DIY old cabinet decor: 14 great ideas
Even the most beloved wardrobes are overwritten, scratched or faded over time. The paint peels off, the wood dries, and the varnished coating becomes cloudy. But what if we turn this from a flaw into a feature? Te6e does not have to sadly say goodbye to your favorite furniture and spend money on new! And we are ready to help with interesting ideas and inspiration for new achievements!
The easiest way to update an old cabinet is, oddly enough, aging. Such furniture is especially good in luxurious classic interiors, Provence, loft and any other styles that gravitate to retro.
To make the scuffs look natural, choose the right places for them. The furniture is most quickly wiped where the load falls on it, or it is constantly touched: edges, corners, handles, countertops, protruding relief.
Mechanical abrasions are created using brushing technology: the surface is treated with a stiff metal brush that removes paint and removes soft fibers. The technology is good for cabinets made of larch, pine, ash or oak.
Craquelure is the creation of a fine mesh of cracks on the surface using paint and a special varnish. It can be of two types: one-step - when the base or the bottom layer directly peeks out from under the cracks of paint; two-step - when there is another decorative coating or image under the craquelure.
In the simplest technology, the surface of the cabinet is first covered with dark pigment, on top - with colored or contrasting paint. And after drying, a craquelure varnish is applied, which provokes cracking. This option is suitable not only for wood, but also for cabinets made of any other materials.
3. Elegant scuffs
If brushing looks too rude for your taste, there are more elegant aging technologies. Pay attention to this if your interior is designed in the style of Provence, boho or shabby chic.
First, a saturated or pastel colored paint is applied to the surface - but always noticeable. After drying, it is densely rubbed with paraffin or wax, and then a second layer of light paint is applied.
The wax is removed with ordinary sandpaper, and under the light coating, the lower layer emerges. Delicate aging looks especially good in dairy, beige, cream, olive, lavender, linen, pistachio and pale pink bases.
You can radically transform old furniture with ordinary decorative staining. And for this it is not necessary to be able to draw, because now abstraction, geometry and simplicity are in fashion.
A bright and creative accent in a modern interior will be an artistically splattered wardrobe, as if just from a painter’s workshop. You only need brushes, paints, water and a newspaper or oilcloth to cover the workplace.
Choose the spray technology that you like best: just brush the brush to the surface, draw with a toothbrush or a toothpick, and drop small drops from the wide brush. Until the paint dries, the result can always be corrected, the more negligence here is a chip, not an error. And at the end, cover the cupboard with varnish to preserve your efforts.
Glaze is another art technique that boils down to the fact that the lower layer of paint shines through the translucent upper. The result is complex iridescent shades that play interestingly in the light.
The advantage of the technology is that you can use almost any color: oil, acrylic, watercolor, even strong tea. Dilute acrylic with water to the desired shade and consistency and apply it with a sponge or synthetic brush. Glaze does not imply a dense uniform coating, in fact - it's just tinting.
Stain is a tinting liquid that allows you to change the shade of a tree, but completely preserve its texture. Apply it strictly parallel to the fibers, and paint over several layers of varnish or pearlescent glaze over it.
Soft fibers absorb the coloring composition more strongly, and from dense fibers it is naturally erased. If you want to make the texture even more expressive - repeat the process several times. In order not to miss the result, first try the stain on the part of the cabinet where it is not visible.
Simple and affordable technology with a minimum of tools and supplies has won the love of decorators around the world. In fact, this is almost an application for which paper napkins with drawings or special blanks are suitable.
Scrub and smooth the base thoroughly so that the surface is completely smooth. If you decorate a metal or glass shelf, wash it and degrease it.
If necessary, you can first paint the cabinet with acrylic paint, but then wait for it to dry completely. Then apply a weak PVA solution with water to the surface and lay out the top layer of napkins with a pattern on it. On top of all this, it is again covered with diluted PVA, and after drying - with a transparent varnish for smoothness and durability.
