Before & After: A Few Paint Projects Totally Transformed This Blah Kitchen for Just $165

published Nov 20, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Before: Dated kitchen with brown laminate cabinetry with dark hinges

If you’re working on a tight budget — either as a homeowner or a renter — a renovation involving demo frequently just isn’t an option, even if a transformation in your space is much-needed. But fear not: There are plenty of no-demo projects that can make a huge difference in a space, like painting, peel-and-stick wallpaper, and changing light fixtures, to name a few.

Visual display artist Adrianna Gardini (@bigmouthbetty) managed to make a major difference in her “hallway kitchen” without any serious demo. “When it became apparent we were not going to be able to swing a gut reno, my husband and I got a few cans of paint and some oil paint primer, and we just painted EVERYTHING!” she says.

Before, the kitchen was very dated. “The cabinets were dark brown fake wood laminate, the counters a yellow laminate, the floors were a yellowy vinyl floor roll, even the wall color was a yellowy fleshy color,” Adrianna explains.

She wanted to make the space feel light, bright, and inviting, all while sticking to a low budget. Her creative paint projects do just that, making every dated surface feel a lot fresher and more stylish.

Adrianna was able to transform her kitchen using mostly just paint, and with a modest budget of only about $165.

It took about five days for Adrianna to prime and paint all the cabinets — she removed the doors but decided to painted over the hinges — then the walls, dishwasher, fridge, and counters. (Yes, you read that right, Adrianna painted her appliances and counters!)

For her counters, Adrianna chose a white-and-gray painted marble pattern. Splitting up the project into sections helped her continue to use her kitchen while the project was ongoing. “My 6-year-old even helped,” Adrianna says of the countertop paint job, which took about four days to plan. She tested out a few ideas on the backsplash before committing to the marble design.

The painted floors took two days from start to finish, and now look far more modern in a sleek matte black color.

Adrianna also painted her appliances — a great way to make them look less dated without splurging for all-new models. Her dishwasher now seamlessly blends in with her teal cabinets, and her refrigerator has a one-of-a-kind ombre design.

As Adrianna notes: “Who says you can’t paint a fridge?!”

Adrianna adds that it was “truly liberating” to use paint on these unexpected surfaces, and she highly recommends it. “I think that’s when the magic happens, when you don’t have to think about the permanence of a real piece of stone or what tiles you can’t afford,” she says. “Just have fun!”

A $165 project completed in just 10 days, this kitchen makeover shows you don’t need to do a gut reno to make your home shine.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: Innovative Paint Projects Totally Transform a Blah Kitchen for Just $165