I recently worked on some built-in cabinets. Often times when I do this I bring the doors home to do at home. Typically I paint both sides of the doors so it goes faster if I can bring them home and work on them in the evenings to at least get the backs done.

These where white when I started out and so I primed them with a golden tinted primer first and then put on the first coat of a medium brown. Actually the color is a Sherwin-Williams color of Java.

There were four doors to do. The next step was to use another S-W color a dark brown called French Roast, then on top of that I used a light golden color. The end effect was to have them aged. After that I painted the center diamond and trim molding a distressed metallic.

Here you can see with and without the metallics painted in. The next is a close up.


  1. The cabinets shown are done in the same technique and almost identical colors of cabinet that are unfinished I need to try to match (to ones already painted like the ones in your photo). Can I get a step -by-step directions on how to achieve that look from you? Getting desperate as I haven't found anyone who can or will do it, so I'm going to go for it myself.

    Much appreciation in advance! Or you can e me @

  2. Painting that particular look on those cabinets can be a little tricky. The techinque involves being able to use a drybrush approach.

    By that I mean you don't want a lot of paint on the brush at all.

    If I were to start out with unfinished wood the first thing I would do is prime the wood using a tinted primer. You can use a benjamin moore product called 'fresh start' and have it deep tinted to a color called peanut butter.

    after the primer dries you have to sand it down. priming unfinished wood will raise the grain and so you need to sand it down.

    then I used a color java from sherwin williams and dry brush over the sanded primer. so drybrushing is using the brush with very little paint and pressing hard so the bristles spread apart some. That is how you get the wood grain look.

    once the first coat dries I either use a dark, dark brown or mix some black into the java and go back over it. but I typically use a product called floetrol to thin down the second coat.

    then on this project I went over it again with a light golden kinda kaki color with a very very dry brush technique.

    Then I seal all my cabinet work with a product you can get at Lowe's called diamond elite by varathane. it is for hard wood floors and I use the waterbased one. it comes in an oil based but don't use that one.

    I would try to explain how to do the metallic part but it is very complicated and I am not sure how I could explain it just by writing about it. but I used three different colors of metallic paint and some dark brown regular paint.

    good luck with you project.


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