My kitchen cabinets started as dark dirty brown mdf, very typical for a seventies mobile home.
To update and lighten the kitchen I added an inexpensive trim to the face of each door and painted them.
They were painted in a cream color semi gloss latex paint, followed by a dry brushing of a darker cream latex on the trimmed area. The handles were changed to dark wood knobs and the hinges were
painted with an oil rubbed bronze spray. I did these cabinets years ago and I'm still very happy with the look.