6 Budget Friendly Kitchen Updates

May, 06, 2019

We’ve accomplished a lot in our home since moving in almost 3 years ago, but a kitchen renovation is not one of them. We have, however, made some budget friendly updates that have totally transformed our space. So if you’re waiting to save up for your dream kitchen, or just want to give it a little refresh, these budget friendly kitchen updates are for you!

6 Budget Friendly Kitchen Updates


If you’ve been a follower for a while, you may remember what our kitchen looked like when we first moved in. Let me give you a little refresher:

True Life :: I'm a Blogger and My House is a Hot Mess

It needed A LOT of help. But we weren’t ready to dish out all our cash money on a full reno. Especially since we had just moved in with my FIL. I didn’t want to completely turn his whole world upside down. So we lived with it like this for about a year. And then I just couldn’t take it anymore ha.


One of the first things I decided I was going to do was paint and add trim to our cabinets. Luckily the shape and style of ours were flat and simple so it was easy to transform them. Before I painted them, I added trim around the outside with strips of plywood to achieve a shaker style look.

Our cabinets were already a light grey/white color, so I just gave them a fresh coat of a brighter white (Du Jour by Valspar) and then used a darker color (Astronomical by Behr) on the island.

To see more about the steps I took to get this look you can read my post on HOW TO ADD TRIM AND PAINT YOUR LAMINATE CABINETS.


After I painted our cabinets, I knew I needed to add some fresh new hardware to go with my more modern look. Even if you like your cabinets already but not the hardware, this is a great way to make a big impact with a small change in your kitchen. Introducing a new metal color can really help change things up too.

Shop below to see some of my favorite affordable hardware! Ours are from D Lawless Hardware.


Our backsplash was another thing that needed to be addressed in our kitchen. I don’t mind black tile, but it just didn’t work with the look I was going for. Instead of ripping it all out and dealing with the mess that that comes with, I decided to paint it instead. This made SUCH a huge difference in our space.

You can paint it a solid color, or you can get creative and use a stencil to try and mimic more expensive patterned tiles.

To see how I achieved this look, check out my post on HOW TO PAINT YOUR TILE BACKSPLASH.



If you don’t want to paint your backsplash, or if you don’t have any existing tile, another great budget friendly update is to use peel ‘n stick tile. I’ve never used this personally but have friends who have and it looks amazing!

Check out how Jess from Bright Green Door used Peel ‘N Stick tile in her kitchen makeover.

Peel 'N Stick Tile Backsplash


Countertops can be one of the most expensive things to upgrade in a kitchen, but there are so many DIY friendly options that will save you a ton of money. We recently got a new island countertop, but I’m considering some of these ideas for our perimeters.


A Beautiful Mess shared a tutorial on how to create gorgeous DIY concrete countertops and they turned out SO good!

DIY Concrete Countertops


My friends over at the Merrythought just shared an incredible $200 kitchen makeover that included some $13 DIY Marble Countertops – can you believe that’s not real marble?!

Affordable DIY Marble Contact Paper Countertop


And if either of those options aren’t calling your name – you can just straight up paint them! Meredith Lynn painted her kitchen countertops and I can’t believe how good they look.

DIY Painted Kitchen Countertops

IKEA also sells a very affordable butcher block countertop if you want to go that route.


If you’ve got an old kitchen, chances are the light fixtures are long overdue for an upgrade. This is where you can have some fun and bring in some of your own personality to your space. Lighting over an island can make such a statement and totally transform a dated kitchen.

Black Kitchen Island Pendant

We did end up getting new appliances along the way which helped bring a more cohesive and updated look to our kitchen but the bulk of what I did was all cosmetic. Cabinets can cost thousands of dollars and by simply painting ours, along with the backsplash it brightened up a very dark room and brought it back to life.

So if you’ve got a kitchen that’s crying for help but a renovation isn’t in your near future, there’s hope! These budget friendly updates are all so easy to make yourself and won’t break the bank. 

Affordable Kitchen Updates to Save You Money



  1. Reply

    Kaylen Kociela

    April 11, 2020

    Your kitchen looks great! I’ve been working on painting our cabinets as well. We also have a stove top in our island as I saw you do. Is your stovetop a downdraft? I’m trying to avoid a dropdown range hood, but I’m not sure it’s possible. Any advice?

    • Reply


      April 23, 2020

      Yes, ours doesn’t require a hood 🙂

  2. Reply


    January 9, 2020

    Ahh I can’t believe I’m just now seeing this!! Thanks so much for including me!!

  3. Reply

    Mia Tenille

    July 16, 2019

    I love how your kitchen turned out! What a huge update from where it was at the beginning! I remember when I painted my office a bright red color… been regretting that since I did it! Was it hard to paint the cabinets? Do you know how long it took to do that part? I’m getting ready to update my kitchen and I’m dreading having an out-of-order kitchen for too long (though I know it’ll be worth it)! I’m considering hiring out for that part just because i also am doing the floors! Any thoughts?

  4. Reply

    Kyra Rodriguez

    May 7, 2019

    I love the color choices for your kitchen! We’re also planning to update our kitchen! Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Reply


    May 6, 2019

    I had never heard of painting a countertop before, I need to look into this more!

    Is that your kitchen trash can on the right in your first photo? If so, it looks very minimal and unobtrusive for a kitchen trash can, which I am in the market for replacing for us.

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Hi, I’m Bre! Follow along as we renovate our current home and share modern DIY ideas.

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