How Can I Remodel My Kitchen for Cheap?

woman painting cabinets

Tired of looking at the same old kitchen and seeing how outdated it is? Wondering how can I remodel my kitchen for cheap?

11 Easy DIY Kitchen Remodel Tricks

There are actually lots of little DIY projects you can complete to make a really big difference in the kitchen. For not too much money, you can change the entire look of the space and create a dream kitchen for yourself with a DIY remodel.

Paint the Cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinets is a huge expense. So instead, paint them.

A fresh coat of paint can hide a lot of issues and immediately spruce up any space. Bright white will instantly lighten and brighten the kitchen and add plenty of razzle dazzle to the design.

It's also relatively simple and highly affordable. Paint is not that costly, and the supplies are highly affordable as well.

Painting kitchen cabinets is not difficult. Start by removing all the doors of the cabinets and paint the frame.

You might be able to simply prime and then paint the cabinets, painting right over the existing finish. If the paint won’t stick or you don’t like the way this looks, you will have to sand away the old finish and then prime and paint.

Test out any paint job you want to do on a single door of the cabinets to get an idea of how the project will turn out. This way, you will know if you need to sand down cabinets, if you need multiple coats of paint, and other pertinent information about how this is going to look.

It will take a couple of days or so to paint the cabinets because the primer and coats of paint need to dry.

You can also choose to re-stain cabinets instead of painting them, but you will need to sand them first and be sure to test the color and let the stain dry completely on a piece of cabinet to make sure you get the color tone you want.

Replace the Doors

If your kitchen cabinets are too far gone for a coat of paint, try replacing the doors. New doors can make the entire cabinets look brand-new, and it's a more affordable way to get a new look for any kitchen.

Replacing the doors is as simple as using a screwdriver to remove the hinges and then the doors from the old cabinets. Get new hinges and new hardware for your new cabinet doors and attach them to the frame, and just like that, you have a whole new look.

You can shop for cabinet doors only, so this is a good way to get a fresh cabinet look with less money and less time.

Add Lighting

If you want to brighten up your kitchen, do it literally with lighting. Under-cabinet lights give the space a high-end and highly finished look, and it's not a huge expense.

There are simple DIY kits you can use to add under-cabinet lighting to your kitchen quite easily, so you don’t even need an electrician.

Buy Scratch and Dent

New appliances are a huge expense in the kitchen. Save money by buying scratch-and-dent items instead.

Even just a little bit of damage can become a huge discount on appliances, sometimes reducing the price by thousands. If you can stand a little flaw, you can walk away with a very nice appliance for much less.

There are all sorts of DIY tricks you can use to repair a scratched or dented appliance as well, so there are ways to work with damaged items.

Don’t shy away from some little scratches, or even from big ones, if you can save thousands of dollars on a brand-new appliance.


Instead of a kitchen island, use a tall counter-height table and position stools under it. A wooden table makes for a great kitchen island that's highly functional as an eating area, too.

And let's face it, you will find a tall table and some stools to be far more affordable than building an entire island. This is a great way to add more counter and eating space to your kitchen without paying for an actual counter.

This is a DIY island, and it’s a great addition to the kitchen. Because it’s a table and not actually an island, this will feel like it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen and help maintain an open look.

There are several little ways to add practical space to the kitchen. A couple of stools and a shelf can become a little eating nook, for example.

If you have an eat-in kitchen, but you don’t need a lot of space for people to eat in, try replacing the table with a small bistro table. This can make the room feel larger.

Paint the Tile

Can't replace the tile in the kitchen? You can paint it. With a stencil, you can add a beautiful new pattern to your tile and give it a totally new look in any color you want.

It doesn't take very long, it's not very difficult, and the end result is pretty spectacular. This is an affordable kitchen DIY that will create a big difference.

For the price of a little paint and a stencil, you can make your tile look totally brand-new without using any grout or going through all the mess and trouble of actually replacing tile. Use painter’s tape to protect everything around the tile and freshen up your kitchen easily.

If you don’t want to use a stencil, try sponge painting. This creates a pretty, marbled look when it’s all finished.

Paint the Hardware

Swapping out kitchen hardware, such as cabinet pulls and hinges, is an easy way to give your kitchen an upgrade. But it's even more affordable to spray paint the hardware instead.

Spray paint is available in a variety of colors, including metallic shades, so you can give your hardware any look you want. This is a very simple DIY that just about anyone can do.

