Looking to discover how you too can makeover your kitchen on a crazy low budget? Here’s our frugal kitchen makeover for one of our previous homes!
Frugal Kitchen Makeover
If you’ve been following Little House Living in our Facebook group or on my Instagram page, you already know that we moved from our RV and into a home again a while back. We had high hopes for doing fulltime RV living again but unfortunately had to move out after only 6 months of traveling due to some medical needs of our children. We are sad to have to leave that lifestyle behind, but we know that it’s for the best at this time and it doesn’t mean that we can’t revisit the idea sometime down the road.
But boy, did we have a surprise in store for us! Not long after we made the decision to stop traveling (we were in Oregon at the time), we got a call from my parent’s neighbors. My parents just have one close neighbor that lives in the house that I grew up in (my parents now live in the house that my grandparents owned when I was growing up). Anyway, they called us and said they were planning on moving and would we be interested in buying their home? You’d have thought this would be an easy yes for us and in some ways it was. To raise our children next door to grandma and grandpa and let them have the run of almost 80 shared acres?
Our hangup was that the house was a mobile home. We did not want to purchase a mobile home (or any home for that matter) because we wanted to build. However, this mobile home was well built as far as mobile homes go (surprising right?!) and we knew that we would be able to sell and move the home off the land when we are ready to build if everything works out that way. So we bought the house (which came in well under our budget thanks to it being a cheaper home!) and we worked on fixing it up to make it homey and liveable.
We ended up selling the home after a year because our family has gone into full time missionary work in another state but we LOVED what we did to the home to fix it up and the family that bought it loved all the upgrades also.
Life is always an adventure and though it’s easy to get hung up on how we wish things would go, it’s better just to go with the flow and enjoy the direction that life takes us in.
Now that we’ve gotten the backstory out of the way, I’m excited to share with you, pictures of our kitchen makeover! Since becoming debt free a few years ago we are determined to stay that way and to live as frugal of a life as possible while we save up the cash for our next goals. Keeping that in mind, we wanted to be able to redo this house to fit our family but stay on a very tight budget.
So….the kitchen in this house was NOT pretty.
Nope, not pretty. Nice and big, yes. Typical mobile home kitchen, yes. Potential? Yes!
We did not choose to make any major changes with this kitchen as far as removing appliances, changing out the sink, ripping out cabinets, etc. We chose to leave as many things in place as possible and use whatever we could in the makeover.
This means all the cabinets and the appliances stayed. We did replace the hood vent over the stove (it was disgusting) and put new trim around the windows, that’s it! It’s possible that we will replace the lighting sometime down the road as it’s rather small for the kitchen but at the moment it works, so it’s staying.
We began by priming the cabinets. We bought a cabinet painting kit but felt that things would stick better if we primed everything first. For this, we used Valspar Bonding Primer. It worked very well. It was a very thick, glue-like substance.
We removed all of the drawers and cabinets doors and painted them with primer. We saved all of the cabinet hinges but tossed all of the pulls, they were in bad shape.
Once the cabinet priming was done, we started the base coat of the countertop. For the countertops, we used Giani Granite Countertop Kit in Sicilian Sand. The basecoat for this color is black and we did not use a primer before painting the countertops. We let the primer on the cabinets and the countertop black base coat dry overnight before moving on.
On the second day, we also began painting the countertop with the colors from the Giani Kit. I let my hubby do this as he’s a little more of an artist than I am. 🙂 There were 3 different colors in the kit that you sponged on at the same time.
It really didn’t look like much as it was going on!
We also began painting the cabinets with the color that we chose. We used the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Dark Kit in Seaside. Since we used primer we did not use the de-glosser that the kit came with but started right in on the color. It took 2 coats (and a little touch up) to cover all of the cabinets.
After letting all of this dry another day, we finally applied the topcoat on the cabinets from the Rustoleum Kit. We also applied 3 coats of the glaze on the countertops from the Giani Kit (letting it dry well between each coat).
When everything was finished with the cabinets and the countertops, we painted over the green wall that was in the kitchen with Valspar Simplicity Clay Angel colored paint. It took 3 coats to completely cover the green.
I did not paint the inside of the cabinets. Instead, I covered the shelves with an adhesive Contact Paper. (They do sell it on Amazon but I picked it up for much less at Menards.) Most of the shelves were stained and in rough shape so this really cleaned them up.
We also chose to do a tile backsplash just for ease of cleaning and to take the kitchen up another level. I picked out some bisque colored small subway tiles from Menards and a similar colored grout.
After this was all finished, we put the cabinets back together using the hinges that we had saved. I ordered these Drawer Pulls in Warm Chestnut (which matched the faded brass of the hinges pretty well) from Amazon.
We also replaced the 2 small cabinet doors that had gold glass in them. (So not my thing!) We had a ceiling tile leftover from a previous remodel and we broke the glass out of the doors. Then we cut the tin tile to fit in the doors over the oven. You can also see the replaced vent hood here. Although it added quite a bit to our makeover budget, it was worth it. The other one was really gross.
So finally, our frugal kitchen remodel…..
Here is an exact breakdown of our total to complete this kitchen makeover on a budget:
Countertop Kit – $79
Cabinet Kit – $28 (clearance at Lowes)
Paint – $25
Primer – $24
Drawer Pulls – $99.95 (and we have some leftover)
Vent Hood – $89
Tile & Grout – $108
Light Switch Covers – $5
Window Trim – $17
Contact Paper – $5.99
Total = $480.94
- Drawer Pulls in Warm Chestnut
- Contact Paper
- Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Dark Kit in Seaside
- Valspar Bonding Primer
- Giani Granite Countertop Kit
I love how the kitchen turned out. So completely different than the one it was before…the kitchen I grew up with! Now it fits our style and looks nice and updated not only for us but for those who bought it from us later. All done on one crazy low budget, a $500 kitchen makeover! A little paint can go a long way!
—Need more DIY and renovations? Take a walk down memory lane and read the posts on our Farmhouse Renovation from a few years ago.
Have you ever done a frugal kitchen makeover? How did you save?
This Frugal Kitchen Makeover was originally published on Little House Living in October 2018. It has been updated as of October 2019.