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Kitchen upgrade on the cheap!

(20 Posts)
Blobby10 Fri 14-Feb-20 09:31:07

My grandiose plans for a new kitchen will now have to be put on hold but, inspired by assorted threads on here, I am considering painting the existing units , changing handles and maybe just updating the work surface and sink.

Has anyone got any tips on how to go about painting units? Presumably they would need to be sanded down, primed then painted? Are there any units which can't be painted? Do I need special paint?

Is there a good website or youtube site which anyone can recommend?

HattieMid2 Fri 14-Feb-20 09:33:12

If you are on Instagram, look up Sophie's home full of sparkle - she repainted her whole kitchen, floors, cabinets, work surfaces, the lot! I think she has some videos on her highlights of the best way to do it and what paints etc.

Good luck!

tara66 Fri 14-Feb-20 09:41:41

I repainted some darkish mat blue cabinets in a pale cream colour. I just gave them a very good wash first. I used a mat wood paint. The difficult part was the framed glass door top cabinets - which needed a lot of masking tape everywhere. The kitchen looks a lot better but it's not perfect!

NotMeNoNo Fri 14-Feb-20 20:04:29 has a DIY section. Solid wood or veneer paints best, but you can get special paints/primers for plastic coated doors I think.

Youvebeenmuffled Fri 14-Feb-20 20:07:44

We used a paint specifically for laminate kitchens from b&q with the sponge small rollers and it came out perfect, 4 years later it’s peeled off in numerous places and def needs another coat. We did this and changed the Handles, worktops, oven & sink and people were shocked that it was the same cabinets

rosegoldwatcher Fri 14-Feb-20 20:15:34

Frenchic Alfresco paint for sure. It was formulated as an outdoor paint but, as it is waterproof, countless people (including me) have used it to paint their kitchen doors and drawer fronts.
Application is lengthy as it must be applied in numerous thin coats with 2 hours between but the resulting finish is excellent.
There is an FB group - Frenchic Fan Forum for inspiration.
Frenchic website -

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sat 15-Feb-20 10:41:42

Dd and SiL painted some horrible dark brown melamine kitchen cupboards with the special cupboard paint. IIRC they didn’t do any extra special prep and the transformation was still amazing. However they were planning an extension in a year or two so the old kitchen was going anyway. But the finish still looked fine.

I’ve used that cupboard paint on a whole wall of melamine wardrobe doors - I did prep very carefully - and it still looks fine several years down the line. I changed all the handles too, made a huge difference for a total outlay of £65.

BlueLadybird Sat 15-Feb-20 10:51:18

I highly recommend looking up the One Stop Kitchen Refinishers on Facebook. I found them from a recommendation on here and they were great. By the time you’ve bought all the kit - sand paper, primer, paint, miles of masking tape, specialist brushes - and accounted for your time I bet they are not much more expensive.

I had them paint our tiles and worktop too. Tiles are ok but I wouldn’t recommend the worktop - if you need that upgrading just get a new one.

Blobby10 Sun 16-Feb-20 00:01:10

Thank you for all your responses - I am getting quite excited at the prospect now - need to finish painting the newly renovated bathroom and en suite before I let myself start something else😂😂😂

CuteOrangeElephant Sun 16-Feb-20 00:09:10

I second Frenchic Alfresco paint. It was tedious but I can't complain because I only spent 34 quid on the paint. I've noticed that some of the doors should have probably had one more coat, but the overall look is good.

I recently sold the house and I am convinced it sold because the kitchen looks decent now rather than a cheap mess.

I got new handles too which set me back 50 pounds.

GreenTulips Sun 16-Feb-20 00:12:12

A friend used spray paint
Doors were lifted in to bricks so the edges had a decent coat

Looked fab

beanaseireann Sun 16-Feb-20 10:51:54

If it were an option would you consider keeping the carcasses and replacing the doors, handles and worktop ?
Pricier than repainting but you feel like you've a new kitchen.
I did it in my last house and would recommend the guy who did it but I'm in Dublin, Ireland so that recommendation won't work for you. smile

lilgreen Sun 16-Feb-20 10:54:27

It can look great, I’ve done it before. Also consider new doors, can be quite cost effective.

AltheaVestr1t Sun 16-Feb-20 10:59:15

I have done exactly this. Replaced floor with new laminate, worktops with new oak, new ceramic sink, kept the hob and the oven. New handles, but painted the existing cupboards instead of buying new ones. Honestly it’s like a completely new kitchen and a much smaller price. I bought specialist cupboard paint from Dulux, which performed spectacularly well, and still looks perfect 8 months later. I didn’t remove the doors but did them in situ. Sand the doors down well first and lightly sand between each coat (I did three coats). Use a small foam roller and a brush for the detail. I was surprised at how easy and effective it was.

AltheaVestr1t Sun 16-Feb-20 11:05:37

Before and after:

AltheaVestr1t Sun 16-Feb-20 11:07:02


beanaseireann Sun 16-Feb-20 11:24:39

Wow- what a transformation.
What flooring did you get ? It looks great.

AltheaVestr1t Sun 16-Feb-20 12:00:34

Just cheapo laminate from Wickes, it’s very good!

Blobby10 Thu 20-Feb-20 13:48:00

@AltheaVestr1t thats what I'm hoping my kitchen would look like post transformation! Existing cupboards almost identical to yours and I want a grey/light blue colour to lighten the whole thing up. Going for new stainless steel sink and draining board and possibly new appliances. The existing tiles are gross but might smarten up with some tile paint!

Had carpets fitted yesterday so just need to put pictures back on the walls of the newly painted rooms and its all done so can start focussing on the kitchen!!!! You guys have helped me get excited about it!! THANK YOU!!!! grin

AltheaVestr1t Mon 24-Feb-20 08:14:15

@Blobby10 you are very welcome. Good luck!! 😁

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