Weeknd Project: Low-Budget Kitchen Renovation

Low-Budget Kitchen Remodel

New kitchen on a budget. An easy make-over in a weekend brightens up a gloomy kitchen.

I’ve been talking about renovating our kitchen for years but I suffer from a problem that I’m sure many young homeowners face. Lack of funds. And because I can’t afford to tackle a huge kitchen remodel I’ve avoid even them most basic upgrades.

I don’t know if it is the cold weather, the night-time mice problem, or the downtime on my holiday vacation, but this past week I decided it was finally time to make a few kitchen upgrades.

The beauty of the projects I took on is that they make a big difference without breaking the bank.  I have access to a woodshop, which made all of these upgrades doable, but only spent about $300 on supplies.

1. Beadboard Wainscoting with chair rail and baseboard: After removing a bank of cabinets along the wall below the window I applied beadboard panels with a decorative chair rail and wide baseboard. Learn how to apply wainscot panels and trim in our previous post. Materials: 1/4 Masonite beadboard. 20 linear feet of 8-in. wide poplar. One tube Liquid Nails. One tube silicon latex caulking. Cost: $80.

2. Hanging Wall Cabinet: In less than three hours I built a simple hanging wall cabinet with shelves for mugs, cups, glasses and vases. I have yet to make the glass-paned doors so I added those with Photoshop. Materials: Half sheet 3/4-in. birch plywood. Half sheet 1/4 in. birch plywood. 12 linear feet 4 in. wide poplar. Cost: $80

3. Rolling Kitchen Island: I reassembled the bank of cabinets that I removed from the wall into a kitchen island. Five casters screwed to the underside allow it to roll around to accommodate the ever changing layout of our small house. Materials: Recycled base cabinets. 10 linear feet 4 in. wide poplar. Half sheet 1/4 in. birch plywood Cost: $25

4. Laminate Island Countertop: A friend of mine turned me on to soapstone countertops because they’re great for high-end DIY work. Soapstone can be cut an shaped with standard woodworking tools like routers and jig saws. That would have been an ambitious project so instead I picked up a sheet of MDF and countertop laminate at Lowes and cut, shaped, and laminated  a shapely countertop. I’ll be applying an edge veneer next week. One sheet 3/4 in. MDF. One sheet laminate countertop. Cost: $100

Next up… I’ll be extending the beadboard frame and panel theme into the kitchen over the next few weeks. Stay tuned…