Faux Painting Techniques for the Kitchen

Discover faux painting techniques for the kitchen.
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Photo by: Peter Leach ©Copyright 2009 Peter Leach Photographer

Peter Leach, Copyright 2009 Peter Leach Photographer

Faux painting techniques can add texture and dimension—as well as detail—to your walls. These techniques work especially well in the kitchen.

Kitchen Updates For Any Budget

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Update Hardware

A very affordable update is to replace your cabinet's hardware with one of today's popular options: vintage-look glass, burnished bronze, antiqued copper, pewter and shiny or matte nickel. This quick and easy change can make dated cabinets look new. Tip: To ensure that new pulls and knobs match the existing holes, remove one of each type and take them with you when shopping.

Replace Sink Faucets

Sink faucets have come a long way in recent years. Current models offer detachable sprayers, hidden soap or lotion dispensers and touch-sensitive, knob-free operation. Faucets also come in a wide variety of finishes and styles, from formal Victorian to ultra modern, making it easy to coordinate the faucet with your home's decor.

Paint Cabinets

Painting your existing cabinets is an inexpensive update that even a newbie DIYer can handle. Some sandpaper, paintbrushes and a few gallons of primer and paint are all you need to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Design by Beth Haley

Add Hidden Storage

Every kitchen could use more storage. This cleverly concealed drawer, designed by Dave Stimmel, provides the perfect place to keep cooking necessities within easy reach of the stove. Built-in storage like this can be a costly addition. To keep costs down, check your local hardware store for pull-out storage kits and drawer organizers that will fit your existing cabinets.

From: Dave Stimmel

Add Sufficient Lighting

In addition to improving the overall look, the right lighting also makes a kitchen more functional and appear larger. Brighten up by adding under-counter illumination, task lighting above work surfaces and ambient lighting, such as recessed lights. This kitchen, designed by Beth Haley, uses all three to great effect.

DIY Tile Backsplash

Adding a tile backsplash, even trendy glass tile, is a relatively simple DIY project. Many home improvement and tile supply stores offer free, hands-on classes to teach you the basics. Kitchen design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Replace Flooring

New flooring can change the feel of your kitchen. Hardwoods lend a warm, traditional look while natural stone, such as marble or travertine, adds a polished vibe. This kitchen, designed by Kristin Barker, mixes the two for a modern finish.

Add an Island

An island provides additional cabinets, a handy location for a sink or stove and the perfect spot for a casual meal or keeping an eye on the kids while they finish up homework. This cottage-style kitchen, designed by Thomas Conway, beautifully combines vintage-style details with a modern, open-concept layout.

Update Countertops

New countertops will give any kitchen an updated look. Laminate remains the least expensive option while granite and marble are the most desirable. More trendy choices are concrete and metals such as pewter, copper or stainless steel. Design by Trish Beaudet.

From: Trish Beaudet

Upgrade Appliances

Appliances are more than just your kitchen's workhorse, they also add to the overall look. Professional-grade stainless steel continues to be the most desirable. Also hot are retro-look appliances from the '20s - '50s. Design by Erinn Valencich.

From: Erinn Valencich

Replace Cabinets

Replacing the kitchen cabinets offers a great opportunity to customize them based on your lifestyle. This built-in hutch and buffet, designed by Beth Haley, provides an attractive space for displaying treasured dishware in the glass-front cabinets while the countertop below can be used as a buffet when entertaining.

Total Remodel

If your budget allows, a complete kitchen remodel is the way to go. New flooring, electrical, cabinets and plumbing allows the opportunity to create a more functional layout. Although it can be costly, removing walls separating the kitchen from adjacent living spaces is a popular option for those desiring an open floor plan. Design by Gail Drury.

From: Drury Design

Faux techniques are affordable options that don't require you to hire a professional. Some popular faux painting techniques for the kitchen include stenciling, color washing and sponging.

Stenciling is a popular faux painting technique that can be used in your kitchen. Easy and affordable, stencils add visual interest to your walls and will really liven up a boring space. Find a stencil pattern that speaks to you and then set to work applying it to your walls, cabinets, backsplash or floors. Stenciling takes time, patience and a few practice runs. But once you get the hang of this technique, it can really make your cooking space shine.

Also known as glazing, color washing is a technique that will give your walls a soft, aged look. This technique works well on walls, ceilings, cabinets and furniture, making it an ideal option for your kitchen. To color wash, a thin glaze (or water-based wash) is painted on top of a base coat to create subtle layers of color. If you're just learning how to manipulate paint, color washing can be achieved in a few steps.

Sponging is another faux painting technique that works on walls and furniture. The idea is to add layers of color to your wall with a hand-held sponge; natural sea sponges work best. By using many colors, you'll be able to create an interesting effect on your walls, but it's important to choose colors that naturally work well together.

Creating a distressed or aged look is another faux painting technique that works well in kitchens. You can achieve this look by painting a base coat on your furniture and a topcoat in another color. You'll then want to sand certain spots so the base color shows through and creates an aged look. Try this technique on kitchen islands, tables, chairs or stools.

By creating the illusion of stone walls in your kitchen, you can bring some old world charm into your cooking space. To create faux stone walls, you'll need to select two similar paint colors, but one should be light and the other dark. Some suggested shades include dark reds, oranges and browns or different grays for more modern kitchens. You'll first apply the lighter paint using a brush, roller or both. Once it's dry, you'll mix the topcoat with a glaze medium before applying it with a roller. While the paint is still wet, you'll remove it with a rag so the first color shows through and creates a distressed look.

Distressed and Antiqued Kitchen Cabinets

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