apple Our Fifth House: Distressed Kitchen Cabinets: How To Distress Your Kitchen Cabinets

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Distressed Kitchen Cabinets: How To Distress Your Kitchen Cabinets

The inspiration behind my decision to distress my kitchen cabinets came from this article.  I fell in love with that French inspired kitchen and decided I needed a little of that in my life s'il vous plait!  We inherited black granite counter tops and painted white cabinets from the previous owners, so we weren't too far off of the inspiration kitchen.  All I needed to do was distress the cabinets to achieve the look.  It wasn't a difficult task but it was time consuming.  Here's a recap of the process.

1.  Remove all of the cabinet hardware.

2.  Sand the cabinets with a sanding block.

distressed kitchen cabinets tutorial


Yeah, you break your ankle around here and I put you to work :)  Slave driver much?!
The goal was to remove the shine so that the antiquing glaze would stick.


It was a messy job.  Like really really really messy.  Sanding inside is a pain in the what, and did I mention it's a mess?!


I guess we could have taken the doors off and sanded outside, but the bases needed to be sanded as well so it seemed pointless to me.  Before you sand, cover your appliances with plastic drop cloths and take everything off of your counter tops.   Our house is just over 20 years old so we didn't have to worry about any lead paint issues.  I kept a vacuum handy and just cleaned as we went.  

3.  When all of the sanding is done, clean clean clean.  Wipe down all of your cabinets with a tack cloth and then a damp rag.  Make sure all traces of dust are gone.

4.  Bust out the antiquing glaze.  I did not actually "distress" my cabinets.  These cabinets have a wood grain.  I knew the glaze would get into the grain, so I decided that alone would give them enough of a distressed look.  I could have used a small nail to scratch up the doors and drawers in places.  However these cabinets are over 20 years old, so they were already worn (dented/nicked/scratched) in places.  The antiquing glaze was all I needed to achieve the look I was after for my kitchen.


Apply the glaze sparingly.

distressed kitchen cabinets

Let it sit for a minute or so and then use a damp (not wet) cloth to wipe the off the glaze.

glazed kitchen cabinets


When you're finished glazing wait for at least a day before you add a top coat.  You want the glaze to dry completely.

distressed white kitchen cabinets


distressed white kitchen cabinets

5.  Apply a top coat.  I used polycrylic and applied it with a sponge brush.  Sand between coats for a nice smooth finish.  I only did 2 coats and that seemed to be enough for a nice wipeable finish.

6.  Let the topcoat dry for about 24 hours before you add your hardware.

distressed kitchen cabinets


I also added a piece of decorative moulding (Lowe's) to the area under the sink.



Gorilla wood glue was all I needed.


Then I used some masking tape to hold it in place while the glue dried.  Once dry, I painted and glazed.  So easy and makes such a difference!


distressed kitchen cabinets


distressed kitchen cabinets

distressed kitchen cabinets

I love the way our new black bamboo floors look against the white distressed cabinets!  I'm so glad to have all that sanding behind me and so is the hubs.  :)   We've got some more decorative moulding that is going to be added in the kitchen.  Hopefully I'll be able to show you that very soon.  Good heavens if there's any more sanding involved I might go cray-zay!

So what do you think of the new look?  I'm having so much fun doing what I want to do in my home without giving a care as to whether or not this would appeal to a potential buyer.  Man it feels good to finally be settled!

*UPDATE  - for a full tour of our completed kitchen check out the house tour page.





*Linking up to Home Stories A2Z, Pink Postcard, DIY by Design, My Repurposed Life,
beforeAndAfterButton

36 comments:

  1. First off, I love your floors. Bamboo is my new fave, as it's environmentally friendly, too!
    Second, the cabinets look awesome. You're the queen of diy (:

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  2. They look great. I know you will love them now.

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  3. They look great - you guys really did a nice job. I've always gone back and forth whether I like the distressed look for us, but I really like what you did with your cabinets. And I love that piece of moulding that you added under the sink. It must be a great feeling to know that you are in your home for good - I'm very excited for that day to come.

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  4. The cabinets look fantastic. What a difference.

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  5. I like the contrast between the sleek floors and the distressed cabinets...and the great thing is the cabinetry now won't show any wear and dings that may occur! Looks like a ton of work, but worth the effort! Janell

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  6. OMG Carmel I LOVE the way they turned out, and adding the applique was the finishing touch!! Martina

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  7. Carmel!!! I love it! If only I had a granite counter top.
    I painted my cabinets last year, so when they get worn and beat up, this will be my next step! hahah
    poor hubs! I bet he was glad to help. :)
    wondering where you got the gorilla glue ??? hehehe
    great job!
    gail

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  8. I know what you mean about constantly focusing on resale. We made all of our decisions with that in mind at our old house... this one, I'm trying to go more personal on. :)

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  9. It looks awesome!!! I am going to have to look for that glaze- I've never seen the Valspar. Your decorative moulding is a beautiful addition. We are getting ready to tackle the kitchen here very soon, so this is great to read. (NOT looking forward to the mess!!) I so agree with you on making your house the way you want and feeling settled! Thanks so much for linking up Carmel! Great to have you this week! :) Thanks for your sweet comments on my blogaversary.

