Total Kitchen Transformation Under $150

9 Materials
6 Days

When I first walked up to this house, it was gorgeous. Was it my style? Not necessarily. Did it scream Texas? Yes, which I loved. My love for colonial & craftsman homes are a few and far between here in Texas. In Texas, you get stone, stone & more stone.

We walked in to tour this spec home. I did not like it, if we are being honest. The outside was gorgeous, the inside... meh, it was a spec home! It had brown kitchen cabinets with a backsplash I wasn't too fond of either. It wasn't my dream house but it was a crazy good deal and in a great neighborhood. My husband said "I'll make this your dream kitchen!" Swoon! Am I right? What a guy.

So, here is the kitchen in all it's glory. A lot of people around me loved it, saying it's perfect, yada, yada, yada. Nope, not for me. It also felt too dark in there. I love white because it instantly brightens up your space. I knew what my vision was instantly.

I was so nervous to paint the kitchen. It took me almost a whole YEAR to get the courage to do it! (Boy, I'm so glad I did though!)

We used a chalk paint from Devine Color by Valspar. It required no sanding, none of that time consuming stuff. For a DIY'er, it's a dream. I started a whole assembly line. We were truly learning as we went. I loved working with chalk paint. It was a little tricky at first but it gets better. It's amazing coverage and you don't use a lot which equals to not spending a lot.

We could have stopped here. The cabinets were white, the kitchen was so much brighter! It looked great but I just felt it wasn't done yet. I didn't want to spend the money and frankly the time to take this backsplash out. So, I did something crazy... super crazy! I painted the backsplash. Yes, I sure did. I was so nervous but I just knew my vision wasn't complete.

Eeeek!!! I did it and instantly loved it! I knew I made the right choice & I couldn't wait to see the final product. I used the same paint as the cabinets. And sealed it with poly (the water based, the blue one not the yellow) I know you are thinking... too much white, lady. Just wait your pretty little face, some change is coming ;)

After painting, we added shelves the the backsplash. Yes, shelves on a backsplash! Mind blown!

The very last thing we did was add some cabinet & drawer hardware. I decided to go with knobs for the cabinets and these adorable pulls for the drawers. All black matte, of course. And it was complete. My kitchen was perfect.

I absolutely love the way it turned out. Look how bright it looks! We spent roughly $150 for everything. I can only imagine how expensive it would have been to have the cabinets painted professionally or replaced entirely as well as the backsplash. No thank you! I'll take the DIY route! I mean, that's why you are reading this right now right ;) in the end, my husband kept his word. He definitely gave me my dream kitchen. Happy wife, happy life. Am I right?

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Frequently asked questions

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  45 questions
  • Karen Tokarse Karen Tokarse on Dec 19, 2017
    What a difference! I just love white kitchens and yours is perfect! What kind of paint did you use for the backsplash?
  • R_s31286555 R_s31286555 on Dec 19, 2017
    Why does the top part of backsplash look gray in the pictures?

  • Lyndabgood11 Lyndabgood11 on Dec 19, 2017
    Looks great. I am planning on painting my oak cupboards, and possibly the back splash. I did notice in your tour video, that the paint on the backsplash didn't cover the caulking well. did you use paintable caulking?
  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 19, 2017
    I was wondering how easy it was to install the brackets to the backsplash? It didn't crack the tiles putting screws in?
    • Ruth Starr Ruth Starr on Dec 19, 2017
      If you watch the second video they put the screws into the grout lines. They got lucky and were able to do this since they have small tiles.
  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 19, 2017
    i love the transformation looks so professionally done. Where did you get the metal tray sitting on your island? I would love this for my coffee station you gave me idea to create. 🤗
  • Glenda Glenda on Dec 19, 2017
    In the pics the cabinets look smooth. Are they, or are brush or roller marks visible? What did you seal them with? I have not watched the video, so I apologize if you’ve answered these already.
    • I'm not Lori but I did (chalk paint) paint my bathroom cabinets this past weekend. I used a Purdy brush and got brush strokes on one drawer. I just wasn't being careful :(. It did take 2 coats. Since it's my bathroom I used clear wax to seal the cabinets, but if I were doing my kitchen (hopefully one day!) I would use water based poly.

      The cabinets look smooth except for that one drawer, and I'd have to point it out and look close. It still bugs me, I'll probably sand it all down and repaint it.

