Upgrade Your Kitchen for Under $500

A background of a kitchen with the phrase "8 Kitchen Upgrades Under $500."
  • Beginner

The kitchen is the heart of a home, but when it becomes worn and outdated, it's no longer a place where people want to congregate. By making some small yet significant changes, you can update your kitchen with a budget under $500, and create a room where you can once again enjoy time with your family.

Reface Your Cabinets

Rather than replacing cupboards that are still structurally sound, consider repainting the cabinetry at a fraction of the cost. By repainting your old cabinets, you can create a new look at a cost ranging from about $150 to $350 dollars for the paint. Be sure to wash them thoroughly first and apply a primer before you begin the actual painting work. You will most likely need to apply two coats of paint in order to get the best results. Once the cabinets are dry, add some new hardware. Choose doorknobs and drawer pulls that make a statement and that will stand the test of time.

Paint Your Walls

Newly painted walls are one the best ways to make an old kitchen come back to life. This type of project is simple and budget-friendly. You can paint a 400 square-foot wall area in less than a day, for about $40. To make this an even more cost-effective update, check out our tips for saving money on your painting project.

Create a Bright Accent Area

Energize your food preparation and eating areas by adding a few brightly colored accessories to your space. By displaying mixing bowls or small appliances in bold hues, you can create an impressive focal point in your kitchen. If you already have an island, think about adding a bright paint color to the piece. Choose a color that complements your other kitchen hues. By using either a semi or high gloss paint, you’ll be able to easily wipe off any residue from the surfaces.

Create Your Own Island

Customized kitchen islands are typically costly. You can add style to your kitchen and save a great deal of money by building your own island piece from an old table or dresser. Check out your neighborhood yard sales for old pieces of furniture that would work well. Then go to your local home building supply store and have them cut you a piece of wood for the top. Paint the sides and legs in a color that works with your kitchen decor, and then protect the wood countertop with a stain product. Check out our full tutorial on converting a dresser into an island.

Add a Back Splash

If your kitchen has no backsplash, consider installing one to brighten up the space. If you already have one, think about updating it. A backsplash can be installed with little effort, in a short amount of time, and at a small cost. If you are unsure about working with tiles, have a professional do it for you. Better yet, take a look at the innovative peel and stick-on backsplash tile products that are now on the market. Available in a wide range of colors, a 12 by 12-inch tile costs around $8. Measure the amount of space you need to cover the area, and then decide on the style you want. Wash and dry your wall space before beginning the installation process. Simply peel off the backing and apply the stickers to your wall. Firmly press them in place and you are finished. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they go up and how fast you can transform your space.

Replace Your Sink

If your kitchen sink has lost its luster, it might be time to replace it. The cost of a sink and faucet replacement runs between two and five hundred dollars. If you’re just looking to replace the faucet, remove the old one, trace the holes on a piece of cardstock and take the template with you when you go shopping. This will reduce the chances of purchasing a faucet that won’t fit your sink.

Cover Your Floor

A worn kitchen floor can be easily updated with a new rug. Available in a range of colors and sizes, you should be able to find one that will create the look you’re going for, at a price under $200.

Add Some Free-Standing Furniture

A baker’s shelf or a wine rack can work wonders in updating a space. These pieces typically cost around $300 and can add a great deal of style, not to mention storage space. Be sure to measure the wall and floor area where you want to place your new piece of furniture before you go out looking. Print the measurements on a piece of paper and keep it handy when you are considering your options.