Give your ugly kitchen cabinets and an easy and beautiful makeover with antiques

The economy is tight, yet you’ve been itching to replace those old, worn kitchen cabinets and now you know you can’t for at least a while. But what do you do if you can’t take them one more day? Give them a new old finish!

A friend of mine recently moved into a 1920s country house in a small town in Washington state. The old lady who sold it to her hadn’t updated the cabinets since they were new in 1960.

Being a resourceful artist of faux finishes, she set out to change them right away. But she didn’t do it by replacing them or even facing them again. He did this with a simple technique of adding ornamental plaster pieces from a mold and aging them with a simple painting process.

I LOVE the look of the painted and aged cabinets. I love the look of the ornamental plaster. What the two create together is a beautiful makeover of your drab, drab cabinets. They add that character to the kitchen, bathroom (or even a piece of furniture!). Here’s how to easily get that classy look:

First of all, find a mold design that you really like. Craft stores have some in the aisle for soap or candles, but you can find many online. Just search for “Ornamental Plaster Mold” and these sites will appear. Choose a design that is the right size to fit in the center of your cabinet door without being overwhelming.

The most exciting thing about adding plaster pieces to your cabinet doors is that they make the doors appear to have hand-carved relief designs. However, each piece costs literally pennies to produce.

The “frosting on paint” finishes are great. The technique can turn the simplest and most ordinary cabinets into something much more interesting and beautiful. I love how this finish gives the cabinets a real dimension and presence!

It can be done with any of the colors, usually using a darker shade of the same color or coordinating over a lighter shade. But my favorite is cream paint as a base, with a light brown wash to medium. It is relaxing and inviting and does not detract from other decorations you may have in the room.

How easy is it? Ultra!

1. Simply use the mold and a bag of plaster of paris (found at your local home store) to mold enough pieces of the design for the number of cabinet doors in your kitchen. Follow the manufacturer’s simple instructions.

Parts must be completely dry and lightweight before applying to cabinets. This can take anywhere from 2 days to a week, so make your pieces ahead of time to save time. Trust me, if you can mix the cake batter and pour it into a bowl, you can make plaster from a mold. It really is child’s play.

2. Wash your cabinets to remove dirt and oils and then apply two coats of primer.

3. Use joint compound mixed with a little white glue as an adhesive, spreading the mixture over the back of the plaster piece, holding it in the center of the cabinet door for one minute. It will stick perfectly! Let dry for 48 hours before continuing with painting.

4. Simply paint your cabinet or cabinet in the lightest version of the color you have chosen. Let it dry overnight.

5. Mix the deepest shade of your chosen craft color with translucent wall polish at a ratio of 4 parts enamel to 1 part paint (pretty easy, huh?).

Mix well.

6. Brush generously over the cabinet surface, paying close attention to the ornamental plaster piece, then immediately wipe with a dry terry towel, allowing the mixture to linger in the gaps, crevices, or corners of the piece to create a more shade Dark. end up in those areas.

7. Once dry, seal with two coats of non-yellowing polyurethane to protect your new finish.

It’s fast, simple, and beautiful!

This technique can be done on just about anything and if there are any ornamental details on the piece, you will find that the glaze just brings it out even more! To make cabinets feel really new, apply a coat of paint to the inside of the cabinets or a new shelf liner as well.

So jump in and give those ugly cabinets an ornamental facelift. You will find that you can like them much more than if you actually replaced them!

© Victoria Larsen 2009. All rights reserved

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