A Recipe To Transform Your Kitchen on a Budget :

[A little paint helps.]

One of the biggest and expensive renovation projects in your home is your kitchen. It takes time, money and a lot of mess. Your kitchen is generally the homes hub of activity, so having this space out of action for 6 weeks or so while renovations takes place can be painfully stressful. We have all heard the horror stories, how people would cook on camping stoves,  fridge/freezers humming in the master bedroom as it wouldn’t fit anywhere else and the bath filled up, not for a relaxing soak but to wash up Sundays roast dinner. Yikes! Not to mention the average kitchen remodel can cost anything from £10,000 upwards. Wowzers!

So why go to all that trouble you ask?

Like I mentioned above – your kitchen tends to be the most used room of the house. It can make or break the sale of your property and could significantly alter the value of your home. The area has to feel clean, invitingly vibrant and an enjoyable space to use.

Instead of the double R’s (Ripping out and Replacing).  Completely transform how your kitchen’s look with hardwearing kitchen cupboard paint. Its easy to give your kitchen a new lease of life with a paint brush and without a costly or bothersome refit. 

When we moved into our home two years ago we loved the kitchen space but we didn’t like the look of it.   The cabinets had this warm orange tone that made the space look drab and dated. However the foundations of the cabinetry was not in bad order and it had a few more years left to its  dreary shelf life. Sadly, this ol’ cook’s room just didn’t fit in with our personal taste therefore was not an enjoyable ambience to be around. It certainly didn’t have me springing into the kitchen to make dinner.  

So we decided (when I say we, I mean I) to take the plunge and change the look with a simple paint job. Painting your cabinets sounds like an extremely daunting task, however, it really was effortless. I don’t want to be misleading, there is a little elbow grease to be put in, nevertheless in comparison to a full remodel, it really takes no time at all. Plus it’s no where near as taxing on your bank balance! 

Once I’d made up my mind to paint our cabinetry the next step was to decide on what paint to use and what colour! I’m a DIY novice so I didn’t want anything to go wrong and didn’t want to experiment with a new paint brand on such a big project. I decided to use my tried and trusted paint masters Farrow&ball. I absolutely love this brand. The array of colour choice is like no other and the pigmentation in their paints is nothing like I’ve used before. Their website is easy to use with the benefit of a blog. Their blog is such an added feature on their site with so much inspiration, knowledge and know how to read and learn from. It was their blog that gave me the  confidence to start my own kitchen makeover. They have a great post with advice on kitchen colour trends and a step by step guide on how to use their products and how to use them on different surfaces. Although I’ve chosen to use farrow&ball, you can use whichever paint brand you like. 

What’s on the menu?

Time to choose the colour you want to paint your kitchen! Whenever I ‘make over’ a space I always create a mood board, this allows my vision to really come alive and ensure that the aesthetics work in harmony. This was a budget kitchen makeover so all I needed to do was insert the furniture and kitchen homeware onto my board and play around with the colour palette to see what tones work with what we already had. I think this is a great way of ensuring your chosen paint colour compliments what you have already got. We have a lot of black and wooden kitchenware, so I wanted to neutralise their harsh presence with something a little light and cooler, however, not too clinical. I chose a Farrow&ball colour called molesbreath. Molesbreath is one of their moodier grey tones creating a slight dark statement but still injecting brightness, which is what our dingy kitchen needed.

The ingredients to your kitchen creation

So, you’ve selected your colour choice, its now time to prepare for your project! When I researched how to paint kitchen cabinets, there was so many videos and blog post using power tools. However being a DIY newbie, sadly I didn’t own one (Confession: I did end up panic buying an electric power sander, however in hindsight I really didn’t need it!) Our cabinetry has never been painted before so traditional smooth grit sandpaper would have sufficed. This is a great tip for those of you with new, unpainted cabinetry like ours.

  • Sandpaper
  • Sugarsoap
  • Screw Driver
  • Dust sheets
  • Maskingtape
  • Paint Roller
  • Paint Brush
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • (My cabinetry is made of wood and is unpainted. Ensure you use the correct tools for the surface that you’re working on.)

Cooking up your makeover

You now have all the tools to get started. I wanted to complete our project with great speed. Most ‘how to’s’ I’ve watched & read removed all the cupboard doors and draws from the units. I chose to keep mine on to save time, however I did remove the handles with a screwdriver and set them aside, as I knew it would be tricky to paint around them. Then make sure you give your cabinets a good clean and scrub with a kitchen degreaser. I went over them with some sugar soap to ensure all grease or food splashes had been removed. You’ll want them squeaky clean as this will give an even finish to the end result. Once your woodwork is all scrubbed up like a shiny new penny, use maskingtape around the edges of your cabinetry to protect the areas you don’t want painted. eg walls, tiles & floor.

