How to Antique Bathroom Cabinets

Shelley Frost

Antiquing bathroom cabinets is a quick update that makes the entire bathroom look different. The antiqued look is a popular one on cabinets both in the kitchen and bathroom. You can also add it to shelves, picture frames and other wood surfaces in the bathroom to create a coordinated look.

Antiquing plain cabinets gives them a new look.

The antiquing process isn't an exact science. Practicing on a plain board or small wooden item helps you perfect the technique before you try it on the cabinets.

  1. Remove the bathroom cabinet doors and drawers. Mark the doors so you know where they go when you put them back on the cabinet. Remove the hardware from the doors.

  2. Wash the cabinet faces and doors with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent or dishwashing liquid. Avoid using too much water because this can damage the wood. Wipe the cabinets dry with a lint-free cloth.

  3. Decide if you want to stain or paint the cabinets. You can antique either finish. Consider the finishes on the other surfaces in the room and your personal preference. Prepare the cabinet faces, doors and drawers by sanding them. Wipe away any sawdust.

  4. Paint or stain the cabinet doors and base bathroom cabinet in the desired color. You will likely need at least two or three layers to get a smooth finish. Allow the paint to dry between layers. Paint more, thin layers rather than fewer thick layers for a more professional-looking finish.

  5. Choose your stain color that will create the antiqued look. The color you choose depends on how dark you want the antiquing to appear. Trying the antiquing method on a piece of scrap wood before painting it on the cabinet.

  6. Rough up the areas that would normally wear on the cabinet using a piece of rough sand paper. This includes the edges, corners and near the handles.

  7. Apply the stain over the cabinet doors and cabinet base. Wipe away the stain immediately with a soft cloth. Some of the stain will stay behind to create an aged look. Continue applying and wiping the stain until you get the desired antique look. You can also sand the doors and cabinets more if you want a more worn look.

  8. Hang the cabinet doors back in place. Install new hardware to match the antiqued look if desired.

  9. Tip

    If you like the current stain or paint color of your bathroom cabinets, you can antique it as is instead of restaining or repainting the cabinets first.