Total Kitchen Makeover $550

When I was looking to purchase this house, I loved the fact that it had such a big kitchen– in fact, (and this might be the only time you’ll ever hear this) it almost had too much counter space.  It was also a pretty bland, builders-grade kitchen, but it had excellent bones, so I knew I could make it exactly what I wanted with a little hard work.

Here is what I started with: Solid oak cabinets, a marbled-salmon colored laminate counter (not shown: an equally ugly 4″ lamnite “backsplash” piece including metal quarter round at the top and bottom– that’s why you see the ugly yellow strip at the edge of the counter).  As it was, its color scheme was decided: salmon-y pink/warm brown/etc.  And that just wasn’t working me for.

So I got to work (about a year and a half after I moved in!)  My first project was the tile backsplash.  You can read all about that process HERE.  It wasn’t too difficult (with a wet saw), but was incredibly time consuming.  I spent 10 hours on a Saturday and almost didn’t have the strength to grout it the next afternoon.  It looks absolutely beautiful though– the pictures don’t do it justice.  And like other shiny-tile-owning people can attest, it almost sparkles at night when the lights are off.  That’s just a bonus!  After sealing it, it should be really easy to clean AND beautiful to look at.  LOVE.

The cost of the tile project was $182

Then I went a little crazy and decided to paint my counters to look like granite.  You can read all about that project HERE.  Among all the projects I’ve ever undertaken at my house, THIS felt wrong.  Painting my counters just felt wrong.  Amazingly though, it turned out awesome.  I’ve had lots of people come over to see them and everyone is amazed at how good they look.  They’ve been painted for a month now, which means they should have totally cured.  No problems with peeling, or water, or scratches, or whatnot so far.

The cost of the counter project was $140 (and it was super easy– a project that can easily be done in a weekend)

And then I painted my kitchen cabinets white.  I’ve wanted to have white cabinets since, well, forever I think.  My parents had honey-oak colored cabinets (without hardware) growing up and they were just never my thing.  I knew I would paint them, but the tutorial on how YHL painted theirs really inspired me to get going.  So I did.  And two weeks later I had these beauties.  You can read all about that journey HERE.  This was easily the hardest part of the kitchen– not because painting is hard, but because it’s a looooong process to paint cabinets, and I had LOTS of them to paint!

The cost of the cabinets was $228

I set a preliminary budget to finish my kitchen with under $600, and I totally came in under budget!  My total kitchen makeover only cost $550!!

I absolutely LOVE the transformation– it looks (and feels) like a completely different room!  Now I just need to learn how to cook– and with a beautiful new kitchen, that should be easy, right?

What kind of projects have you been up to lately?  I’d LOVE to hear from you!

I’m linking up toThrifty Decor Chick’s Show Us Your House party today.  Check it out!


17 responses

  1. Fantastic job. Really it looks lovely. What a difference in before and after. You have so much energy. You can do anything you want to do. I admire your courage, I am afraid I would have buckled under fear of that loud saw. Beautiful.

    • Hi Sue,

      No, I left the sink and just carefully taped around it– it really wasn’t that difficult. Just make sure that you remove all the caulk around the sink before you tape. That should make putting the tape around the edges of the sink even easier– plus the paint won’t adhere to the caulk.

      I’ve had the counters done for about 2.5 months now and I still love them. I was really worried about them during the first month, but I haven’t had any incidents. I was really careful before I had a chance to caulk all the edges of the painted counter to the backsplash or sink. From what I hear, the easiest way to ruin them is to let water get between the paint and the counter. I haven’t had that issue at all. I don’t leave huge puddles of water just sitting on the counter for hours, but I don’t worry much about drops or sprays near the sink either.

  2. Pingback: Keep a rug from slipping | DIY Project-aholic

  3. I’m so impressed with everything you’re doing around your house, especially this kitchen!! I’m still renting, but I can’t wait to be this self-sufficient when I’m a home owner 🙂

  4. Your kitchen looks absolutely stunning! I can’t wait until we do this to my kitchen. In the meantime I can definitely help with the learning to cook bit.

  5. I’ve got an solid oak kitchen that I’ve had for 20 years, the sink, tiles and counter top really are desperate for a change but I’m loathed to get rid of my oak kitchen because I wouldn’t be able to afford having it replaced and it’s as good as the day it was put in, not so much as a wonky door. It looks battered, dirty and in desperate need of something though. I’ve sanded it down today and it looks dreadful and I think I should paint it but I’m worried it will look awful. To leap or not to leap….

    • Do it!

      Prep work is the backbone of the project. Make sure that you sand well, de-gloss any grease, and get ALL of the sawdust off before you start. You want your paint to have a good hold. It’s the worst part of the project, but it’s key if you want the end result to look good.

      Also, make sure that you use a quality paint (I used an alkyde from BM that went on really well and dried smooth– even though I used a brush for quite a bit of it I didn’t have brush marks!) and a quality paint brush/roller. Paint the doors flat– it’s worth taking them off the frames.

      Take your time. Allow the suggested time between coats and let the doors FULLY cure before you put them up.

      If you do all of that, I think you’ll be really happy with the results.

      I painted mine over 19 months ago & beside from a few tiny spots on the most used cupboard (the garbage can one), it still looks perfect.

      Good luck!

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