• $500 Kitchen Renovation REVEAL!

    by  • July 17, 2013 • House Projects & Updates • 55 Comments

    I just wanted to pop in with the final before & after post for our kitchen renovation (and put an end the saga!). We wanted to update the kitchen as much as we could on a very limited budget, so the main theme throughout this entire process was always CHEAP. So of course there are some things that I would’ve done differently if that wasn’t as much of a factor, but regardless, we are pretty proud of what we accomplished! I’ll refresh your memory on what the “before” kitchen looked like –

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    For a temporary fix, we removed the burgundy wallpaper, painted, and hung some art.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Then, I applied frosted window film over the kitchen sink window to let in as much light as possible without sacrificing privacy.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Once we were ready to tackle the kitchen renovations, I came up with a design plan inspired by my colorful vintage recipe box.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    We removed the chair rail, repaired the walls, and painted everything white for a really fresh & bright look.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    The most dreaded task was our floors. We knew that hiding underneath many layers of linoleum was the original hardwoods, but unfortunately they were covered in more awful tar paper (just like in our bathroom renovation). But the hours (& hours) spent scraping, sanding, staining, & sealing were worth it to reclaim the original flooring, and it really saved our budget.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Next, I gave the back door a vintage look with new red paint and textured window film.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Then we reworked the old swirly header over the sink to look more current & installed a light fixture (scored at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $2!).

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Next I brought in a new jute rug for under the table and some chairs bought off of craigslist.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    I made the patterned curtains using a thrifted vintage bed sheet and hung them from a rod made from electrical conduit.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    The cabinets were the next major task on the list. We were very fortunate to have my family volunteer to come down from PA to help us out. We used inexpensive yardsticks to create trim on the existing flat cabinet doors, then sanded off the marks and numbers before priming and painting with a two-tone effect.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Finally, I gave the pantry door a new look with some leftover glossy black paint and new knobs.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    And here are the afters

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    You might’ve noticed that the craigslist chairs got a new look too with a few cans of spray paint & a yard of fabric.

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Here’s the budget breakdown for how we squeezed all this in for about $500!
    Frosted window film: $10
    Paint & spackle: $33
    Refinished floors ($129) & new baseboards: $185
    Red door makeover: $36
    Pendant light ($2) & ceiling plate: $7
    Jute rug: $67
    Vintage sheet curtains & conduit rod: $8
    Cabinet updates: $108
    Pantry door: $0
    Chairs ($40) & makeover: $55
    GRAND TOTAL: $509

    And the before & after’s put together for your pinning pleasure šŸ™‚

    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters
    $500 Kitchen Renovation | Beautiful Matters

    Hope you like it as much as we do!

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    55 Responses to $500 Kitchen Renovation REVEAL!

    1. Kelsy
      July 17, 2013 at 7:34 am

      I love the plates and those chairs!

      • July 17, 2013 at 7:37 am

        Thanks Kels! I was happy with how the chairs turned out, but I’m thinking that I’ll probably give them a second makeover at our next place, haha. That’s how I roll.

      • April 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        On cabinets, do I wash down and sand or just sand? Plus on sanding, do I just sand a little ( just to get paint to stick) or all the doors. Please reply back.

        • September 14, 2015 at 9:56 pm

          You can sand it lightly just to rough up the smooth surface, then wipe off the dust and you’re ready to go! You could also wipe it down with a liquid deglosser product – I’ve never tried it but I’ve heard good things!

    2. Diane
      July 17, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Looks amazing! And for $500?! Wow! I have some craiglist chairs Im looking to paint too- did you do anything to prep the surface? Any specific spray paint you can recommend?? Thanks šŸ™‚

      • July 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

        Thanks, Diane! I lightly sanded them first, and then primed. Spray primer would be way easier, but I already had some in a can so I just brushed & rolled that on. I think the spray paint I used was a Rustoleum kind, which I’ve always been happy with. I do think that gloss & semi-gloss varieties seem to hold up best to wear & tear, so I would recommend using one of those for furniture. Good luck!

    3. liz
      July 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

      You did a really really lovely job! Nice use of materials and elbow grease! It’s a great transformation! šŸ™‚

    4. Peggy
      July 17, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Wow – love it all – especially the red door! Love, love, love your decorating style – so energetic, yet soothing at the same time!

    5. July 17, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Such a dramatic change. I love how it turned out. It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite aspect, but I think it’s a tie between the newly trimmed cabinet doors and the red door!

