DIY Budget Kitchen Makeovers – One Project at a Time

Doing a whole kitchen makeover can change your day to day life, quite literally. It can also drain your bank account. Fortunately, if you take it one project at a time, you can break the budget down for each DIY project and in a short time have a completely new kitchen! We went out and found projects to help you makeover each major component of your kitchen space, while creating a custom high end look. (On a budget!) And like always, we tried to choose projects you haven’t seen before. Start by taking a long look at each part of your kitchen, and then choose a project that fits into your style choices and needs. Also, some quick tips from us here at TBD on how to choose!

Style

First, decide on a general style you want your new kitchen to showcase. Love farmhouse? Looking for clean and modern? Eclectically creative? Name your style to keep you on track when making choices. Remember, take some time to look at Pinterest and Houzz to make sure you are on track with todays trends if updating your home for value is on your mind. Then choose one or two inspirational photos to refer back to while working on your own kitchen. Photo by ‘HGTV‘.

Cabinets

You must decide if your cabinets are in good enough shape to save. (Let’s hope, right?) Assuming they need nothing more than an update, paint is your best friend. Yep, this is a JOB. But we have found some bloggers that can make it a LOT easier, by taking their advice on technique and supplies. We love an all white kitchen (In fact, we have one!) But don’t be afraid to paint your bottom cabinets a different color than the top, or your island cabinets different from the main cabinets. We love darker on the bottom, lighter on the top as well. Try all white, with trending steel navy blue/grey on the bottom, or the island. Or simply a light neutral gray on the bottom cabinets for a lighter look. Considering dressing up the cabinets to look higher end with some of the projects we have below. Oh, and use a flat or eggshell finish. The old wisdom of using semi-gloss paint on cabinets is outdated. Not only are most paints cleanable now, shiny semi gloss looks very 1985.

Our first project is from Tasha at ‘Designer Trapped’, and she tells us what you need to know most… how to paint your cabinets, without sanding or priming. The internet has discovered that chalk and milk paints are much more versatile than latex paint, give an upscale finish, and hers are still looking great 2 years later! From all our research, this looks like the way to go folks. No more taking a week to paint the cabinets!

 

 

When Steve and I had our house built, one of the first design decisions we made in the kitchen was to make sure the cabinets went all the way to the ceiling. This looks way more high end, but most builders don’t do it that way because it’s more expensive. Cristina at ‘Remodelando la Casa’ has a complete tutorial on how to cover that space above your cabinets. It seems like a complicated project, but with some beginning carpentry skills and her easy tutorial, you can pull this off! Look at what a major difference this made in her before and after. Be sure to check out her whole makeover while you are there, it’s amazing.

 

Give your cabinets a more custom feel by adding kitchen counter posts and molding from ‘Cuckoo 4 Design’. This is a simple afternoon project, but with the added trim, makes the whole kitchen feel like it’s in a designer showroom.

 

Countertops

Ok, it can take thousands of dollars to get quartz or granite for your countertops. If you’re doing your kitchen on a tight budget, that may not be in the cards. Don’t worry, creativity rules here! Keep your mind open to other less conventional options and ideas. You are not stuck with that harvest gold laminate counter!

Our first project we are in love with… From Jenise at ‘DIY Fun Ideas’, learn how to DIY white concrete countertops! Now, we happen to love concrete counters, but not everyone is as into that industrial vibe. These countertops are off-white, so they look warmer and more versatile. And they ROCK. Who knew a DIY’er could do something so amazing to their kitchen?

 

These faux reclaimed wood countertops (the wood isn’t faux, just the “reclaimed” part!) from ‘The Ragged Wren’ prove that you can think outside the box. These cost much less than even inexpensive laminate to put in, and are warm and inviting. Go check out the tutorial and Alyson’s entire kitchen too!

 

Most of you (if you have ever been on Pinterest anyway) have probably heard that you can buy kits to paint your counters to look like stone. We bloggers have been doing things like that since the ’90’s, with varying degrees of success, but back then we didn’t dare tell anyone. :) We love the design scene now because the more creative you are, the better! However, we came across a product that seems to us like it would transcend the versatility of paint, while staying inexpensive and easy even for the beginner. The product is called “Spreadstone”, and it is exactly that… made with actual stone! While we haven’t had the opportunity to try out this product, we did find what feels to us a pretty honest review (and tutorial with tips you can’t miss!) at ‘The Inadvertent Handyman‘. Based on his review, we would try this when the budget isn’t there for a more permanent solution. See his before and after and judge for yourself! (Note : My daughter and son in law plan to try this for their harvest gold countertops… We will update you with the results!)

 

Backsplash

Again, there are so many ways to cut costs here. If you don’t have a large kitchen, the backsplash area might be small enough that you decide to splurge and do a high end tile. Or, you can pick one of the cool projects we have here. The backsplash is the jewelry of the room, so make it count!

Budget really tight? From ‘Two Feet First’, this DIY cheap kitchen backsplash isn’t discounted subway tile… it’s paint. Yep, your leftover craft paint and some tape might be all you need for this look.

 

Dawn from ‘Creative Cain Cabin’ can show you how to get that farmhouse look with her DIY beadboard backsplash. And for less than $20!

 

From Brooke at ‘Re-Fabbed’, this $40 kitchen backsplash project was easy and cheap. They used peel and stick vinyl flooring for this part of their makeover, and it looks like a reclaimed wood backsplash. And they only used half the box, so that’s really a $20 project!

 

Floor

Frankly, if your floor has seen better days, consider wood laminate. It will give you the most bang for your buck, and most DIY’ers can pull this off. It’s also water resistant and wears really well. While it is possible to paint vinyl flooring when the budget is super thin, it’s a temporary solution. If you want to try, check out this tutorial on how to paint vinyl flooring.

So if you want to install a laminate floor, try these 10 tips for DIY laminate floor installation from ‘The Happy Housie’!

 

Appliances

Ok, this can be a problem. You spend all this time doing a kitchen makeover, but you can’t afford shiny stainless appliances? No worries, there are some options.

While you can use automotive spray paint to cover your appliances, it is really tough to get a professional finish. ‘Giani‘, which makes the leading selling painted countertops kit, also sells a stainless steel paint made just for appliance makeovers. This is actual liquid steel, not just colored paint. Check out the reviews on Amazon, people seem to love it! There are other brands at your local home improvement store as well. So if your appliances are perfectly fine, but you want them to look amazing, consider trying this project.

Ok, let’s get started making over your kitchen, one project at a time! Need to add an island to your kitchen? Try these DIY kitchen island tutorials at our other site, DYSS.

Budget kitchen makeovers

 

Image Credits: HGTV, Designer Trapped, Remodelando la Casa, Cuckoo 4 Design, DIY Fun Ideas, The Ragged Wren, Inadvertent Handyman, Two Feet First, Creative Cain Cabin, Re-Habbed, The Happy Housie, Giani

 

 



Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing so many great resources! I never knew that you could so easily make your outdated appliances look new and fresh. I also love the tip on what paint to use to update your kitchen cabinets, I’ve been doing research and testing things out for awhile but haven’t found anything I love, so I will have to give that paint a try! I usually do small things, like new wall color or decorations, to try a spruce a space up before saving up enough money to do the whole thing. The only problem is that it rarely happens so slow but steady progress might need to happen.

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