Faux Finish Cabinets: 3 Ideas

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With little or no previous painting experience it is possible to have faux finish cabinets in your kitchen for a whole new look. If you are tired of the same old wood cabinets, cabinet faux finishes will allow you to change the look of your kitchen for a very affordable price. Most decorators agree that sponge painting, rag painting, and combing are the main three options for faux finishing cabinets. Each of these techniques can be accomplished with the following tools and supplies.

Each faux finish job will begin the same. However, the final step will vary depending on the finish you desire.

Prepare Your Work Area

You will want to begin the process by removing all doors and hardware from your kitchen cabinets. Next, you should tape off the wall areas around your cabinet and the inside edge of the cabinets if you are only painting the outside. You will also need to tape the plastic sheeting down to the floor around your cabinets. You should also tape plastic sheeting to your countertops so you do not spill paint on your surface. Finally set up your tools on top of the plastic sheeting and arrange your supplies in a way that will not be intrusive to the work area. You want to have plenty of room to move around without spilling your paint tray or bucket.

Apply Your Base Color

The first part of the faux finish process is applying a base color or coat. You will want to paint your kitchen cabinets and cabinet doors with the base color of paint you chose. Allow the first coat to dry and add a second coat. Once you have applied the second coat of paint you will want to follow the manufacturer's directions regarding the amount of time the paint should cure. Some paints will be completely set up overnight while others require a full 24-48 hours. After you apply the second coat you will want to clean any spots where the paint was spilled or got on the wall and floor.

The final step is applying the faux finish to your cabinets. This process will vary depending on the finish you are looking for. Consider the following three faux finish options.

Faux Finish #1 - Sponge Paint

Sponge painting is very simple. You can choose from a large variety of paint sponges today. Many do-it-yourself stores even offer sponge paint rollers that provide various textures. Most people use a contrasting or lighter color glaze when sponge painting. For example, you might use a dark brown base coat and a light tan sponge layer. The design possibilities with a sponge are very unique. Each sponge will make its own unique design.

Faux Finish #2 - Rag Painting

Rag painting is much like sponge painting other than the fact that you use a rag in place of a sponge. You can take old pieces of cloth and bundle them to make a sponge, or you can tie strips of cloth around a paint roller. You will definitely want gloves for this project. Simply bundle the rags in your hand, dip the rag in the glaze, and apply the paint to the cabinet by dabbing the cabinet. Another option would be to use a translucent glaze, with a rag over, the base coat of paint. You can wipe the glaze on in any pattern you like.

Faux Finish #3 - Combing

If you choose to use a combing technique you will need to buy a metal or wooden paint comb at your local hardware store. Start by applying a contrasting coat of paint to the cabinet surface. Most people choose to paint one section and then comb it before moving on to the next section. You can create a striped pattern, a checked pattern, or several other linear designs with a paint comb.