If you're trying to keep the cost of your project down one thing you can do is use existing hardware. If your existing hardware is not the right color try spray painting them. If you have to buy new hardware for a project your cost can increase incredibly. Here are two projects I just recently finished that I spray painted existing hardware for.
For this project I used a metallic silver spray paint. Your local home improvement store will have something similar to this and will also have a selection of other metallic colors.
For this project (which I have yet to blog about) I just used a your average pink spray paint. I love how this turned out!
Whatever color you choose, whatever hardware you have, always rough up your hardware with sand paper. This will help your paint to stick and help it to be more durable. I used a 100 girt sand paper. Any sand paper will work. Just use whatever you have at home. Another step you can do to help your paint stick is to use a spray paint primer. I did not do this on either of these projects
After you have sanded and roughed up your hardware your ready to spray paint. When your doing this you have to be patient! This is my biggest weakness in life! You will have to do this in several thin coats.
Make sure you hold your can 8-10 inches away from your handles. You really don't want to mess up your handles because your paint dripped. You will have to spray paint a thin coat let it dry and then turn your handle in whatever directions you need to make sure you get an even coat over the entire thing. Make sure your handles are dry before you do this!!!!!!! I can't tell you how many projects I have ruined because I was not patient enough to wait for it to dry! If something happens and your handles do get messed up use some sort of Strip-Eze product to remove the paint or try looking at your local ReStore for inexpensive handles to replace the old ones. I had to do this on my teal and silver dresser and found the handles I need for $1, which was cheaper than buying the Strip-Eze.
The other thing I did to make sure my handles did not chip was to use a clear top coat.
You don't have to do this if you really need to keep cost down but it's worth it if you can. It's only a few bucks!