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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Whitewashed Cabinets: Of the thousands of pictures of kitchens found on this website, fully 30% of them are white (or off-white) kitchens. For your benefit, I’ve separated the “whitewashed wood” kitchens, shown here, from the “antique white” and “pure white” kitchens located in the main gallery. Whitewashed cabinets are made of real wood (often maple or oak) that has been tinted with a white stain so that you can still see a hint of the grain. While not as popular as painted white kitchens, a whitewash is ideal for those who enjoy wood grain but like the benefits of a white kitchen. If you love wood, but want a bright and cheery environment, then a beautiful whitewashed kitchen is a great choice!
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Applying a white stain allows you to brighten a wood surface without hiding the grain pattern. Painting wood furniture white is one way to brighten a room, but the disadvantage is that paint is opaque, so it covers and conceals the natural grain of the wood. There are techniques for applying white stains that don’t necessitate losing the grain of your wood. Until recently this technique involved taking ordinary paint and thinning it down to create a white stain. Today there are white stains commercially available that take the guesswork out of staining wood white. White stains are widely available in water-based or oil-based forms. Water-based stains dry quickly and produce less fumes or odors. Cleanup is also easier with water-based stains. Soap and water is all that’s needed as long as the paint hasn’t dried. Oil-based stains offer longer working times since they dry more slowly but, since they do give off hazardous fumes, should only be used in well-ventilated areas. Whenever applying stains of any type, it’s always best to test the stain on a sample of scrap wood of the same wood-type as the piece you’ll be working on. Though stains can typically be applied using either a brush or rag, but white stains can also be applied using a brush. Whitewash stain is ideally suited to pine. Apply the white stain with a brush. Once the stain has set up for 2 to 3 minutes, work the stain into the wood using a rag and wipe away the excess stain — wiping gently with the grain. Make sure to work white stain into any knots that may be in the wood to accentuate the knot. Once it’s applied, the white stain allows the grain to show through, but it tones down the yellow look of the pine.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Whitewashed Cabinets – Everyday Use: As opposed to pure white kitchens, whitewashed kitchen cabinets tend to be a bit more practical. Since stains and smudges stand out visually on a bright solid white surface, whitewashed cabinets may require less frequent cleaning and dusting than a pure white kitchen. This is because the wood grain tends to distract the eye and obscure things a bit. Still, cleanliness is key. Knowing this in advance can pay off with a lifetime of enjoyment in your traditional whitewashed kitchen.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

In the past, the whitewash process for cabinets involved mixing ordinary white paint with a thinner to create a white stain, creating inconsistencies in the cabinets’ color. Today, whitewash wood stains are commercially available and easy to apply. The look of whitewash cabinets can brighten a room without using paint and allow the wood’s natural grain to show through. Certain wood types, like pine, are better suited to whitewashing techniques, but cabinets made of oak can also be whitewashed through a process called pickling. Regardless of the wood type, the key to a successful whitewash is thoroughly preparing the wood and allowing for sufficient drying time of the stain and protective coat. Here are the steps to create whitewash cabinets for your home.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Whitewashed Cabinets – Trends: The whitewash process has been around for centuries. Unlike color tones and wood stains that can shift with fashion tides, a well-designed whitewashed kitchen should never look too dated. While whitewashed cabinets are not nearly as popular as solid white cabinets, you’ll still find dozens of photos of traditional kitchens on this site featuring whitewashed cabinets.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Actual two-tone. Instead of mixing and matching color cabinets, select cabinets that have a two-tone look to them. Careful with choosing cabinets in a repeating two-tone effect — they may look too busy. Our favorite, contemporary look that will withstand the test of time involves two-tone cabinets that are one color for the actual cabinets and doors, with a second color around the exterior frame.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

