I'm not fond of oak cabinets. I'm even less fond of those in my laundry room, where orange oaky grain feels so heavy overhead. Yet, I don't have time or paint budget for a remove-the-doors, sand-between-coats project.
Last night I brightened the cabinets the same quickie way I glaze furniture--with watered down paint and a rag. For this job, I used clear acrylic glaze from Porter. You can have it custom-tinted, but you'll stretch your money farther by buying it clear and tinting it yourself.
I mixed half a cup cup of glaze with half a cup of white latex paint (and even that was far too much). Now I can use the remaining clear glaze with other colors, as I need them for future projects.
My unscientific method involves brushing the glaze on, then wiping much of it off. I like to use a dry brush to work the glaze over the grain, using a cross-hatching pattern.
I glaze the hinges and hardware while I'm at it. You can keep adding layers of glaze until you get the coverage you want. I added two thin coats in less than half an hour.
You may want to rub the molding and edges for a softer, antique white look. I'm happy with the light, "pickled" finish--it blends the beige wall, gray-ish floor, and white machines much better than the orange oak. I may add some decorative details to the cabinet doors later.
For much better cabinet makeover, don't miss Notes From A Cottage Industry's inspiring kitchen. Tracey is the queen of painting wood!