Monday, September 24, 2007

Brightening cabinets with glaze

I'm not fond of oak cabinets. I'm even less fond of those in my laundry room, where orange oaky grain feels so heavy overhead. Yet, I don't have time or paint budget for a remove-the-doors, sand-between-coats project.

Last night I brightened the cabinets the same quickie way I glaze furniture--with watered down paint and a rag. For this job, I used clear acrylic glaze from Porter. You can have it custom-tinted, but you'll stretch your money farther by buying it clear and tinting it yourself.

I mixed half a cup cup of glaze with half a cup of white latex paint (and even that was far too much). Now I can use the remaining clear glaze with other colors, as I need them for future projects.

My unscientific method involves brushing the glaze on, then wiping much of it off. I like to use a dry brush to work the glaze over the grain, using a cross-hatching pattern.

I glaze the hinges and hardware while I'm at it. You can keep adding layers of glaze until you get the coverage you want. I added two thin coats in less than half an hour.

You may want to rub the molding and edges for a softer, antique white look. I'm happy with the light, "pickled" finish--it blends the beige wall, gray-ish floor, and white machines much better than the orange oak. I may add some decorative details to the cabinet doors later.
For much better cabinet makeover, don't miss Notes From A Cottage Industry's inspiring kitchen. Tracey is the queen of painting wood!

21 comments:

Melissa said...

Beautiful job!

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Impressive. I'm still not sure how you manage to do all you do with two little ones.
However, I like the oak too. That's a good thing because all the woodwork in my house has that orangey cast. It reminds me of a old red hunting dog.. sturdy and comfortable.

HopewellMomSchool said...

Amazing: You mean there is another woman on the planet who would not pick 80s/90s suburban "honey oak"??? Sweet! I'm going to look into what you did to see if it's feesible for me. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I have the same kind of cabinets in my house. I too hated them. After years of 'living with it' I got them painted white. I brought my husband an air compressor with many attachments for his Christmas gift one year. One of the attachments was a paint sprayer. I can get things painted now without too much of a hassle. He actually enjoys using it. We spray paint many things from garage sales etc. We brought our wrought iron patio set at a sale for $15.00..it looked awful..we painted it black and it looks great. Looks new.
I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks so much for sharing. Roxie

Kris in TN said...

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Thanks!

Jaimie said...

Great idea! I have those same oak cabinets in my laundry room too. Blah! I love the glaze and you did a great job!

The Mom said...

No one with a laundry room should complain about the color of the units : -) In the UK, laundry gets done in the kitchen, and with 12 children that is not the easiest of jobs.
Enjoying your blog,
Henrietta

Meredith said...

Henrietta, I'm not complaining...just striving for perfection!

This is actually the first laundry room I've ever had. My last four homes have had no laundry, kitchen laundries, or closet laundries.

Though, how you do it with 12 sets of clothing is beyond me!

Amy said...

I am jealous of your laundry room too- so cute! I do my laundry in the basement- not the look I had hoped for.

You did such a great job on these! I am still determined to paint my cabinets one of these days. The oak in our kitchen doesn't bother me as much since we painted our walls. Before that they were really bothering me. I would like to add some hardware too.

You are such a great inspiration! Love them (and the sweet little girl on the washer too!)

Anonymous said...

At our house, we had those same "honey-oak" cupboards, and lots of them, in our kitchen. While orange is my favorite color, I find that oak finish to be pretty nasty. I toiled with the idea of painting, glazing and so on, and finally decided to choose a wall color that would make them less noticeable (the gray walls needed new paint anyway). I chose a butterscotch/terracotta color, and now I barely even notice those hideous cabinets b/c they actually blend nicely with the warmth of the wall. But don't think for a second that new cabinets wouldn't be welcomed anytime. :)

Grace

SAHMmy Says said...

Very cool technique! I love that you even glazed the hardware--my desire to avoid removing everything first is why my cabinets are still waiting for some love :)

Hyperactive Lu said...

Love your work! Your little girl is too cute!

Morning said...

I also did the white paint thing -- and oh! it changed the look of the whole house! I did repaint, but avoided sanding by using a prep that was just wipe-on and off. The cupboard paint does chip a little, but for $50 for the whole kitchen, even if it lasts a year I'll be ok with that.

L. Turner said...

Did your cabinets have a clear varnish on them before you glazed them? My kitchen cabinets have some type of varnish on them. I can tell where it has begun to peel off especially those cabinets above the stove top where steam rises from my boiling pots. I was wondering if I needed to sand it off to do something like the glaze you did. I certainly would love a change. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cara said...

That looks great! Though my dad would have a heart attack to know that you painted over -gasp- wood! I like a little lighter wood or painted, hubby likes wood, so mostly we'll just have wood :Z

Michelle said...

I did the same sort of thing except it was my kitchen cabinets. I painted them red and then took a black glaze and ragged over them. Then we wiped off the excess to give them a very antiqued, retro look. They turned out really well and I would do it again in a heart beat. Except I'm having problems with them chipping in certain spots and THAT is a problem

Ruth said...

i LOVE what you have done! i wish i had some dark oak cabinets to paint. :)

Kate said...

oh oh oh!!! Looking great! You're so blessed to have a laundry room. I have a basement, which is more than what many women have. I'm looking into ideas for spiffing up my basement space. It's so much fun to DIY home decorate and improve! Now, what can I do with my dingy-white and chipped metal kitchen cabinets and 1950's teal blue and mod swirl countertops? Hmmm....

2boysmama said...

THANKYOU! I have the same colorcabinets in the bathrooms and want to do something with them without replacing them (they're in great shape) or full fledge paint, sand, etc. Will definitely try this.

I'venever heard of Porter... is that the brand or the store? The only time i've bought glazeis the Behr brand at home depot for doing different paint techniques. is tha tthe same thing?
thanks!

Meredith said...

The Behr brand is great, too. Porter is a regional brand available at my local hardware store.

The less paint you put in the glaze, the less coverage you get.

People with wood cabinets can still keep the wood look by mixing about one part paint to four parts glaze.

Bethany Haile said...

I realize this is a really old post, but I love how easy you made this seem. It seems like a lot of people want to make projects way more complicated then they need to be, and then in the process, I can't figure out how to do them! :) So thanks!
Bethany @ Happy By Design