Finish the cabinets with a top coat. While whitewashing enhances the wood grain, it does not offer any wood protection. To finish the cabinets, use non-yellowing protective top coat that will penetrate the wood’s pours and protect the wood from within, such as a water-based lacquer, clear acrylic or natural Tung oil. Apply the top coat with a high quality brush that is designed for latex or water-based products, so that stray bristles don’t end up on your top coat. Use overlapping continuous strokes to finish the surface, a process called “striking off.” Allow the first coat to dry for about 4 hours, and then lightly sand the cabinets one last time with 220 grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth to wipe away any excess reside left behind by the sandpaper, and then apply a second and final coat to the cabinets. When you finish the bottom of the cabinet, place the cabinet on a small block or shims so that the polyacrylic doesn’t stick to the surface of your work area. Avoid using oil-based protective finishes over whitewashing or pickling as these finishes have a yellowish look that will detract from the white coloring of the whitewash look.
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White Washed Kitchen Cabinets

High and low two-tone effect. Use one color on your lower cabinets and a different color on your upper cabinets. To create a fresh, lasting look, stick to complementary colors. If you find that you’re color-challenged, use a deeper, richer shade on the lower cabinets, and a much lighter shade of the same color or white for the top cabinets.
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For a contemporary kitchen, forgo traditional cabinets in the darker-stained wood tones and go with color. Color cabinets are a great way to add personality to a kitchen. The best part is that certain painted cabinets can be repainted as needed without having to replace them. The boldest color choices today are not necessarily bright yellow or saturated primary colors. Today’s neutral colors make a big, modern-yet-classic statement like:
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Your kitchen cabinets set the stage for the styling and look of your kitchen, as well as how well organized your kitchen necessities are. But the latest in kitchen cabinet ideas and design trends can be tricky, since certain trends look dated after several years.
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Replacing your kitchen cabinets are a big investment, so making the right choice is key to enjoying a beautiful up-to-date kitchen for many years. We looked at the latest kitchen cabinet ideas and analyzed function, beauty and if the trend has the potential to be fresh but timeless. Here’s our favorite eight kitchen cabinet ideas that are classics and will be on trend for years.
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Condition the wood. If your cabinets are made of a soft wood like pine, it’s important to condition them as these woods can sometimes appear blotchy when stained. Conditioning also raises the grain of the wood. You can use a pre-stain conditioner for this step. Apply the conditioner to the cabinets with a clean brush designed for latex paints and then let them sit for 30 minutes. Follow up with a light sanding of the cabinets using the 120 grit paper again. This final sanding will ensure the cabinets have a smooth surface to absorb the stain. Dewaxed shellac is an alternative option, if heavily diluted and wiped off fairly quickly. This is a risky method, so experiment on scrap lumber first. Alternatively, apply dewaxed shellac to the end grain to prevent over-staining that area. Wipe off unabsorbed excess, then sand lightly.
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Going green is here to stay. And nothing says green like solid, low-VOC bamboo cabinets. Because bamboo grows so quickly, installing bamboo cabinets means less deforestation of the environment. Look for high quality, solid bamboo cabinets (instead of ply or veneer) and ask for recommendations from friends. Bamboo is harder than Oak. Your bamboo cabinets will look as good as new for years to come.
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The contemporary effect of floating cabinets makes a kitchen space memorable. Floating lower cabinets showcases your flooring while opening the space up. The look is surprisingly functional and ergonomic, since a cabinet’s storage area near the floor is often hard to access or difficult to use for those with back problems. To showcase floating cabinets, add lighting beneath them to cast a contemporary vibe and glow.
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For some unique, high-design kitchen cabinet ideas, look for rustic kitchen cabinets. The juxtaposition of rustic cabinetry with the latest appliances and contemporary counters and touches creates a warm and inviting, modern kitchen space.

Apply the stain to the cabinets. Using a clean rag, apply the stain with long, smooth strokes in the same direction and work the stain into the wood. Follow the line of the grain while accentuating any knots in the wood. Wipe away excess stain with another clean rag or a soft cotton cloth that you’ve folded into a pad. The more pressure you apply to the rag or the pad, the more the wood grain will show through the stain on the final product. If you are pickling oak cabinets, apply the pickling stain with a brush and wipe the stain against the grain. Due to the large pores and the natural grain pattern of oak, wiping against the grain is essential to working the stain down into the pores of the wood. Once you’ve worked the pickling stain into the pores of the wood, use a clean rag to wipe away any excess. If your rag becomes tacky as you are staining the cabinets, replace it with a clean rag.

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