      I used chalk paint that I had on hand, a color called Old Linen, but it doesn't go with the wall color like I thought it would. I have ordered another quart (from Amazon) called Dove Grey that is closer to a beige/grey since my walls are painted Mega Greige by SW. I know it's silly to repaint them but I think the new color will blend in alot more. I'll be staring at these cabinets for years, might as well get the colors right! Plus I can fix the brush strokes on that drawer!
    • Giselle Giselle on Dec 19, 2017
      I'm not Lori either but I recently painted my kitchen cabinets with primer and then cabinet paint and used a sprayer. They look professionally done! i can't believe how well they turned out. By using the cabinet paint I didnt need to seal them. It was definitely worth the investment in a sprayer for both the finish and the time it saved. Each coat was done in minutes. The hard part was waiting for the doors to dry! Lol!
    • Glenda Glenda on Dec 19, 2017
      Giselle, How hard was it to get everythjng taped off and covered so you didn’t get paint sprayed where you didn’t want it?
  • Hi! I am looking to chalk paint my kitchen cabinets in the near future and have a question. How did you lable the cabinet doors to correspond with their original location? That's what I seem to not figure out, I need to because I hope to paint both sides of the doors.

    Your kitchen looks wonderful, you and your husband did an outstanding job! You should be extremely proud!
    • Jacx Jacx on Dec 19, 2017
      You can mark them under the hinge area, will get covered up. I also watched This Old House and they put staples up in the far corner. Gets painted over but is still raised. Doors and cases both got them. Makes sense, can be painted over many times.
  • Jue28867358 Jue28867358 on Dec 19, 2017
    Did you have to seal it all with a wax like most chalk paints need?
    • Donella R Donella R on Dec 19, 2017
      I did something similar with chalk paint. I used polycrylic. It seals and lasts longer than wax without all the extra wiping.
  • Pat Pat on Dec 19, 2017
    this looks beautiful but how will it hold up to wet fingers, greasy fingers or chips from bumping something against it? Did you seal it with wax?
  • Judy Gross Judy Gross on Dec 19, 2017
    This finished kitchen is gorgeous! You have a great eye for decorating. Your granite countertop looks much lighter in color in the finished photos. Did you do something to that too?
  • Niky Niky on Dec 20, 2017
    did u change your cuonter top?
  • Chrisi Erlanson Chrisi Erlanson on Dec 29, 2017
    Curious how the cabinets have held up over time so far? Any chipping or scratching?
  • Denise Clapper Denise Clapper on Jan 01, 2018
    Can you paint laminate?
  • Chelsea Mejia Chelsea Mejia on Jan 04, 2018
    i love your kitchen! You guys Did a great job! Where did you get your spice containers?
  • Terrie Brooks Terrie Brooks on Jan 20, 2018
    Just wondering if you painted the other side (back|) of your cabinets as well?
  • Gloria Gloria on Feb 09, 2018
    What did you use to clean cabinetsprior to painting? By the way they look great.
  • Dana Dukich-Roberts Dana Dukich-Roberts on Jan 17, 2019

    Why did you choose chalk paint?

    • Lisa Lisa on Jan 17, 2019

      Just my experience...Annie sloan chalk paint is used because there is no sanding or priming when you use it. Just paint and when you use the wax, it seals the paint. I have done many pieces of furniture and recently my cabinets. This stuff makes painting anything so much less time consuming. Hope this helps.

    • Tina Cook Tina Cook on Jan 17, 2019

      Does chalk paint work over gloss?

  • Sussy MD Anderson Sussy MD Anderson on Jan 17, 2019

    How did you prime the backsplash for painting and how many coats of poly? Is the backsplash easy to clean without harming the finish?

  • Lynda Mohr Lynda Mohr on Jan 17, 2019

    How do you clean the cabinets? And what wax did you use on them after the chalk paint?

  • Missy Missy on Jan 17, 2019

    Did you use the chalk paint on the back splash also? Any priming? I have ceramic tile on my back splash and hate it! I'd love to do this!!! Looks amazing!

  • Cindy Ptak Cindy Ptak on Jan 17, 2019

    I love the final product, it looks wonderful! My friend had her cabinets professionally done, and has had some paint chips. How is yours h holding up?

