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How to Paint and Distress a Hutch: A Step by Step Guide to Painting & Distressing Furniture

Updated on March 9, 2012


An Old Oak Hutch to be Painted

We have all seen furniture that looks like this...tired, outdated and it just doesn't fit in quite right with the rest of your d├ęcor.

I had this wonderful hutch from my parents that I just couldn't use without making my house look like my grandmother's. I didn't have the money to buy a new, shabby chic hutch that I really wanted, so this sat in storage for a year. Finally after lots of blogging hours I decided to try a transformation of my own. What did I have to loose if it wasn't being used as it was?

I couldn't be happier with the results!

Blue Distressed Hutch

Step by Step Instructions on Painting the Hutch

The best part about it all is that it was so easy!

Here are my step by step instructions...

1. I used liquid degloser and then lightly sanded just to give the paint something to stick to. *I really only spent 15 minutes or so on this step*.

2. Then I coated the entire thing with a great primer (Kilz was my choice). I primed it so that you couldn't see any of the wood (it makes it so much easier for painting).

3. Then I mixed the paint with a paint conditioner (I have never done this before, but it made a huge difference in not being able to see the brush strokes).

4. Paint away! I used a small *foam* roller for the large parts and a small brush for the hard to reach spots. The foam roller does a much better job at getting in the cracks and leaving a smooth finish. I followed with a second coat of paint.

5. The next step is the best - distressing! There is something terribly frightening, but also theraputic about distressing. I used sandpaper and roughed up the edges and some spots on the top and sides. Then I got out my dark walnut stain and rubbed it on and wiped it off. I used my kid's small paint brush to get in the cracks of the details. The longer you leave the stain on the darker it will look. The key to this step is to try not to make everything look even and perfect (this is especially hard for me), sand more in some areas, less in others and make some areas darker, other areas leave completely alone. The most important part in the step is to take a clean cloth to wipe with when you are done to avoid a streaky look.

6. For the handles I just spray painted the old brass ones black - so easy! I bought 2 glass knobs for the top piece because I just thought they made the perfect addition.

Materials Needed to Paint Furniture Successfully

Make sure you use gloves when staining or your fingers will look like this ;-)
Make sure you use gloves when staining or your fingers will look like this ;-)

Up Close Pictutes of Distressed Furniture


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    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      You have a nice looking hutch thanks to your faux painting!

    • Brooke profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Oregon

      Yes, polyurethane or you can use furniture wax. I actually used the spray polyurethane on this piece, but I prefer wax or poly that I can put on with a cloth.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What color blue paint did you use? So pretty!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      In the middle of this job and having fun with it! Gotta ask you though.. what the heck is poly? You talkin urathane and if so does the spray version hold up to wear? Thanks a bunch !!

    • Caro Hemingway profile image

      Caro Hemingway 

      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Love this hutch - what a good job!

    • Brooke profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Oregon

      Katie I am so sorry that I am just now getting back to notifications were not going to the correct email address :-(

      I like to use an eggshell finish for my paints and I did use poly on this when I was done. I only used it for the top portion of the bottom piece to protect it. I found that the easiest poly is the spray paint one because it is so quick!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Can you tell me if you used satin or semi gloss paint and if you used poly on it after you were done?



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