose fit) longer than the width of the 1x8s. Also, measure the width of your controllers (as shown below) and make your two center cubbies a width fit for your controllers.

Step 8

Adding the Controller Shelf

We screwed the controller shelf directly to the bottom of the hutch. There is a 1 1/2″ gap behind the controller shelf for wires. The drawer fronts are simply 1x8s on hinges – perfect spot to hide remotes and to place charging cords.

Step 9


When we assembled the entire unit, we screwed all of the pieces together and also anchored to the wall behind the hutch. Safety first!