Ideas for Painted Kitchen Cabinets
For a new kitchen look, add new color and texture to your cabinets
By Theresa Leschmann
Kitchen cabinets are expensive to replace, but you can give your old cabinets a new look with a beautiful new paint job. There are many possibilities for painting kitchen cabinets. Options range from simple, one color applications to layered and textured techniques to patterns or even scenes you can paint yourself.
A simple but cost-effective technique is to paint the cabinets the same color as the walls. It allows you use the same paint for both areas. For a slight variation, try a semi-gloss paint on the walls and a gloss version of the same color on the cabinets.
Contrasting or Complimentary Colors
Using colors that vary only slightly from the wall color will make a subtle statement. Colors that stand in vivid contrast will make the cabinets stand out. Contrasting color combinations might include various shades of blue or red set off against white. Black and white can also be striking. Blue and yellow tend to work well as kitchen colors.
Stain, Rag or Sponge
If you have bare wood or stripped cabinets, you can apply paint like any other stain. It works best on light to medium wood tones. Apply the paint and then with a clean rag wipe off the paint until you get the level of lightening you want. You can leave most of the paint on or remove most of it. It will accent the darker grains in the wood just as stain would but in color. Ragging is similar but leaves a textured finish. There are two ragging techniques: on and off. Ragging on uses a rag to apply the paint, and ragging off involves applying the paint with a roller and then removing some with a rag. Both techniques look best when two shades of the same color are used. Sponging is very similar to ragging except the rag is replaced with a sea sponge. This leaves a different texture on cabinet surfaces, but is just as effective.
Spray paint provides a hard, enamel finish. The problem is that it requires a paint sprayer, a lot of preparation to adequately cover surfaces you don't want painted and some skill. If you have the time and skill or can afford to hire someone to do it for you, the finish can be striking.
Stenciling is a popular choice for adding style to painted kitchen cabinets. Many home improvement stores and online websites sell stenciling kits in hundreds of designs. Whether you are looking for a floral, a china design or animal pattern, there is a stencil kit for you. The kits contain applicators, paints and easy to follow directions.
Once you've painted the primer and topcoats, consider adding an appliqué to the center of each door. It should enhance a theme you want to emphasize in the room, such as teapots or roosters. You can use a roll of wallpaper or wallpaper border and cut out the sections you want. Apply it as you would the wallpaper, being careful to secure the edges. Once dried, seal the whole cabinet door with a polypropylene to protect the appliqué.
About the Author
Theresa Leschmann is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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