How to age your kitchen cabinets

If you need new cabinets but can’t afford them, you can try some DIY antiques. Aging your kitchen cabinets can revitalize old, worn cabinets and add warmth and character to the room. Antique cabinetry matches a wide range of decorating styles, from country to Victorian to Tuscan to French.

Antique cabinets will give your kitchen a warm and inviting look and make the room feel more relaxed and comfortable. There are 2 basic methods you can use to weather your kitchen cabinets: stain and weather. You can use them alone or combine them for a little old world charm in your kitchen.

Age your cabinets with stains

This method of weathering kitchen cabinets works best on cabinets that are painted a light color or have a light stain.
You will need a dark dye, a brush or sponge, and lots of paper towels. Achieving an antique look is easy, but you may want to try it on an area that isn’t as noticeable or practice on something else until you get the hang of it and develop a technique.

To age your cabinets, simply apply a light coat of the stain to a section of the cabinet and wipe down to the desired “age” level. Repeat across the cabinet until you’re done! You want it to look natural, so concentrate more stain on areas that would wear the most, like around the rims and handles.

Distressing your kitchen cabinet

This method of weathering kitchen cabinets only works on painted cabinets. It’s called distressing because it simulates the wear and tear an old cabinet piece would go through after hundreds of years of use. Some people use chains and hammers to weather furniture, but I find a bit of sandpaper is enough for cabinets.

The goal is to sand the finish on the edges and worn areas. So I would take a medium grit sandpaper and sand the edges of the door and drawer to reveal just a thin layer of the wood underneath. Looks better when the color underneath is a little darker or if the cabinets are dark, looks better if the reveal color is lighter. Personally, I prefer to stick to the edges, but you can sand down a bit in the middle if you want an overall worn look.

Some other methods of aging kitchen cabinets include crack paint and faux paint.

Crackle painting is done with 2 types of paint: the bottom layer is painted on top and the middle crackle is brushed on top, which makes the bottom layer crackle. I have tried this method many times and have never been really satisfied with the results. If you really like this look, I suggest you practice, practice, practice on something else before trying to creak your cabinets.

Faux paint can be a very nice way to age up your cabinets. You can probably find a local artist who does
this for a reasonable price – they can add depth to the cabinet and some good art!

Other ways to add interest to your cabinets include changing knobs and hardware and adding
trim, legs and trim.

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