Kitchen Makeover Before and After

I have previously posted the kitchen before and after photos of updates that I did on our 1950’s kitchen which was long and exhausting, but had a huge impact on overall look of the kitchen and house. I wanted to give the kitchen a extreme makeover, but like my other projects, we didn’t have the budget to support a massive overhaul, or the time. Enter the best underpaid crew ever, my mother and three sisters, this project took three full days of grueling work but the payoff was amazing, we got an offer on the house just two days after putting it on the market.

To limit my expenses in the kitchen. I decided the most cost effective way of fixing up the kitchen was paint. The fiancé was terrified when I showed him the paint color that I picked out for the cabinets. Behr Premium Paint color: #580F-6 Lost Atlantis (Blue). I wanted to make sure to pick a color that would go well with the brown ceramic tile floors and faux wood countertops. I thought would be too costly to update. If you want some guidance on picking the perfect paint color check out my tips here.

Step 1: Remove all cabinet doors and hardware, imageI would also recommend, not following my example and removing the contents of all the cabinets. Since this was going to be a quick project, I didn’t think it was necessary, and thought it would take up too much time. What happened instead was I was left cleaning once clean dishes of dust and paint for the next 6 weeks. Do yourselves a favor, learn from my mistake, empty the cabinets.

TIP: Labeled all the doors, with their coordinating base cabinets, to make sure you know where they all belong. You think it would be easy, but in an old house, not everything is uniform size and you will thank yourself when you are trying to reassemble.

Step 2: Soak all of the hinges and knobs in vinegar/dish imagesoap/ water mix. There is a Dawn Platinum dishwashing liquid that my mom and grandma swear by. I am not sure the actual recipe but I usually do a squirt of soap, one cup of vinegar in a gallon bucket, filling the rest with water. Let these puppies soak for a day or more. When you pull them out, use a toothbrush to remove any of the remaining grime.

Step 3: Sand the cabinet bases and doors.  You can do this by hand, but an electric sander makes the process so much easier.

It also makes a big mess in the house, so be prepared. This is why the contents of the cabinets should have been emptied.  Make sure to sand a little extra on some of the sides of the cabinet doors. When you paint, you will be adding some thickness with a coat or two of paint. If you don’t sand enough, the doors may stick when trying to close.

Optional Step: putty all the holes in the cabinet’s bases that have been left by removing the hardware. This is important if you are upgrading your hardware since you may not have the same size and shape.

Step 4: Once everything is sanded, wash the cabinet bases and doors with a solution of soap and water. Make sure everything is clean and dry before starting to paint.

imageStep 5: Using a foam brush and foam roller, paint the cabinets and doors with a quality paint. Spend the extra money to ensure you have quality, additionally if your cabinets are in the kitchen or even bathroom they will need to take a beating, consider a gloss or semi-gloss paint, which is more durable, and can be cleaned more easily. imageSince these will be a focal point in your kitchen make sure to take your time paint the doors, and apply at least two coats of paint. Now wait, let the doors dry for at least 24 hours to make sure the paint dries and doesn’t chip.  It might not take this much time to be dry, but better safe than sorry.

Step 6:  Now that everything is dry, you can start to put theimage cabinets’ doors back on. With our old house, all of the hardware was different sizes and shapes, so matching the right hardware to the right cabinet was important. The last step is touch ups.  If you are anything like me you chipped the paint a few times, screwing in all the hinges.

Now, enjoy the fruits of your labor! This little update took 30 years off the kitchen. And helped us get a full price offer on the house in two days.



  1. I have painted most of our house I think, lol! It really does make such a huge difference. Our kitchen cabinets are the same sort of colour as yours, but I’m wanting to update the countertops and splashback. 🙂

    1. They do have some great contact paper that could cover your cabinets and be removed when you move out! My sister rented an apartment and found ‘granite’ looking contact paper which she covered her counter tops with and a solid color for the cabinets. It might be an option!?

    1. Thank you! I am kicking myself for not keeping those knobs after we moved. They are hand painted ceramic knobs from the 1950’s original to the house, like the cabinets.

    1. Thank you! it is a great color, made me want to stay in the house. It helped us sell the house and our new kitchen is beautiful and more updated ! 🙂

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