How to Put an Antique Buttermilk Finish on Cabinets


Antiquing cabinets is a technique that makes new cabinets look worn and gives them character. Cabinets that have an antique buttermilk finish add an elegant feeling to the kitchen or bathroom.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint remover (if needed)
  • Tack cloth
  • Oil-based primer
  • Buttermilk paint
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Paintbrushes
  • Remove the cabinet doors and their hardware.

  • Apply paint remover in effort to remove the existing paint or stain.

  • Clean the wood surface with a tack cloth to remove all dust.

  • Apply a coat of oil-based primer. Allow it to dry completely.

  • Dry-brush a coat of buttermilk colored paint. Dry-brushing is a technique in which you lightly dampen the brush with the paint, then wipe it off. The bristles will leave faint but distinct marks on the wood.

  • Use fine sandpaper to expose the grain of the wood.

  • Accent the corners and edges of the cabinet frame and doors by touching the areas with wood stain.

  • Apply two coats of polyurethane to the antiqued wood. Allow the polyurethane to dry completely between each coat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never apply paint remover, paint or stain in a confined area without proper air circulation.

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