Kitchen Remodeling on a Budget

Posted by Mrs Money on February 5th, 2010

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When we bought our house almost three years ago, we had no idea how to paint, how to install laminate flooring, or even replace light switches. Over the past few years, our house has undergone a transformation into our home.  We’ve put a lot of work into it, and hopefully, when the day comes to sell it, we’ll come out a little ahead.

Today I’m going to share some pictures of our frugal kitchen transformation.  We pretty much just painted the walls, ceiling, cabinets, and replaced the cabinet knobs.  We were on a pretty limited budget because this was something we wanted to tackle before we fully moved in.  And no, I don’t think the guy we bought the house from was color blind. :)

Here are the before pictures:

After we stated priming (it looks so much better already!):

And it’s finished!  No more midnight blue ceiling, cantaloupe and watermelon walls!

What a difference a little paint makes! It just goes to show you that you can make a huge difference while on a budget!

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26 Responses to “Kitchen Remodeling on a Budget”


  1. AJ says:

    Wow! Your kitchen looks fantastic now. It’s amazing what a little bit of paint and hard work can really do.

    My husband and I have been going through the same sort of transformations with our house. We installed ceramic tile in our kitchen and boy, was that a job! Next up are three bathrooms to tile!

    Remodeling can be a daunting task, but it always pays off in the end (not necessarily home value, but personally). I like that we tackle it ourselves instead of hiring someone else. I’m always proud of our accomplishments.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    AJ- Thanks! It is always so rewarding to see what we can do by ourselves!

    I really enjoy the projects (mostly) :)

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  2. Wow – you guys did an amazing job. The after pics also give a great sense of why you might be reluctant to leave :)

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    ami- Thanks so much! :) I really appreciate that. It’s hard for me to share things sometimes because I’m afraid people will think it’s not that good. :)

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  3. Catherine says:

    I can not even believe it. There was a kitchen with those same HIDEOUS colors on HGTV the other day (the people repainted it quickly!)… but I thought there could be only one person who could like that so-called “color-scheme” – I guess I was wrong! Just… wow. It looks a MILLION TIMES better in the “after” photos. Good for you seeing past the paint.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Catherine- Seriously?! That is awful! When we looked at the house, I was like O.O I could not believe someone would do that! One of the bedrooms was hunter green with a gray ceiling. This guy had totally unique taste in paint colors! Thanks so much for your kind comments. :)

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  4. Frugal Babe says:

    That is amazing! You guys did a fantastic job, and the “after” kitchen looks like it belongs in a magazine :)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Frugal Babe- Aww. That is so nice! I really appreciate that. It makes me even prouder of the job!

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  5. Sarah says:

    Wow what a difference a color can make and do for the home. Let me encourage you by adding that you do have a lot of money tied up in a home and looking after it is good for your future too.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Sarah- Thank you! I feel good about doing these things. We’ve really enjoyed the projects for the most part. :)

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  6. Wow! You did a great job…looks like a professional did it.

    Since we bought our house I’ve learned to do lots of things for myself.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Saving Money Today- Thank you!! It was the first time either of us had painted and our parents were like, why don’t you wait a few months until you are settled in to do that? We couldn’t live with it. We were intimidated about painting the cabinets, but they were so ugly we didn’t have a choice! :)

    It’s amazing the things you learn when you own a house!

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  7. Incredible — your kitchen looks like it belongs in a magazine! Those previous colors were insane.

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  8. Actually, I wanted to ask — how hard was it to paint the cabinets? I’m wondering if we could update our old wood ones by painting them as you did…

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    RainyDaySaver- Thanks so much! :)

    You totally can do it. This was the first time either of us had painted ANYTHING. I did the cabinets by myself. Are your cabinets plain wood now, or painted?

    What we did was go to Home Depot, buy this cement floor cleaner and degreaser (they told us to buy it), washed the cabinets with that, sanded them a little to rough them up, primed them with Kilz, and then used a satin white paint to paint them. You could also use a semi gloss if you wanted. If you have any more questions, please ask away!

    I have total faith that you can do it though!

    [Reply]

  9. Cat says:

    I LOVE IT~

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Cat- Thank you!!

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  10. akborn says:

    wow, what a beautiful kitchen! and wonderful job on the painting!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    akborn- Thanks! :)

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  11. Excellent job on the kitchen! I find it odd when people don’t believe in their ability to DIY… The pro’s have two hands and two feet just like the rest of us!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    LeanLifeCoach- LOL I know what you mean. I am nervous about doing some projects and then I realize that if I take time to research how to do it I’ll be fine. I just installed baseboards in the hallway, nailed, caulked, and everything! I was going to hire someone but then I realized that was silly. :) Glad I saved the money and did it myself!

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  12. Beautiful! I love that island, it looks like it has a fold down side. Your kitchen is very lovely, great painting job!

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Mrs. Accountability- Thank you! The island came with the house and is so handy! It does have a nice fold down side you can use to work on too. ;)

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  13. Very nicely done! Looks like a million bucks. Any estimate on how much the project ended up costing? I also wonder what the original painter was thinking!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Ryan- Thanks! I would say it cost probably around $200. The hardware for the cabinets was the most expensive. Other than that, it was a just primer, paint, and elbow grease! :)

    [Reply]


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