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EXTREME Kitchen Renovation for under $500

So, you want to know how I turned a freaking train-wreck disaster like this...

Into a glorious space like this...FOR UNDER $500?!

Well, then keep on reading my friend! Does anyone else have to store their wine bottles like this in the wine rack because they're always empty?? Asking for a friend...

I'm not quite done with this project, i.e. pretend the kickplate on the cabinets are actually painted, and the totally jacked up window has been replaced, but I think she's looking pretty damn SEXY! Sexy enough to show you Sweet Pea’s current kitchen transformation (Yes, we named our house). This project was done with very cosmetic and budget friendly options. I say this in every design post and guess what? I'm gonna say it again folks! PAINT! PAINT! PAINT! I am a single Mom and new homeowner, and if you are on an extreme budget like myself, ALWAYS start with paint. There is no bigger bang for your buck. So start there!

I had planned on ripping out the counters and backsplash and quickly realized that my budget wasn't big enough for that. As a newly single Mom, and new first time homeowner, I had to adult now (sigh) and make sure I had a little chunk in savings for emergencies, so I had to think out of the box to make this project happen!

The first step was addressing the cabinets. Ya OK, so they’re totally the ugly ass Holly Hobby style fronts with the little whoopty do on the top, but hey, do what you can with what you have right now right? I'd love to be able to get new cabinet fronts, but right now I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. Since buying Sweet Pea I have bought every saw and gadget under the sun and my hope is to one day be able to have the skill set to make my own cabinet fronts. I decided to do a tuxedo style kitchen, which is two tone cabinets using black and white, cause I’m kinda bougie like that…

I removed all the cabinet fronts, sanded, primed, and then did two coats of paint. I love the added drama, and pops of black throughout my home are my thing. I've always loved it, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I decided on Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace in Satin for the upper cabinets and walls, and for the lower cabinets I went with Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, in Satin as well. If I had to do it all over again I would have definitely invested in a paint sprayer. I felt like I was painting cabinets for 5 months. I still need cabinet knobs and pulls, but I’ll need a good 4 months to totally mind screw myself over that decision. I’ll update you when she is totally complete along with all her new flair.

After using Iron Ore paint in my last blog post of my master bedroom reveal, you can check that blog post out here, it has quickly become one of my favorite paints of all time. I'm currently working on painting all my interior doors Iron Ore as well. It’s more of a smoky charcoal grey. It is not a stark black, and at times it almost takes on a Navy tone. So beautiful!

Now onto those glorious swamp counters. Well, that’s what I referred to them as and I can bet that without explaining you understand the inspiration for that nickname! So I knew ‘The Swamp’ had to go. The running joke was I was afraid a gator was gonna jump right outta that shit and steal my grilled cheese sandwiches while flipping them at the stove!! I feel terrible admitting how atrocious I think they were because the sweet little lady that owned the home before me had some expensive taste! It was obvious she had put a lot of money, heart and soul into her upgrades. For instance, I have all Wolf appliances in my little 90’s fixer upper! It’s too bad I’m about as domestic as a zoo monkey. I guess I need to learn how to use my new oven and stove? The fridge alone is worth more than my grocery getter car! So I would imagine the counters were quite expensive, but just definitely NOT my aesthetic!!

I realize some people might disagree, but they couldn't have been farther from my taste in kitchen counters. And by some people, I'm talking about the myriad of tyrants in my Facebook DIY/Renovation Group that were just literally losing their shit over fact I was looking to paint over them. Like mad, losing their shit over it. We’ll just call it #CounterGate. It's hilarious how people can get so fired up about something that has nothing to do with them! Like wowza! Let's not get into the reaction they had about me spray painting my sink faucet from silver to black...and how dare I use the white primer that I had on hand to do it!!! GASP!!!! I’ll have you know, 3 months later, that shit has nary a chip in it, but I digress. Hey, it saved me hundreds of dollars, because of course the one I want to order isn’t cheap! So now it just buys me time to save for it.

So back to the counters… I rolled my eyes and went on with researching ways to paint it and found a counter painting kit by Giani Inc. in a gorgeous white Carrera Marble look for less than $200! It had really good reviews and I thought hmmmm, should I do it? Uh ya! Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes! So I ordered that sucker up and we were off to the races. To be able to completely transform the look of my kitchen for under $200 is a no brainer. I'll be doing a detailed blog post on the epoxy counter project later, but I can say that it's not a difficult process at all. However, it is definitely a time consuming process, in that after each step you have to wait 4 hours to move on to the next step. So definitely expect it to be a weekend project. I think the hardest part was me totally and completely mind screwing myself over drawing the veins, but once that part was done the epoxy part was pretty easy and seamless.