Next job requires to bring a little effort. Sanding! As mentioned above, I started off with a power sander but quickly realised I didn’t need it, as you only need to gently sand to remove the top layer of varnish. So I continued with traditional sandpaper, ensuring the surface was nice and smooth. Again, my cabinetry is unpainted wood, so depending on your kitchen surface determines what steps you need to do before sanding and even painting. If you’re working on already painted cabinets, strip and sand any areas of paint that have peeled or blistered. Blend the edges of any old paint patches to smooth out the surface. Then lightly sand to help improve the paint’s adhesion. If your surface is MDF depending on how tightly bound the fibres of your MDF surface are, you may have to take extra precautions, especially when painting. If the fibres start to become raised when applying your paint, lightly sand the surface in between coats for a smooth finish.

Once I’d given my surfaces a light sand, I cleaned them back down removing any dust. Make sure you remove all traces of dirt and dust so your fresh paint work won’t chip.

This is were the magic starts to happen! The paint work. Before you start slapping on your chosen finish, you need to prepare with a primer. If using Farrow&Ball, I really recommend you don’t skip this part:

The primer is instrumental in preparing your surface for the top coat. Undercoats and primers really help create a smooth base on which to build up a rich top coat. Using the Farrow&ball colour chart you can determine what shade undercoat/primer you will need to use. Again, depending on what paint manufacture you are using determines if you need to prime before your top coat so always check the manufactures instructions.  

Be sure to give your tin a good stir before you get to work. To paint your surface you can use a brush or a roller, whatever you feel comfortable working with. I actually used both. It sounds like more work, I know, but it really isn’t.  Infact I found this to be much quicker and easier to apply the paint.

I started using a brush to apply a little  amount of paint on to the surface and managed to get into the edges with ease, I then used the roller to spread the excess paint around the door. This eliminated any brush strokes and built up lines, saved on paint and created an even thin coat. Ensuring your coats are thin layers is important for a smooth finish but also to prevent the paint tacking and feeling sticky due to product build up. Once the primer is on, allow to dry. Farrow&ball advise two coats of primer/undercoat which is what I did, check with whatever brand of paint you’re using for their instructions.

Once the primer was on and dried I used the same technique to apply the top coat. Applying a small amount of paint with a brush and using the roller to spread out the paint evenly over the surfaces.

Now like I said above, I didn’t take the doors or draws off I kept mine on. I did however, paint the insides as well as the outside of the door. I kept the doors closed to paint the outside. Once the front was finished and dried, I opened them up and painted the inside leaving them open during the drying period.

As the primer before, Farrow&Ball recommend applying two coats of top coat. The first coat I did, looked a little streaky and patchy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t panic, don’t be alarmed, once the second coat had dried I had a beautiful streak free finish. It had all come together on the second coat. Soon as I finished the top coat and allowed it to dry I was able to place the handles back on.

When waiting for the the primer or top coat to dry, always follow the paint manufacture guidelines. Following these instructions is important to allow the adhesive in the paint to stick to the wooden surface. Trust me, being impatient and not waiting for the paint to dry is going to create more work and time. Yes, I got impatient on one section and didn’t follow this advice which cost me half a day, having to sand it down and start again because the paint wasn’t allowed to cure properly.

Bon Appetite

Voila! You have transformed your kitchen! As I’ve said before, I am a complete novice at DIY. It took me a day and a half to transform our kitchen. That’s a mere fraction of the time it would have taken to remove and replace it (The classic double R’s) …. My total spend for the whole project was £139. BARGAIN.

one thing to note. I did find that some doors felt a little tacky for a while after I had finished. Apparently this can be normal, especially if too much product was applied. It can take up to six weeks for the paint to cure, just use warm water to wipe the cabinets down and the tackiness soon disappears.

A whole year on since I painted our cabinets and they still look fantastic. The paint has been amazingly durable. I’m able to wipe down with kitchen cleaner and the heat and grease from cooking hasn’t made any impact to the finish. The fresh colour has really opened up the space and feels like a trend lead kitchen.

If you’re wanting to upgrade your kitchen and don’t have the budget for a remodel, then painting your cabinets could be a simple and cost-effective way for you to transform the heart of your home. Using what you already have for inspiration is another chance to save money. We choose to keep our work top, sink and appliances. We even kept the cabinets original hardware, but if your budget allows you can either spray paint your existing handles or replace them as you could with your worktops, sinks and lighting. You could even change your appliances, new oven and hob anyone?!

Remember I took instruction from the paint manufacture I was using. So ensure you follow the guidance of the product you decide to use, especially on the surface you are working on as each manufacture will differ. Remember, if you choose to use Farrow&ball, as I did, always check their guidelines in case instruction vary.

I hope this gives you the confidence to start your own little kitchen revamp, I’m so glad I did so. A year later im thinking of experimenting with a bolder colour. As always if you need any help or advice just get in touch I would be happy yo help.

Much Love

S x


Paint – https://www.farrow-ball.com

Farrow&Ball blog – https://www.farrow-ball.com/the-chromologist

Vist my Amazon shop front to see my DIY tool list. – https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/thehomeslogg

Dust sheet-


Roller –

Paint Brush –

4 thoughts on “A Recipe To Transform Your Kitchen on a Budget :

  1. Wow what a amazing transformation and such a great step by step. Really enjoy reading this blog. Can’t wait for the next one

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