DIY kitchen makeover

When we were in the market to buy a house in Colorado, it was not love at first sight when we stumbled upon our current home. There were several things that needed work and cosmetic help, but the first thing I had to tackle was our kitchen.

I’ve always valued a nice bright kitchen with good lighting and pretty cabinets. I was underwhelmed by our kitchen, but we just simply did not have the money to buy new cabinets.

Low hanging florescent lighting and cheapy cabinets left me wanting for more.

Low hanging florescent lighting and cheapy cabinets left me wanting for more.

I decided I was going to paint all of my cabinets white and add hardware to them. I had no idea what I was committing to at the time but I knew that with a lot of hard work I could save us thousands of dollars and still find my happy place in our kitchen.

I went cabinet by cabinet. Hubby took off the doors for me and I sanded them down, primed them and then painted several coats of white paint on each one. I’m not going to lie, this took several months to complete, but partially because I took long breaks in between and wouldn’t work on it for days or weeks at a time. I’m sure it could’ve gone a lot faster, but I was also working full time back then so I mainly sanded and painted on weekends.

Since our cabinets were going to be white, we had to paint the walls as well to give some contrast. After everything was done, we applied hardware to all the cabinet doors and drawers. We made a template out of cardstock to make sure all the knobs and pulls were equally spaced.

And…. drum roll please …

Kitchen after


This photo was taken several years ago right after we finished everything. The only expense involved in this is the paint, the sandpaper and the hardware. The hardware is optional though. We found the cheapest brushed nickel knobs we could find and then splurged on a few of nice handle pulls for the drawers since we only needed about 5 of those.

I have to put a disclaimer up though. My father-in-law is a contractor so we really lucked out by having him put in the new lighting and getting rid of that huge florescent light. We only had to pay for the light fixtures themselves and not the labor. And you’ll notice we swapped out our fridge for a new one. We found an awesome deal on that fridge shortly after we moved in so the small old one (that smelled like a dead fish) was sent down to our basement.

The white cabinets make our kitchen look so much brighter and without the florescent light fixture, the ceiling seems taller too. My husband is 6’4″ so it was a little ridiculous having that huge boxed light hanging so low.

Anyone can do this if you have the patience. Trust me. I had never done anything like this in my life but I managed to paint the entire kitchen. After this I did the same thing with our bathroom cabinets. This time I completed the project in just 3 days while my husband was on a business trip. I even put the hardware on myself. Granted, there weren’t nearly as many cabinets involved.

Eventually we’ll probably replace our cabinets for larger ones but as of now I enjoy our light and bright kitchen everyday.


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