Hey there all you savvy home owners. It's time to roll your sleeves up on today's 'Selfie Saturday'


Today I'm sharing how to DIY a budget kitchen facelift in a weekend! As you can see the before and after is quite dramatic (CHECK OUT MY LITTLE BEFORE + AFTER VIDEO ABOVE)  and you might be shocked to know that hubby and I did all of this for around $200, over two days! Now bare in mind there is further you could go with this facelift and I will be adding in lights, new handles + new appliances soon etc. but for now this our little diamond in the rough.

I also just wanted to quickly touch on a few considerations before you go deciding whether to try this on your own kitchen.

We chose to do this as with all our other renos, we needed to keep the budget down and until we are ready to invest in a new kitchen, this was the best option to keep me happy whilst I wait.


Choosing your Colours

So, first thing first. What colour are you going to chose?

If you're in a position to get a new kitchen, then you may decide that DIY is just not going to cut it for the long term. This project came out amazing but there are a lot more upgrades I would really like to make and if the budget permits, I advise speaking to a designer about getting a full kitchen renovation. But for those of you who are on a tight budget, and just can't handle looking at your kitchen anymore, then let's go!! 


Choosing your Colours

Look at your bench tops, are they ok? Do they need painting? You can get laminate paint which is so so amazing from any hardware store. Speak to your store rep and they will guide you to the different laminate paints available and also advise you on application.

If like me your bench tops are an ok colour, look at what colours are in your bench top and then perhaps when you are at your paint store, grab some similar samples of your bench top tones and then compare them with what ever colours you might be considering for your cupboards. I was lucky I have grey tones in my bench top and I knew that white would go great. If you are deciding to paint your bench tops, then take the same approach in pairing up your colour swatches and see what works.

What about your tiles? Do they work with your chosen colours?? Make sure you pair up all colours ,tiles, bechtops, doors. Does it work? No, then maybe you need to consider painting your tiles too. we painted ours in white and it is simple and really affordable! You may want to get creative here, if your budget permits, you could get two or three tile paint colours and play around with some fun designs. Since doing our kitchen, I have now decided Im going to get some pastels and paint some geometric shapes scattered in the tiles.

Think about the light in the space too. If your kitchen is dark, without much light, I would stay away from dark colours. Also if your kitchen is small, going light is a super clever way to make it look much larger than it actually is. I also considered the colours around the kitchen because obviously this will affect the overall look of your kitchen. With all the beautiful plants and trees outside my kitchen window, I decided to get a very slight mint tint in my white and together the view and cabinetry work perfectly together.

Choosing the right paint!


Water based or oil? 

Typically people tend to think that oil based paint is the most durable and is the best choice for cabinetry. Well, oil is very durable, yes! The good news is that you can get some great, very durable water based paints that are highly recommended for wooden cabinetry.

We used a water based paint and it is holding up beautifully. I can spray it with cleaners, I can wipe it, and it does not stain, chip or peel.

Water based is so much easier to work with and most importantly it will not stink your whole house out making it the perfect option for a quick weekend makeover. The only recommendation is that for the first 4 weeks, try to be extra careful with paint work at it does take a few eeks to really cure and lock in a nice tight finish.

Oil paint, of course will give you an excellent durable finish, but it can get a little thick and fiddly with those detailed areas and as I mentioned really smelly. You also need quality brushes which can push the budget up. If you're not sure, speak to your local paint expert or hardware store sales person and get them to explain the pros and cons so you can really make a good decision that you are happy with.


This is easy, you will use laminate paint which can also be used on bench tops! Simply grab your laminate paint and have it tinted to your chosen colour/s. 


OK, READY TO DIY ? LET"S DO IT!.......................



Wash all your doors, benches + tiles (if painting) with this degreasing soap. It's really easy to do. Just mix with warm water as per instructions, and simply wipe over all your doors. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe with clean water to remove all the grease build up.


Depending on whether you have wooden or laminate doors, you will have to either sand + prime for wooden or just prime for laminate.

We have wooden doors, so after step 1 we gave all the doors a light sand. Just a little rough up, nothing too full on or time-consuming.

We then used Taubmans 3 in 1 Interior & Exterior Primer which is perfect for wooden surfaces and preparing to paint with water based paint.      

NOTE- LAMINATE REQUIRES LAMINATE PRIMER- If you're painting over laminate you will need to simply clean and then paint with laminate primer. Ask your hardware store for a recommendation.


Now it's time to get in and paint your cabinetry. We used Dulux Aquanamel which is , as I mentioned, a very durable water based finish. Do two- three, thin coats, ensuring you let each coat dry as per the tins recommended dry times. I used a paint brush + a roller alternating between the two. The brush was great to start off, and then I would finish with a light roll to get a nice even finish.

Now as I mentioned, be careful not to knock your doors for the next 4 weeks. Really give the surfaces time to cure so your finish will last as long as you need!


Ok so if you do decide you're going to do your tiles, it really is as simples as preparing with a the grip lock primer (pictured) and then roll on (or spray) two coats of tile paint.  My lovely bunnings lady told me that the Taubmans oil based enamel is exactly the same as the much more expensive tile paint. It was half the price and the finish, even with a roller, is beautiful!

The primer drys very quick and it is a little awkward to work with but dont be too fussed, just get it on. Once your primer is dry, (it is really quick drying) then simply cut in around the tiles in the same way you would paint a wall. Then use a small roller to get a perfect, even finsh.

Tile paint is so good and it's very difficult for the untrained eye to tell when tiles have been painted. The finish is durable, easy to clean and the quickest, most affordable trick in DIY.


So if you do decide to do your bench top too, You will need to get laminate primer + laminate paint. Now I am yet to work with this paint, so I can only give this basic advice. Ask your hardware store for tips or check out bunnings DIY video tutorials. I know they have one on laminate DIY makeovers. I have been thinking about whether I want to make over my kitchen again ( i know crazy lady) and I was thinking I might do the bench top this time. Or I just wait till we build our extension and rip it the whole thing out. I love DIY and when I get a good idea I can't handle not seeing what it will look like. Anyway don't be surprised if you see another version of my kitchen soon, but shoosh don't tell hubby ;)




Well thats it from me today. I hope you get something out of this little DIY. Remember if your kitchen is already perfect and not in need of a facelift, you could still apply any of these DIY applications to other cabinetry or furniture that might need a revamp!.

Enjoy your weekend!

don't forget to take time to connect


Peace Out xx

Melanie Sherwell - Interior Designer

Soul Shapes- Lifestyle Interiors