top of page

DIY Farmhouse Cabinets



Do you love the farmhouse look? Somewhat rustic, kind of antique-y and shabby chic? This post is perfect for you then!

I LOVE doing DIY things. I may not know how they will come out but the process is what I love about it. Learning a new skill can't be beat. When the project comes out great it's just icing on the cake. I recently took on a big project; remodeling my kitchen. If you have never remodeled a kitchen, that's okay, neither had I! This post will be focusing just on the cabinets. If all you want to do is give your kitchen (or any cabinets, really) a facelift keep reading. If you aren't planning on doing this, well, keep reading anyway. You never know when this skill might come in handy.

The super short version for this DIY is:




If you need more details, I got you!


Let's start off with what you will need. I'm going to show you what I used but you can tailor it to your preferences. The one thing I would recommend sticking with is the primer I used. It's not like a normal paint primer. If you are painting over wood cabinets, like I did, using just a regular primer might lead to some oils or off-colors seeping through. This primer is really awesome. It seals the wood really well. But in order for it to be awesome it is quite noxious. You will want to make sure you are applying this with very good ventilation. From my experience it will definitely make you light-headed and nauseous if you are around the fumes for a long time with poor ventilation. It is also very sticky and doesn't wash off with water so just keep this in mind. I got it in my hair and it stayed there after multiple washes and weeks. Yes, weeks! Rubbing alcohol should help remove it from your skin. Anyways, on with the products!

I did lightly sand all of my cabinets. I do not believe this step is absolutely necessarily since this primer works so well but if you feel like it, go for it!

After you remove all cabinet doors and take all hardware off, coat everything once with this primer. You need to let this sit for a while after you're done. I let it sit about 24 hours to make sure it wasn't tacky at all anymore. If I'm going to put all this effort in I wanted to make sure it was done in a way that it would last and not rush the process. I did do this during the summer when it was hot and humid, if your weather conditions are cool and dry you may be able to get away with only waiting 12 hours. I used a mini roller to apply this, I think this is the easiest way but you can probably use a paint brush as well.

When the primer is fully dried you need to do at least one coat of your choice of paint. Two coats may be necessarily if the first one does not cover to your liking. I used just a basic white paint. You can use this exact paint or any paint of your choosing, really. Again I used a mini roller for application of the paint. I waited around 24 hours between applications. This isn't an exact science, though, if you feel the paint is dry enough you don't need to wait exactly 24 hours.

My basement has been turned into my incubating and brooding area for my farm as well as my shop for all my projects.


After you have completed painting everything (don't forget to do the actual cabinets in the kitchen) then it is time to stain. If you just want plain, white cabinets don't worry about this part. But, if you want the farmhouse shabby chic look this is the part that pulls it all together!

Again, I will show you exactly what I used but you can pick whatever stain or color of your preference. You want to make sure you have quite a few rags on hand for this part and wear gloves if you can. I wore gloves but they ripped through the process so I was left with stained hands for a couple days. It was all worth it!


The color got covered by some drips but this the the Dark Walnut color. Jacobean would be a great color, too, if you can find that in the store. For this part you need to work semi quick. Take a rag and dip it into the stain. Get a good amount of it on the rag. It's easier to fill in the crevices of the door if you have a good amount of liquid. But you don't want so much that it's dripping all over. You're going to cover the entire surface with stain, then, immediately afterward, take a dry rag and wipe off all the stain in ONE direction. Whatever streaking you leave is how it will dry. If you want vertical streaking -- only wipe up and down. If you want horizontal -- only wipe side-to-side. This is also where preference comes into play. Depending on how dark, or light, you want your streaking, wipe off as much or as little as you want. Just make sure you don't let the stain sit on too long or it will make your cabinets very dark. I worked door by door for this part and did the cabinets in sections. DON'T FORGET THE EDGES OF THE DOORS!

***Pro Tip: Stain takes stain off! Do not put more stain on if you want it darker because adding more will cause it to wipe off. Adjust the darkness by wiping less off. This tip also helps if an area is too dark and it has already dried a little. Add more stain to that spot then wipe again and it will take the darker stain off.

Let dry for at least 24 hours, more if you're able to. Try to handle the doors as minimally as possible because the stain doesn't really fully dry for a long time. Try to wait 2 days before putting the doors back on. Make sure not to handle them more than needed when re-installing the doors. Again, do not touch your cabinets anymore than necessary and do not get them wet. It can take a couple weeks before you can touch them without any worries of the stain being smudged. Lightly touching them to open and close shouldn't be an issue, just be mindful. I did not stain the inside of the cabinet, only the outside. I did put a coat of white paint on the inside of the door AFTER they had been put back on the cabinets. I did this because there were brown fingerprints and smudges from handling the doors so I wanted those covered up. You could stain the inside also, if that's your business, but I would recommend to do it after you have the doors back on.


This is the hardware I installed.

Adding cabinet knobs and handles really pulls the look together.


I will be doing another blog post on how I went about doing my DIY Butcherblock Countertops so look out for that!

If you have any questions at all just fill out the contact form on the home page and I'd love to help you out!!!


Here's some before and afters of my kitchen!!!!

Kitchen at move-in time

This was my kitchen right after I closed on the house. It was in need of some serious updates. It was functional (besides the stove and oven which were nasty messes) but I was not loving it at all. Before I moved in I made sure to replace the stove and the floors. I painted the baseboard heater and painted the countertops to look like marble. This was all I had the time and money to do at the time.

Inbetween kitchen

This is what it looked like after my initial updates. Nice, but not all that I wanted from my kitchen. Time got away from me, as it does when you're adulting. Until now!


After DIY updates!

Farmhouse kitchen <3

No filter


Thank you to the Instagram account, downshilohroad, for the inspiration for my cabinets!

70 views1 comment

1 Comment

Great job!

bottom of page