An Inexpensive DIY Kitchen Upgrade that Looks Amazing!

I don’t do much of the cooking in my family’s home, but the kitchen is probably my favorite room in our house. This is our central hang out space, the room where most of our daily interactions take place, and probably the focal point of our interior. Until recently, it never matched the images in my head of what I sought for in a kitchen. It was a couple years in the making, but we finally decided to dress it up and brighten it! Painting our cabinets white was the best upgrade. Our kitchen went from drab to fab in a matter of days, and it’s a DIY kitchen upgrade that I think you will find much easier and less expensive than you think. I certainly found this to be true.

About a year and a half ago my husband and I bought a house. We had looked and looked for what seemed like forever and decided that enough was enough – we just needed to find a house and call it home ASAP. Our second little one was due in a few short months and I wanted to get settled before chaos ensued. We eventually found a great home that was a previous flip. The exterior was in great condition and the interior looked pretty good, except for the kitchen. The flippers worked on the whole house and pretty much ignored the kitchen – it was useable, but did need some help. We bought brand new appliances when we purchased the house for a quick upgrade fix, but the cabinets needed attention. They were a medium to light oak finish and many of the them were broken and most drawers were off track. Baseboards were also missing on about a quarter of the kitchen. The whole space just looked so unfinished to me.


The summer we moved into our house, my mother-in-law mentioned that we could paint our cabinets pretty easily and that it would probably be pretty affordable. I have since found out there is actually special cabinet paint that covers efficiently with no primer or sanding needed – Valspar Cabinet Enamel. It dries smooth and it is easily wipeable for those that have small kids or if there is a spill of any kind. For the first year and a half, we decided to leave the kitchen alone, for the time being, since we had just moved in and spent a bunch on other parts of the house that needed attention like blinds, curtains and a washer and dryer among other things. I’m sure you know how it goes… Every house needs special things that you have to purchase right after you move in! Our kitchen cabinets sadly did not make it on our urgent list of things to be done!

After a year and a half of talking and dreaming about it, we finally decided it was time. I was ecstatic. We decided to paint it white. It would clean up and brighten the kitchen so much! I went down and purchased the paint and supplies we needed and we started that evening. We started by taking absolutely everything out of the cabinets. The downside is we could not use the kitchen very easily, however, the whole project didn’t take long at all! Most of the time, I felt, for this project was just waiting. Waiting for paint to dry since we put on a few coats.

During the process of painting

The Breakdown: Supplies and Cost

We started out by buying supplies. I have also given a rough estimate of pricing (that we spent personally – so your total may be different) as well.

  • Paint: Cabinet Enamel made by Valspar. Like I mentioned above, this paint is amazing! There is no sanding or priming necessary and it dries super smooth. We decided to paint them white to brighten up our space. For the size kitchen we have, we purchased 2 gallons.
    • About $50.00 per gallon x 2 = $100.00

  • Paint brush: For the smaller crevices.
    • Approximately $12.00
  • Roller brush: We used this for most of the painting.
    • We got a small roller pack for about $10.00 with a paint pan.
  • Baseboards: In our case we also purchased additional matching baseboards to finish what was missing in our kitchen.
    • We spent about $40 for the additional baseboards that we needed.

  • Cabinet and drawer pulls: We wanted to finish the whole kitchen with cabinet and drawer pulls that matched the sink hardware – brushed bronze. These will also come in handy since the cabinets are now white, to eliminate the edges getting dirty from use of pulling the cabinets and drawers open with our fingers. It will also prevent the actual cabinets from getting so worn as well from the use of opening and closing them. We used a combination of the hardware store and to purchase these.
    • They came in packs of 20 for roughly $50.00 per pack or 10 for $25.00. We needed 1 pack for cabinets as we have 19 cabinets that needed handles ($50.00). For drawer pulls, we only needed 6, so we bought a 10 pack for $25.00 bringing the total to $75.00 to dress the kitchen up with pulls.

Our grand total came to under $250.00 for this amazing upgrade! It looks like a totally different kitchen and has a different feel too. I love it!! 


Surprisingly, it didn’t take as long as I thought. It was a fairly quick project and did not upset our daily schedule much at all.

  • Friday: We started on a Friday. Early in the day while my husband was at work, I purchased the supplies needed. That afternoon I took everything out of the cabinets. That evening after my husband got off work, he took all the cabinet and drawer faces off and placed them in the garage where he did all the painting.
  • Saturday: We painted the first coat of the skeleton in the kitchen and paint the first coat on the cabinets and the baseboards as well. Then all we could do is wait and let the first coat dry.
  • Sunday: We repeated pretty much step by step of what we did Saturday.
  • Monday: We placed one more additional coat on the cabinets and baseboards.
  • Tuesday: We took the day let it dry completely and placed the baseboards on their permanent home.
  • Wednesday: My husband placed all the pulls on the cabinets and drawers.
  • Thursday: I placed everything back in the cabinets and the kitchen was 100% ready by that evening!

    Finished with white paint and cabinet pulls

You could certainly do this faster depending on how many coats and whether or not you want drawer pulls or not. The kitchen was also not completely unusable as well. We kept everything close by and were able to cook and clean through the process.

I am 100% and more, thrilled that we did this kitchen upgrade. I love how it turned out and the only downside is I wish we would have done it sooner!


Happiness is a kitchen full of family!


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2 Replies to “An Inexpensive DIY Kitchen Upgrade that Looks Amazing!”

    1. I haven’t noticed any yellowing. I love them! However, they do need to be cleaned pretty frequently. They are easy to clean though.

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