How to Take a Cabinet From Basic to Rustic

3 Materials
4 Hours

We recently completed some renovations at my church, including the bathroom. We removed the hanging sinks and replaced them with a dual sink vanity. Since we were on a budget, we decided to purchase builder basic cabinets from a salvage store and finish them. I used a weathering stain to take the wood from basic to rustic.

After we installed the cabinets, sink top, and faucets, I got to work. I did not want to paint them because it would require a lot of upkeep, since the bathrooms are used daily at our church/preschool. I went to my paint stash and looked at several stain colors, but ultimately decided on Varathane Weathered Wood Accelerator that I had used previously on a farmhouse sign.

I used a small brush to apply a light coat of the stain. At first, it does not look like much, but it weathers the wood as it dries and sits for a while. After one coat, I felt like it was still too light, so I applied another coat and let dry.

I sealed it with a coat of clear satin polycrylic to protect the wood since it is in a bathroom.

Here is the finished product. If you have basic cabinets, you can transform them with a few bucks and weathered stain. It is also perfect to use on standard boards to make a farmhouse style sign.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

3 Wonderful Ways You Can Upcycle Old Windows
Transform Tuna Cans Into Gorgeous Lighting In 10 Simple Steps
15 Bathroom Upgrades That You Can Totally DIY
21 Ways To Use Those Pickle Jars You've Been Saving
32 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
18 Stunning Backsplash Ideas You Do Not Want To Miss!
30 Creative Painting Techniques & Ideas You MUST See
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
13 DIY Projects That Scream Canada
Do You Want to Make Over a Room in Your Home & Add Gorgeous Built-Ins?
30 Ideas To Make Your Office Look Great
15 Awesome Projects To Get You Ready For St. Patrick's Day
30 Adorable DIY Ideas For July 4th
Use Your Old Corks For These 25 Clever Ideas

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Nancy
    on Feb 25, 2019

    Did you have to strip or sand before using the Varathane? I sure do love this look.

  • AndradeTea
    on Feb 26, 2019

    It looks cool. (Could you paint the toe-kick? ... just a thought :-)

  • Judi
    on Mar 13, 2019

    It looks great!! Does this have a grey/brown look or a true brown?

    • Mary from Real Girl's Realm
      on Mar 14, 2019

      Thank you! The lighting in the bathroom is florescent, so it alters the color a little. It is a greyish /tan. The weathered product I used was "Grey" but they also offer brown shades.

Join the conversation

3 of 21 comments
  • Heide
    on Mar 1, 2019

    Looks great. If you can change the faucets to farmhouse style it would be even better.

  • Karen Julio
    on Apr 7, 2019

    I did the very same thing! But, I added some rustic pulls and knobs from Hobby Lobby.

Your comment...