Before & After: A $300 Makeover Takes This White Kitchen from Dull to Dreamy

published Jul 10, 2021
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When it comes to revamping your kitchen, you really don’t have to do a full renovation to see a drastic change. Time and time again, DIYers prove that a little paint on the cabinets can go a long way. Pair that paint job with shiny new hardware and you’ve got yourself a brand-new kitchen.

Need proof? Take a look at this gorgeous kitchen redo from interior designer Courtney Batten and her husband. The couple bought their 1956 mid-century ranch from an investor who had previously bought the house just to flip and sell it. “While he used high-quality materials in his renovation, some of the design choices were not to my taste at all,” Courtney says. The biggest interior offender? The boring white kitchen with a busy, and oddly colored, zig-zag backsplash.

Since they still had a few months left in their rental lease, Courtney and her husband decided to renovate their new kitchen after closing but before moving in. That made the process a bit easier, since they didn’t have to worry about being able to use their kitchen while also renovating. (They also took on projects in other parts of the house like painting the walls, having the floors refinished, and replacing the baseboards.)

For the kitchen renovation, though, Courtney wanted to stay true to the mid-century modern design of the couple’s home. Her first step in the process was painting the walls a fresh bright white (Sherwin-Williams’ Pure White). 

Next up were the cabinets. Courtney originally planned to just strip the white paint off the existing cabinets then refinish the wood veneer. Unfortunately, once she got about half the existing paint off, Courtney realized why the cabinets had been painted in the first place — they were beat up and had been patched up over the years, and the original wood veneer wasn’t salvageable. So she and her husband had to pivot. They decided to paint the cabinets a soft, neutral green (Sherwin-Williams’s Chatroom) instead, and added gold hardware to the cabinets gives them a fresh look that still complements the house’s mid-century roots.

The original backsplash behind the counters was a zig-zag mosaic of mustard, white, grey and black tiles — not to Courtney’s taste, but not in bad shape, either. Instead of removing and replacing the tile, Courtney simply painted over the backsplash using a Rustoleum Tub & Tile Refinishing kit. “It was the simplest project, but I think the backsplash is my favorite,” she says. 

The entire kitchen remodel took about one month. Courtney and her husband were able to do most of the work themselves, calling in a pro only to install a new dishwasher and refinish the floors (part of a whole-house project).

The total cost of the kitchen alone was $2,610, including appliances. “If we hadn’t needed to buy new appliances, the total cost for the kitchen would’ve been under $300,” Courtney says.

But even without the large expenses of appliances and floor refinishing, Courtney and her husband were able to make a huge impact with just a few small budget-friendly projects that turned the basic white kitchen . “I love how cohesive the kitchen feels,” Courtney says. “Now it fits with the rest of the house.” 

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: 3 Paint Projects Totaling $300 Take This White Kitchen from Dull to Dreamy