Distressing and glazing kitchen cabinets

How to Distress and Glaze Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to designing your home, there’s so many design choices to make. Do you go choose a nautical theme or opt for a vibrant boho look? Do you paint your bedroom walls light blue or grey? And do you choose shabby chic distressed kitchen cabinets or go for a more glossy finish?

If you’re looking to give your kitchen an elegant and stylish look, then personalising your kitchen cabinets can be a great way to bring some life to your room. But whether you opt for some a rustic distressed look or a more classic glazed take (as with high gloss kitchen units or acrylic kitchen doors), follow our simple step by step how to guide on kitchen cabinet styling to revitalise and restyle your home.  

How to Achieve Distressed Kitchen Cabinets in 7 Steps

1. Remove all handles and hardware

Stripping kitchen door handles and accessories from your kitchen cabinets is essential if you’re going to achieve an even and natural looking distressed finish.

2. Sand down the kitchen cabinets

Use either sandpaper or a sandblock and slowly sand the cabinet down until the gloss and any excess coating is removed from the outer door.

3. Scratch lightly with a small nail

If your cabinets already have a more ‘worn’ look then you may be able to skip this step. However if your cupboards have a relatively fresh look, then it may well be worth going over the outer door with a small nail in order to create a more used and worn look that will stand out.

4. Paint with antique glazing

Once you’ve achieved the desired nicked and chipped look for your kitchen cupboard door it’s time to get a little messy with a coating of antique glazing. Whilst applying the glazing it’s important to be as sparing as possible, applying a very thin layer that only lightly covers the door frame.

5. Wipe off the glazing

Gently dampen (not wet) an old cloth and begin to lightly wipe away the antique glazing. Then leave the cupboard to rest for a day before beginning the next step.

6. Apply a top coat of polycrylic

After waiting 24 hours, the kitchen cabinets should be ready for their final coating. In order to give it a smooth and more finished look, apply a coating of polycrylic. In order to get a more even look, use a sponge instead of a brush to really perfect this look.

7. Add handles and decoration

After another day or so, your cabinets should be dry and ready for the final touch. Re-install the handles and hardware that you had previously removed to make the cabinets useable once more. You can even choose to add any further embellishments or designs to really make your kitchen cupboards pop. From decorative moulding to styled handles, there’s a lot you can do to really breathe life into your kitchen.

How to Glaze your Kitchen Cabinets in 8 Steps

1. Remove the doors from the cabinets

In order to keep things from getting messy, simply unhinge the kitchen doors and drawers from the cabinets. It’s also wise here to take the time to removes all handles as this can make things much easier for you when it comes to glazing the doors.

2. Fill in any cracks

Over time things can get more than a little beaten down and broken in the hustle and bustle of a kitchen, so it’s important to take the time to fill in those cracks. Use wood putty to give your cupboards a smooth finished look before sanding down to even the surface out.

3. Wash the cabinets

Though this may seem an unnecessary step, it’s actually incredibly important in preparing the wood for glazing. Removing smoke, oil and dirt this will provide you with a blank and clean canvas to work with.

4. Paint and seal your kitchen cabinets

Applying a fresh lick of paint is a must if you’re looking to completely breathe new life into your kitchen. Just be sure to seal your work once the paint is dry with a clear gloss spray-on lacquer which can help to keep your cabinets looking fresh.

5. Tape the edges of the cabinet backs

In order to keep your glazing as neat as possible, be sure to tape the edges of the cupboards and drawers with masking tape.

6. Apply the glaze

Apply a thin layer of the glaze using a brush in either circular or linear motions across a small section of the cabinet. Once the glaze is applied you then need to wipe the glazed surface with a rag or paper towel to achieve your desired look. Once done you can work your way down the rest of the cabinet, section by section until the whole thing is glazed.

7. Apply a layer of gloss

Once the glaze is dried, it’s time to add just one final layer of gloss. Helping to prevent scratches whilst simultaneously providing a smooth high shine finish, applying gloss is a great way to add a professional looking touch to your kitchen.

8. Re-attach doors and handles

Once the gloss is dry, reattach the kitchen doors and handles to bring the last pieces of the puzzle together. Then (most importantly) take a step back and admire your handiwork.

By following these simple steps (whether you’re team shabby chic or team minimalism) you can instantly transform your kitchen into an interior design paradise, that exudes style and personality in every aspect. Browse our range of replacement flat pack kitchen units, pre assembled kitchen units and doors for more home decor inspiration.