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Affordable Small Kitchen DIY Makeover

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Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by lindseymahoney

This DIY kitchen makeover is one of my favorite projects yet!

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird
Kitchen after the makeover

My brother and sister-in-law, Jon and Shannon, live in a beautiful 1930s home with their three adorable boys. With their busy full-time schedules, their dated kitchen was not functioning with this current season of life and did not represent their style either.

Because a full renovation is not in the cards right now, we came up with a very affordable plan to give this small kitchen a glow-up!

*Check out Jon and Shannon’s previous home, a 1920s American Colonial, that they lovingly restored.

Small Kitchen DIY Makeover | Before

Their kitchen is split into two spaces, the main kitchen area and the butler’s pantry. One wall of the main kitchen area includes the fridge, stove/oven, microwave, and pantry that originally stored their garbage cans.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird
Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

Across from the oven are the sink, dishwasher, and cabinets for storage. The biggest challenge in this small kitchen is storage or lack thereof.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

This lack of storage causes the countertops to become cluttered easily. I have some great DIY projects to address this small kitchen storage issue.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

The room next to this main kitchen area is the butler’s pantry with the original cabinets on one wall.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

The area across from the cabinet wall in the butler’s pantry is an open space with a large window and console table.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

DIY Kitchen Makeover Punch List:

  • Repair/fill any holes
  • Paint the walls, trim, and ceiling a crisp white
  • Paint the cabinets greige
  • Replace the knobs
  • Paint the countertop trim white
  • Install shelves in the pantry closet to store food
  • Purge and declutter kitchen items
  • Reorganize kitchen items into cabinets that fit their current daily habits
  • Clean grout on the countertops and floors
  • Accessorize!

DIY Small Kitchen Makeover for $200

[This blog post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting Building Bluebird! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the project source list.]

I couldn’t wait to get started on this kitchen. With a little love (and lots of paint), I knew we could make all of this kitchen’s best features really shine!

Kitchen Walls

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

My favorite way to update a space with a tight budget is with paint! We painted every inch of this kitchen and it did wonders to freshen up the entire space.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

For the walls, I chose Pure White by Sherwin Williams, to create a nice clean slate in this smaller kitchen.

Next, I painted the trim in semigloss, untinted white, and the ceiling white in a flat sheen.

Kitchen Cabinets

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

I painted the kitchen cabinets next using Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations tinted to the color Greige.

I love using these kits because it includes everything you need and there is no sanding required. We had just enough to paint two coats on all of the cabinets.

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

On the lower cabinets, I replaced the knobs with simple wooden knobs and painted them the same color as the cabinet. Brass knobs were added to the upper cabinets for a higher-end look.

Countertops

The tiled countertops are not ideal, but we made the best of what this little kitchen has to offer! Using a homemade grout cleaner, the countertops shined up pretty well!

I apply two coats of white trim paint around the edge of the counter which really cleaned them up nicely.

*Check out how I updated our laundry room countertops using contact paper!

Floors

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

Although Jon and Shannon don’t love the kitchen floors, the good news is that they are durable and a neutral color.

My SIL, Shannon, spent hours cleaning the grout on the floor using our DIY solution and it made such a big difference! Cleaning grout is one of the most satisfying tasks!

Kitchen Pantry DIY

Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

Because the kitchen pantry is set into the wall, I kept pantry doors and trim the same color as the wall. It would look odd if the pantry cut-out was the same color as the cabinets. Painting them white creates a seamless look.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

While it is nice to have trash and recycling out of sight, a pantry is better used to store food, especially in small kitchens! My dad and brother spent a weekend painting the inside of the cabinet and installing shelves to store food.

If your trash and recycling bins can’t be hidden, stainless steel bins with closed tops look great. We placed the two bins in the butler’s pantry where they are still somewhat hidden, but easily accessible.

Reorganize & Declutter Kitchen Cabinets

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird
Tray | Mug

Once the food was moved into the pantry, there was so much space in the other cabinets! We corralled all of the items used for similar tasks into one area of the kitchen.

For example, all of the coffee supplies are kept in one cabinet with all of the utensils within arm’s length.

DIY Shaker Peg Rail

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

This DIY peg rail is one of my favorite additions to the kitchen makeover. Peg rails are easy to make and offer so much function!

