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Budget Friendly Kitchen Makeover

Finally, I sat down to write all of the details about this sweet kitchen makeover that I did for my Mom. She has always wanted a white kitchen so that was our basis for the makeover. So the first thing that we did in her kitchen is have someone come out and smooth out her popcorn ceiling. We were suggested to just do a slight texture because the house is over 20 years old, it would be hard to get the ceilings really smooth. I did a fresh coat of paint once they finished the texture. That in itself already brightened the room up.

Because we were going with the white theme, I didn’t want too many white hues clashing together so we went with a peachy tone beige color on the walls and painted the trim pure white. All of this was done while I was waiting on the custom kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts to come in.

(Mom’s kitchen before we started)

So because Mom’s kitchen cabinets were made of wood, we figured it would be best to keep the bases and just change out the doors and the hardware. I have painted a full kitchen before with doors and it’s a lot but if you like the style of your kitchen just not the color, painting the whole thing may be an option for you. I read a lot of tips from Chris Loves Julia and they share a way to ’sand’ your kitchen by using a deglosser instead of a sander. I will link it here if you’re interested to read more on this method here.

I measured all of the doors and wrote down the sides that I needed. (left or right) This matters if you’re going to have them cut hinge holes or what they call (bore). I hopped on the computer and ordered 27 doors and 9 drawer fronts through Home Depot. It wasn‘t hard, it was just tedious. I would suggest crossing each door off of the list as you order because it can get confusing what you already ordered. When you get to the checkout, it doesn’t tell you all of the details of the door or drawer fronts which makes it hard to double check your order unless you click into each selection and check. So needless to say, it’s not as user friendly when it comes to custom orders.

When you get on the Home Depot site, click on the search bar, and type in ‘replacement cabinet doors.’ From there you can build and buy.

Because this was a custom order it took over 2 weeks to come, which is understandable. We went with a more simple shaker style and I selected RIGID THERMAFOIL instead of wood because it was less expensive per door and the quality of this specific style just seems more high end.

My goal was to do a complete kitchen makeover for under $3000. It went a little over but not nearly close to what new kitchens cost. Plus this included the painting of the whole kitchen as well as the lighting.

If you are planning to switch lights in your kitchen, I would highly recommend that you do that before you start painting because that can help you see everything in a different light or at least the light that will stay there.

Once I tracked my order for the custom doors and it was a few days away from coming to my house, I started to prep the kitchen by taking all of the old kitchen doors and drawer fronts off. We taped off the kitchen and I used my handy dandy electric sander to strip the gloss off of the cabinets using a 220 grit paper. (Make sure you use your protective gear before doing that)

I came back the next day and primed the kitchen. This will help the paint to stick to the cabinets even better and make it more durable. (Plus remember primer costs a fourth of the price, so priming will also help you save on getting a lot of expensive paint and doing several layers.)

Once my doors came in, I took a drawer front and had Lowes color match it for me so that my white paint came out to be as close to the door color as possible. This is the paint that I bought. It was $54 for a gallon (specifically for wood cabinets) and I only ended up using about a third of a gallon.

Of course I would’ve used a sprayer instead of a roller but that was not in a budget so I used a smooth small roller that is specifically designed for a smooth finish. This is what it looks like. (See pic above)

Once the kitchen was painted and covered in a polycrylic coat, I let it cure for 24 hours. Coming back the next day to hang the doors and drawers fronts only to find that the hinges that they sold in the store were not the right overlay, so I had to order them on Amazon which was actually a blessing because they were way cheaper. Like $70 cheaper because I got them in a bulk of 50.

TIP: Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to rush this project. Kitchen has a lot of details therefore it will take time. I would recommend doing one thing per day. For example, pick a day to take the doors off and prep it. Then the next day prime it. The day after that paint it several layers and cure it with the clear coat (polycrylic). This way you don’t end up getting sloppy from rushing.

Once the hardware came in I spent about 5 hours hanging the doors and drawer fronts. I ended up having 5 incorrect door sizes so I had to order them and return the other 5 to the store. I ordered the drawer fronts with groove at the top to serve instead of a handle. It costs a little more to add on but it will save you money and time and having to install hardware.

The last step is to hang some hardware. I got a plastic tool for easy hardware installation. It was a breeze with this tool. I would highly recommend you pick this tool up to save you time and make your work look seamless. It‘s called align right large cabinet hardware installation template. You can pick at most hardware stores for under $10.

So although all of the doors are not up yet the kitchen looks spectacular. It looks so airy and light and minimal. More importantly Mom was pleased.

I will have more before and after photos once the rest of the doors come in, but I am glad the way these cabinets turned out and all of it for a fraction of the cost. We were able to change the style of the kitchen by replacing the kitchen cabinets doors and drawer fronts.

Biggest tip I can give you, is to take your time. Try to plan ahead and rest in between if you feel like you’re getting tired of working on it that day. Come back to it the next day with fresh eyes.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen using this method, comment below :)

Best Wishes

Create Coleture, Be YOU

Viktoriya Cole

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