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Want A New Look? Antique Your Kitchen Cabinets With Chalk Paint And Soft Wax

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Your kitchen cabinets have probably looked the way they do for a long time, and you may be ready for a change. If your cabinets have a lot of interesting woodworking details like carvings, an application of chalk paint and furniture wax can emphasize those details and give your cabinets an antiqued charm. Not only will this project transform your cabinets, it can also transform the entire appearance of your kitchen. This is a great task for a homeowner who enjoys completing DIY projects and who wants to make a dramatic update to their kitchen. 


  • Screw driver
  • Tarps
  • Rags
  • Grease cleaner
  • Chalk paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clear soft furniture wax
  • Dark soft furniture wax
  • 2 Pure bristle wax brushes 


  1. Set up your tarps in the room where you'll be painting. In addition, lay out some tarps on the floor of your garage or porch where you can paint the drawers and cabinet doors once they're removed. 
  2. Remove the cabinet doors and drawers. Set them aside on the tarp you laid on the ground in step 1. 
  3. Take off your cabinet and drawer hardware like knobs and hinges. Set the hinges and knobs aside and label which cabinet or drawer each set goes with. 
  4. Clean your cabinets, including the doors and drawers, with grease remover and clean rags.
  5. Paint your cabinets with your selected color of chalk paint. Chalk paint is a favored material often used by furniture refinishers because it requires little or no surface preparation. Chalk paint adheres to nearly any wooden surface without stripping or priming. 
  6. Allow the chalk paint to dry for the manufacturer's specified period of time. 
  7. Apply a second coat of paint to the cabinets and drawers if necessary, then allow the chalk paint to dry a second time.
  8. Dip the bristle brush into the clear soft wax and then apply the wax to the cabinet faces, including the doors and drawers.
  9. Wipe the excess clear wax off of with a clean rag before it can dry. As you brush on and wipe off the wax, work in small sections to prevent the wax from drying before you are able to remove the excess.  
  10. Dip the second bristle brush into the clear dark wax and apply the wax to the cabinet faces, over the areas where you applied the soft clear wax. 
  11. Wipe the excess dark wax off of with a clean rag before it can dry. Again, work in small sections as you do this to prevent the wax from drying before it can be wiped off. 

When you apply the dark wax to the cabinets, it will smear all over the cabinet faces and cover up the paint. When you wipe off the wax, it should come off easily, leaving dark wax in the grooves and carvings of your cabinets, giving your cabinets an antiqued appearance. 

This entire project takes at least a day, if not several days, and you have to be pretty dedicated to DIY home project completion in order to take this project on yourself. If you don't think that you have the time, expertise or physical ability to complete this project, a better alternative is to install all new cabinets. To find out more about installing shabby-chic antiqued kitchen cabinets in your home, contact a reputable kitchen cabinets dealer (such as Black Swamp Cabinetry) in your area.