Monday, October 8, 2012

Black Distressed Kitchen Island

Finished Kitchen Island
My services were recently requested by Scott from His company was doing a total kitchen remodel for his client. They had beautiful, new cherry cabinets installed and a huge new kitchen island. She wanted the island to be black and very heavily distressed, with the wood tone showing through the same as the existing cabinets. I got to start with all natural, unfinished wood. That never happens! It's always, old and dirty and in bad shape. What a joy!

I decided to use a product that stains and seals in one step. I used Bombay Mahogany to mimic the stain color of the new cabinets.

Even though it was oil, it did slightly raise the grain of the wood enough that it needed a light sanding when dry. I was going to use my usual awesome bonding primer/basecoat but I knew with the amount of distressing she wanted it would be difficult to remove so I needed something to allow me to easily chip away the paint. I went old school and used a wax candle. I rubbed it randomly over the cabinets, being sure to hit the natural high points of the cabinetry.

I used my trusty black bonding paint, only available online, and began to paint. It has great coverage and great bonding capabilities so I had to make sure it didn't dry too long.
Once they were dry to the touch, I used a plastic scrubbing pad to remove the paint, reveling a distressed, aged look.

The paint rubbed away perfectly, giving a naturally distressed look! The finished cabinet door.

The black paint needed to be sealed when finished. We didn't want a shiny finish, so I mixed a water based satin varnish with a flat varnish, at about a 1:1 ratio, so that the cabinets would still look old. Here's another  shot.

You can see some of my existing work at or keep up with my new projects at


  1. wow! That stain matched the cabinets perfectly!

  2. Thank you! It was a small but fun project. Love to have happy clients!


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