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.

how to take a cabinet 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.

how to take a cabinet from basic to rustic

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.

how to take a cabinet from basic to rustic

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

how to take a cabinet from basic to rustic

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.

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Mary from Real Girl's Realm

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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.

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