For $20, we installed a large peg rail that can hold lunch boxes, bibs, aprons, bags, you name it! I painted it the same color as the wall for a simple and clean look.

Painted Console

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

With the fresh coat of paint on the walls, the off-white console felt bland.

Every room can benefit from a pop of black to anchor the space and so we painted the console black!

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

The best part is that I had black paint left over from another furniture project so it didn’t cost us a thing!

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Small DIY Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Kitchen Sink

Here is a reminder of how the kitchen sink area looked before.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

And that same view after.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

One way that I decluttered this sink area was to utilize the soap pump built into the sink itself! This feature is often overlooked by homeowners either assuming it is broken or they don’t know how to fill it.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

I unscrewed the plastic bottle below the sink and it clearly had never been used by the previous homeowners either. This eliminated one bottle from the sink area – wahoo! I also recommend storing specialized soaps under the sink and pulling them out when needed.

Kitchen Countertops

Originally, I considered painting all of the countertops and backsplash, but a good grout cleaning did wonders! The photo is a bit blurry, but you can see the countertops and yellowed trim before the kitchen makeover.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

With the grout clean, I painted the countertop trim a clean white for an updated look.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird
Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

A cute fruit basket is great for function and looks pretty on the kitchen countertop.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Stovetop and Fridge Wall

Here is the other side of the kitchen before the DIY makeover.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

And that same view after!

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird
Budget-friendly small kitchen makeover with DIY projects for beginners | Building Bluebird

My brother and sister-in-law spent a weekend cleaning out their cabinets which allowed us to tuck away many of the items on the countertop.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

We also remove all of the knives from the big block and put them in the drawer. Getting rid of a knife block is a great way to add space on countertops.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Butler’s Pantry Reveal

Right next to the main kitchen area is the butler’s pantry. Even though these rooms are separate, they feel like one because we used the same wall color and cabinet color in each space.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird
Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Coffee Bar

Here is a before shot of the butler’s pantry when I started painting the walls.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

And here is that same area after the DIY kitchen makeover! First, we tucked away the appliances in cabinets to increase countertop space. Next, I corralled all of their small coffee items onto one tray.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Pulling a bunch of small items onto a larger tray is an easy way to create a cohesive and organized design. All of the coffee mugs are easily accessible directly above the coffee bar.

Peg Rail

Before, the butler’s pantry displayed sweet artwork from the kiddos but didn’t add a ton of function.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

With that same view after the makeover, the family now has tons of storage with the DIY peg wall.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

The kiddos now have a blank slate to display their works of art.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

Open Space

Here is another view of the butler’s pantry as I began painting the walls white.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

And that same view after! The white walls reflect the sunlight shining into this space and it just feels so cheerful.

I am SO happy that Jon and Shannon decided to paint the console black, it completely changes the look of the table! While I didn’t include the trash cans in this photo, they are stored against this wall.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

I can get scrappy when I have a smaller budget and this artwork is a great example of that. When my friends clean out their attics, they know who to call if they have items to get rid of!

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

My girlfriend offloaded a bunch of frames from her attic that I have kept in my closet. This ornate frame was the perfect size and style for the butler’s pantry, I just needed a print! I found this vintage, downloadable print on Etsy for $4.50 and had it printed at Walmart. Total cost for custom art – $10!

Console Table

The console table fits perfectly against the wall under the window and is great for additional counter space. Before, the console had a farmhouse look with the faux, weathered paint. With the freshly painted white walls, the console table needed a little refresh.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

I am a big fan of painting furniture because it can completely change the style and design. With a few coats of black paint, the console now feels updated and modern.

Incredible before and after reveal of this DIY kitchen makeover for just $200! | Building Bluebird

With a little DIY and a lot of effort, I am so proud of how this small kitchen makeover turned out. This tiny kitchen has so many wonderful qualities that are now highlighted with this budget-friendly transformation.

I put a lot of love and effort into this kitchen and it makes me so happy to create a kitchen that my family loves and will enjoy. While I spent a lot of time on this makeover, my brother and SIL, and my dad put in a ton of hours into it as well. I would not have been able to finish this project without their help!


DIY Kitchen Makeover | Budget Breakdown & Source List

Total Cost: $200

Kitchen Makeover Decor Source List


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