Just use a screwdriver to remove all the hardware, lay it out on a piece of cardboard, and preferably, work outside. Spray paint the dickens out of every piece, let it dry, and then flip it all over and do it again.

The spray paint will dry relatively quickly and with a nice, even finish. You don’t have to do a lot of work to make this quick, cheap upgrade.

Add Shelves

Add some shelving to an under-used wall, and you're achieving two goals. First, new shelving gives you more storage, and that's something you always want in a kitchen.

Second, the shelves serve as a pretty display area. Use this to store your matching cookware, small appliances, or some other items that are otherwise difficult to store or items that are frequently in use.

This will free up cabinet and counter space and add an interesting new element to the kitchen. The items you place on the shelf become part of the decor.

Place a Rug

You can easily change up the look of your kitchen by simply adding a rug. Large or small, colorful or solid, a rug will give the room a new look and break up the space to create a focal point.

A rug is an inexpensive addition to any room. To save money, shop for rugs at discount stores and secondhand stores.

Look for sales as well. Shop smart, and you might end up with a great rug that’s highly affordable.

Replace the Window Treatments

Switching out curtains for blinds or replacing blinds with Roman shades is a great way to give your kitchen a new look for less. You may only need one or two window treatments, and with this simple change, you give the space a whole new appearance.

Add a new color to the kitchen or modernize the space very easily with a simple window treatment. This is a small and affordable change, and it does have a big impact.

Even better, this is one of the simplest changes you can make in the kitchen. This project will take you 10 minutes or less.

Reupholster the Chairs

You don't need to buy new chairs when you can replace the upholstery yourself. Get some fabric, a staple gun, and some new padding, and you're in business.

It's a pretty simple DIY to change the fabric on chairs, and this will change the look of the kitchen pretty easily. All you need is some sturdy fabric, and in most cases, you can do the whole DIY for just a yard or two of fabric.

This can be a fun project to do, actually. Work out some aggression by ripping the old upholstery off the chairs and getting rid of the old padding, too.

Slap the new layer of padding on the chair and cover it with your fabric. Pull very tight and use the staple gun to secure the edges.

Put the cushion back in the chair and, just like that, newly-upholstered chairs.

Refinish Appliances

The appliances are a major part of the kitchen, of course. And if you can't afford new ones but you hate the way the old ones look, you might feel very discouraged.

Don't. There are ways to update old appliances and make them look fresh again.

You can cover appliances in washi tape to give them a fun pattern or a lot of color and really get creative. This gives appliances a unique look that really makes them stand out.

Contact paper also works and sticks right to appliances easily.

You can also paint appliances. It takes special paint, and you'll need an in-depth DIY or two, but it is doable, and it is not expensive.

You can even paint appliances with liquid stainless steel, if you like, and really make your kitchen look fancy. Apply the paint carefully, and it will look as good as actual stainless steel.

Remodel Your Kitchen for Cheap

You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a new look in your kitchen. Use your DIY skills and creativity to remodel your kitchen for cheap and get the dream space you've always wanted.

Kitchen Remodeling FAQ

How much should I pay for a kitchen remodel?

The national average cost is $22,000 to remodel a kitchen, but that's if you do a full remodel and hire contractors and all of that. For a DIY remodel, it's possible to make big changes for $1,000 or less.

By doing the work yourself and by re-using most of the existing stuff that's in the room, all you need is some paint and DIY skills to totally change your kitchen, and in the end, it's a pretty cheap remodel.

How long does a kitchen remodel take?

Depending on the amount of work you do, a kitchen model takes weeks of our time. On average, it takes six to 12 weeks to fully remodel a kitchen.

If you aren't doing a lot of work, the project can take a lot less time. If you're mostly painting and making smaller changes, you might complete the job in just a couple of weeks.

Do I need a permit for a kitchen remodel?

If you need a permit for your kitchen remodel project, it adds more to the price and adds another step to the overall DIY. And depending on what you're doing in this project, you may need a permit for your remodel.

If you are moving or adding electrical or plumbing fixtures, or you are making changes like moving walls or adding wall cutouts, you probably do need a permit. Moving cabinets or replacing countertops, however, does not require a permit.

To be certain, call your local government office of building and housing, tell them about the remodel, and ask if a permit is required. They can even tell you how to apply for the permit.

Further Reading

Creative Cottage Style Kitchen Decorating Ideas

How to Paint Cabinets With Chalk Paint

How to Hang a Pendant Light

How to Paint Laminate Cabinets

How to Reupholster Furniture

Painting Linoleum Tile Flooring

Painting Over Ceramic Tile