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DIY kitchen makeover for under £100

I never thought I’d be blogging about doing a kitchen makeover but the creative bug has bitten, and bitten hard.

Three weeks ago we bought our first flat and although there wasn’t a lot that needed doing, the kitchen definitely needed a new life. I’d have loved to buy a brand new kitchen and get rid of the old cheap MDF cupboards and dated tiles, but we just couldn’t afford it so I looked into ways of giving it a temporary makeover.

As you can see, it needed a new life. The blue kitchen bench clashed with the tiles and the cupboards screamed university halls of residence.

This was how the kitchen looked when we viewed the flat…

…and this is what it looks like now!

I know a lot of people wonder about painting kitchen cupboards and tiles, so I thought I’d share my hints and tips for a cheap kitchen makeover.

Firstly, and obviously, use Pinterest. My dream home pinboard was the perfect place to store pictures of all the kitchens I loved so that I could get a clear idea of what I wanted. I soon decided on duck egg blue cupboards and white tiles, but I was worried that the dark red tiles would show through.

New kitchen

I did a lot of research into paints and read various reviews to see what was recommended. I ordered samples and in the end I took the plunge with Blue Charm Oil Eggshell cupboard paint from Designer Paint and Pure Brilliant White tile paint from Dulux.

I took the first cupboard door off its hinges and started to sand it down, but I quickly realised there was absolutely no reason to take the doors off because sanding and painting them was just as easy – if not easier – whilst they were still attached.

New kitchen

New kitchen

Sanding the cupboards is an important step so don’t skip it. The paint held really well and didn’t need a primer or any other type of preparation. A quick sand down and you’re good to go.

You’ll have to excuse the photo quality… I did all the painting in the evenings after work so there wasn’t a lot of daylight to play with. Instead, I just slapped on the paint and hoped for the best!

New kitchen

New kitchen

The cupboards only needed one coat and the colour took really well. Next, it was the tiles.

I scrubbed the tiles to ensure they were completely clean, then left them 24 hours to dry completely. I then sanded down the tiles in the same way as the cupboards, and got painting.

Many forums I read recommended I use a paintbrush to apply the tile paint instead of a roller. I was quite surprised and chose to ignore the advise, and bought a roller. Then, right at the last minute, I changed my mind. And thank goodness! The paintbrush gave me more control than a roller would left a smooth silk finish to the tiles.

New kitchen

New kitchen

The white paint definitely needed two coats, there was no avoiding it. I left the paint for 24 hours before doing the second coat, and ensured the area stayed completely dry before painting again. That meant no water and no steam around the tiles.

New kitchen

That cotton bud (photographed) was used to clean any bits of paint off the plug sockets. Overall, it was very easy and the paint looked great. In fact, I was pretty tempted to leave the white tiles without painting in the grouting. I knew the grouting would be the trickiest bit and the all white tiles looked good. Still, I’d seen so many pictures of white tiles with black grouting and I decided to take the plunge.

I bought this black grout pen from Amazon, left the tiles for a further 24 hours and started painting. The grout pen is like a thick marker and couldn’t be easier to use; you push down the pen into the original grouting and run it along the edge of the tiles.


New kitchen

My main tips for this are: you need a steady hand (obviously) and you need to draw quite quickly. If you move the pen slowly, the ink starts to blot and the line becomes bumpy. You need to move the pen swiftly along the tiles. Not only that, but this particular grout pen dries in seconds (five seconds to be exact) so if you make a mistake you need to be quick to wipe it off. The cotton bud comes in handy again here.

New kitchen

New kitchen

New kitchen


Ta da! All done and completely different to the original dated look.

This took me a little over a week to do, cost me a mere £54 and I love it!


3 comments on “DIY kitchen makeover for under £100

  1. Pingback: 30 things to do in the year I turn 30 | A life less physical

  2. Pingback: Our first home |

  3. amazing how a lick of paint can transform an entire room!

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