DIY Fan Gives Kitchen A Modern Makeover For £230
- Sam Jones, from Skegness, didn't want to shell out £9k for a new fitted kitchen, so turned to YouTube tutorials to help her revamp it herself
- Spent £232.53 on budget buys to modernise and brighten the space
- After eight days of hard work, she’s “absolutely in love with the end result”
When moving into a new house – especially one that needs some TLC – the race to renovate can feel overwhelming. If you want to keep an eye on your spending, however, the DIY approach can work wonders.
It’s an experience that Sam Jones, 27, a law student from Skegness, can relate to. When she moved into her new family home in October 2020, the dated kitchen she’d inherited was screaming out for a makeover.
“The old kitchen felt unloved. It was clearly outdated and hadn't been renovated for a while,” she told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. “Everything clashed, from the baby blue walls to the cream tiles and black worktops.”
Sam started browsing Pinterest and home interiors magazines for ideas on the style of kitchen she wanted.
“As the room is at the front of the house, I wanted it to be modern and bright so when the sun rises and my family and I are having breakfast, it would be the perfect start to the day,” she says.
“We looked at a similar kitchen, which would have cost us in the region of £9k. When I looked into it further, however, I realised that it was possible to achieve the effect I was after on a budget,” she says.
Armed with inspiration, Sam decided to take the DIY route.
“As soon as we got our hands on the keys to the house, we got straight to painting,” she said.
First up were the kitchen cupboards. “My partner and I lightly sanded them down and painted them with Frenchic chalk paint in the shade Whitey White. We applied six coats, but it was worth it.”
“Once the cupboards were done, we used tile paint to cover the cream coloured backsplash and make them bright and white again. Once they'd dried, we used grey grout pens to make the tiles pop.
“Next, I used oak-effect Fablon (self-adhesive vinyl) to cover the kitchen worktops. It took an hour or so – and a lot of patience – to apply, but I’m really pleased with the end result.”
She removed the old chrome cupboard handles and replaced them with stylish matte black ones from Amazon. Laying the floor, doing the panelling and painting the walls were next on the agenda.
“The previous floor was vinyl, but it was ripped and dirty and you could tell it had been down for a while,” says Sam. “We decided to replace it with proper tiles, which I laid myself. I’d never done this before, but I learnt how to do it by watching YouTube tutorials.
"We had all the tools we needed at home already. We just picked up the tiles we wanted from B&Q when there was a 4-for-3 offer on them.
“The panelling came last, as it was the part I was most worried about messing up,” says Sam. “However, once I’d got into the flow of cutting the MDF sheets into straight lines using a jigsaw, I was on a roll.
"I had already measured how large I’d like the panelling to be, and sketched it out on the wall to see how it would look. I then stuck the panelling on the wall with some No More Nails adhesive, and gave it two coats of paint – I chose a shade called Silver Eucalyptus from the Valspar range.
Sam also used the hue for a feature wall opposite the panelling. All other wall areas were painted in a complementing shade of pale grey: Polished Pebble by Dulux.
Sam’s shopping list:
- White tile paint from Wilko, £15
- Grout pens from Amazon, £3.90 (we bought two)
- Fablon from Wilko, £8 a roll (we bought two)
- Frenchic chalk paint in Whitey White, two 750ml tubs costing £19.95 each
- Cupboard handles from Amazon, £17.99 for 20
- Floor tiles from B&Q (on offer), £42
- Grout, £20
- Floor adhesive, £15
- Paint for the panelling and feature wall: Valspar Silver Eucalyptus wall paint from B&Q, £15 for 1L – “although technically, it was free as we bought while a 3 for 2 offer was on,” says Sam
- Wall paint: Polished Pebble from Dulux 2.5L, £22
- MDF sheets to cut and use for the panelling, £7.28 (we bought three)
Total cost: £232.53
“The whole kitchen took eight days to do, from start to finish,” says Sam. “I'm absolutely in love with the end result – it's perfect for my personality and my taste, and it brightens up the whole house.”
As with most DIY projects, some parts went more smoothly than others.
“The easiest bit was painting the backsplash tile – those small foam rollers are a godsend,” she says. “The most challenging was probably the panelling, as everything had to be measured precisely to ensure it looked straight.”
The project has given Sam confidence in her skills. If you're unsure of using tools, however, it’s best to call upon a professional to help, so any accidents are avoided.
“My advice would be to take it steady,” says Sam. “There's no need to rush it. Patience is the best thing to have when redoing a room on a budget. As it's on a budget, any mistakes can be fixed. You can't rip out a whole new kitchen if you don't like the end result.”
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk comments: “The kitchen is such a key part of the home and it’s often high up on the to-do list when it comes to renovating.
“We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the range of fitted kitchens available. However, before you part with your hard-earned cash, it's worth looking into those DIY updates you can make that’ll help you get the look you’re after for a fraction of the cost.
“Whether it’s a stopgap to give you more time to save or a longer-term solution, you may be surprised at what you can achieve.”
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