The simplest way to begin a budget reno is paint. Instantly lighten up a gloomy, tired space by giving the walls, ceiling, door and window frames a couple of coats of a bright, neutral colour or white. If you’re painting over timber panelling, you’ll need to apply a stain and tannin blocker first – your local hardware store can advise on this, as well as on the most suitable paint for kitchen areas.
And while you’ve got your paintbrush out, you can spruce up an op-shop table and a few mismatched chairs into a dining suite – they all match if they’re the same colour!
The next thing to consider is the kitchen cabinets. If they’re structurally sound but just dated or a hideous shade, you can paint or replace the doors, drawer fronts and hardware for a fraction of the money that it would cost to replace the entire cabinetry. Whether your cabinets are timber or laminate, there is a paint product to suit. Most kitchen cabinets are a standard size, so that replacement doors can be fitted to existing units. If you feel daunted by the idea of painting all the cabinet doors yourself, check out the cost of having them painted by a kitchen spray-painting service – this might even be less than replacing the doors, and the finish is hard-wearing and professional.
Another quick fix is to remove the doors completely from existing over-bench cabinets or replacing them with simple, open shelving for an airy, modern look. You can even paint or line the back of the shelves with colourful paper to add colour and interest.
If your benchtop and splashback have seen better days, you have several options. You can replace them, of course – there are thousands of low-cost alternatives to choose from and many are perfect for DIY. You can also resurface them, using the range of clever products now available at your local Bunnings Warehouse. Give a tiled splashback a whole new look with tile paint and transform your benchtop with a resurfacing kit that offers a variety of ‘stone lookalike’ finishes.
Finally, spend a little on new power-point covers, light switches, window coverings and light fittings. You can spend a fortune on a new kitchen, but maybe you don’t need to!