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Distressing Your Kitchen Cabinets and Restaurant Dinnerware

As you begin this project, you will need some inspiration. Just look through any home decorating magazine and you will probably see pictures of just what you are needing. But don’t spend too much time admiring¬† just right dinnerware for your restaurant. The “Old World” look with a warm lived in country flavor is very popular at the moment. This look is almost ageless. It’s a look that you would be proud to hand down to your children, just as you would a piece of antique furniture. Besides inspiration, you will also need a few supplies which can easily be found at your local home improvement center at a minimal cost.

Sandpaper(light and medium grit)
Latex paint: two colors of your choice
Tinted glaze: Brown
Polyurethane
Tack cloth
Paintbrushes
Rags ( for rubbing on stain)
Old toothbrush (for splattering), optional
Disposable gloves

You should always work in a well ventilated area. If you have a backyard, working outside would be great. Removing the doors and hardware will make it easier to work with. Although inconvenient and takes a little effort, it will certainly be worth the time. Perhaps you can invite someone to help you. Prepare your existing cabinets by lightly sanding the original finish with light grit sand paper. Chains, keys, hammer, small knife cuts, or an ice pick can be used to simulate a worn and distressed look. Begin to randomly rough up the surfaces. Wipe clean with tack cloth before painting or staining.

Paint your cabinet by applying a coat of latex paint using a color you will want to show through all layers, then allow it dry. After the first coat has completely dried, lightly sand, then wipe again with tack cloth to remove dust. Apply another coat of your second color of paint, and let it dry thoroughly. Using a medium grit of sandpaper, sand smoothly, but randomly sanding enough to allow the first color of paint to show through. Now is the time to get aggressive and “wear” down the edges and corners with medium grit sandpaper. Be sure to sand other areas, such as around the knobs and drawer pulls. To enhance the worn, aged look, rub on a brown tinted glaze. Don’t forget to wear disposable gloves to make clean up a lot easier. To add further aging, a random “splatter”, with an old toothbrush, may be used. Just dip into the brown glaze, pull down on the end of the toothbrush bristles, and splatter. Finally, when the glaze is dry, protect the look with two coats of polyurethane, sanding between each completely dried layer.

Hardware for your new “old” cabinets should compliment the style of your kitchen. A casual, warm country or old world look would be achieved by selecting the appropriate finishing touch. Knobs and pulls are available in a variety of finishes. Nickel and bronze are very popular with the distressed look The finishes may be smooth or hammered. Don’t forget the hinges. These should be replaced to match the knobs and pulls you’ve chosen.

These instructions are for existing cabinets. Of course, if you would prefer to purchase unfinished cabinets, the directions would basically be the same. The project would actually be a lot easier, since you would eliminate the step of removing the hardware.

When the knobs, pulls and hinges are in place, added accessories will complete your new look. Your kitchen now has a warm, cozy look with character. Stand back and feel the pride!