I was looking for a new cabinet to go in my dining room and found a piece I felt was perfect. The price, however, was not. Especially since I would need two of the said cabinets to fill the space. I contemplated what to do since at this point I was set on the look of the piece, nothing else would do. Thus, I decided to alter cabinets I already had in another room and draw a similar design as the inspiration piece I wanted onto these cabinets. By taking on this project myself, I ended up saving around $600. I was also able to add my personality to the finished look. I am a huge fan of taking two very different styles and combining them in a way that works. The inspiration piece had a chunkier, old wood look and black handles (pictured below). Although the cabinets I already had were a slightly different color and style, I maintained the soft flowing hand-painted lines and metallic color of the design on the inspiration piece.
What you will need…
I liked the look of the dark wood, and luckily the cabinets I had were a similar color. As I mentioned earlier, I love mixing styles, and the modern nickel finished hardware I had previously installed worked flawlessly (measure the distance between the holes of the existing cabinet before purchasing replacement hardware). You will need oil-based paint markers in silver and gold. You will also need rubbing alcohol, paper towels, cotton pads, and Q-tips to clean up mistakes (see section below Step 8 for how to fix an oops). An optional item is a stencil of choice (I decided to forego the stencil).
Let’s get started…
Prepare your workspace by ensuring proper ventilation and that your flooring is protected. Once your cabinet is assembled (if necessary), remove hardware and clean by wiping all surfaces with a paper towel containing rubbing alcohol. This is to remove all oils from the surface to ensure paint adheres. Keep the screws from the hardware near-by so you can open the cabinet doors if necessary. I left my hardware in place since they matched my paint.
Follow directions on the paint marker before using.
In creating the pattern on the cabinets, I chose to use a freehand technique, but stencil(s) can be used. I didn’t want the look to be perfect because the cabinets already have a sharp angular look. Plus this creates a more hand-painted feel of the inspiration piece.
Begin by drawing a line to create the outside border approximately 1/4 inch in from the cabinet door edge, all the way around the door. When finished, paint the space between the edge and the border just drawn.
Crate four leafed pattern in each of the four corners of each door.
Fill the space between each leaf pattern, repeating the pattern. You can use a ruler to determine the spacing that will work on your piece. With the cabinet I chose, eight leaf patterns filled the horizontal space, and twenty-one filled the vertical space. Again, I wanted a very freehand painted feeling, so I did not space my design entirely evenly.
Draw curved lines to look like vines from the bottom of the cabinet towards the top. I varied my design from the inspiration piece to create a more delicate look. I created smaller curved lines off the main line. I wanted the look to appear almost vine-like.
Create small leaves off of the vine. This is done similarly as the leaf pattern, just create little ovals and fill.
This is where the real charm comes in. Using the gold marker, create little accent marks on the four-leaf patterns, the vine, and the leaves on the vine. This creates the subtle aged look of the inspiration piece.
How to fix a mistake
Take a paper towel, cotton pad, or Q-tip (depending on the size of the oopsie), and dab into rubbing alcohol. Just wipe the paint away, using a clean section to repeat if necessary. Allow to dry, and redraw.
The finished look.
If you are feeling as adventurous as my son, you can create a design for the top and sides of the cabinet too.