How to Antique Cabinets


Antiquing your cabinets can give your room an entirely different feel. It's a much more relaxed and warm look, and painted or stained it's really not that hard to do. It works especially well if you need new cabinets but can't afford them. There are a couple of way to antique your cabinets or you can give them a distressed look. Either way, you will love the new comfortable look of your room. So, let's get started.

Things You'll Need

  • New hardware
  • Deglosser (If your cabinets have a shiny finish)
  • Satin latex paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Sponges
  • Medium sandpaper
  • Smoky glaze
  • Gloves
  • Furniture polish

Antiquing Cabinets

  • Take off the cabinet doors and all the hardware. Have a good open space to work on your doors and make sure you cover the floor or table you will be working on. If your cabinets have a shiny finish on them then rub on the deglosser with a rag and leave on for about 10 minutes. Make sure to wear gloves and have the proper ventilation when using a deglosser. Work on small areas at a time so the deglosser doesn't completely dry.

  • Paint the cabinets with a satin latex paint. You want to pick a color that will add to the antique look: a medium to light blue, gray, or even an antique green color. It may look too dark to you when you put it on but remember you are going to be putting a smoky glaze on it later, which will lighten it up. Let it dry. You can touch an area when you think it is dry; if it's not tacky anymore you can move on to the next step.

  • Paint on a thin coat of smoky glaze. It is not essential that you get the glaze on even. Part of the look of antiquing is that it isn't even making it look older. Let the glaze concentrate in corners and make it a little thicker where your hardware goes. Let the glaze dry completely. Follow the manufacturer's directions on drying time.

  • Sand the glaze with a medium sandpaper the same direction you put it on. Start out lightly sanding and find out how much you want to take off for your taste. Sand a little bit more on the edges to make it look worn. Take a soft rag and remove any dust left from the sanding. If you want the cabinets to have a bit of shine, spray on some furniture polish and wipe it off with a rag.

  • Put on your new hardware and put the doors back on.

Distressing Painted Cabinets

  • Sand off paint in worn areas. You can basically see the areas of your cabinets that are getting worn from everyday wear and tear. Take some medium sand paper and sand off some of the paint in those areas. You can use a small hand-held sander but be careful not to sand too much or you will leave bare wood.

  • Make small dents in the doors. Some people like to make some small dents and marks to really give a worn, old look. If you do this be very careful and do not destroy your cabinet.

  • Lightly sand a patch around the damage. You can randomly sand anywhere you like. You may want to paint a board, and then sand it to see where you want to sand your cabinets first. Wipe off the dust from the sanding.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are not sure whether you are going to like the look of antiquing, get a piece of plywood and try it out on that first.
  • When using any chemicals, make sure your work area is properly ventilated and you wear protective clothing, gloves and eye wear.

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