Easy DIY Kitchen Upgrades

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the busiest area of the house where loved ones can come together, cook and share meals, clean up, and talk most of the time.  

If you’re tired of how your kitchen looks but only have a small budget, you don’t have to fret. The cost of a kitchen remodel may cost a fortune, but there are easy and cheap ways to update your kitchen yourself! Instead of breaking the bank to upgrade, get rid of that remodeling itch with these easy DIY kitchen upgrades.

Paint the cabinets.

The easiest way to give your kitchen a highly noticeable facelift is by painting or staining your cabinets and drawers. As long as the doors and frames are structurally sound, you can clean it up and brush on some new paint or a new stain on a weekend. This change will transform your kitchen without significantly lightening up your wallet.

Refinish all kitchen cabinets by following these tips:

  • Thoroughly clean each surface. Sand if needed.
  • Fill in holes and nicks with wood putty.
  • Sand the surfaces between layers of paint or stain.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely before putting back your stuff in the cabinets.

Install under-cabinet lighting.

Lighting is important for preparing food. But when you work on the countertops under the kitchen cabinets, overhead lighting won’t give you ample light because it casts shadows. You can make your kitchen brighter by creating nice ambient light by installing under cabinet lighting. These hidden fixtures are easy to fit under upper wall cabinets to make reading recipes to dicing veggies easier at night. Installing these types of lights is shock-free and straightforward.

Update your lighting.

Speaking of lighting, refreshing your light can update the look and feel of your whole space and make it easier to work in. Look for inexpensive and modern light fixtures locally or online. Here are some ways to update your kitchen lighting:

Add pendants over your peninsula or kitchen island.

Add a sconce or a dramatic pendant over the sink.

Add a string of tiny white lights and puck lighting underneath the cabinets to lighten up your counter for working and add ambiance.

Install a new faucet.

Updating an old faucet is an easy DIY project. Check your faucet if it needs replacing or an upgrade to make washing dishes enjoyable. A stiff-necked faucet with a bit of swivel cannot clean the back of your sink, so you may want to install a new faucet with a pull-down sprayer so you can direct where you’d want the water to go.

Refresh your sink.

Tired of your chrome sink? Add a fresh look by painting it. Clean it up, use sandpaper and a can of spray paint designed for metal to refresh your sink for a fraction of a price. If painting is not your thing, upgrade the sink altogether. A shiny new sink, along with a new faucet and countertop, can jazz up a kitchen as much as new appliances and flooring. This will considerably cost less money, and it’s not that difficult to install, like a new sink and faucet.  

Add a new backsplash.

Adding a backsplash can add wonders to the look of your kitchen. Today, you don’t need to hire a contractor to get a backsplash update – it’s no big deal when you use peel and stick tile panels to update your look. You only need to clean the surface, mark out where you want your tiles to go, and peel off the backing from the tile and place it on the wall. This way, you can give your kitchen a facelift.

You can create a DIY ceramic backsplash or stainless steel backsplash, depending on what suits your kitchen best. You can also use tile, stick-on metal, or chalkboard paint. Once it’s complete, the textured and colorful backsplash will add visual appeal above your sink.

Hang your pots.

You can clear up some room in your drawers and cabinets by hanging pots from a pot hanger. Pots, pans, and large utensils can be ready to hang from any hooking system. Just make sure that your pot hanger is well-mounted and secured to the ceiling or wall by studs and that the hooks are big enough to handle the weight.

But if you don’t want to use a store-bought pot hanger, you can upcycle a copper pipe to be used as a pot rack. All you need is a brash polish and push-to-connect tees and elbows to remove the need for soldering. Place it on a wall for everyone to admire.

Alternatively, you may also salvage yards and use vintage iron window guards as a pot hanger. Wrought iron is already strong, so you don’t need to worry about it crumbling down due to the weight of the pans. Try installing one on your kitchen wall for a pretty display and practical storage of your pots and pans.

Expand your storage.

Customize your kitchen by making the most out of your storage space. If your kitchen cabinets are messy, using helpful organizing tools can make a lot of difference, making you more productive in the kitchen.

You can install a pull-out shelf in one or all of the base cabinets. Pull-out shelves resemble a shallow drawer that glides out for easy access to anything stored inside. You may also want to use lazy Susans on corner cabinets, so you can make the most out of that space.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can boost the charm and functionality of your kitchen by adding an open plate rack. This is a wooden rack that mounts to the wall, which can help leave your counters uncluttered. It also gets your dishes out in the open, making them easy to grab and hard not to admire.

Change your hardware.

Upgrading little details like your cabinet handles and drawer pulls may seem insignificant, but it makes a big impact on the style and appearance of your kitchen. By adding new hardware, a few tools, and a bit of time, you can add style and personality to your kitchen. You could opt for black, pastel-colored, polished chrome, brass, gold, or anything you like. You can give your kitchen a retro, classic, modern, or chic look by simply replacing the hardware.

Replace cabinet latches and hinges.

If your cabinet doors don’t stay closed, fix them up by replacing the rolling latches. You just need to mark and drill holes for new latches, and the doors would stay closed. It will help lessen one annoyance in your home.

Update your kitchen island.

Refreshing your kitchen island or peninsula by painting it or by adding corbel beams can add life and character to your kitchen. You may also consider extending an island that doesn’t currently have seating by buying a new countertop with an overhang and add legs.

If you’re going for a cozy and homey vibe in your kitchen, go for a butcher-block counter. These thick wood-slab tops help resist warping, and it nicks better than laminate and almost as well as stone. It’s perfect for toning down the coldness of metal appliances and stone counters in modern kitchens. Plus, you can easily buy the materials to make your own butcher-block prep island.  

It’s better if you make your butcher-block countertop mobile by adding wheels. Having a rolling island lets you make the most of the floor plan you already have.

Open up your space.

Going for open floating shelves instead of the usual cabinets with doors can completely transform your kitchen. It will help your space feel lighter, more modern, and more functional. Using open shelves is a great way to display stacks of your dishes along with serving platters, mugs, and glasses. It’s more convenient for grabbing and putting away your dishes where they belong. Plus, being exposed will force you to simplify your stuff and declutter by getting rid of any mismatched dishes or those you don’t use.

You can either remove the upper cabinets and replace them with open floating shelves or simply remove the doors and hardware from some of your existing upper cabinets.

Dress up your décor.

You may want to update your kitchen décor to make sure it reflects your style and personality. You may want to replace your worn-out rugs, old-style curtains, and collections in display and replace it with new ones. You may want to add elegant, decorative touches like a new lamp, a piece of art, a mirror, or a new vase with fresh flowers.

Clear up clutter.

Spend some time to revisit the contents of your kitchen cabinets and counters. Toss any unwanted utensils and tableware, expired or unwanted food, or appliances you no longer use and remove any items that don’t belong in your kitchen. You don’t need to spend anything to create a tidy kitchen, and by doing so, you can make it more spacious and functional.