Distressed cabinets have become very popular over the last few years, and as with all cabinetry there are many choices. With most Custom cabinetry lines the choices are virtually limitless as they allow you to mix and match different distressing techniques, with different wood species, paints, stains, glazes and door styles. Semi-Custom cabinets offer some level of distressing on certain finishes, and while they are typically much less expensive you definitely get what you pay for. They will be much more limited on finishes, techniques, and the overall look is underwhelming, and much more obvious that it was done by machines as opposed to the handcrafted look you get when ordering distressed cabinetry from a custom manufacturer.
Along with different distressing techniques, there are also different levels of distressing available. They range from some minor pitting of the surface or some worn off paint edges all the way to wood that looks like it was re-purposed from an old barn or sunken boat. If you want the latter, starting off with a rustic wood like knotty alder is recommended. If you want something less drastic, most good manufacturers will start out with some sanding of the top coat to make the bare wood visible through the stain. This technique is a called a rub-through and it's very popular with paints or dark stains. Some of the available techniques involve using multiple coats of different colored stains that are visible as the top coats are sanded down to show different wear layers.
The other techniques available use different types of tools such as punches, knives and chisels to give you whatever level of distressing you might want. There are techniques such as birdpecking, wormholing, rasping of edges, corner softening, knife cuts, and hammer marks. These can be combined with the above mentioned sanding of top coats or rub through for a finish that is as rustic as you want it to be.
These techniques are available on an ala carte basis from many custom manufacturers, but each one ads its own separate charge, anywhere from 3-50% . When you add many of them together the cost can be as much as the entire cabinet order! For this reason most of the manufacturers put together packages of distressing techniques to make typical treatments that are popular for rustic finishes. These will usually run from 20-50% and give you a well tested look for your cabinetry.
Distressing kitchen cabinetry is an art form, so it's important to find a great manufacturer. Companies like Woodharbor, Crestwood and Bertch are American made cabinet companies, with unsurpassed expertise, that have been making distressed cabinets for as long as they've been around.
Kitchen cabinetry is the foundation of any beautiful kitchen, and distressed cabinetry is a great way to get a one of kind look for your new kitchen. If you're in the market for distressed kitchen cabinetry there's no better value than some of the great manufacturers offered at wholesale pricing through Cabinet Pro Supply.