Small Budget Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen renovations can be enormously expensive. Or we can do renovations ourselves for very little money and yet still make a dramatic and amazing improvement in the look of our kitchen. Basically, our choices are:

High Budget – Reinstalling an entirely new kitchen

For a high end budget for houses in a good neighbourhood in great condition, a new kitchen is warranted, but for more modestly priced houses, its hard to justify spending between $25,000 to $100,000 and up making our kitchens more efficient. The reality is that those beautiful kitchens we see in magazines usually cost over $125,000. New kitchens can be gorgeous and glamorous but are out of reach for the budgets of many home owners. Here are a few photos of  high end budget kitchens that most of us can only wish for. Unless you have a lot invested in your home, its better to go with trying to get a high end look on a lower budget.




 (photos from and

Medium-Low Budget – Refacing an existing kitchen

For a mid-level house in good condition with “average house price” resale value, this is a more sensible option. If a full kitchen renovation will only serve to make the rest of your house look old and outdated, consider having a company cover your existing cabinets with veneer, and put new doors and hardware on. It allows you the opportunity to also make a few changes to your cabinetry layout, and is followed with the installation of new countertops, typically laminate. Granite is beautiful, but for a moderately priced home it can look out of scale, and the renovations a person could to to the rest of the house for the cost of granite would do a lot more to increase the overall value of a moderately priced home. I loved designing the kitchen in my last home. It cost about $5,800 which is high for a refaced kitchen, but I added a small wall of new cabinetry and some extras like spice slide outs. Previously it had an old fashioned nook and the old fashioned yellow oak cupboards seen in many 1980s houses. Here are some pictures of the renovated kitchen from my last home, done a few years ago.

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I was able to add some open shelving, and an open cabinet with two large baskets for storing linens, a little cookbook cupboard on an end, and lots of other neat features. I also bought a cool granite sink with a drain area which was above my dishwasher, a great place to set rinsed dishes ready to be loaded. My budget for refacing, sink and faucet and paint came in around $8,500, and I spent another $3,500 on appliances, so around $12,000 altogether. I already had plans at the time to either rent or sell the house so was interested in improvements that would appeal to a buyer and add value to the house. A relatively small investment in a kitchen can easily increase the value of the home as much as or even more than the cost of the renos.

Low Budget – Paint Cupboards and Counters and Replace Hardware

Many of us have more modestly priced houses and simply can’t afford an expensive renovation, but there comes a time when the kitchen can look so outdated that something just has to be done. Even in a rental property, sometimes a landlord will allow a tenant to do the work if they want to do some modest improvements, and often will even pay for paint and supplies. For a low to average priced house, a great option is to do a professional looking paint job with the proper paint for kitchen cabinets, and replace the hardware to give the kitchen a modern or contemporary look. An additional option on a low budget is painting existing countertops. Using the products here, you could redo your counters, cupboards and handles/knobs for under $200 depending on the size of your kitchen! I would definitely try to do the bathroom cabinets and counters at the same time to maintain the look throughout the house.

Cabinet Paint

Choosing to refinish your cabinets is also a great option for people who like the layout and door style of their cabinets, but are tired of the outdated stain color and handles. The important thing is to do proper preparation according to instructions and take care to produce a professional looking result. Here are some before and after pictures of the amazing differences cabinet paint can make. I’ve pasted a link for a video showing the process for this type of renovation below.





The Nuvo 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kits for these types of makeovers are well under $100, and that’s a pretty amazing result for the money spent. These one day cabinet makeover kits enable you to quickly and easily update your old kitchen and bath cabinets without sanding, priming or door removal. They update wood and laminate cabinets and have a beautiful semi-gloss finish. The product is durable water based polyurethane and covers a typical kitchen equal to about 40 running feet of cabinets. The kits are easy to order with free shipping – please open the pictures of the following for further details, including current price.

Nuvo Cocoa Couture 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
Nuvo Titanium Infusion 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
Nuvo A la Mocha 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
Nuvo Euro-Taupe 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit
Nuvo Black Deco 1 Day Cabinet Makeover Kit

Countertop Paint

When it comes to countertops, everybody dreams of granite, but it can seem very out of place if the rest of the house isn’t of equal quality. A perfect option is to go for a granite look, either by getting new granite-look laminate countertops, or better yet, get a modern upgrade by painting your existing countertops with a craft kit by Giani granite, which is great for upgrading Formica®, laminate, Corian®, ceramic tile and butcher block countertops. It covers 35 square feet or 16 running feet of standard 24″ wide counters. Water-based, quick, easy to do, safe and low odor, it hides any existing stains, scratches or burns. The granite color is adjustable to your decor, often chosen to contrast your countertops. The product is durable automotive grade clear polyurethane topcoat, and it is 100% Satisfaction Guarantee (by the manufacturer). The kit contains:

  • 6″ GIANITM roller arm and pad
  • 4″ GIANITM granite paint sponge
  • 2″ Foam Brush
  • Black Practice Poster Board
  • ‘Paint-by-Number’ DVD for beginners
  • Illustrated Instructions

See the video below about the application process. Click the pictures below for further details and pricing on these kits.

Giani Granite FG-GI SICILIAN Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Sicilian Sand
choc brown
Giani Granite FG-GI CH BR KIT Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Chocolate Brown
before after bombay
Giani Granite FG-GI BOMBAY Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Bombay Black
Emerald Green
Giani Granite FG-GI EMERALD Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Emerald Green
Giani Diamond Granite Paint Kit for Countertops, White
sapphire blue
Giani Granite FG-GI BLUE SAPP Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Sapphire Blue
Giani Granite FG-GI ROMA RED Sicilian Granite Paint Kit For Countertops, Roma Red

Knobs and Handles

You need to measure the distance between the two screw holes to determine the size of handle you need to buy to replace your existing hardware. There are a range of standard sizes mostly between 3″ to 5″. Here are a variety of options that will be sure to update your look. If you want to change the hole size, patch the holes before painting your cabinets and you will be able to choose whichever style you like, including some of the wider modern ones which some people like to mount horizontally as I did in my existing kitchen.

Vktech 10 Pcs 30mm Glass Clear Cabinet Knob Drawer Pull Handle Kitchen Door Wardrobe Hardware
Cosmas 305-030SN Satin Nickel Cabinet Hardware Euro Style Bar Handle Pull – 3″ Hole Centers, 5-3/8″ Overall Length, 25 Pack
Cosmas 783ORB Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Hardware Handle Pull – 3″ Hole Centers, 10-Pack

Click here for a wide selection of cabinet hardware.

If you need help finding a certain size of handle, or have any questions don’t hesitate to ask for help! Either comment here or email me at

For enhancing the organization inside your kitchen cabinets, please also see “Kitchen Cupboard Organization”

2 thoughts on “Small Budget Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovations

  1. Pingback: Small Budget Do It Yourself Bathroom Renovations | Debbie's Home Shop

  2. Pingback: Low Budget Decorating and Home Improvements | Debbie's Home Shop

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