Next up, updating that backsplash on a strict budget. I decided, for shits and giggles, to paint the backsplash. I mean, it couldn't get any fucking worse right? It was sort of a Hail Mary to see if I could even make it work. I couldn't believe the transformation! I hated the backsplash before, and now it's honestly one of my favorite parts of my kitchen.

It gives it this real textured relaxed Italian flair. It's amazing! And of course I didn't do any damn prep work or primer on the backsplash. I get way too damned excited about ideas and I just jump in, and I mean, I just jump ALL IN. So far it has held up great! So, I guess so far with that and my spray painted faucet I'm a lucky half-asser!

I decided to add a little bit of shiplap to the window wall of the kitchen. Whoever did the kitchen renovation last time drywalled like a 4 year old so I needed something to hide it with. I’m tossing around doing some grasscloth wallpaper for the rest of the window wall outside of the inset portion later because the drywall on that portion is no better. So after watching 500 hours of YouTube videos, therefore becoming YouTube certified on doing Shiplap, I was off to Home Depot. I found a nice sheet of sanded plywood and had them rip it down to 6” strips. They do it for you for free! I bought myself a miter saw and pretty much every other saw and gadget there is under the sun.

If you don’t follow Rachel Metz on Instagram and Youtube, crawl out from whatever rock you’ve been living under honey and go subscribe and follow her right now! Go now, to her Instagram right here! She has been such an inspiration and she’s a real badass. She’s one of those broads, and I say broad with the upmost respect, that is an epic badass and then has the rocking body and beautiful face to go right along with her badassery. Kind of a brunette Angolina Jolie flinging saws and shit and building things that make you look sideways like a dog while lipping wtf, which I think is totally fucked up. I mean, can we spread it around? Can’t she just be an epic badass, but be ugly as a mud fence? Like Barbie, WHY does she get everything?! I kid, but ya, I’m jealous as hell, and when I can use my blow torch looking all sexy and shit in safety goggles and a crop top like her, I’ll know I’ve made it.

So I summoned up the courage to use that new miter saw and got to work! I can honestly say I was shaking like a leaf and was terrified out of my mind! However, my goal in life these days is to push my comfort zone and so I definitely pushed it! Of course I did it with my garage door open in case I accidentally chopped my arm off and had to stop, drop and roll down to the street for help. It was a lot easier than I imagined doing the shiplap wall. It’s not perfect, but I’m not looking for perfection! That’s why I just put a dish cloth over the cat hair that’s perfectly preserved in my epoxied counter top.

At first I had some farmhouse style lamps over the sink with open shelves, but after living with it for awhile I decided I really wanted a more modern, less busy, sleek look.

So those all came down. I didn't hate them, but I didn't love them. I went with another set of sconces I had my eye on before, and I love the warmth of the wood and the more modern detailing. My electrician was unable to hardwire on that wall because of the slope of my roof so I just did a DIY sconce. You can do this anywhere in your house and no electrician is needed! I cut the hard wire from the sconce and then installed it as usual. Then you just velcro attach a puck light inside and use a remote to turn them on. How snazzy is that! I’ll be doing a detailed post on that later too.

I decided to add some texture and visual interest to the room with a natural toned roman shade from Blinds Select. If I had to do it over I would have ordered it lined, but I was trying to keep the budget low. I ordered the Classic Roman Shade from Select Blinds in the color Sand, with the cordless lift system so no annoying strings to deal with and went with an outside mount because of that really crappy drywall situation I previously mentioned on the interior window frame. Installing it a few inches higher than the top of the window also adds height to the room. I really like it and I love the added texture and color in the space. I also think the color goes great with the wood tones in the sconces.

As I mentioned before I still need to get the window replaced that has a broken seal and looks foggy all the time as well as pulls and handles, which will really add more texture and break up the white, but per usual I’ll need months to totally mind screw myself over it and over think my options. I’ll definitely post an update after I decide on those and get them installed!

So, that’s the current state of my project. It actually comes in under $500, and I’ll even count the window shade even though that’s really considered decor. The grand total comes to $488!! Now I’d say that’s some bang for ya buck!! So here's a little review...

I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did, and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one!

Until Next Time!



Benjamin Moore Paint- Chantilly Lace $43

Sherwin Williams Paint- Iron Ore $30

Giani Inc- Marble Counter Paint kit $180

Select Blinds-Classic Roman Shade $135

Amazon- Wall Sconces $84 each

Amazon-LoLoi Rug $75