Bathroom and kitchen cabinets are much like any other design elements in that they go through a range of trends that come and go. In the past, modern materials such as metal and glass were very popular. While they are still popular, hardwood cabinets have experienced a serious resurgence in popularity. One of the most popular trends is a move towards distressed wood. Distressed wood is wood that looks like it has aged and weathered over time.
The distressed wood trend began with a move towards reclaimed wood for many different purposes. Many people repurposed old barn doors, roof beams, and discarded wood for their homes. That led many manufacturers to begin manufacturing wood that mimics this look; this is called distressed wood. If you are looking to create distressed wood cabinets, you have a few options.
The simplest option is just to buy distressed wood or authentic reclaimed wood cabinets. If you already have the cabinets and don’t want to buy new ones, you can distress them yourself.
Distressing Your Cabinets
Your first step is to remove the existing paint and finish on the cabinets. You can do this with paint remover. A semi-paste paint stripper is the safest option. Apply it and remove the paint according to the guidelines on the product. You can also remove the original paint with a sander. If the paint is very thick, a power sander will save you a lot of effort.
Once you’ve got bare wood, you can set to distressing it. If you want to mimic the look of chemical weathering such as from UV light and rain, you can make a mixture of white vinegar and steel wool. Leave the steel wool in the vinegar for several hours. Spray that onto the bare wood to create a light graying effect. If you want the graying to be darker, you can spray the wood with black tea before you apply the vinegar and steel mixture.
You can also use your power sander or a wire brush to create a scraped look. To use a sander, pick the coarsest sandpaper you can find. Use that to create uneven scrapes in the wood. To create the true patina look, you can mask off certain sections of the wood before you apply the tea and/or vinegar. That will create varied depths to the finish.
Finally, applying a matte finish to the wood can help enhance the distressed look and also give it a look of finality. Just like that, you can have rustic cabinets in your home.