Distress Kitchen Cabinets
Distressing describes a host of techniques and tricks that decorative painters use to transform new or everyday wood furniture and surfaces into pieces with vintage charm and character.
The main technique described here involves applying two layers of contrasting paint and then sanding the surface to reveal underlayers of paint and bare wood. For the appearance of additional use, you can further distress any surface by hitting it with a hammer, screwdriver, or a heavy chain.
Distressing wood furniture - such as these painted, sanded, and stained cabinets - is a time-consuming, labour-intensive process. But the one-of-kind finish that results can be well worth the effort.
You will need:
120- and 240-grit sandpaper, clean cloth,
Light-colour acrylic paint for base coat, darker-colour acrylic paint for top coat, acrylic sealer to finish.
- Prepare the surface. by lightly sanding the entire surface to be distressed. Use 120-grit
sandpaper followed by 240-grit) to
prepare the wood. Wear a dust mask. Depending on the
desired results, you generally don’t need to completely
remove all stain or paint from the wood. Simply remove
the shine from the wood and get it ready to absorb fresh
paint. Wipe the sanded surface with a clean cloth.
- Using a 10cm trim brush, apply the undercoat of acrylic
paint. Paint with the grain of the wood. Let dry. Based on
your decorating needs, the undercoat can be lighter or
darker than the top-coat colour; the contrast between the
colours of the layers is more important.
- Using a new or clean 10cm trim
brush, apply the top-coat colour of
acrylic paint. Brush with the grain. Let
dry. For an old, often-painted look,
build up extra paint on inside corners
and in the bottoms of details.
- Using 240-grit sandpaper to sand the
edges, raised portions, and details of
the surface, revealing the undercoat
and spots of bare wood. Sand a
few flat areas of the surface as well,
attempting to replicate where actual
use and wear might occur. Wipe with
a clean cloth. For a more well-used
look, you can hit the surface with
metal tools, keys, or other objects.
- With a new brush, apply a coat of acrylic sealer - tinted with a small amount of brown or grey artists acrylic - to give the surface an aged look. Let dry. Buff the finish with a fine nylon pad. Apply a second coat.