Every now and again I see a project on another blog that I wish had debuted on ours. A project so simple, cheap, and good that I’m like, Wow. Kudos. So when Maria of “Dr. Livinghome” sent through a link just in a comment thread on a post a month ago, I followed it and pretty much asked her if we could repost it. I think it resonated with me so much because I’ve had this “before” kitchen – twice in New York and once in LA. It’s depressing and sad and you think you can’t do anything about it since it’s a rental. Besides it’s so small, how cute could it actually be???
Maria’s kitchen was what you would expect from a rental unit – boring, small, and lacking any sense of personality. For under $400 (350 Euros) she gave it a full REALLY GOOD refresh. Let’s get into how she did it.
She started by ripping out the overhead cabinets and covering up the old tiles on the walls with a putty compound to create a clean and paintable surface. It is a pretty simple process which you can definitely DIY by following along with her step by step guide HERE.
To cover up the tiles she started by cleaning them with a degreaser to clear off any gunk and dirt. Once she had a clean surface, she mixed up the putty according to the box and started spreading on the putty with a trowel. A little tip if you are doing this yourself: you will want to cover your entire area thoroughly and don’t worry about making it too perfect as the next step after it dries is to sand it all down smooth and then repeat application of the putty and sanding it down as necessary.
Once she had a clean new work surface on all the walls of her kitchen, she used simple 3″ x 6″ subway tile for her new backsplash. Although tiling may sound scary, it actually is very easy and the steps for installing it are quite simple. You can read through in detail how she did it HERE. Tiling can get complicated if you have a huge area to cover with lots of different things to fit in, OR if they are irregular tiles, but a project like this is absolutely doable with simple subway tile.
Once she had all of her backsplash tile installed and allowed some time for it to dry she finished it off by grouting in between the seams with white grout.
After the installation of her backsplash was complete, she painted the wall black, installed a few pot racks, a couple of open shelves, installed a faux marble kitchen floor, and even DIY’ed some awesome leather handles. All in all we are very impressed with this very budget friendly and easy kitchen makeover. Check out the transformation:
My 23 year old self, the one with $284 dollars in my savings account and the most depressing kitchen, wishes she had seen this post years ago.
Thank you so much Maria for calling this to my attention.
Follow along the makeover process over on her blog for a step by step guide into how she did it all: Covering The Tiles | Replacing Old Tiles | DIY Leather Handles | DIY Industrial Lamp | Kitchen Reveal