How to Transform Your Oak Cabinets into French Country

Sometimes a kitchen renovation involves taking existing kitchen elements and making them into something entirely new. This could prove more cost-effective if you are working within a tight budget. Avoid common renovation mistakes by upgrading what you have to a new design. How do you go about transforming your oak cabinets into French country cabinets for a completely different style of kitchen?  Your kitchen renovation can be simpler than you think if you know the right applications to include in your design. Making your oak cabinets in French country cabinets is a transformation that is worth undertaking. Check out how you can accomplish this kitchen makeover with some simple applications.

Distressing is the Way to Go

One of the most obvious features of French country cabinets is a time-worn appearance. How can you achieve this with your oak cabinets? Opt for distressing the cabinets before doing a paint and glaze job. The age of your kitchen cabinets will determine the degree of distressing that is required. Oak cabinets that are roughly 20 years old would likely need only sanding. If your cabinets are fairly new, they will require some rough work, such as denting, scratching and poking on the surface with different tools, like an ice pick and chains before the distressed look can be achieved. Begin your distress work by cleaning the cabinets using a degreaser. You want to ensure that you thoroughly remove dirt, oil, and grime accumulated on the cabinets. It’s best to remove all the doors and hardware as well. Sand the surfaces that can be painted to eliminate to finish and add texture. If you like gray kitchen cabinets, you can paint the surface in a hue of your liking or some other color. 

Do a Little Priming and Painting

An easy way to transform your oak cabinets is by priming and painting them. First, thoroughly remove dust on the cabinet doors and frames, as well as any accumulated grime. Prime the cabinets for an efficiently-bonded paint surface, a solid base for your paint, and a clean finish. Employ a small roller during the application of the primer and a foam brush to fill in crevices or creases. It’s best to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions as it relates to the drying of the primer. After the primer dries, paint the cabinets, applying up to three coats if needed for full coverage. Cream and antique white are two colors that French country cabinets are typically painted in, you can go with other options, like pale green or yellow. 

Glazing is a Good Option

Another method of aging your oak cabinets or giving them an antique look is to glaze them. Remove the doors, drawers, and all hardware, and paint your cabinets in a color of your choosing. To begin the glazing process, ensure that your freshly painted or stained cabinets are thoroughly dry before the application of the glaze mixture. Whether you buy a pre-tinted glaze or mix paint with a glazing medium, a glaze in a dark color provides more richness. A sponge brush or cotton rag can be used to apply the glaze, using circular, buffing motions as it’s wiped on the cabinets’ surface. Don’t miss the crack and crevices, and use a lint-free, clean rag to wipe away the glaze. Avoid wiping away too much of the glaze so you don’t have to add another coat.

Get New Hardware

No French country cabinets are complete without the right hardware. Cabinet hinges and pulls that features a rustic finish, like rubbed or antique bronze, are ideal options. Wrought-iron furnishings are popular in French country decor, making wrought-iron hardware a great for transform your oak cabinets. Hardware with a classic French motif, like a fleur-de-lis design can add a finishing touch and bring the look together.

Transforming your oak cabinets into French country cabinets is much easier than you think. Distressing your existing cabinets, priming and painting, glazing, and selecting French-inspired hardware are all some simple things that you can apply to achieve the French country cabinets for a new looking kitchen. Go ahead and transform your cabinets into something fresh, timeless, and beautiful.