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Top 5 kitchen with distressed cabinets ideas for a vintage look

December 28, 2022 | Updated on: February 13, 2023

classic style kitchen with weathered cabinets

There are many different ways to customize the style and appearance of your kitchen cabinetry according to your preferences. For example, if you want a vintage and charming kitchen vibe, you can run to weathered cabinets. Cabinets are given an aged and worn appearance by the process of distressing. To add tiny chips, dents, or scratches to the wood's surface, distressing treatments come in a variety of forms. Overall, this method gives the appearance of antiquity, making new cabinets appear as though they were purchased from an antique store. 

A kitchen with distressed cabinets is common in farmhouse-style and country-style interior spaces. One of the reasons why homeowners choose distressed kitchen cabinets is because of their aesthetic and visual appearance. Distressed-look cabinets evoke a timeless charm that creates a narrative and not only a clean and beautiful aesthetic. 

Distressed cabinets have an old worn-out look. The main goal of incorporating kitchen distressed cabinets is to create a narrative or concept in the interior space. It’s not just about having a seamless and clean aesthetic. If you want to achieve this timeless kitchen interior style, you can find distressed kitchen cabinet doors in vintage and antique shops or learn how to DIY distressed cabinet doors. To know more about shabby chic kitchen cabinets, continue reading below as we will tackle the different colors you can paint your distressed cabinets with, as well as the different distressed cabinet styles and how to incorporate them into your kitchen.

Distressed cabinet styles

modern open-concept kitchen with weathered cabinets

Distressed finish cabinets offer homeowners a unique, vintage look to their kitchens. By choosing cabinets with distressed doors, you can create a striking focal point in the kitchen that gives off a warm and inviting vibe. Weathered kitchen cabinets can be found in kitchens with the following styles: 

  1. Shaker

Distressed shaker cabinets are the most common type of distressed cabinets that can be found in both traditional and contemporary interior spaces nowadays. Distressed shaker cabinets are utilized to blend modern and traditional concepts together. This type of cabinet style evokes a charming nostalgia that makes kitchen spaces a lot more cozy, welcoming, and visually interesting. 

  1. Rustic

Another interior style where distressed cabinets are popular is rustic chic interiors. Rustic distressed kitchen cabinets add color and warmth to a rather all-white kitchen space. Designers often use them as a visual accent to add visual interest and texture to a kitchen’s overall look. 

  1. Farmhouse

Distressed farmhouse kitchen cabinets are the type of cabinets that are added to farmhouse-styled interior spaces. Because farmhouse distressed white kitchen cabinets are made of recycled wood, their color and texture are what make them perfect for farmhouse interiors. If you want to create a farmhouse-styled interior style in your kitchen, you’ll never go wrong with going for farmhouse distressed kitchen cabinets. 


  1. Antique

If you are renovating your kitchen in a rush, you can buy ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets and transform them into distressed cabinets by applying some finishing and painting techniques to achieve the antique distressed kitchen cabinets look. You can also check vintage and antique furniture shops and look for shabby cabinets you can flip to the cabinet look you desire.

  1. Distressed China Cabinets

Distressed сhina cabinets are the term used to describe a type of cabinet that is often free standing and has a glass transparent door with ornamented and detailed wood framing. Cabinets like these are often used to display beautiful dishes.

Common colors of distressed cabinets kitchen

off white distressed cabinets in a small kitchen

Achieving distressed look of kitchen cabinets is not easy because it requires skills in painting and cabinet detailing. It is the art of making something look naturally old and worn out as much as possible. Cabinet makers use distressed paint for kitchen cabinets to get this look. However, you don’t need to be an expert cabinet maker to achieve the weathered cabinet look by yourself. We’ll talk about the different painting techniques you can use to create antique look. In this section, we will first tackle the common colors of distressed cabinet kitchens.  

  • Distressed white kitchen cabinets

Making antique white distressed kitchen cabinets is challenging but it is not impossible. Buying white distressed kitchen cabinets directly from the store is quite expensive than actually distressing the cabinets by yourself. Distressed white cabinets kitchen are the most common color of weathered cabinets out there. Contemporary homes, even those in high-rise condominium buildings and apartments can incorporate distressed kitchen cabinets white.

Achieving the antique white distressed cabinets look includes cleaning, priming, applying paint, and glazing it. Distressed antique white kitchen cabinets give interior spaces added warmth and coziness. Distressed white wood cabinets are an ideal option for blending contemporary and traditional styles together. Distressed white wood kitchen cabinets are best paired with metal or black hardware to create visual interest and contrast. 

When distressing white cabinets, make sure that you are using distressed white chalk paint cabinets. This paint color is great for minimalist and modern interiors. White distressed cabinets kitchen requires proper maintenance and upkeep too. Keep in mind that distressed antique white cabinets are only an interior design style. The designer or homeowner customizes the kitchen cabinets in distressed white at the request of the organizer/ owner. 

  • Grey distressed kitchen cabinets

The second color that tops the list is the color grey. Distressed grey cabinets are not as popular as white but when it comes to aesthetics and style, distressed grey kitchen cabinets will never fail. A smokey grey distressed kitchen cabinets gives the interior that masculine and streamline atmosphere. Grey distressed cabinets can be incorporated into modern or contemporary homes. Another reason why gray distressed kitchen cabinets are a good choice is that distressed rustic grey cabinets can hide stains and discoloration of the furniture quite easily than white cabinets. If you are somewhere between white glossy, and black matte, consider rustic grey distressed kitchen cabinets. This color will make your kitchen look cooler and more modest.

