$10 Dollar Mini Kitchen Makeover

1 Material
10 Hours

We upgraded our dated kitchen with a few simple switches. These changes can make a huge difference in any kitchen, no cabinet painting or refinishing necessary.
Our New (to us) Home

We’re a military family who has move 9 times in the last 16 years. Yikes! We recently purchased our "forever home" and are exciting to be staying in one place…but our new house definitely needs some updating!

The current kitchen has 1990s gold cabinets with a huge box light on the ceiling. We're planning a full remodel someday... but for right now we’re committed to making it work.
Removing Upper Cabinets
New Appliance = New Kitchen Envy

This summer we were forced to replace the failing kitchen appliances (both the refrigerator and microwave died and the dishwasher was not working properly). Before installing the new appliances I talked my husband into a mini kitchen makeover.

I hoped that a few cosmetic changes would make the room feel more updated without costing much money.

I'm calling it a “mini kitchen makeover” because I did not want it to be a HUGE time consuming project such as repainting cabinets.... and I wanted to spend $0!
Our Mini Kitchen Remodel

We removed the upper cabinets and reconfigured them along one wall. We also replace a few of the upper cabinets with open shelving. 

I love the look of open shelving, but I was not sure how functional they would be in our home. I wanted to try out the trend before committing to it in a costly way!
Rehanging Cabinets
Our $0 Budget

Left over scraps were used to build a mini shelf that filled in wall over the stove for $0. We even used the wood from the old light box to build the open shelves!

The only item we purchased was one can of polyurethane for about $10.

You can read the detailed remodeling plan and see more photos at BrenDid.com.
The Completed Kitchen
We're loving the new, more open layout! The kitchen seems much brighter and bigger.

No, it's not a brand new kitchen, but it feels much more modern and I like the style MUCH MUCH more!
Before and After
Check out all the before and after photos at BrenDid.com. You can also read our plans for mini kitchen remodel 2.0!

Suggested materials:

  • Polyurethane  (Home Depot)

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Bren Did

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Millie
    on Aug 30, 2017

    What did you replace the ceiling light with? Kitchen looks much nicer now.
    • Gail
      on Sep 27, 2017

      Do recessed cans with the retrofit LED screw in bulbs. easy and cover whole area so no need for trim kits on cans. Just did on a remodel and hope to do at my own house soon.
  • Mary Anna machi
    Mary Anna machi
    on Aug 30, 2017

    great job. I would try the microwave in the L corner and have something blue where the microwave is (blue cannisters ?) and a sink rug that had some blue in it.
    New Polished silver handles would really update at low cost, especially if they could be reused at next stage. Confused about lighting. Patched ceiling but no mention of new light?
    • Mary D
      Mary D
      on Sep 1, 2017

      trac lighting has come a long way. you can combine pendant lights and lights that aim toward specific areas. look around and on the internet for ideas and prices.
  • Phyllis A Tims
    Phyllis A Tims
    on Aug 31, 2017

    How does your stove vent?
    • Arlene Ball
      Arlene Ball
      on Oct 5, 2017

      The Vent hoods are typically set up with metal duct work through the wall to an outside vent. I wouldn't t have it any other way.

Join the conversation

3 of 149 comments
  • SandyG
    on Oct 21, 2017

    Looks great and now it is not so "boxy." Great savings too.
  • Barb
    on Oct 26, 2017

    You might think about the doors and handles on the cabinets above the stove switching them. It stands out that they do not open from the center above the stove .See how the two little ones opened ? Like that ? They should open center out side to side . Then the end cabinet near the shelves should open to the right as it does.
    It would make it look a whole lot better and uniform the way the cabinets were made to look .
    Right now the doors look back words that way opening to the center of the stove . The handles really need to be center over the stove it sets off the whole look of the cabinets to me any way and was the first think I notice .
    Other than that nice job .
    Have you thought about painting the stools? Maybe a gunmetal gray to go with the kitchen more making them look like steel ?
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