How to Decorate Metal Kitchen Cabinets

Metal cabinets waiting to be decorated
Metal cabinets waiting to be decorated (Image: le kitchen image by sumos from

Metal kitchen cabinets can be a pain. They look outdated, and they tend to begin deteriorating if you do not take proper care of them. However, there are plenty of ways to spruce them up a bit, regardless of your budget. If you have a small budget, choose appropriate options, otherwise, go crazy. Use your imagination!

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Paint your metal cabinets with high gloss paint. You will need to sand the cabinets gently, so that they are slightly scuffed. That will help the paint adhere better. Choose a color that complements your walls and accessories or use a color that contrasts with your walls. Using glossy or semi-glossy paint will make the cabinets easier to clean.

Spray paint all of your cabinets. You will need to remove the hardware (hinges and door handles) and spray paint the doors and the cabinet boxes separately. Remember to sand them gently so the paint can adhere better. Another alternative is to remove the doors and only paint them, leaving the cabinet boxes their original color. Ensure that your windows are open and your stove ventilation system is on so that the paint fumes do not overwhelm you while you are working. Remove items from your counters (and sink) and place plastic sheeting over the counters. Using painter's tape, adhere some plastic sheeting to the walls beneath the cabinets to avoid overspray. The painter's tape will not damage the walls.

Stencil an interesting design on the doors of your cabinets. Stencils can be obtained at nearly any craft store. However, you can also find smaller stencils, such as curlicues and filigree designs at any store that offers scrapbooking supplies. Purchase stencil adhesive and spray the back of the stencil with it, then stick the stencil to the cabinet door. The adhesive will hold the stencil in place until you are done painting it. When considering the stencil, keep in mind the current color of your metal cabinets, and make sure that parts of the stencil will not blend in with the cabinets and become invisible.

Use plastic hardware, such as hinges and handles, in a color that matches your kitchen, instead of standard metal hardware. Alternatively, you could use copper, brass or brushed nickel hardware. Much of this can be obtained at home building supply stores.

Apply contact paper to your metal cabinets. Choose a colored, patterned or wood-grained contact paper and adhere it to the cabinets. You will need to clean them thoroughly with a de-greaser before applying the contact paper. Remove the hardware and the doors so you can cover the doors separately from the cabinet boxes.


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