Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

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Budget Friendly Kitchen Makeover

Why This 70s Kitchen Needed A Makeover

The first thing I noticed about our kitchen when I came to look at our hose back many years ago, was the 70s kitchen with harvest gold countertops and fruit wallpaper. Maybe a good look in the 70s but in the 2000s it was outdated and plain ugly. But at that time back in 2000, when we searched for our first house, we looked for affordability, space, location, and school district. And we wanted a house on a lot with an acre or close to it in a popular town, so options were limited. I knew this kitchen needed a budget-friendly kitchen makeover at some point in future.

Most home owners, unless you are in new build, have an ongoing list of to-dos for “someday”. The kitchen makeover was on my list of to-do’s. However, life does get busy and some makeovers get continually go to the backburner. And remodeling the kitchen was just not in the budget. Eventually we would like to build a house on some property we have. So spending several thousand dollars on a kitchen makeover was not in our best interest. And, we figured whoever bought our house could update the kitchen if they wanted and to suit their tastes.

For More Inspiration Go To: FarmHouse Kitchens: Countertop and Cabinet Makeovers

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover Needed
This is the original 70s kitchen apart from the stove and refrigerator which had been replaced. The original appliances were almond color

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover Options

But I just couldn’t stand looking at that horrendous fruit wallpaper and dark brown cabinets any longer. Not to mention those harvest gold countertops. So, I began to research options for doing a budget-friendly kitchen makeover. I wanted to update the kitchen enough to where I didn’t want to vomit every time I spent time in there. But I intended to do it in a budget-friendly manner. And like most Moms I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Because our house is small, the kitchen table has multipurpose uses. It serves as a homework and craft station, a place to eat or play games, and a place to just hang out while preparing food.

Ugly Kitchen Picture - Fruit Wallpaper
check out this lovely fruit wallpaper and the cabinets are dark and old, but overall sturdy and decent condition on the exterior

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First, A Farmhouse Kitchen Table Makeover With Paint and Gel Stain

Now that I’ve mentioned my kitchen table, I’ll tell you about my farmhouse style kitchen table makeover. I had a brown mission style kitchen table with a bench and four chairs that we purchased at Ashley furniture when my kids were small. This a great size table for a smaller kitchen. You can fit six people easy around it. But the bench works great for kids and just extra seating that doesn’t take up as much space as full-size chairs. This table however had seen better days. The tabletop showed wear, with scratches, dings and dullness.

Painting the Table Base and Legs
The table getting painted
Farm House Table Makeover
The original tabletop before staining with gel stain

Updating Kitchen Table With Paint & Stain Makes A Big Impact

Given the condition of the table, I opted to start the budget-friendly kitchen makeover by updating this table. You can read more about that farm house table makeover with chalk paint and gel stain here in this post. I go into all the details in the post. But basically I updated that tabletop with gel stain and the table base and chairs with Dixie Belle chalk paint in Fluff, a farmhouse white color. We recovered the chair seats with a new fabric from Joanne’s Fabrics. And I stained and painted the benches with the same chalk mineral paint and gel stain. We were able to purchase a matching bench from Ashley furniture to replace two of the chairs that had some broken spindles.

I am so much happier having 2 chairs and 2 benches. It really suits the kitchen and you can easily slide the benches under the table. Which is really nice if you need more floor space in the kitchen. If you have a kitchen table that is still functional and in good shape, don’t be afraid to go and give it a refresh. All it takes it some paint and stain to create a wonderful farmhouse finish. And new upholstery on chairs can also make a huge impact to your overall makeover.

Refinished Table
Here is the refinished table with my model lounging on it!

New Dishwasher, Range Hood & Sink Faucet

Besides the table getting a makeover, I also replaced the dishwasher with a newer model. And I replaced the old nasty range hood with a new stainless steel one. This was cheap and super easy to install. The dishwasher is from Lowes.com and they set up delivery and installation that was also very seamless. The range hood is also from Lowes and I installed that myself. And we got a new style single nozzle faucet from Lowes also that looks amazing and was affordable. Amazing what an impact just a few changes can have.

Updated Kitchen Faucet - Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

The Three Big Budget-Friendly Makeover Projects

So now, I’ll tell you about the bigger projects I did to really change the look of the kitchen. These projects made the largest impact in my budget-friendly kitchen makeover The first project was painting the kitchen cabinets. And secondly, painting the countertops. These two projects, although both fairly big projects, were very doable and affordable and made all the difference to modernize the kitchen. The other thing you may notice in before and after photos are the floors.

