One of the best ways to bring new life to an old space is through a little DIY magic. You can transform an ugly old cabinet or dresser by installing custom hardware and paint, but what if you don’t have a lot of time or skills? There are so many options for getting creative with the old and making it look like it was always meant to be there. 

Can you use stain to antique cabinets? 

Yes, you can use wood stain to antique your cabinets and give them a more aged look. First, choose the right stain color. A dark stain will create a more dramatic look, while a light stain will be more subtle.

 Next, apply the stain evenly across the surface of the cabinets using a rag or brush. Once the stain is dry, you can then add a topcoat of varnish or wax to protect the finish. With a little bit of effort, you can easily create an antique look for your cabinets that will add character to your home.

Here are some great tips on how you can use stains on antique cabinets

Be prepared

Before you stain your cabinets, you’ll want to know more about the tools you’ll be using and the process itself. 

You’ll need a staining product that’s designed for the color of your cabinets and a strong, medium- to heavy-duty painter’s tape to protect the surface from staining.

 A staining product will contain a light-colored base coat to help give a natural look, an acrylic top coat that helps create a seal and get the stain as deep as possible. And a color pigment to give you the desired shade. 

You’ll also need a vacuum system to help remove excess pigment from the surface after you apply the stain.

Use a staining product

You can stain your cabinets in two ways: by sanding them and applying a clear coat to create a solid, glossy finish, or by staining them with a dark, liquid pigment. 

The staining product you use will depend on the look you’re going for, but in general you’ll want to apply two coats. 

A one-coat staining would provide a lighter shade and dry within a day or two, while a two-coat application will give you a deeper shade that will take a few days to dry. If you’re looking for a solid, glossy finish, you’ll want to go with a clear coat staining.

 On the other hand, you can stain your cabinets with a dark pigment and provide a more aged look that will stain the wood grain and create a rich, dark finish.

Always test first

Before you apply any stain to your cabinets, you have to test the product to make sure it can be safely applied to the wood. 

All staining products will come with a warning to test the interior of your cabinets before staining, just to make sure there are no issues with the surface or the product will be unsafe to use. When you take this step, you want to experiment with the amount of liquid you’ll be using to see how much you need to properly stain your cabinets. 

You want to test on a scrap piece of wood to ensure you don’t overdo it. This can make a massive difference in how long your project takes and how much money you spend on stain.

Don’t overdo it

If you’re going to stain your cabinets, you want to make sure they look as best they can. This means that if you choose a staining product that lets your wood show through, you have to make sure the color is a nice, smooth match, or it will look out of place.

 It’s also important to note that you don’t want to stain your cabinets too dark. You want to find a shade that is slightly lighter than your cabinets so that you don’t make it too difficult for dust to pass through. 

If you apply too much stain, it will make dusting and cleaning a lot more difficult, and it will also make it look as though the cabinets have been painted.

Distressed finishes

There are a lot of different ways you can use stain to antique cabinets, one of them being to distress the finish. With this option, you’ll need to use a thin layer of wax over the entire surface of your wood, which will create a distressed look with a soft patina.

 After you’ve applied the wax, you can use a staining product to add color, as you want to make sure that the stain is applied as evenly as possible. 

You can also wipe the surface down with an alcohol wipe to add a thin layer of oil to the wood to give it a worn, distressed look.

Wrapped finish

Another stylish way to update your cabinets is to use a wrapped finish. With this option, you’ll apply a stain to the wood and then use a clear semi-gloss top coat. 

You can then apply a clear semi-gloss finish to create a smooth, even finish. This finish is great, as it gives your cabinets a polished look without breaking the bank. 

This finish will also help protect your cabinets from stains, as it creates a barrier between the stain and the wood.


Cabinets are important when it comes to organizing and storing your items, so it makes sense to refurbish them when they get too old. They can be refinished and even stained to bring them back to life and look brand new. There are a number of ways you can re-dress an old cabinet and make it look brand new again.

You can refinish them, stain them, or even distress them to get the worn and antique look back. These stained cabinets can help bring some life back into a room where there are too many old, outdated cabinets that are just taking up space.

And there are many different ways you can stain your cabinets. You can stain them with a light-colored base coat to give them a natural look or you can use a dark pigment to create a more aged finish.

If you want to stain your cabinets, you have to first make sure they are clean and free of anything that can stain the wood. And you also want to make sure the color of stain you choose reflects the style of your cabinets. Hopefully these tips will help you stain your cabinets and make them look brand new again.

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