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How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
With a Simple Faux Painting Technique

Create Tuscan Painted Kitchen Cabinets

There is something romantic about painted kitchen cabinets. They lend an exquisite, Provencal country feel to a room. Their delicately blended paints and thin lines of imitation rust make it seem as if the kitchen had been basking in sunlight forever. If you have ugly old kitchen cabinets—perhaps oak with scratched varnish—there is a way to change them into beautiful painted kitchen cabinets with very little effort and even less money.

It’s easy and quick if you know the right technique. And since the kitchen is the heart of a home, the last thing you want is a remodel that goes on for weeks. But with paint, a few hours is all it takes to have painted kitchen cabinets that look as if they came out of a catalog.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets: Step #1. Priming

Before your kitchen cabinets can be painted they must be primed. This will prevent the need to sand the cabinets first. KilZ 2 is a quick drying primer, which you can apply like paint. Your cabinets should look completely painted white when you are finished.

Don’t forget to apply the primer both inside and out, or your painted kitchen cabinets will look unprofessional in the end, with the tarnished, old wood still showing inside. Note: You can find KilZ 2 online at Lowe’s, Ace Hardware Superstore, or at your local home improvement and paint stores.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets: Step #2. Choosing Colors

Your painted kitchen cabinets will look slightly textured when they are finished. This effect is achieved by blending three hues as you paint. The base hue, your primary color, should be the one that you wish to see dominating your painted kitchen cabinets. After you have chosen this color, choose a second color that is two shades darker. Finally, choose a third shade that has a rusty undertones, like burgundy or brick red.

Depending on your taste, you might want your painted kitchen cabinets to have a light gloss. In that case, buy semi-gloss paint. However, bear in mind that flat paint gives painted kitchen cabinets a more rustic look.

Note: You will need no more than one can of paint for the second and third colors, but probably two or three cans of your first color (depending on how big your space is). Also, you will need three to four paint brushes for this project, so be sure to buy a few extras.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets: Step #3. Painting

Since you will be blending three shades as you paint, always work on small areas of your cabinets at one time. This way the paints will not start to dry and smear unevenly.

Begin by painting one kitchen cabinet on the outside with your primary (first) shade. Next, with a fresh brush, smear a few long lines of your third (rusty) color. Now, with another new brush, blend in the sharp lines of brick red or burgundy by smearing them with a paint brush dipped in your primary color.

Leave enough of the red smears to show faintly. Finally, with a new brush again, add highlights with your second (slightly darker) color, smearing them freely with your primary color. Consult the pictures included with this article to see the effect desired.

Note: There is no right or wrong way of applying the paint, so be playful when you create your painted kitchen cabinets. If you don’t like a certain pattern of smears, paint over it with your base color and start again.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets: Step #4. Sealing

Because your painted kitchen cabinets are likely to collect fingerprints and stains over time, it is best to coat the painted surface with Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish. This clear water-based sealer will give you the flexibility of wiping your painted kitchen cabinets without damaging the paint. Just be sure the painted surfaces are completely dry before you apply this polycryclic finish.

Note: You can buy Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish at Lowe’s or your local home improvement or paint stores.

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