How to make your cabinets look vintage

Written by kay ireland
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When your cabinets look more shabby than shabby chic, then it's time to update by using that shabbiness to create cabinets that look fashionably vintage. A weekend of work, painting and additions can yield to a more customised look in your kitchen. You can even use older materials from around your home and jewellery box to give your cabinets a brand new look by making them look old. It's a trendy way to update your kitchen.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pain
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Glue
  • Brooches
  • Stencil
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Sand all of the cabinets to remove all sheen and varnish that may be on them from any previous finishes. You can do this with sandpaper, but try using a sander for tougher jobs. If the cabinets are painted, just remove any shine.

  2. 2

    Tape off any glass partitions of the cabinet, and the insides of the cabinet where they meet the doors. No dark paint should land on the cabinets inside.

  3. 3

    Coat the cabinets in a layer of primer to get them ready for the paint. To make them look even more vintage, use a paint with a primer already in it, in a yellow, tan or cream-coloured hue. Allow the primer to sit until it is dry to touch.

  4. 4

    Paint the cabinets in a vintage colour. A rusty red, cornflower blue or subdued yellow will add to a more antique look. Consider the colours that would have been available a century ago--most colours were more faded. Choose a matt colour for a more vintage look.

  5. 5

    Paint in a messy and random fashion. Instead of covering the whole cabinet, let some of the lighter colour show through. Try cross-hatching the paint or painting and then running a dry brush over it to give it a more weathered look.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat, allowing to dry overnight. Once dry, use the sandpaper to sand edges that would be naturally worn away over time. Corners, sides and the areas around hardware are all good choices. Sand just enough so that the cream-coloured paint shows through.

  7. 7

    Unscrew all of the knobs from the cabinets. Gather vintage brooches and pins from your own collection, thrift stores and estate sales until you have enough for all of your cabinets. Use wood glue or screws to affix the brooches in place of the knobs to give the cabinets an eclectic and vintage look.

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