Distressed Black Cabinets Part 2

For part one of my cabinet remodel click here.

1. I handed painted with a HIGH QUALITY BRUSH (mine is a Purdy brand and it ROCKS!) all the cabinet bases by hand. You can also use one of those foam rollers if you would like. I found it just as easy to use a brush. I also hand painted all the quarter round and the trim pieces I pulled off.

NOTE: If you can get your hands on an air compressor and my new love you will save yourself SOOOOOOOOOOOO much time. Did I mention you’d save a lot of time? Yah, you will definitely save a lot of time.

2. I sprayed with my new love all the cabinets and drawer fronts. I am going to explain how I sprayed them like you are 4 years old. No offense… I just know someone will ask me exactly how I sprayed them. I set up two saw horses parallel to one another and spaced about 2 feet apart. Then I took leftover 2×4’s from another project (about 4 feet in length) and laid them on top of the saw horses (perpendicular to the saw horses). Then I laid the cabinet on top of those and sprayed. Start with the widest cabinet first and work your way spraying one at a time until you get to the smallest cabinet. That way the paint from the 2×4’s does not get on your cabinets. I sprayed the back of the cabinet and sides first and then propped them on some Coke cans to dry. I used American Accents Canyon Black (Satin finish) in the quart. It took me 5 quarts to do my whole kitchen. It is pricey paint but I love the color (black is not black people…there are various tones to it…get a nice, rich, luxurious black color). Allow to dry overnight. You can leave the paint in the spray gun it won’t hurt your gun to leave it in there one day.

3. The next day flip the cabinets over to the front side and spray and let dry repeating step #2. The great part about spraying them and the paint I used is that it is a ONE COAT JOB! Holla! Is that reason enough to use a quality paint??? I did not primer, there really is no need to as long as you sanded and prepped well.

4. Now that everything is dry this is where the experimenting, frustration, fun comes in. After much trial and error of different techniques…I took 120-grit sandpaper and lightly sanded the entire painted surface using harder pressure in those parts I wanted more distressing (i.e. the edges). Yes you heard me right, I sanded the entire painted surface. You will then see the wood come through and the sanding of the entire surface makes the paint look matted rather than a satin finish.


5. After it is was sanded and distressed to my liking I took a brown acrylic paint and put some on a paper towel and rubbed it all over the cabinets. If I added too much paint I could just wipe it with a damp paper towel. I rubbed it in really hard especially to the edges. It gave it some nice brown tones in the distressed area. I just felt like the color of the wood underneath was too stark against the black and wanted to tone it down some. The paint did it for me.


I don’t know if you can tell the difference in this picture and the last picture but the brown tones really make it look nice.


6. Ok now the above process worked wonderful on anything that was solid wood. Enter craptastic paper island. This was a challenge. Because it wasn’t real wood you kind of have to do a faux treatment to make it look like wood underneath. So what I did was sand it like I did everything else but then I wiped some paint in strategic places left to right.

7. Then using a dry paper towel I would drag the paint up and down to create the look of distressed wood grain. This process took a while and a lot of trial and error. I think I repainted the island three times trying different techniques. But the above technique worked best for me. If you want some advice from a professional check out the Magic Brush, she does some amazing work and she is great about answering your questions.

8. After letting everything dry I added new hardware. You will have to make some sort of template if you don’t have any original holes. We had to do that with the pulls. It was too complicated to explain and we sort of winged it anyway. I got all my hardware (9 pulls and 20 knobs) for $35.66 shipped! I ordered from Bella Home Living Ebay store. They were having a closeout of one of their stores. Here is the drawer pull I ordered and here are the knobs I ordered. The finish I got was Bright Nickel Burnished. It basically is silver but burnished with a black finish. It picks up on the stainless steel appliances and looks nice with the black cabinets.

9. Then using my air nail gun I nailed all the quarter round in place and all the trim pieces I took off. Then using a little paint brush painted over the little nail holes.

STAY TUNED TOMORROW FOR Distressed Black Cabinet Tutorial – Part 3 THE EXTRAS

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