The original kitchen floor was white vinyl. This fall we had the whole house flooring updated from carpet and vinyl to LVP wood-look floors. And I’m so thankful as I do love these new floors. The floors we had put in are from Floor and Décor. They are the Duralux Performance Line Lenox Estate Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Planks and I love, love, love the look. They are not too shiny or sleek and give a more rustic look. And bonus, they have some distressing, making it easier for my older lab to walk on the floors without sliding.

Finished project DIY faux Shiplap Plank Wall
You can see the old white linoleum floors in the above photos. And here are the new LVP floors!

Painting The Old Brown Kitchen Cabinets

Next I’ll talk about the cabinets. These cabinets are the original heavy hard plywood cabinets from the 70s. And they were very dark brown which when coupled with the very low light in this space, really made this kitchen dark. In order to brighten up this space, I wanted to paint these cabinets a light color. Now when it comes to painting kitchen cabinets there are plenty of options. There are pros and cons for different types of paint, whether you use a latex style cabinet paint, chalk mineral paint or milk style paint.

After doing some research, I went with General Finishes Milk Paint in Seagull Gray. This was a beautiful light gray color. I used a primer coat of primer, Zinnser Bullseye 1-2-3, which helped provide coverage and adhesion. After that painted two coats of seagull gray milk paint. Then two to three coats of General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat. I love the satin topcoat and I’ll tell you that this cabinet paint has held up so nicely even six months later. And as a bonus it is easy to wipe clean with no smudge marks.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets Before and After
The Coffee Bar Area/Pantry Cabinet
Painted Kitchen Cabinets Before and After
Painted Seagull Gray to Brighten This Dark Kitchen Space

Adding New Budget-Friendly Cabinet Hardware

The cabinet doors and drawers also got new hardware from Amazon, which was very affordable. I used these bar style drawer pulls and knobs in brushed satin nickel. But I kept the original hinges and spray painted them with brushed satin nickel to match the new hardware. This spray paint by Rustoleum is my favorite for hardware. It is absolutely amazing what a fresh color of paint and new hardware can do to completely change the look of a kitchen. So if you’d like to check out my post on how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding this is the link. You’ll find step-by-step info on how I cleaned, prepped, and painted these cabinets.

New Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Pulls and Knobs
These are the bar style drawer pulls from Amazon

Budget Friendly Kitchen Makeover: Updating Old Laminate Countertops With Paint

Now for the next part of the budget-friendly kitchen makeover, I’ll tell you about the painted countertops. With the cabinets painted light gray I couldn’t leave the countertops harvest gold! Well, I could have, but let’s just say that it wasn’t an impressive combination of colors. So, I opted to find a good solution for painting very old laminate countertops. There are more options than I realized, from complete kits to DIY laminate painting.

The kit I chose was the Giani Countertop Paint kit in the White Diamond. With this kit, you can mimic the look of granite. And it really does look good! Another bonus was how easy this was to use with the simple instructions and I found a few good videos on YouTube as well. I have a post on my experience with the Giani kit and a few tips and tricks I learned from the process.

Painting Laminate Kitchen Countertops With The Giani Countertop Paint Kit

Giani Countertop Paint Kit
You can actually paint laminate countertops with this kit! So Cool!
Sponging on the Giani Paints to create the faux granite look
The Giani Kit has easy to follow instructions. It just takes some patience

Peel & Stick Vinyl Wallpaper Backsplash

The harvest gold laminate also ran up the wall under the cabinets and behind the stove to create the backplash in the kitchen. So there was a lot of yellow in the space. I knew I wanted a white subway tile look for the backsplash. For the backsplash I considered a few options, including trying to do actual tile, using peel and stick subway tile sheets, or simply painting it.

I chose to use a vinyl peel and stick wallpaper with subway tile print. This came in a roll and I had enough to do the whole backsplash. It was easy to use, although lining up the lines of the subway tile were a bit tricky. I first painted the harvest gold laminate backsplash with the Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 white primer. Next I applied a coat of white latex paint before putting up the peel and stick subway tile wallpaper. Most people who come in the kitchen think that is real tile until the feel it!

DIY Plank Wood Faux Shiplap Wall

The final big project in my budget-friendly kitchen makeover, but for sure the most enjoyable one, was the DIY Faux Shiplap Plank Wall that my daughter and I did together. I have envied the Fixer Upper inspired trend of plank wood walls for years now. And this was the perfect option to cover up a wall of stuck-on 70s fruit wallpaper. Not to mention a large patched hole in the drywall from an intercom box, another fun 70s trend.

First we primed over the wallpaper with several coats of white primer. And then put up 6 inch planks of plywood to create the faux shiplap. And even if the farmhouse style is on its’ way out, I still love this plank wall look and so happy with the outcome! I share a step-by-step tutorial of putting up a DIY plank wall in this blog post if you’d like to check it out.

