DIY Projects

How to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget

I was able to update my kitchen for under $100! Sounds crazy right?! But we did it!

When we bought our home the cabinets were dark wood, they basically matched the floors. It made the whole room so dark and I was dying to paint them white. After almost 6 months of living there and telling my husband I wanted to paint them he finally agreed to let me do it! I did hours and hours of research before finally deciding to bite the bullet.

Let me tell you….this project is not fun. It took a lot of patience, sweat, and even tears. About half way through I even questioned myself on why in the world I decided to do this, but the outcome was so worth it! If you’re thinking of painting your cabinets I recommend researching and mentally preparing yourself. You WILL run into issues and it WILL take longer than you were expecting. But keep the end goal in mind and you’ll power through!

So, lets get to it….here’s what our kitchen looked like before.

Now on to what you need to complete your kitchen makeover:
Degreaser
– Washcloths or Sponges
– Bucket
– Towel
– Sander
– Sand Paper
– Primer (I used Kilz)
– Cabinet Paint (I used Heritage Collection All in One Chalk Paint in Cashmere)
– Mini Foam Rollers
– Paint Brushes
– Drop Cloths

Step 1: Take apart your kitchen
– Remove all doors and drawers
– Remove all hardware
– I recommend labeling each door/drawer with tape and a number and put the coordinating tape and number inside of the cabinet so you know where the door/drawer goes when you reassemble the kitchen

Step 2: Clean your cabinets
– Use the degreaser and thoroughly clean your cabinets and wipe them down with a dry, clean towel

Step 3: Sand Cabinets
– Lightly sand your cabinets
– You do not need to sand them all the way down just rough them up so that the paint will stick!
– Make sure you wipe off any dust or debris

Step 4: Prime cabinets

– Use your primer for the first coat on the cabinets.
– Use the small brush for the corners and then use a foam roller for the larger spots
– Be sure to not let any paint pool in corners or drip!
– The first coat of primer will not look good! Don’t worry!!!
– I chose not to paint the inside of my cabinets because the inside wasn’t real wood, but if you want to you can paint both sides!
– When it comes to painting the frames of the cabinets you will want to tape off the edges and again you can paint the insides if you want, I chose not to!

Step 5: Paint!

– After the primer has dried you’re ready to paint!
– Be sure to read the instructions on your paint to see how long it needs to dry in between coats. Mine wasn’t too long since I used a chalk paint.
– I applied my paint with a brush and roller depending on what I was painting at the moment
– I would paint the detailed sections or smaller spots with a brush and go over it with a roller if it would fit
– I also had recruited help from my mom, dad and husband so we all were tackling different sections of the kitchen (I recommend this!)

In the end it took 4 coats; the one coat of primer and then 3 coats of paint. I was expecting it to take less coats but it usually always takes more coats when you’re painting a dark color white. This is where it really tested me. I’d tell myself it was the last coat and then when I’d come back after it was dry I’d scream or cry (or both) because I realized I had to paint another coat! I used two of the 32 oz jars of paint from Heritage Collection, surprisingly that’s all I needed for all 3 coats because it has very good coverage but I would recommend getting an extra small jar to have some extra for touch ups and just in case!

Instead of just painting the sides of our cabinets and the back of the island section we decided to shiplap it to tie in the shiplap in our living room. If you’re interested in doing this here’s my blog about how to add shiplap. You can easily follow this blog on the side of your cabinets, you just will have to either use shorter nails or trim them on the inside of your cabinets!

Step 6: Reassemble your kitchen
– Once the paint is dry you can put it all back together!
– Put all of the hardware back on
– Rehang all of the doors and put the drawers back in!

I started on a Friday afternoon and finished painting on a Monday after work and we put the cabinets back up on Tuesday after work! I was up until 2 am each night working on this though so if you can’t dedicate all day/night to this then it’ll take you longer but DO NOT rush it!

At some point in this project you will question your sanity. You’ll probably also tell yourself you’re not painting another thing for years (you’re lying to yourself). And you’ll swear you didn’t have that many kitchen cabinets before! But once it’s all said and done you’ll be so glad you tortured yourself for a few days!

Here’s some more before:


Here’s after:
I honestly can’t believe it took me so long to do this project and that this is my kitchen now!


Decorating is so much easier with white cabinets and it really brightens up the space. I’m so glad that we finally tackled this project! Next I want to add backsplash and at some point some more modern hardware, but for now I’m happy!

If you decide to paint your kitchen cabinets tag me on Instagram @countrypinesfarm I’d love to see!
Also you can see videos of this process under my story highlights named ‘DIY Cabinets’

Wife. Dog Mom. And a lover of DIY projects, coffee, and a good bottle of Rosé

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