Now, I may or may not be known for being just a tad bit impulsive… and it may or may not be probable that I could have possibly jumped the gun without fully thinking this project through before I started. HOWEVER…thanks to my alleged unconfirmed reactive state of being, I now have these 5 WONDERFUL HELPFUL AMAZING TIPS to share with you on how to do a DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel! Stay tuned….
We purchased our beautifully dated 1940s home in the Summer of 2016. To me, it was the perfect house to turn into our home; I fell in love with it the second I walked in!! Something felt impeccably right and comforting and safe and heartwarming about this home. It reminded me of my first childhood home where many many happy and warm memories were created. Perhaps the feeling spawned from seeing the gorgeous lemon tree in the beautiful backyard or the large windows that paved way to the gorgeous lemon tree in the beautiful back yard…or maybe it was the sweet moment when I met the then homeowner. I recall the warmth in her voice as she shared and reminisced with us about her experiences growing up in the home. She spoke so proudly of the home, her sibling and her parents who I think had been living in the home since it was built. Maybe it was my pregnancy at the time, but I walked away from that first visit feeling extremely emotional and attached to the home. I was ready to sign my life away and start nesting. I immediately knew that this was the right home for our growing family.
We bought the home knowing that it had great bones, and 2 years and a few months into living here, it is still clear that the family before us really gave the home tremendous love, attention and care. However, it is also transparent that this is an older home and the fixtures and accessories are warn out, dated and… well… not really our style. We have a very solid vision of what the home will look like once we win the lottery. Unfortunately for us, we haven’t won, but after 2 years I wanted to feel like we were making some progress towards updating the home. A full remodel isn’t really an option at this time and so a kitchen “face lift” or mini DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel was my intermittent solution for this beauty!
Here’s a view before the update…. keep on reading to see the final results!
5 WONDERFUL HELPFUL AMAZING TIPS on how to do DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel!
1.MAKE A PLAN
Take the time to make a plan!!! This is probably my biggest and most important tip; this is also what I neglected to do most during this entire project…oops sorry Jose! I essentially winged the project from start to finish and the lack of attention to this very important step cost me time and money, not to mention, it was unorganized and as a result my entire house and those of us living in it were in mayhem. Although I had a vision in place, I didn’t use the best practice to get there, the only solid “plan” I had was to get my kitchen to look nicer with a budget of $200 during the course of 2-3 days. While I’m really happy with the results, I was over my budget by about $100 and the project took me almost 2 weeks, SIMPLY because I didn’t have a plan. Below are just a few suggestions on things to consider when making a plan:
- Set a budget and stick to it. Be honest with yourself and set a realistic budget for the size of your project. Shop around for sales and deals to help you stay within your budget.
- Identify the changes or updates you want to make keeping your budget in mind.
- Purchase materials in advance, fewer impromptu store runs will help you be respectful of your budget and time. Shop around in advance for deals.
- Set realistic timelines and factor in all the updates and changes you want to make (details take time), who is going to be helping you, the size of your kitchen, prep time and clean up time.
- Take accurate measurements of your kitchen’s square footage and cabinets (if making changes).
- Borrow tools if possible, this can help keep cost low and make your project easier. I borrowed an electric sander from my brother and a nail gun from my sister. Although this project could have been completed without these tools, having access to them helped facilitated the project and saved me a great deal of time.
- Recruit help in advance and designate task: organized helping hands will keep the project on track.
- Create designated working spaces for different sub-projects: where will you strip paint, paint cabinet doors, cut wood, spray paint hardware, wash paint brushes etc.
- Plan for easy low maintenance meals while your kitchen is getting its face lift. Consider grilling outside or ordering take-out to avoid cooking. Use an ice chest cooler to set snacks and drinks aside to reduce traffic in the kitchen. Use disposable (preferably environmentally friendly) plates, cups and utensils. A few ideas for easy go to meals and snacks are: sandwiches, canned chicken breast, cereal, dried or freshly cut fruit, deli meat and cheese rolls, tortilla wraps, yogurts, rice cakes.
- Have a plan for the children. My new personal favorite (thanks to my sister sharing her own experiences) is to encourage them to be part of the project; assign age appropriate task to the child and make it a learning opportunity. My boys have toy hardware tools they enjoyed using to “help” during the project. Realistically, it’s unlikely that young children will assist throughout the entire project, I recommend you plan activities in advance for children to do in other areas of the home or ask a family member or friend to help watch the children.
There are many more areas to consider when creating a plan for your project, these are just a few of the areas I wish I would have paid thorough attention to before I started my project. I guarantee that if you take the time to create your personalized plan, your project will run smoother, you will stay within your budget, you will save time and you will be on your way to completing a successful DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel.
If you’re on a REALLY tight budget a new coat of paint is definitely a great way to give your kitchen, or any room for that matter a fresh look, even if you don’t make any other changes or updates. 2 gallons of paint would have been enough to cover our kitchen and small dining area. However due to my lack of planing, I ended up buying 3 gallons of paint (ugh!). The first gallon I bought was the least expensive gallon I found at the hardware store; it was a Glidden paint and while the price was highly attractive the paint coverage was really poor, we started painting a small section of the kitchen and found ourselves having to apply 4-5 coats to get the job done. It was taking way to much time and I quickly became frustrated. This would have been a great time to do a little research on reasonably priced paint with good coverage. But I didn’t’! Instead I went back to the hardware store and asked for “the best paint with one coat coverage.” The sales associated recommended the Marquee One Coat. It was pricey and very disappointing because we still had to apply 3 coats to get the coverage we wanted.
