Want to update your kitchen but not ready for the big expenses that come with it? Try painting your cabinets to give your cooking and dining space a whole new look and feel without the big price tag.

Painted cabinets are very chic right now, with bold yet muted colors giving new life to kitchens all across the country. When choosing your paint color, look at your countertops and flooring for inspiration. Off-white or rustic creams are safe and easy, but if you can handle something darker, like sage green or sea blue, go for it! If your kitchen is large enough, you could also try using a dark and light shade of the same color – dark goes on the bottom cabinets and light up top. Paint overhanging vents and any other cabinet flourishes, too, to complete the look.

Choosing the right finish for your paint is almost as important as the color. Go for eggshell at a minimum, but semi-gloss is recommended. The reason is that the higher the sheen the easier it is to clean, and with all the messes made in the kitchen, easy clean-up is key. A flat or matte finish may absorb stains and will not wipe off as easily. There are specialty paints that give you a matte finish while still being washable; however, they are quite pricey. Consider using a mold and mildew-proof paint, such as one by Rust-Oleum or Sherwin-Williams.

Once you’re ready to start the job, remove all of the cabinet doors, drawers, hinges and hardware. Tip: place hardware in labeled zip-lock bags to keep everything together. Use a paintbrush and small roller to apply the paint. Depending on the type of surface currently on your cabinets, a primer may be necessary.

One option to save time is to not paint the insides of the cabinets, as long as you don’t have any glass doors or open cabinets. When painting, use edge brushes to get underneath the cabinets up against the underside of the countertops and walls or ceiling. Use caulk to fill in any cracks or gaps before you paint.

Painting the doors and drawers can be done more easily if you use a table or create your own raised work surface. For example, use a pair of 2×4 boards propped up on buckets. Drop cloths on the floor will work, too.

Make sure everything is completely dry before re-attaching your doors and drawers, possibly letting things dry overnight. Now would also be a good time to replace your handles and knobs with something more sophisticated to complete your kitchen’s new look.