How to Paint and Distress Kitchen Cabinets for a Kitchen Makeover

An easy solution to giving it a fresh new update to a drab and outdated-looking kitchen is to replace the kitchen cabinets. However, that can also be an expensive solution. Or you can make it a DIY project but that can seem daunting because if done wrong, your kitchen will end up looking worse.

Good news is I found a way to paint and distress your kitchen cabinets that anyone can easily do with a stunning result you will be proud of using chalk paint. Best of all, this paint needs no priming or sanding the cabinets before. Although I would still clean them before with TSP or Green --- to remove any grease that has accumulated over the years.

It gets better... chalk paint is also non toxic. You can paint in the dead of winter with all the windows closed and not have to worry about having proper ventilation.

Note: This video tutorial features Amy Howard chalk paint. I have not used that brand of chalk paint so am not familiar with it. I will recommend instead Renaissance chalk paint (with 41 color choices available) only because it is the one I personally use with great results. (Video says she applied 3 coats but for me, 2 coats were always enough.) However, I do use the Amy Howard light and dark wax.


Supplies Needed

Renaissance Chalk Furniture & Cabinet Paint Quart 32oz
Amy Howard At Home Paint 4 oz. Low VOC Light Antique Wax
Amy Howard At Home Paint 4 oz. Low VOC Dark Antique Wax
Brossum 2-in-1 Round Chalk Paint and Wax Brush for Furniture, Natural Bristles
TSP or Green
drop cloth
paint stick
paper or plastic plate
smaller wax brush or lint-free cloth (old t-shirt)
flat cheap brush



Step by Step Instructions

Place drop cloth on floor.
Remove handle hardware from cabinets. (I did not detach the cabinets.)
Use TSP or Green --- as per their instructions to remove any residue grease from the cabinets.
Open the can of Renaissance chalk paint in your chosen color and stir well with a paint stick
Apply first coat of chalk paint to cabinets.
Wait 20 minutes for first coat to dry.
Apply second coat of chalk paint, allow 20 minutes to dry.
Buff the cabinets with the light wax using a wax brush or old lint-free cloth (like an old t-shirt).
Using a cheap flat brush, apply the dark wax to the edges and grooves of the cabinets.
Buff the dark wax areas to desired effect.

As you can see, the process for painting your kitchen cabinets with chalk paint from a wide variety of colors is really uncomplicated and easy. There is absolutely no way you will mess it up. Anyone can do it and end up with a great looking kitchen.