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.

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  • Nancy Nancy on Feb 25, 2019

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

  • AndradeTea AndradeTea on Feb 25, 2019

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

  • Judi Judi on Mar 13, 2019

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

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3 of 19 comments
  • Heide Heide on Feb 28, 2019

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

  • Karen Julio Karen Julio on Apr 06, 2019

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