  • Charlene Charlene on Jan 17, 2019

    I just wonder how it is holding up. My cabinets finish is getting old and could use a refresher. I already have an excess of wood in the kitchen so I would be nice to cover the cabinets.

  • Sandy Lindquist Sandy Lindquist on Jan 17, 2019

    I need to do this to my kitchen and I am wondering ..why you said the chalk paint is a little "tricky" at first..I noticed in one picture that the cabinet looks bit rough with the paint. That must smooth out because the finished product is gorgeous!!

  • Amber Amber on Jan 17, 2019

    Where is the big picture of the entire kitchen? Side by side of the before and after? So far looks good.

  • TammyC TammyC on Jan 17, 2019

    Did you use the same paint on the backsplash that you used on the cabinets? You did a beautiful job!

  • Patty Patty on Jan 17, 2019

    It looks like you were painting the back splash a brown color. Confused.

  • Hunny05025 Hunny05025 on Jan 17, 2019

    I want to paint my cabinets, but my husband said they are particle board & can’t be painted. Does anyone know if I can paint them?

    • Terry Watts Terry Watts on Jan 17, 2019

      If you clean them well, you can paint them with Kilz primer first, then any color over that

    • Manfred's Mom Manfred's Mom on Jan 17, 2019

      Any surface can be painted. Just research the prep and then make a plan to do it yourself. It sounds like hubby isn't really on board right now (something I have also experienced), so I would do the research online, find out the cost, and then enlist his help or at least agreement. Good Luck!

    • Esther Cherry Carr Esther Cherry Carr on Jan 17, 2019

      Husbands always say that...🙄

      I would do a little research and go for it!

  • Peggy LW Dean Peggy LW Dean on Jan 17, 2019

    I want to do something similar to this! Your kitchen is beautiful by the way. But my cabinets are old and worn in a lot of areas. Will the chalk paint fill in the worn areas without a lot of sanding? We are amateur DIY'ers!!!!!

    • Esther Cherry Carr Esther Cherry Carr on Jan 17, 2019

      Im not to up on chalk paint although I am getting more familiar with it. I would use spackle let it dry then sand it where there is damage. Then I bet chalk paint would be awesome after you do your prep. But above all use a good degreeser and do a through cleaning on the cabinets first.

  • Sfair469 Sfair469 on Jan 17, 2019

    Awesome transformation.! How well do these techniques hold up to everyday use & cleaning? I'd hate to have to repaint in a year.

    • Tammy Sea Tammy Sea on Jan 17, 2019

      I painted my cabinets with chalk paint roughly 2 years ago. They're holding up just fine. I sealed them with a water-based poly, which makes them completely washable.

    • Anne B Anne B on Jan 17, 2019

      I painted the tile in my bathroom, even in the shower, and when I moved some 10 years later, it still looked good. I used zinzer 123 primer for glossy surfaces and then an eggshell finished paint. If you want the gloss, I’d suggest semigloss.

  • Nanci Nanci on Jan 17, 2019

    Is the chalk paint a flat paint? Can you get it in satin or gloss? Did you put any sealant on it to make them a little shiny at all (especially the backsplash)?

  • Pat Pat on Jan 17, 2019

    Great transformation! What is the color # of the paint and did you put a sealer on it? A full picture of the finished kitchen would be nice.

  • Michelle Smith-bass Michelle Smith-bass on Jan 19, 2019

    Did you put any kind of sealer on the cabinet doors after you painted them? Just wondering how to keep the paint from scraping off?

    • Melissa Melissa on Jan 24, 2019

      She said she used Poly, blue can not yet can

    • Purple Nonni Purple Nonni on Jan 24, 2019

      Thanks for that question. It’s exactly what I wanted to know after seeing this great idea.

    • Tara Roseberry Tara Roseberry on Jan 24, 2019

      Use polycrylic. It's water based. Polyurethane will yellow the color. Polycrylic will leave it white and give it a wonderful seal that you can clean easily.

  • Fran Sandidge Fran Sandidge on Jan 20, 2019

    Looks like you used a roller to apply the chalk paint on the cabinets. I just bought this paint last night before I read your post. I am painting the top of a dining table. Do you think I could use the roller for that? I bought that big brush that they had for chalk painting. It's a bit expensive and seems like your roller works great for the flat surface of the cabinet doors. Also did you use the wax to seal the cabinets?

