How to Paint a Kitchen Cabinet With Rubbed-Through Technique Finish


The rubbed-through paint technique is an inconsistent-looking finish which makes wood furniture or cabinets appear old and weathered. This type of wax-resistant painting can also be used as a decorative paint technique for walls. The layering of paints for texture and an aged look works well with many decorating styles. It can also dramatically change the look of a surface while adding pizazz to any room.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-based paint
  • Paint brush
  • White candle
  • Piece of steel wool
  • Polyurethane (if desired)
  • Paint the surface with a base coat of paint, then randomly rub surfaces and edges with white candle wax. The areas to apply the wax would be areas which would be "worn" over time.

  • Paint the surface with one topcoat of paint (of a different color) over the entire piece. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

  • Rub the waxed areas with steel wool. Sandpaper or a putty knife will also work to remove paint from areas where wax has been applied. Since it is water-based, the topcoat of paint will not adhere to the areas that have been waxed. Rubbing these areas with an abrasive material allows parts of the original base coat to show through the topcoat. This is the effect that produces the antiqued look.

  • Apply a gel stain to add another layer to the texture of the surface and take the aging technique to the next level.

  • Apply a coat of polyurethane to seal and protect the surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use only water-based paint. Oil-based paint will not produce the desired effect.

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