How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets With an Antique Finish


While some homeowners prefer sleek, modern styling when choosing a kitchen cabinet finish, others prefer antique finishes. An antique paint finish can lend a relaxed, comfortable feel to your kitchen, making it feel more like a gathering area than just a place to prepare food. Antique finishing is not a difficult task, although it can take several weekends if you have a large kitchen. ?

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Oil-based primer, 2 colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Soft cloth
  • Pencil
  • Remove the kitchen cabinet doors from the hinges with a screwdriver. Most hinges use Phillips-head screwdrivers, although some require a flat-blade screwdriver instead.

  • Paint oil-based primer onto the front surface of the cabinet and the cabinet doors, using a paintbrush. Allow this coat to dry overnight.

  • Dry-brush the second color of oil-based primer over the first. Dry-brushing involves dipping the brush in primer, then wiping it off before using it on the wood. The result is a streaked effect created by the brush bristles. Let the second coat dry overnight.

  • Sand areas of the cabinet surface lightly with sandpaper to pull out the first color and expose some of the wood.

  • Draw light pencil marks along the surface to simulate cracks. You can erase them if they are too dark.

  • Dry-brush stain around the corners and edges of cabinet doors to increase the appearance of aging. Keep a soft cloth nearby to dab away extra stain.

  • Flip the bristles of a dry brush coated with stain to splatter the wood. This creates the effect of distressed, aged wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cover your kitchen counters and floor with plastic before beginning this project. Oil-based primers and stains are nearly impossible to remove from countertops.
  • Always wear eye protection when antique-finishing your cabinets so you don't get paint in your eyes.

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  • Photo Credit Modern elegant kitchen image by MAXFX from
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