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Quick and Easy Way to Save a Fortune on a Kitchen Update

One enterprising mom took the opportunity to use the lockdown to give her kitchen an update - at a cost of less than R5000!




Kitchens are one of the most expensive home repair projects a homeowner can do, especially if it involved ripping out old cabinets and replacing with new, installing new floors, replacing dated tiles, and so on. You are looking at anywhere from R100k upwards depending on the size of the kitchen.

This expense is why a lot of homeowners look to do DIY modifications, which can be anything from simply replacing the countertops, re-tiling kitchen walls and floor, installing new appliances and trying to fix up what is already in the room.



During the lockdown earlier this year, one enterprising mom decided to use the time to give her kitchen a makeover. She already had what she needed on hand waiting for the right time, but what better time than when you are forced to stay at home. This mom's secret to the success of her inexpensive kitchen redo was to refinish what was already in the kitchen and only replace where absolutely necessary. As you can see from the 'before' image above and the 'after' image below, the improvements done make a huge difference in how the kitchen looks.



While most of the work required was done with a paintbrush and paint roller, as well as a spray gun, there was still plenty of other DIY tasks that were done to improve the existing dated kitchen. Luckily, the project didn't require any demolition work to be done since the existing kitchen layout worked well and mom didn't want to move anything.







If possible, avoid moving too many items around, especially items that require plumbing or electrical work to be done, as this can end up adding a huge chunk to your expenses.



If you are in search of ways to give your kitchen an update without spending too much money, you may be interested in how this old-fashioned kitchen was transformed into a fresh, modern space at very little cost, especially when compared to the price of a kitchen renovation or replacement.







What Work Was Done In The Kitchen?

• Paint Countertops

The old Formica countertop was removed and sanded to de-gloss the surface to prepare for painting. A water-based satin enamel paint was used to cover the countertop.


GOOD TO KNOW: While this is great as a short-term solution, I would remove the countertops and replace with a modern Formica countertop. The cost of a new Formica countertop is around R900 per 3.6-metre length and paint to cover the existing countertop will cost around R400, so it is more cost-effective to replace the countertop with something that will last far longer than a couple of coats of paint.


• Paint Kitchen Cupboards

The kitchen cupboards were given a thorough scrubbing with sugar soap. Attention was given to ensuring that all surfaces were cleaned of grease and grime. Pay particular attention to this step as grease will affect the painted finish.



After cleaning, the cupboard doors were removed and the hardware put aside in a safe place. You will also want to number the doors and cupboards so that you know what goes where when you put everything back in place after painting.



If you have decided to paint the countertop rather than replace, this should also be cleaned and sanded. Use fine sandpaper such as 320-grit to de-gloss the finish so that the paint adheres properly.








• Options For Painting Cupboards and Doors

There are several options to choose from when deciding to paint kitchen cupboard doors and frames and we list some of the better alternatives:

Chalk and Milk Paint

Popular because of its ability to be applied easily to a variety of surfaces, chalk paint offers you a way to paint cupboards for a rustic, cottage, country or shabby chic look. The matte finish doesn't reflect light which means it is ideal for hiding imperfections in the doors. DO apply 3 to 4 coats of matte top sealer over the painted finish or you will find it very difficult to keep the doors clean.

Water-Based Enamel or Acrylic Paint

If you feel restricted by the colour options available for Chalk or Milk Paint, there's always the option to paint cupboards and doors using a matt, satin or sheen enamel or acrylic paint. However, keep in mind that satin or sheen paints may highlight any defects in the doors, making them more visible.


Spray Paint

Using a quality spray paint lets you paint doors and frames with a finish that is free from brush-strokes. It is also important that you only use a high-quality spray paint - Rust-Oleum is great - as other alternatives may mean that you need more cans of paint to finish the job which then works out quite expensive.


• Update Flooring

The original flooring in the kitchen consisted of vinyl tiles, which were easy to remove and replace with luxury vinyl planks that resemble laminate wood flooring. This is a great idea if you have a floor that hasn't been tiled, such as a plain concrete floor. Before sticking down the vinyl planks make sure to scrub the floor beforehand and allow it to dry.



After allowing plenty of time for cupboard doors to dry, new hardware was attached and the doors secured back onto the cupboards.



The painted countertop was reinstalled and silicone sealer applied where the countertop buts against the wall or tiles.



With a few new accessories to breathe new life into the space, the kitchen is ready for use. Small touches can make a huge difference so don't think that you have to spend a lot on a few accessories. Look for pieces that will complement your new kitchen and don't overdo it - less is best.


better homes and gardens magazine




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