Patina is a characteristic old plaque that occurs during the oxidation of bronze or copper. Its natural color is greenish brown, but other options are used in the decoration, including color.
Apply bitumen varnish to the base and immediately wipe the surface so that it remains only in the relief and indentations. And on top of the cabinet cover with a special shellac lacquer, which at the same time provides resistance to scratches and damage.
Shellac lacquer itself gives the surface a hue of old copper or gold. And at the same time, it well emphasizes the wood texture, so it is often used to patinate wooden furniture on its own.
Acrylic patina is a common diluted acrylic paint of a suitable shade. It is spilled in the same way on relief areas, and all unnecessary is erased with a clean rag.
Wax patina is a separate composition that is rubbed on the surface, giving it a shade and a characteristic satin sheen.
Chemical patina looks the most natural, because it simply accelerates natural processes hundreds of times. Paint the cabinet with finely dispersed metal particles and apply a special oxidizing agent on top.
Etching is a more complex chemical process than staining, so it requires careful preparation and selection of reagents. But this technology is good for hardwood cabinets. Thus, you can give them a rich deep shade and emphasize the texture.
In the simplest home recipes, decoctions of leaves, bark, tea, coffee, potassium permanganate are used. But chemical components are more effective, which can be purchased immediately with instructions for application and an indication of the exposure time for different types of wood.
For example, to give the oak a brown tint, 1% copper sulfate will help, gray-lilac - 1% iron, and blue-black - 4-5% iron. You can color birch in dark red with zinc sulfate, and in greenish yellow with potassium chromium.
Coffee shade is given to light breeds by calcium chloride, unusual violet - Epsom salt. And different combinations of these reagents create olive, lilac and golden tones.
10. Dry brush
Dry brush is another technique that decorators have learned from painters to elegantly age old cabinets for classic interiors. Put a little paint on a flat synthetic brush, remove the excess on a rag or paper, and then draw along the base.
Do not push too hard, but easily walk through corners, joints and protruding parts. The brush hairs do not leave solid lines, and the result is not a dense coating, but as if scratched.
Epoxy quickly hardens in the open air and creates a beautiful translucent coating. By itself, it gives a golden or amber hue or creates the effect of glass or ice.
Deep cracks or noticeable defects on the cabinet surface can be filled with colored sand, small shells or any other decorations - and pour resin over it. And small cracks will literally come to life if luminescent powder is added to the epoxy.
12. Self-adhesive film
If you do not want to bother with paint, varnish and resin, there is a solution even easier - decorative film. The stores have many collections, from imitations of other materials to photo printing, textured, luminous and mirror coatings.
First, place the film and cut it, and then glue it like scotch tape, slowly and gently pressing it to the base and expelling the bubbles. The main nuance is to carefully level the cabinet surface in advance, otherwise the film will emphasize all the defects.
If you still want to paint the closet, but do not have enough skills, use stencils. You can print and cut them yourself or purchase ready-made ones in an art store.
Surface preparation is the same as with any other painting: cleaning, grinding, basic coating. Put light markings on top with a pencil so that the picture does not shift during operation. Fix the stencil on the surface with masking tape so that it does not fidget - and start drawing.
If you want, take the paint in a spray can, but then take care of additional surface protection. Instead of stencils, you can use the old tulle, unnecessary openwork fabric and any other suitable materials.
An interesting and unbanal decoration of the old cabinet is upholstery with other material. But this should be the most ordinary cabinet of a simple form and without a relief decor. Instead of soiling fabric that cannot be removed, use dermantine, leatherette and their variations for upholstery.
For fixing the canvas, ordinary glue is suitable - the main thing is that there are no bruises and air bubbles. Decorate edges, corners, ends and other sections with decorative carnations and rivets. Such a finish will take a lot of time, but it will luxuriously fit into the English interiors or loft.
DIY old cabinet decor - photo ideas
These are not all options that you can easily realize with your own hands. In the end, the old cabinet has nothing to lose, so don't limit your imagination. And we offer a few more ideas for this!