DIY: How To Update Your Kitchen for Less Than You Think

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You've seen pictures of my kitchen before on my blog. Since then I've gotten questions from several readers about how I redid it on a very tight budget, so I thought it would be fun to share with all of you. 

Let's start with the before image... this is what it looked like with the previous owners:
About, oh, 20 minutes after getting the keys to the house in my hot little hands, we started stripping off that wallpaper. I then used joint compound to retexture the walls antique yellow. Total cost about $40.
And all was good for a mere 3 years... when I decided that I had absolutely had it with white cabinets (the pictures don't do them justice - they were in pretty sad shape). We decided to reface the doors (using the brand sold at Home Depot). We measured carefully (3 times!) and ordered the doors. 

While awaiting delivery, I stripped the cabinet boxes using a eco-friendly stripper.

Followed by a good scrub down with steel wool dipped in paint thinner (Yes, that clock reads 12 am... a lot of work gets down once the kiddos are fast asleep).

Nail holes were filled and fake drawer fronts removed (I am not a fan of the fake drawer front, you?)

We used oil based primer and paint to paint the cabinet boxes and doors (for a kitchen, especially you want to use oil based paint as it will withstand the heat, oils and clean up more than latex)

We paid a little bit more to have roll out doors and new drawer boxes made by the same company as the doors. This cost about $150, but makes the drawers and cabinets feel like brand new and was well worth it. 
I replaced the fake drawer fronts with a modern drawer pull (turned on its side) to hold tea towels. I also purchased new cabinet hardware. Total cost of this project was under $2,500.

**You will notice that I've been slowing updating the appliances to stainless steel... our last white appliance is the dishwasher. I've been hoping for years now that it would finally break down so I can get a new one but to no avail.... Also, we were able to replace the flooring (ourselves)  thanks to a Home Depot gift card we negotiated for when we replaced our windows. We told them we would use HD if they would give us an incentive... and they did in the form of a very nice gift card!

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