    • Tara Roseberry Tara Roseberry on Jan 24, 2019

      I don't know about her but I redo tons of furniture and make stove topper's. Polycrylic works wonders. Will not yellow the paint like polycrylic but will seal. Was will not seal as good as cabinets need as you can't clean it if need be.

    • Nancy Carlson Nancy Carlson on Jan 24, 2019

      Autocorrect rewrote your answer, or my comprehension is terrible

    • April Jade Monroe Vaughn April Jade Monroe Vaughn on Jan 24, 2019

      Chalk paint is very thick and does not roll well. You really need to use the brush.

  • Carol Harris Carol Harris on Jan 24, 2019

    it looks beautiful, but did you have to take all the doors of the cabinets off? in the video it looked like you painted them without taking them down., and what about the inside of the cabinets? I've been thinking about doing this and your way looks so much easier then others I've seen.

  • Penny Penny on Jan 24, 2019

    Does the paint dry smooth

  • Shelly Owen Bridges Shelly Owen Bridges on Jan 24, 2019

    How do you hang shelves on tile? I would love to display my hot sauce collection like this!

    • Phillip Phillip on Jan 24, 2019

      You can drill through tile actually and buy these things called wall dogs well around here that's what we call them lol bit Lowe's or home Depot knows what you mean those wall dogs make it strong enough to hang alot of weight

  • Carol Adams Carol Adams on Jan 24, 2019

    I think it looks fantastic! Did you put poly over your cabinets after you painted them?

    • Pamela Rae Hill Pamela Rae Hill on Jan 24, 2019

      Yes Carol they did. There is a video to watch at the top but you may have to escape, then go back in to get it to come up again.

  • Karen Tindall-Banta Karen Tindall-Banta on Jan 24, 2019

    Is the paint smooth once dry AND are what is used to clean without the paint peeling or wiping off.?

    Thank you!!!

  • Jamie Jamie on Jan 24, 2019

    I dont how long ago you did this. How has it stood up to time and use? How about the backsplash paint job, has it peeled or scratched? I have really nice good quality caninets but a dark wood. My husband wants to leave them slone but I hate the darkness in my kitchen. If I go ahead and do it and it doesn’t stand the test of time I will never live it down.

  • Karen Karen on Jan 24, 2019

    I would like to do it on my builder grade honey oak cabinets. But.. How does this finish wear? I would hope that it does not scrape off or run off easily . I had cabinets professionally painted in my prior home but the white sprayed on paint was knicked off easily. It was hard to try to match the paint evenly.

  • Celia Celia on Jan 24, 2019

    How did you mount the shelves without the tile cracking?

    • Pat481 Pat481 on Feb 05, 2019

      They make special drill bits for ceramic or porcelain tiles. Ask at the hardware store

  • Sandra Giove Sandra Giove on Jan 25, 2019

    Absolutely gorgeous. I'm trying to get up the nerve to do it. Part of my problem is the stupid hinges they use on doors now. Almost all of mine are broke I want to replace them with different hinges but I'm not sure what kind to try I only no I'm not using the kind these cabinets come with now days, any suggestions

    • P Caswell P Caswell on Feb 03, 2019

      Take picture of your working cabinet hinges and go to your local hardware store and ask what you can replace them with (or if they have those same ones if you want).

  • Krisztina Kocsis Krisztina Kocsis on May 29, 2020

    Have you been the original cabinets wood one or laminate one?

  • Sherri Stinson Sherri Stinson on Jun 04, 2020

    White is nice but a BEAR to keep clean. Any tips there?

    • Lytaunie Lytaunie on Jun 16, 2020

      You can always use a brown glaze over all the surfaces to give it an antique creamy white color and the glaze will sit in the deeper areas. This will then hide any constant dirt or anything. I currently have white cabinets and hate constantly having to clean them. Glazing then is on my todo list!

  • Lolly Lolly on Jun 28, 2020

    What an outstanding and stunning transformation!! Your kitchen is beautiful! Could you share where you found your shelves? I love how you decorated your kitchen too. It is perfect.


Join the conversation

2 of 123 comments
  • Brenda Brenda on Jun 14, 2020

    Thinking about it. Some people use chalk paint and others clean and use special paint for cabinets. I want white but not sure as to type of paint.

  • E95656 E95656 on Jun 26, 2021

    Just beautiful!