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  10. This is beautiful! They look so chic!

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  11. Beautiful job Carmel. I tried distressing once and it turned out to be a nightmare. You make it sound like a piece of cake. Your kitchen is turning out so beautiful, love the bamboo floors too.

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  12. Love how you put that lazy good for nothin....whoops, that is my husband...love how you put that sweet man to work :)
    They look great!

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  13. Looks amazing... and you make it seem amazingly easy!!

    Tiffany {Living Savvy}

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  14. I like the look of the white distressed cabinets against dark, sleek bamboo floors as well as the combination of old (more traditional and rustic) against newer, contemporary.

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  15. Wow Carmel, I love it! You make it sound so easy! The decorative accent really makes a statement. I hope you had an awesome holiday weekend!

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  16. yes this is what I need to do to one of my tables- Valspar antique glaze- I will pick this up!

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  17. Ha ha - Sherry - he owed me :) Thanks everyone! It really is easy (just time consuming and messy) but not at all difficult. If I can do this anyone can - trust me :) If you have a partner preferably one to do the sanding it will go a lot faster. The sanding is the hardest part.

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  18. Lovely my dear! I painted mine 5 years ago...I am thinking it is time for a "touch-up." I might have to look into this as our salvation. :)

    Cheers~
    e

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  19. the cabinets look amazing. i love the decorative molding and your beautiful bamboo floors too.

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  20. Your cabinets are FABULOUS, Carmel! The glaze adds such a custom look and the decorative piece you applied is perfect! Love your gorgeous floors, too! *Becca*

    www.adventuresindecorating1.blogspot.com

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  21. I think this turned out really great.
    I've seen some cabinets that just seem-- like they are dirty.
    Yours look wonderful!

    great job, Pat
    found you thru Gails CaCCan ...

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  22. Thanks for the tips lady! I enjoy distressing furniture and absolutely love how you have restored old cabinetry!

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  23. question my kitchen cabinets are also over 20 yrs old, and I am begging for a new look because my cabinets are stained how do i go about doing what you did, it seemed yours were painted?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, mine had already been painted by the previous owners. Once they're painted you just follow the steps as outlined above.

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  24. I live in a 25+ year old home that still has the original kitchen cabinets. Beside being a bit worn they are in great sturdy shape. They are a maple color with a clear coat and I was going to sand them then distress them with a bag of screws and whatever other items I can think of. I wanted to add a walnut stain and top coat. Can you give me any hints on this project?

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  25. After looking at the floor of your kitchen i totally forgot about the cabinets, you surely have such a nice flooring and thanks for sharing this tutorial, will surely come in handy.

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  26. How were the paneled sections added to your cabinets? I believe before pics did not have those.

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  27. I love what you did to your kitchen. Tomorrow I going to start my cabinets. Can you tell me the name of the white paint you used.

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  28. Superb Post,I have spent a lot of time to gain effective info,I liked it very much,Thanks for sharing this post.

    Birmingham Kitchen remodeling

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  29. This is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing you thoughts on this issue. Keep it up, looking forward to read another one in the future

    andrew
    college station kitchen remodeling

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  30. The blog is good enough, keep up writing such type of posts.
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  31. Thank you for this!!! I ended up sanding down my bathroom cabinets and then using the antique glazing to make it darker and I love it!!!! I wanted to attach Before and After pics... but can't figure it out!! I even added a little bit of that Wood Decor 'Flair' on the front of the unusable drawers! Thank you!!!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'd love to see pics- feel free to email me at Carmel@ourfifthhouse.com

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  32. Hi, I have a question. Great article, BTW! I bought my home 15 months a go. Our kitchen cabinets were regular wood tone with some sort of shiny varnish on them. Not sure what type of wood.. maybe pine or white oak? Anyway, my favorite style of decorating is shabby chic, French farmhouse and beach cottage.. so I wasn't happy with the wood cabinets. My husband and I spent a week painting them white. We just used a plain stark white semi-gloss paint. I prefer matte paint for furniture, but figured that semi-gloss latex paint would be easier to clean grease and dirty finger prints off of. We didn't sand the varnish off of the cabinets before painting.. we just painted. It's been about a year and they've held up fine. We didn't add a topcoat of anything over the paint, either. Just two coats of white paint. I want to use antiquing glaze on them. Can I? Will that work on my cabinets? Will it go through the paint and the previous varnish beneath the paint and into the wood? I've never heard of it before so not sure how it works. I also want to sand my cabinets to distress them lightly in the raised areas. Just to make it more chippy. Would I do that before or after the antique glaze? Any suggestions would be helpful! My email is Megan.Photographs@yahoo.com. Thank you so much!

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Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C

 
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