Removal of old master intercom box and patching hole with drywall patch
This eyesore had to be removed before I could start the plank wall
Ryobi Airstrike Brad Nailer to nail up the planks
Putting up the plank wall was easier than I expected. I should have painted the planks first but I forgot to.
Use a Nickel to space between the planks to get that faux shiplap look
This DIY plank wall has been my favorite DIY project so far!
A more recent update of the Budget Kitchen Makeover
It worked so well to add a something special to this budget makeover

So my three big projects in the budget-friendly kitchen makeover were the painted cabinets, painted laminate countertops, and the DIY plank wall. Beyond that it’s mostly a few decorative items. I did change out my 70’s flush-mount light fixtures for some super-cute industrial farmhouse ones I got from Overstock.com. Light-fixture changes make huge impacts on your décor.

New flush-mount ceiling light fixtures
What an update: a look at the new lights while they are on and off – now if I could only get rid of this popcorn ceiling!

Adding A Few Cute Decorative Touches

To complete the coffee bar I have coffee, sugar, and creamer canisters from the Hearth and Home line at Target. They sit on the Acacia wood tray also by Hearth and Home. And I got a fun new stainless steel trash can with a no-touch sensor lid from Wal-mart. I love this trash can! Works great, affordable, and looks as good as any of the expensive ones you see at other stores. We found cute wire baskets and a utensil holder from Home Goods! Home Goods is honestly one of my favorite places to shop. And I also got the Joanna Gaines Flour and Sugar Canisters for that counter too.

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover
Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

DIY Homemade Backsplash Behind The Stove

Finailly, I’ll mention one other project. I wanted a backsplash behind the stove. Something that stood out a little from the subway tile wallpaper backsplash I put up. Options included using peel and stick tiles or getting a stainless steel backsplash but it all honestly seemed expensive. So, I made a DIY backsplash. First measured the space behind the stove under the range hood. Next I cut out a piece of 1/4 inch sanded plywood in the width and height needed to cover the area.

Then, I painted the sanded plywood in Dixie Belle Moonshine Metallics Steel Magnolias over a base of Stormy Seas. This looks fantastic! I simply nailed it up with brad nails using my Ryobi AirStrike 18Volt One+ Brad Nailer. Love that tool! It’s the bomb diggity! The nail holes are small but I patched those with a little wood filler and painted them with the matching Steel Magnolias paint. To avoid nail holes a construction adhesive could be used instead to put up the backsplash.

And I found these adorable block letters at Michael’s to spell out EAT. So cute! I love the look of this DIY backsplash and it was so much cheaper than peel and stick tiles or a stainless steel backsplash for that area. After top coating the Moonshine Metallics with Gator Hide it is really easy peasy to wipe clean also, so it’s not only cute but functional as a backsplash.

DIY Range Backsplash and block "EAT" Letters

Final Decor Touch – DIY Handmade Plank Wood Gather Sign

The final decorative touch in the kitchen is my Homemade Gather Sign. I had seen some wood signs with “Gather” painted on them and wanted something similar but also different. Using the remaining 1/4 inch plywood planks I made a wood sign using 4 planks across. These were placed horizontally across a 1/4 plywood base and adhered with wood glue. The planks were painted with Dixie Belle Coffee Bean, a super rich brown color that mimics the look of an espresso wood stain.

I added a boxwood wreath and a metal “Gather” cut-out sign, both from Hobby Lobby. Next, I attached the wreath and phrase with 6 inch burlap ribbon. Lastly to hand my Gather Sign I found a rustic black iron looking hook from Lowes. This sweet handmade wood sign was super easy and just really adds a special touch to the plank wood wall. The sign is heavy so definitely required hanging the hook into studs to support the weight.

Supplies For A Gather Sign
Boxwood Wreath, Metal Cut-Out Gather Sign and Burlap Ribbon, Wood Boards To Attach Plywood Planks
Gather Sign Complete
The Finished “Gather” Sign

Summary: Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

So, that pretty much wraps up my budget kitchen makeover. If you’d like to know more about any of these projects you can find details in the blog posts listed below. Feel free to message me if you have any questions! And, if you have done a budget kitchen makeover I’d love to see your outcomes!

Blog Posts mentioned in this post:

Check out FarmHouse Kitchens: Countertop & Cabinet Makeovers for more information!

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  1. Hi Abbey, what a beautiful job on your kitchen. Love the color palette. You did a great job on all of the painting. Your decor touches are perfect. Hope you all are well.

    1. Thank you so much Patti! You are so kind! It is definitely an improvement and so much brighter!
      I hope you all are staying healthy and well too! Abbey

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