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Distressed Kitchen Cabinets

February 25th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Distressed Kitchen CabinetsTaking new wood and making it look old is called distressing. Many designers are using distressed wood designs for kitchen cabinets. The creativity level is unending when you are finishing any type of hardwood furniture this way. The process can be applied to oak, maple, cherry, walnut, pine, exotics and just about every wood species you can find to beat on with a hammer.

There are certain tools that create specific marks that have designated names that describe what the mark looks like. A new piece of freshly cut wood can be made to look like an old antique with a few hand tools and paint finishing tricks.

Terms, Tools and Materials Used For Making Distressed Kitchen Cabinet Doors




Chipping-This can be done with a multitude of tools. Just make things look like the wood is chipped off.

Rasping-This is done with a rasp. It creates long rough indentations along the edges of the cupboard parts.

Ant Holes-This can be done with a fine drill bit. I’d use one about one thirty second of an inch thick (1/32″). He actually refers to these as worm holes. You could also hammer a nail into the surface and pull it out.

Crackle Distressed Cabinet DoorChain Distressing-Using a hammer in combination with a chain the metal is pounded to make an impression in the hardwood.

Worn Edge-These indentations are generally along the corners and can be done with sand paper. It gives the kitchen cabinet an old-used look. Belt sanders work great for making distressed cabinets.

Nail Indentations-A regular carpenters finish nail is either left straight or bent and then beaten into the wood.

Crosses and X-patterns-These are refereed to as chicken scratches. Any object that will allow you to make thin fine scratches in the oak, pine, walnut, redwood, pecan wood or maple. Use a straight edge in combination with a razor knife for making the marks.

Aging Cracks-This will resemble split wood and can be done using a rolling pizza cutter.

Distressed Kitchen Cabinet DoorsWorm Trails-These are short squiggly lines that are created with an electric or cordless drill. The bit is held lightly on the surface of the cabinet door and pulled to create the slightly curved lines.

Fly Specs- This is done by spattering black paint with a small fine brush.

Imprinting Screws-Using a hammer and any length screw, hammer the threads until they leave a deep mark in the kitchen cabinet wood.

Scrapping-This can be done with a putty knife.

Paint Brush Marks-You need a stiff bristle brush and a little paint to make marks on the kitchen cabinets with. He refers to this as making distressed kitchen cabinets by dry brushing.

There are hundreds of tools and painting techniques that can give cabinetry a distressed look. Many kitchen cabinets sets have been fabricated out of old barn wood siding. By using various colored stains, paints, tools, props, and final finishes, anyone can achieve this old worn outlook. Distressed dark, light and medium stained colored woods all work with this particular type kitchen cabinet design.

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