How to Paint Oak Cabinets as Faux Mahogany

Altering your kitchen or bathroom cabinets from humdrum walnut to warm and beautiful mahogany will instantly update the area’s appearance, and you can do it yourself with paint and glaze. Faux mahogany is one of the easier wood looks to paint, since the grain usually runs in straight lines or easy V-shapes. Purchasing the black and mahogany glazes premixed will help save you the time and inconvenience of blending your own, so it won’t be long before you’ll be enjoying your stylish mahogany-painted cabinets.

Remove drawers, cabinet doors and all hardware. Label the bits if needed and set aside all hardware components. Mask off the borders of the cabinet frame with painter’s tape or masking tape and protect the countertops with paper. Set up the cabinet doors and drawers in a well-ventilated work place, using sawhorses or other supports to lift them off the ground as needed.

Clean the doors, drawer fronts and frame to remove dirt. Baking soda or trisodium phosphate can be used for this purpose. Wearing rubber gloves and protective eyewear, follow product instructions to combine and use the washing solution.

Paint the doors, drawers and frame with a single coat of primer and two coats of latex paint in a moderate red-orange tone, such as terra cotta or pumpkin, for the bottom color. Allow the paint dry.

Paint over the base color with a coating of mahogany glaze, using a chip brush or small family paintbrush. Drag the brush from top to bottom so the glaze makes subdued, even vertical stripes. If wanted drawer fronts can be painted in horizontal stripes. Stipple softly using a stipple brush and use a softener brush short and light vertical strokes to soften the glaze lines. Allow the glaze to dry.

Paint the grain lines using black glaze and a chip brush. Holding the brush so that the narrow edge faces the direction of your stroke, drag the brush from the top to bottom to make vertical lines spaced to 3 inches apart, or as desirable. Stroke horizontally on any areas where you painted the mahogany glaze horizontally. Allow the brush twist marginally in your hands as you create the strokes, so the lines waver and give a more natural appearance. Soften the grain lines with a stipple brush followed by a lubricant brush in short, vertical strokes. Allow this glaze layer dry.

Paint a different coating with black glaze, if desired, to deepen the color. Stroke sparingly but equally with a chip brush, following the identical direction as your prior grain lines. Stipple and decorate with the brushes that are acceptable. Allow to dry.

Apply a protective coating of varnish or furniture wax, after product instructions for amount of coats, drying period and curing time. Replace the hardware together with the saved bits or new hardware. Remove the masking tape from the cabinet frame, install the cabinet doors and replace the drawers.

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