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Old 08-09-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Distressing Cabinets

I have some worn and slightly tattered cabinets that I would like to paint and distress. I have found many instructions on how to paint the cabinets and many instructions on how to distress cabinets that are stained, but nothing on distressing painted cabinets. What steps do I need to follow to paint and finish the cabinets? Do I need to put some kind of clear finish on the cabinets? If so, what type of finish and how do I apply it?


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Old 08-18-2010, 02:29 PM   #2
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Just did this with my upper cabinets. Here is a pic of what they look like. Not the best picture, but me and my brother were able to get it complete. I can get some better pictures if you would like. These cabinets were in stock from lowes, so they were bare to begin with.

1. To start, we sanded down some of the rough areas on the cabinets. After that, we painted the fronts and backs of the doors, and the faces and edges of the cabinets.

2. After that, we just sanded down areas where we thought they should be distressed. He used an orbital sander around the edges. On some of the doors, he just did it by hand. You want to be sure that you take the paint all the way off where you want it distressed. Around the handles and edges look the best. Each person probably has their own opinion on where to do it, so it would just be up to you.

3. Stain everything that you painted and sanded, then wipe it down. Depending on how dark you want the distressed areas to be, you may have to stain those areas more than once. We had to watch for bubbling of the stain as well in areas, and kept wiping the stain from those areas.

4. After the stain was dry, I put two coats of poly on. Be sure to take a fine grit sandpaper and wipe down some of the rough surfaces before doing this. Also, you want to make sure the poly goes on even, and doesn't splotch up in certain areas. This may require keeping an eye on it while it drys so you can brush it if it does this.

For the stain and poly, I just used those 1.5" cheap foam brushes. Worked well.

These aren't professional in any way, but they look good. Some people may do it different, but this way worked for us. I will also be doing it to the lower cabinets as well when I can get them bought. Its also not a one day job either. You have to be sure to allow everything to dry before moving on to the next step.
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Distressing Cabinets-cabinets-1.jpg  


Last edited by ws450r; 08-18-2010 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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You could use Sherwin Williams Faux effects crackle medium to give your cabinets an antique/distressed look.
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