If you need new cabinets but can't afford them, you might try some do it yourself antiquing. Antiquing your kitchen cabinets can revitalize old tired cabinetry and add warmth and character to the room. Antiqued cabinets go with a wide range of decorating styles, from country, to Victorian to Tuscan to French.
Antiqued cabinets will give your kitchen a warm lived in look as well as make the room feel more relaxed and comfortable. There are 2 basic methods you can use to antique your kitchen cabinets - staining and distressing. You can use them alone, or combine them for some old world charm in your kitchen Antiquing Your Cabinets With Stain This method of antiquing kitchen cabinets works best on cabinets that are painted a light color or have a light stain. You will need some dark stain, a brush or sponge and lots of paper towels.
Achieving an antique look is easy but you might want to try it in an area that isn't so noticeable or practice on something else until you get the hang of it and develop a technique. To antique stain your cabinets, simply apply a light layer of the stain on one section of the cabinet and wipe off to the desired level of "antiqueness". Repeat all along the cabinet until you are done! You'll want to make it look natural, so concentrate more stain on the areas that would get the most wear like around the edges and handles. Distressing Your Kitchen Cabinest This method of antiquing kitchen cabinets works only on painted cabinets. It is called distressing because it simulates the wear that an old piece of cabinetry would endure after hundreds of years of use.
Some people use chains and hammers when distressing furniture, but I think a little bit of sandpaper is enough for cabinets. The object is to sand off the finish on the edges and worn areas. Therefore, you would take a medium grit paper and sand at the door and drawer edges to reveal just a thin layer of the wood underneath. It looks best when the color underneath is a bit darker or if the cabinets are dark then it looks best if the color revealed is lighter.
Personally, I prefer to stick to the edges, but you can sand a bit off in the middle if you want an overall worn look. Some other methods of antiquing kitchen cabinets include crackle painting and faux painting. Crackle painting is done with 2 types of paint - the bottom layer is painted on and the crackle medium is brushed on top which causes the layer underneath to crackle.
I have tried this method many times and have never been really satisfied with the results. If you really like this look, I suggest you practice, practice, practice on something else before you attempt to crackle your cabinets. Faux painting can be a very nice way of antiquing your cabinets.
You can probably find a local artist that will do this for a reasonable price - they can add depth to the cabinet as well as some nice artistry! Other ways to add interest to your cabinets include changing the knobs and hardware and adding molding, legs and trimwork.
Lee Dobbins is the owner of A Kitchen Decorating Idea where you can get more ideas on how to decorate your kitchen on a budget .