Kitchen Lipstick

Jennifer —  July 25, 2012 — 3 Comments

What?  What is Kitchen Lipstick?  Some kitchens, like mine, need a major transformation. I define a transformation as when you must completely change things without gutting it.  (Just letting you into the dictionary in my head…not Websters.)

My kitchen needed painted cabinets, new countertops, new knobs,  new appliances, and a few additions (like shelves, a make-shift pantry,  and additional cabinets).  Some kitchens need  full remodel, which in my definition is new floors, new layout…new everything.  Some just need lipstick.  Well, and maybe a little elbow grease.  My friend”s kitchen looked like this when she moved in:

My friends had never remodeled, so to them the kitchen looked really bad.   I, on the other hand, gave out a sigh of relief. It just needed lipstick…unlike this home the Hubs and I flipped.

Check out what it ended up looking like here.

Don”t get me wrong, I knew that there was work to be done in my friends kitchen. This wallpaper was the first big project.

Not only was it plaid but it had a sheen of swirls over it.  (undetectable by the camera except it is why the wallpaper looks blurry).  The floor was not bad but we had planned to replace all the floor so it had to go.  In small homes I am a huge fans of cohesive floors.  It makes it look bigger and more unified.  The cabinets were in great condition.  One of the girls wasn”t sold on mint green.  I promised her she would like them once the floor the wall paper was out.

The knobs were great.  The appliances were new (except we did have to purchase a fridge)  The countertops and sink were yellow,backsplash was dingy, and the light fixtures were


Here is the quick and minor updates.  We changed the light fixture above to a barn light that I made myself.  Here is how I did it and it only cost $9.

I painted the backsplash with epoxy paint.  I used what I had so this transformation was free, but if One challenge presented by collaboration is how to give to collaborators. you wanted to do it you could use appliance spray paint.  A backsplash just needs to be wipeable and appliance paint does the trick.  This was a free for us but for you a couple of cans of the paint at $5 a pop would do the trick.  Here is the backsplash “during” pick and you really can see the difference.

Here is the before:

After we switched out the almond outlets, switches and plates and then added a painted piece of quarter round.  We had a $20 fix.  (When we switched the counters the new counter”s built-in backsplash was one inch shorter than the old counters built-in backsplash)  The epoxy painted (same paint as the tile) quarter round covered the gap nicely.  Here is how the backsplash turned out:

The most time-consuming trick was getting rid of the wall paper.  I used the Piranha wall paper removal products.  I used the spray and the scraper.  It worked great in the kitchen and only cost about $30.  It was a little bit harder in the bathroom. It took me about 5 hours on a Saturday but this….

turned to this…. (we painted the walls Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey which cost about $17 a room because we bought in bulk and on sale)

The most expensive transformation was the yellow countertops…

to the black stock countertops at Lowes.

It was a small kitchen and were able to purchase one short countertop and cut it for the stove side.  The long side was the perfect length of the longest option of stock cabinets?  When does that happen?  That meant we only spent $200 which includes the counters, edging, and attachment brackets.  we also only had to make one cut with no mitered corners!!!  So easy!

We took away the fan…

and added this simple fixture.

Last but not least we changed the sink and faucet.  We found a $20 stainless steel sink at the Homes of Hope Re-Store.  The faucet was a $40 faucet from Lowes.

The floors were redone in the entire house and in a completely different budget category, but if we have to get technical I used the square footage of the kitchen and the price of the floors install in the kitchen was $100.

All for……we started with this

Put some lipstick on it and got this:



Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Barnlight -$9
  • Countertops $220
  • Cottage Light $11
  • Painted Backsplash -$20
  • Wall Paper Removal -$30
  • Sink- $20
  • New Garbage Disposal -$70
  • Faucet -$40
  • Paint $17.00
  • Fridge -$500 (on sale at Lowes)
  • Floors -$100

Total: $1037.  Really easy upgrades for a great transformation.

Thanks for reading,


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3 responses to Kitchen Lipstick

  1. Love it! and the mint cabinets are perfect now. I don’t see a link to the barnlight diy. That’s exactly what I need in my kitchen!

  2. Love that you left the cabinets mint. And their curve in the upper cabinets gives me hope that if we paint ours they won’t wind up looking as tragic as they do now. A sink for $20!! I am so going to check our Habitat for Humanity re-store.

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