- Country decorating is casual and time-worn.Country Lodge image by wabkmiami from Fotolia.com
Country decorating is all about authentic-looking age, color and casual character. Kitchen cupboards take a lot of use and abuse, but the right painting techniques give them a comfortably aged appearance with a lasting finish that cleans up well. Give them a time-worn appearance with artistic methods that use layers of color and a few simple supplies and tools.
Oil Paint Rubdown
- Brushing on oil paint and wiping it with clean rags adds a rustic dimension.rag image by Henryk Olszewski from Fotolia.com
Add the suggestion of age to newer cupboards with two shades of oil-based paint--water-based paint dries too quickly for this technique. Paint the surface with a base color and let it dry thoroughly--oil paint requires at least 24 hours of drying time. After the base layer is dry, the process gets messy, so wear rubber gloves and grubby clothes. Paint the cabinets with a heavy layer of the top color of oil paint, recommends Old and Sold. Wipe each section with a clean cotton rag, removing some of the paint and leaving streaks and patterns.The base color shows through and settles into grooves, giving the color depth and visual interest. If one wiped coat isn't enough color, add more coats until you're pleased with the result. Add more age by lightly sanding small areas such as corners, and seal the cabinet with an oil-based sealer.
- Milk paint colors can be customized with powdered pigment.Paint pigments 2 image by paolanogueras from Fotolia.com
Milk paint is re-emerging as an ecologically sound alternative to commercial paint, and is one of the toughest customers available. As you might guess, milk is a main ingredient. There's no sheen whatsoever--milk paint is exceptionally flat--so sealing with commercial sealer or rubbing with pure linseed oil is important if you want some shine. Examples of milk paint are found on Egyptian artifacts, according to Martha Stewart, so be confident that it will survive family cooking messes. It's not smooth and perfect like commercially prepared paint, so it has depth of color and texture. Purchase the dry powdered mix and add water until it's the consistency you want, or use any number of authentic milk-paint recipes to make it from scratch with varying amounts of food-grade lime, lemon juice, pigment and milk. Mixed thin or thick, it dries to a hard finish. The natural, uneven textures, brush marks and bumps in the paint add character. Leave the texture, or sand it lightly for a smooth surface. Milk paint adheres to latex and oil paint, and lasts for hundreds (or thousands) of years.
- Crackled paint is effective at suggesting advanced age.Cracked Paint image by Shannon Workman from Fotolia.com
Crackles hint at years of layered and aged paint. Typically, a dark base color shows through a paler, cracked top coat, creating a time-worn look. Any color combination works, as long as the base and top coats are different shades. As complex as the cracked patterns appear, they aren't difficult to achieve. Paint the cabinets whichever color you want to peek through the cracks. After that coat is dry, apply a coat of crackle paint or glaze, which is available at many paint stores, in the color you want on top, according to This Old House. The crackle paint separates as it dries, revealing small bits of the undercoat. Coat the surface with a clear sealant for easier cleaning.