Transform your home by refinishing your cabinets with French Country flair in 9 easy steps

A lick of paint can make all the difference to your kitchen. With a bit of imagination and a few layers of paint, you can take your tired old cabinets from drab to fab in no time at all. But why just settle for a new color? Why not go for a whole new look in your kitchen, and refinish your cabinets with a touch of French flair.
To create the French Country look you will need:
•           Sugar soap
•           Primer
•           Chalk paint in three different shades to give you a distressed effect. A good choice is Old White for the first coat, Paris Grey for the second coat, and Country Grey for the top coat.
•           Paintbrushes
•           Glasspaper or steel wool
•           Clear wood-finishing wax
•           Dark wood-finishing wax
•           Scourer, sponge and cloths
•           Vintage handles and hinges

Step One – Clean your cabinets
Remove your cabinet doors and carefully unscrew all the hardware, handles and hinges. Scrub the surfaces of the cabinets and doors with sugar soap and hot water to clean off residue, dirt and grime that has built up over the years. Rinse and dry the surfaces with old rags or towels.

Step Two – Prepare your surface
Before you can paint any surface, you need to prepare it properly. You can either do this by sanding off or stripping the old paint and varnish, or you can use an easy surface preparation. Ask your local paint expert for advice on products that will adhere to painted surfaces. If you use an easy surface preparation, apply it with a cloth and leave to dry for at least two hours. When your cabinets are dry, they will have a dull look and be slightly grainy.

Step Three – Paint your first layer
Paint you cabinets with a layer of Old White chalk paint. Don’t apply the paint too thickly as you will be applying three layers. Chalk paint is normally thicker than other paint but you can dilute it with a bit of water.

Step Four – Apply the second layer
When the first coat of paint has dried, use a narrow brush to apply Paris Grey to selected areas of your cabinets, like on the edges or corners. Highlighting these areas will create greater depth when you add your distressing and aging finishing touches.

Step Five – Apply the final layer of paint
Finally add your Country Grey top coat. Leave your cabinets to dry for a few of hours. If you have used an easy surface preparation, your paint may take longer to completely dry so be careful how you handle the cabinets.

Step Six – Apply a wax layer
Using a brush, cloth or sponge, apply a coat of clear wood-finishing wax, made from natural ingredients like beeswax, to the entire surface of your cabinets. The wax will be absorbed into the paint, making it easier to distress your cabinets and expose the colours underneath.

Step Seven – Create wear and tear
Take glasspaper, or steel wool, and rub away patches where you would see natural wear and tear to expose the colour underneath. Different effects can be achieved by using different grades of glasspaper.

Step Eight – Add the antique patina
Finally rub in a dark wood-finishing wax to give the cabinets an aged look. Leave to harden overnight, buff to a sheen and then put your kitchen back together.

Step Nine – Add some vintage handles and hinges
To give your kitchen that final French Country touch, add some vintage handles and hinges. You can also bring in a few French country décor elements, like an over-sized rustic wall clock, Chinoiserie pottery and a chandelier. It’s these small details that pull the entire look together.

Visit your local Toronto cabinet refinishing specialists to get inspiration, advice and help you give your kitchen the perfect makeover.


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