Create Faux Distressed Wood Cabinets

Distressed wood cabinets can be expensive to buy since they're made from quality wood that has been specially treated to look artistically old but still keep the strength and durability of a new product. You can create the look of distressed cabinets easily and for much less money than specially ordered ones. All you need is a little paint, some time and your current kitchen cupboards.

Gathering the Tools

You don't need much to create faux distressed wood cupboards. One medium-width and one small-width paintbrushes will make painting easier, especially if the smaller paintbrush has an angle so you can get in the corners on any raised surface on your cabinet. You'll need fine and coarse steel wool. Brand name isn't necessary. Buy pine wax and make sure you have several dry clean clothes in a variety of sizes.

You'll need matt chalky paints in umbered white and pale greyed blue. Spend a little extra money here and buy quality paints that are moisture and chip resistant so your hard work will last. You can also buy a base coat, but it isn't necessary since you can often paint directly on the wood cabinets without a base.

Prep the Wood

If you wish, you can sand off any varnish or previous paint, but this is only necessary if there's already a thick layer on from previous decorating jobs. Remove the doors and the hardware. Vacuum all residue from the sanding off the doors and near the painting area. If you haven't sanded, simply wiping the cabinets clean will be good enough. For painting, you can work on your kitchen table as long as you protect the surface with a large cloth, old newspaper or a painting drop cloth. Don't forget to cover the floor.

Creating the Distressed Look

Brush uneven strokes of blue chalk paint in the direction of the wood grain on each cabinet. Some areas should have more paint applied than others, but you need to make sure there's enough paint so the base coat or wood doesn't show through. Allow to dry. Paint a coat of the white chalk paint with the same type of uneven strokes. Allow to dry.

Use a brush or piece of fine steel wool to apply the pine wax to the cupboards. The wax will remove some of the paint as it gets absorbed by the chalk paint creating a distressed look. It also acts as a waterproof protectant. To create an even more distressed look, use coarse wool over the cabinet surface to remove more of the paint and wax. Buff the surface with a clean cloth.