How to Make a Hutch Look Primitive


Giving a kitchen hutch or storage hutch a primitive look is an excellent way to make it fit in with rustic décor, particularly in country-style homes and homes with lots of natural wood and antique appliances. There numerous ways to make a hutch look primitive and aged.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting or canvas runners
  • Painter's tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Lacquer or varnish remover
  • Clean rags
  • Specialty paint
  • Box fan, if necessary
  • Move the hutch to a work space with adequate ventilation and room to work. Cover the floor of the work space with plastic sheeting or canvas runners secured in place with painter's tape around the edges. This will keep you from damaging the floor of you work space and make cleanup much easier when you are finished.

  • Use 40-grit sandpaper to scuff and heavily distress the surface of the hutch that you are working on. Work slowly over the surface of the hutch for a more even look or focus on certain areas of the hutch that get a lot of use, like around handles or drawers. For a slightly less distressed look, use sandpaper with a very fine grit like 220 or 240.

  • Strip the finish from the hutch partially or fully using lacquer or varnish remover and clean rags. Stripping the finish from certain areas of the hutch or focusing on heavily used areas will give the hutch an antique, primitive look. Work evenly and slowly, taking time to step back and look at the finish as you go when partially stripping the finish.

  • Paint a fully stripped hutch using specialty paint designed to look antiqued or distressed. Some paints have bronze or rust tones in them, which will give the hutch a primitive look. Other paints are designed to give wood an aged look like it has been exposed to the elements. In most cases, one or two coats of premixed paint will be enough to give your hutch a primitive feel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many different paint companies make paint designed to make furniture and wood look aged or distressed. Before purchasing a particular paint, talk with somebody knowledgeable about the paint you are buying to make sure it will work properly on the hutch you are painting.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area like a garage with a large open door. If you are working in a more enclosed room, get a box fan or turn on a ceiling fan and open all available windows.

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