    6. July 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

      So awesome. We’re smack dab in the middle of a kitchen gut right now and I can only hope the “reveal” is half as great as yours. You knocked it out of the park with that budget. Loving the yardsticks to get your shaker-style cabinets.

    7. Melissa
      July 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Fantastic job! Very inspiring.

    8. July 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Girl, it looks beautiful! Your hard work paid off!!

    9. Karen
      July 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Such a nice kitchen renovation. Using the yardsticks as the trim was brilliant. You remind me of … me … when I was your age. Our first home was built in 1928 and needed everything from years of maroon paisley carpet removed so floors could be sanded and refinished to a new heating system and everything in between. My husband and I did everything ourselves.

    10. Pam in GA
      July 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Amazing! Hope you create many wonderful memories there.

    11. Holly
      July 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

      You made it look completely different and new with the small amount of money that you spent! Makes it satisfying when you put so much work into it yourself too.

    12. Kelsey
      July 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      You are amazing! Loooove the chair make over too!

    13. July 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Simply beautiful. What kind of flooring is that? I love it.

    14. July 28, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Wow Shauna, that turned out great! Love that you have two doors that have color o them! And those floors are gorgeous!

    15. July 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Amazing before and after!! So inspiring, and yes! It’s pinned!

      ~ Katherine

    16. Mikayla
      August 7, 2013 at 2:29 am

      Wow how incredible, i am completely reinvigorated to tackle my kitchen. Thank you so much! Going to use you kitchen cabinet idea! Ours are ugly formica so will need to sanded vigourously but i am so inspired right now!

    17. August 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      This looks fantastic! I have been looking over your blog and love what ya’ll did to your home! This kitchen remodel and the bathroom remodel you did are fantastic! The whole time I was reading your bathroom remodel it was like dejavu for me! We had the exact same experience with a major overhaul and did a similar remodel with subway tile! Thanks for sharing the adventures!

    18. September 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Wow wow wow! Seriously a great change for only 500 bucks. U did amazing. Such an inspiration! Found u through curtain diy search on google a d fell n love with your blog šŸ™‚

    19. September 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Awesome kitchen renovation pics!!! Thanks for sharing such a great post.

    20. January 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

      I love, love, LOVE this! Your blog was part of my inspiration for my own 1950s kitchen update. It’s an ongoing project, but I blogged about it yesterday. Check it out! I hope to see most posts from you this year – love your style.


      • January 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm

        Your kitchen is looking great! I love the gray base cabinets!

    21. February 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Wow wow wow love it. Especially congrats on your patience with the floors. The chairs are awesome and love how you opened the cabinet. It just looks great.

    22. Sannie
      March 3, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Very very nice !!! I wanted to refresh my kitchen and I wanted to know if you can give me the # of paint color that you put in the cabinet (almond) Thanks and have a nice days !

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    24. Jenelle
      May 21, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Gotta say this is the best DIY kitchen reno I have seen on blog land, I am not a blogger but an avid reader!! I could do this, and that is exactly how I want to feel after reading a DIY post. Your kitchen is beautiful, I am pinning it for inspiration, we are making a major move in the net month and will be house hunting, I will not fear the dated kitchen any longer…..

      • June 10, 2014 at 9:28 am

        Jenelle, thank you! That’s about the sweetest comment someone could leave. I’m so glad that I could inspire you! That makes me feel like I should keep blogging away after all. Good luck on the house hunt! You CAN do it!

    25. Valarie
      July 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

      BEAUTIFUL!!! What color is the paint you used on the cabinets?

      • July 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

        Thanks! The uppers are “Ultra White” and the lowers are “Barnwood,” both by Valspar.

    26. Jeanine
      July 4, 2014 at 8:41 am

      So nice! Really- very inspirational. Did you remove the handles from your refrigerator/freezer? It looks a lot better, but do you just open it from the side now?

      • July 4, 2014 at 11:11 am

        Thanks, Jeanine! Yes, we removed the handles – just so it would fit through the doorway when we were doing the floors, but then I liked the cleaner look, so we left them off. It was easy to open the doors from the side. There were still the screw holes there, but they never bothered me. I bet there’s a way to fill or disguise them if someone wanted to do that.

    27. Cat
      July 4, 2014 at 9:06 am

      Your kitchen is beautiful! I love the colors and the light above the sink.

      I wanted to ask about removing the chair rail from the dining room. We also have a similar one in our dining room – as well as the dated two-color thing going on. It’s a small space and I think would definitely work better all one color. Was it hard to do? Do you just pry it off the wall and then sand out and prime the wall to make smooth?

