I worked for about 4 hours a day over a 5 day period but managed to get my art center completed. This was the largest piece of furniture I've worked on and as most things it had it's learning challenges. I worked on both pieces separately and never put them together until it was finished. This made it kind of dicey on how it would all come together. I decided to use the same color choice on both pieces which after finishing the second coat all I saw was smurfs or "boy, people are going to thing I'm having a baby boy". The blue grey looked a little more blue when everything was that color. The online instructions from different sources on how to create a distressed look tended to be very short and not completely clear directives, therefore there ended up being a lot of experimentation going on. I ended up sanding down corners and wear spots and then used acrylic craft paint raw sienna with a drop of black really watered down and brushed it on each piece and quickly wiped off with a white rag to the desired color/effect. I had no idea what I was doing at first and put a light coat on then wiped off almost everything I had put on. By the time I was more daring I was midway through the second furniture piece and had to pretty much go back over the entire first piece and part of the second. I loved the effect of the acrylic wash when it was finished! It ended up really dulling the blue paint and making the furniture look older (duh...that was it's purpose). The acrylic paint (hint: always wipe with the grain) fell into the crevices and scuff marks darkening them. Almost of a tea stain effect. I liked the look of using flat paint but when it came to the finishing coat of polyurethane I discovered that there is no flat version so I had to use a clear satin which turned out okay, but did make it slightly shiny.
Oh, my other advise when doing a project similar to this...stay away from detailed pieces when your first starting out. The dresser was no problem and I would redo 100 of them; the hutch however was a bear. It was extremely detailed and took a lot of time and patience.
Overall the piece was a success! I love the style, color and hardware! It is pretty full to capacity already and joyfully being used.