First, second and third paint coat results using the Marquee One Coat Paint and Primer
In addition to painting the kitchen itself, we also painted ALL the original cabinet hardware. I absolutely love the cabinet handles, they look and feel old and vintage and sturdy. Stripping the hinges was a pain in the butt!! We boiled the hinges and scraped the paint off with a wire brush, it took us a couple of hours to do this. We spray painted everything with Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Satin Canyon Black. Spray painting the hardware rather than buying new hardware was a big help with keeping expenses down, it just took a little elbow grease!
3. CONTACT PAPER OVER COUNTERTOPS
Contact paper is my favorite!!! I was looking to replace our tile countertops but everything was above what I wanted to spend, I considered painting the tiles, but the tiles are very worn out and have cracks and dents, painting over those imperfections wouldn’t have made a huge difference. Since we do plan on doing a nice remodel, hopefully in the next few years, I just wanted something that would make it look more appealing until then; and contact paper did just that.
Applying the contact paper is time consuming, it took us a couple of hours to get it all done. It’s a little tricky and very sticky, you want to make sure you stick it on slowly and stop to smooth out the paper as you apply it to avoid air bubbles. We had a few mishaps during the process, but it was quite easy to lift the paper off the countertop and stick it back on without ripping the paper. I’m writing this post 2 months after applying the paper and so far we haven’t had any issues with it peeling or ripping. We do try and take good care of the countertops by using heat protector mats and cutting boards to place hot pots or to chop produce. We also clean it with regular cleaning supplies such as Windex.
I’M SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS!!! It is by no means perfect and you can see the ridges between the tile if you look closely, but at first glance you wouldn’t know its contact paper. Contact Paper over countertops is an excellent DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel; it made all the difference! We purchased our contact paper on Amazon, each role cost about $11 and we used about 2.5 rolls.
4. ADD BORDERS TO CABINETS
Adding borders to cabinets will definitely take your project to a whole new elegant beautified level. And its absolutely a budget friendly DIY project. I initially had dismissed this idea for two reasons: I thought it would be costly and I didn’t know how to do it. Fortunately, my brother, who is pretty handy dandy, enlightened me and as it turns out, you can get pretty inexpensive molding if you don’t get too fancy and all you really need is a miter box and saw, nails, wood glue, wood filler and sand paper. I highly recommend you take accurate measurement prior to purchasing your materials, I failed to do so…twice! Measuring accurately will save you an extra trip or two to the hardware store and oftentimes you can get better deals if you buy in bundles.
Cabinets before the update.
To create the borders:
- Measure the height and width of your doors.
- Use the miter box and saw to cut your wood/border. You will end up with 4 pieces; 2 for the sides and 2 for the top and bottom.
- Apply wood glue to border and assemble the frame on top of the cabinet door.
- For added support, add a few nails throughout the frame. I used a nail gun I borrowed from my sister to do this, but a nail gun is not necessary.
- Fill the nail holes with wood filler, let the filler dry and sand the filler to create a smooth surface for painting
A huge thank you to my little brother for teaching me this amazing new skill!!
Here’s a view of what the cabinet doors looked like with the unfinished border on them.
As you can see, the borders give the cabinets a completely different, clean and elegant fresh look. We’ve had friends and family come to our home since we completed our DIY budget friendly kitchen remodel and many have asked if we got new cabinets. Adding borders to our cabinets was absolutely worth the work! I think this was my favorite part of this entire project; most likely because I was so proud of myself for doing it!
This is the fun part!! Add your special personal touch to really make this project yours! The best part about this tip is that there is really no wrong way of doing it. Remember, this is your home, your space and your style… HAVE FUN WITH IT . My personal favorite accessory are natural plants and succulents! Though they do require some maintenance I feel that they give any room or space life and positive happy energy. If you already have plants or succulents, consider propagating them to bring down the cost to FREE!! Although I prefer natural plants, I definitely also accessorize with artificial plants as well. Artificial plants bring the added benefit of being very low maintenance and they look great!!
I often feel that less is more…at least when it comes to accessorizing! In addition to plants, we bought a runner rug and penny jar for the kiddos snacks. I wanted the kitchen itself to be the main attraction and the accessories to complement our hard work.
While accessorizing the openly visible areas of your kitchen is important, do not neglect the areas behind closed doors! Often times it’s those very small hidden details that bring me most joy. We got a very cute bamboo drawer organizer that I absolutely love! It’s expandable which allowed us to fit it perfectly in our drawer, its sturdy and it looks clean and organized. As you may have noticed, our kitchen is on the smaller side and it can easily become cluttered; anything that can facilitate keeping it organized is always welcomed. To help us stay organized and create more space, we converted an ironing board cupboard into a spice rack and we decided to go with a pop of blue for a little fun color. We bought a set of wall mount spice racks from Amazon that fit perfectly in the small space. Lastly we lined our shelves with a Con-Tact Brand Adhesive Grip Print liner.
I am beyond pleased with the final results of our budget friendly kitchen remodel!! These updates will definitely hold us up until we do our big home remodel. Have you completed a budget friendly kitchen remodel or other project? If so, please share any other tips or experiences you’ve had! I’m always looking to learn and grow!
Until Next Time…Much Love!!!
You guys did a great job on kitchen!! Looks amazing. Never knew of this contact paper. 🤔
Yes contact paper is amazing… not a long term solution but it’s an excellent quick fix! I love it!
This looks amazing!!
Thank You Lupe, that’s really kind! Even though it was a lot of work I’m very happy with our rookie results!