      • July 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

        Thank you, Cat! I think now, I would’ve just left the chair rail there. If the walls and the chair rail are all painted the same color, it can look much more fresh and modern, no matter what color you choose. Though if you do want to remove it, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Ours was, because unfortunately it was nailed AND glued to the wall, so it ripped off large pieces of paint and a little bit of the wall too in some spots. So we had to do A LOT of patching and sanding to get it smooth. But it normally isn’t that difficult because it shouldn’t be glued down. As long as you use a box cutter or something to score all around it, cutting through whatever caulk or paint is in the seam, it should come off easily with minimal repair work needed. Good luck!

        • Cat
          July 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

          Thanks for the info! I hadn’t considered painting the rail the same color. That’s a good idea.

    28. biawest
      July 5, 2014 at 2:44 am

      I love every single detail but my favorite transformation is the floor. It is absolutely gorgeous!! I can only imagine how hard it was to get it looking so good, but it was indeed well worth the work. It is stunning!

    29. Linda
      July 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Fantastic remodel – you should have your own TV show so people can get ideas
      on a “real people” budget not an unlimited budget !

    30. Lynn
      July 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Love Love Love your cabinet redo! I have been searching & searching for a way to add more “interest” to my plain kitchen cabinets (cir 1965) and by golly. You’ve not only answered my question by show me how to do it too! Thank you!

    31. September 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Love love love your DIY wood floors. Are you and your husband pretty handy? We’re in the process of buying a new home and I’m taking notes on your budget reno’s. We aren’t very handy….but I think we could learn!

      • September 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

        Thanks, Brooke! Most of the projects we did in this house were intimidating first time experiences for us, but we figured it out! I wouldn’t say that we’re especially handy, but I’m not scared of trying new projects and I can usually rope Phil into helping šŸ™‚ I’ve found other blogs and also youtube tutorials to be so inspiring and helpful. You can do it!

    32. Kat
      September 27, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Awesome renovation….it does seen though the dining table would look better painted, I saw one like that done in orange and it really updated it, though of course not your color scheme…seems to me ANNIE Sloan Chalk paint with clear Annie Wax would be good..I like the Purple Painted Lady, website to learn about and buy the paint..Tons of info ,oh and no priming!

    33. Sarah
      January 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      What size jute rug did you buy from Rugs USA? It looks like 5×7? Thanks!

      • February 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        Yes it’s a 5 x 7 or 5 x 8 I believe! Although I have an 8 x 10 under my table now, and I actually prefer that much more – if that helps your decision!

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    35. August 3, 2015 at 6:47 am

      SO.MUCH.BETTER!! Great transformation and looks like you would of spent alot more on this transformation. I really like the plate wall feature and the coloured doors.

    36. September 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      This is so beautiful ! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    39. June 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Well for goodness sake…apparently I came late to the party that is your kitchen renovation. Wow! You did a super job, and I hope you are still enjoying it. I am in a 1930’s summer cottage that was “updated” c. 1960-something. It’s one project after another, but I’m inspired to get the kitchen going based on your success. Yard sticks?!? That is fabulous!

      Thanks for sharing your process.

    40. Meagan
      November 29, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      I know this post is from a few years ago, but could you tell me how you removed the piece above the sink? We have one that’s also attached to the trim in the ceiling and I’m not sure how to remove it. Thanks!

      • May 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Hm, it’s hard for me to remember, but I think we first removed the crown/trim along the top, then just hammered the piece out. After we made it pretty again we put the crown piece back up.

    41. Grace
      February 25, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Love it wish I could do a project like that I give you two thumbs up.

    42. Erin
      February 17, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNES!! I absolutely love what you did and I couldn’t have come across this at a better time! We’re debating whether or not to sell our home this spring, and one of our tasks is to freshen our kitchen without doing a crazy renovation. A contractor quoted us around $8500 (before new appliances) and I was like Nah son, we have to do things like have the exterior of the home painted, upgrade the electrical panel, etc. The yardstick trick is genius (GENIUS!!!) and you’ve sold me on the open cupboard idea. I envy how your family came to help you, but we have many friends who I am sure would be thrilled to pitch in. We’re looking at doing butcherblock counter tops and maybe putting in a farmhouse sink (the Ikea double one), which would eat into our budget of $1k or less for the kitchen freshening-up, but your ideas and your expert how-to’s are going to be HUGELY helpful for me as I transform our teeny little eyesore galley kitchen into something I can feel great about when it’s time to sell. Thank you for posting this!

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