Simple & Cheap Ways to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

by Lori Soard, Demand Media
    Choose a color or colors that look good in your kitchen.

    Choose a color or colors that look good in your kitchen.

    Put the spice back into old kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. The cost of gallons of paint can add up if you are using too many colors. Choosing just one or two shades and using inexpensive techniques, such as sponge painting, can achieve a fresh look without breaking the budget.

    Fresh Coat of Paint

    The simplest and cheapest method of painting cabinets is to add a fresh coat of paint in a single color. Check the pre-mixed paints that people have returned to see if any of the colors would look good on your cabinets. Pre-mixed paints are discounted from regular retail price. Josh Garskof, an editor of "This Old House Magazine," recommends using different types of paint for different types of wood. Some finishes may need to be prepped with a light sanding.

    Create an Aged Look

    If you'd like to take kitchen cabinet doors and make them look distressed, you have a couple of options. You can either apply glaze and then wipe most of it off, creating an antique effect. Your other option is to buy paint that is a shade or two darker than your current cabinets and brush it on over the current paint, allow to dry and sand lightly to create worn areas.

    Crackle Paint

    Crackling glaze offers that distressed look without as much work. The crackling effect is built into the paint. Simply brush it on and as it dries, it will begin to crackle. There are several things you can do with this type of paint. You can paint a metallic or warm color underneath that will peak out beneath the crackles, or you can simply paint it over the existing color. For heavy crackling, use a heavy coat of glaze. For slight crackling, use a thinner coat of glaze.

    Patterns and Designs

    Stencils are a great solution when you want to spruce up plain cabinets without spending much money. Add flowers to bottom cabinets, create a plaid pattern in the center panel, or any other design your imagination and available stencil patterns can create. Instead of purchasing enough paint to cover every cabinet, you'll only need enough paint to create the design. Acrylic paint applies well to most finishes. However, you may want to seal with a glaze or clear coat for easy cleaning.

    About the Author

    Lori Soard has been a writer since 1995, covering a variety of topics for local newspapers and magazines such as "Woman's World." For five years, she served as a site editor for a large online information portal. Soard is also the author of several published books, both fiction and nonfiction.

    Photo Credits

    • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images