  • Off-white distressed kitchen cabinets

Distressed cream kitchen cabinets are the option for you if you want a clean aesthetic but don’t want to pick white because it might make your kitchen’s interior a bit too clinical in appearance. Off-white distressed cabinets or rustic cream distressed kitchen cabinets are best for contemporary minimalist and transitional-style interiors. This type of color is subtle yet it adds just the right amount of warmth and visual coziness to a space. Cream distressed kitchen cabinets also looks more modern and updated than cabinets with a natural wood grain or paint. 

  • Blue distressed kitchen cabinets 

We all know that white is a common color in kitchen cabinets. However, cooler hues such as blue, green, and pastels are also popular. If people want to add a touch of color into their kitchens, blue is a go-to color. This is one of the reasons why blue distressed cabinets are all around. Distressed navy-blue kitchen cabinets are common in traditional homes with classic or maximalist interior designs.

Other interior styles where country blue distressed kitchen cabinets can be found are nautical and coastal interior styles. To achieve the distressed blue kitchen cabinets, you should paint your cabinets navy blue. Sand and glaze your distressed blue cabinets and don’t forget to change or update the hardware. 

  • Dark distressed kitchen cabinets

For kitchens with a rustic or classic traditional look, dark brown distressed kitchen cabinets would look great. Brown distressed kitchen cabinets are known to add warmth and coziness on top of being an elegant and timeless color. Distressed brown cabinets, compared to other cabinets with colorfully-painted hues, can last for a long time without repainting. Brown cabinets look just like the color of the wood. Wood in the interior of homes as we know is versatile and flexible. It can be paired with any other color without breaking the interior’s original color palette. 

modern kitchen with distressed cabinet doors

  • Distressed black cabinets

Black is a rare color in the kitchen. Very few designers use them because they can make a space look darker and feel compact. However, black is now becoming common, especially in modern and contemporary homes. Black distressed kitchen cabinets are a thing of the past. They are often seen in classical Victorian homes and other old traditional houses. The rustic black distressed kitchen cabinets are an interesting feature of traditional homes. 

Distressed black kitchen cabinets give them depth and dimension while still being subtle enough to blend in with other elements in the kitchen. People choose black distressed cabinets because black is easier to keep and maintain. With black distressed kitchen cabinets, you can create an atmosphere of sophistication and elegance in your kitchen. If you have no time to paint your entire cabinetry in black or in whatever color you choose, purchase distressed back RTA cabinets. That’s right, distressed antiqued black kitchen cabinets can be found in cabinet manufacturing stores. 

  • Distressed green cabinets

Another color that homeowners like to paint their cabinets with is green. Green distressed kitchen cabinets are becoming more trendy, though not quite as popular as white or wood kitchen cabinets. The distressed green kitchen cabinets provide a cozy appearance that also blends well with classic decor because of the sage green's gentle pastel shade. Green is a refreshing, peaceful, and energizing color that is associated with nature and represents balance, development, rejuvenation, and harmony, making distressed sage green kitchen cabinets the ideal cabinet color choice for the room that gets the most use in the house. 

  • Teal distressed kitchen cabinets

Any kitchen can benefit from distress teal cabinets' vibrant color. They can be utilized to balance out other hues in the space or to create a startling contrast with white equipment and walls. In either case, distressed teal kitchen cabinets are a fantastic way to give your kitchen flare. Green can make a kitchen feel light and open and is a terrific way to bring the outside in. Cooler greens like mint, distressed turquoise kitchen cabinets, or pistachio complement white and light-colored wood accents effectively in kitchens.

Distressed cabinet painting techniques

shabby style kitchen drawers with hardware

Based on how "distressed" you want your cabinets to appear, there are numerous techniques to get the distressed kitchen cabinet effect. If you just want to get rid of the brand-new appearance of your cabinets, try painting them in the areas where wear and tear would naturally occur, strategically sanding those areas to remove excess paint, and then sealing kitchen cabinets distressed everything with a protective finish. Here are most common techniques used by experts when distressing wood.



Distressing wood cabinets

If you have a cabinet that is made of solid wood, you can also distress it. Distressed wood kitchen cabinets are also common because many people like to keep the natural wood grain affected. You’ll often see distressed maple cabinets or distressed oak cabinets in most traditional homes. Achieveing this requires hard work, skill, and craftsmanship. Use primer, and sealer, and sand the surface of the wood if needed.

Distressed white chalk paint cabinets

Chalk paint cabinets distressed is the most common and popular type of paint used in painting cabinets. Distressed chalk paint kitchen cabinets dry quite fast. Because distressed chalk paint cabinets are thick, fewer coats are needed. Prime is not necessary. White paint won't become stained with brownish stains if painted over wood that has already been sealed. Consider chalk paint distressed kitchen cabinets when reviving your old cabinetries.

Distressed painted cabinets

Painting your cabinets is a straightforward way to achieve painted distressed kitchen cabinets. For example, if you want to have green, blue, or teal distressed painted kitchen cabinets, paint them first with the said paint color, apply primer, sand, and customize its appearance for that natural distressed cabinet aesthetic.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.