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How to make cabinets look rustic

How to make cabinets look rustic. In a room with a ton of cabinets, the color and style of each cabinet can dictate how the room feels as a whole.

For example, changing one wardrobe from black to white will change everything from there on out.

It will add contrast where there wasn’t any before, and it’s an easy way to make a significant change in the feel of the room.

There are so many ways one can make cabinets look more rustic or more antique without having to wait for years; it’s all about picking the right approach.

How to make cabinets look rustic

different ways to make cabinets look rustic

Painting or trimming some cabinets can be effective if you want to give them an old-world charm while using shiny and new hardware gives off vintage vibes.

Either way, we have several ways you can glam up your cabinets without giving up on practicality.


Although a door is already distressed, you can crush the doors even more realistically with paint. You’ll need two colors that contrast but complement each other.

Paint one color on your door. Once you’ve completely dry, apply a glaze tinted with the second color. Roughly wipe away some of the ice around the edges of your gates.

This will make it seem as though there’s been wear from opening and closing them over the years.

If you want to distress these cabinets differently, try applying a second coat of paint and then sand through it, scratching or roughing up surfaces for an appealing rustic look!



If the faux wood grain is what your kitchen needs to look like an affordable version of a midcentury modern design remodel, then adding paint may be just the trick.

Using paint, cabinet doors with no natural wood grain can look like they were hand-painted with a warm, natural brown color and even have the appearance of the glaze that comes from regular wear and tear for areas not painted over.

After letting the paint dry overnight, apply another coat with a brush or roller unless you plan to use a sprayer for covering large surfaces.

But try using a foam brush so it does not appear evident if it does not cover every part of the door. Then take the rocker gently across the length of each entry from edge to edge and up along the top border as well.

You will create two straight lines across the entire door length, creating the appearance of wood grain and varnish on darker finishes. This process can be time-consuming, but it is very worth the outcome.



Crackle medium is used for making effects on already painted objects. Crackle medium makes a base coat look like it’s been aged and worn, with paint flaking away from the cracks in the surface.

When using a crackle medium, apply it to a primed or painted exterior and let it dry. Then prime the surface again, letting any excess primer that dries runoff.

Lay down your topcoat of paint – let it dry completely and get hard before applying two to three coats of clear wax over your new project’s final finish.

Make sure you don’t use too much pressure when doing this because putting on too much stress can ruin all your hard work up to this point.


Give the illusion of an old or rustic look with brown paint. Before you begin, make sure that you remove any existing finish from the cabinet doors first so that your color has something to grip onto.

Rubbed into areas with a bit more depth, like cracks or decorative elements, brown paint can look as if the surface has seen its fair share of wear and tear over time.

If your cabinets have a natural wood grain, this would be a good match for making them appear aged.

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