Our $520 Kitchen Remodel
Have you got an awful kitchen like I did?
When we bought our fixer-upper the first thing I dreamed of remodeling was our ugly kitchen! I had water stained oak cabinets, awful vinyl flooring covered in burn spots, and we can’t forget those terrible hunter green countertops. We were already on a pretty tight budget with all the projects that needed to be done just to move in. I knew I wouldn’t get my dream kitchen right away. So, I set out to get the look I wanted with a price tag I could afford. Here is a picture below, before our kitchen remodel, straight from the real estate listing.
Oh those ugly cabinets…
The first thing that I wanted to change was the cabinets. They were actually in pretty good shape other than cosmetic damages. I wanted a off white cabinet so my plan was to paint them. As I took the doors off hinge by hinge I thought “geeze what am I getting myself into?!” I had looked at post after post on how to paint cabinets and looked at all different products that were recommended. And…didn’t use one bit of the information I found.
First, I used a degreasing cleaner to get all the years of gross kitchen germs off of them. I decided against the trouble
of getting a paint stripper or anything like that to remove the outer layer of polyurethane. I brushed over them with sandpaper really quick. It was barely enough to do anything and I possibly could have skipped it all together. Skipping the stripping and sanding process will probably cut down the amount of time my paint job will stay on. That’s fine with me because I plan on this being a 5 year fix until I can afford my dream kitchen(complete with brand new, clean, shiny cabinets!.
The painting begins..
We used kilz water based primer we had left over from the rest of the house. I was prego at the time so we stayed away from the oil based stuff as much as possible. I applied 2 coats the the cabinet bases and fronts and backs of the doors. A pre mixed paint in the “Country White” color is what we used. I applied 2 coats of that as well. I used a gloss paint because it is much easier to wipe down when food or anything gets on it.
The same hinges were used and we got new hardware for the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs. I splurged and little and got the ones I really wanted. This way I wouldn’t have to buy again when we eventually get new cabinets, 80$ was my new hardware cost. When I reattached the doors I noticed a few spots that could use a touch up, particularly on the edges. I grabbed a small brush and did it right in the kitchen! The paint has held up way better than I expected! It was done almost 9 months ago and I don’t have a single spot peeling. Yay! My grand total for my cabinet face lift was $105 .
On to the counter tops
My plan for the countertops was to leave them alone in hopes that new cabinets and floors would make the ugly green color more tolerable for a while. Well, we ran into a serious mold problem behind our cabinets. We had to pull all of the bottom cabinets out and opted not to put the island back in. Not only cabinets but we basically had to gut the entire bottom of our kitchen, it was a nightmare! We were very lucky to have a contractor as a friend that could assist us on this one. We were able to prime everything, floor to ceiling with an expensive mold killing primer and replace the insulation and drywall. But, once those ugly counters were out of my kitchen I just couldn’t make myself put them back in. Our contractor ended up building us some cheap but beautiful new countertops for about $200!
And then the flooring
The last part of the kitchen that desperately needed help was the flooring. I dreamed of having the tile flooring that looked like wood planks, but with our budget that wasn’t going to happen. We window shopped and looked at Lowes many times. Finally, we decided on the cheap peel and stick wood planks that were $1.08 a square foot. We could stick these directly on the primed subfloor which saved even more not having to prep flooring in any way. My handy husband-to-be put it down and it turned out beautiful! We extended the flooring into the dinning room right beside the kitchen and got rid of the ugly green carpet in that room as well – bonus! We had to use 4 packs of flooring at $40 each, with a grand total of $160 for new floors in the kitchen, dinning room, and even our little laundry room!
Those last touches!
The last few touches were a little paint to flow with the rest of the house and a beadboard backsplash. I used the same color as the rest of the house for the kitchen, so that was no extra cost(and really not a lot of extra time either). We ended up needing 4 pieces of $10 beadboard sheets to cut and do our backsplash. We cut it to fit, applied adhesive to the back, put it up, and tacked it with a nails for extra support on the corners. After caulking and trimming it with quarter round trim I applied a coat of paint to match the cabinets. Beautiful $55 backsplash!
My new kitchen was finished!
Even though I have thoughts of a fancy new kitchen remodel in 5 years or so, I’m so happy with how my kitchen turned out! I love the price tag that came with it even more! I still want to make a few minor changes over the next year, like new light fixtures and a new stove and dishwasher but I can certainly enjoy what I have now. This was the biggest remodel in the new house so far and I can’t believe we didn’t completely break the bank! It’s amazing how cheap you can get a whole new look! Our grand total was $520!