50+ Budget Fixes for Dated Kitchens
Find inexpensive ways to update kitchen backsplashes, countertops, storage and more.
Is your drab kitchen leaving you uninspired to cook? Which means you’re eating out more which is causing you to spend more money and eat unhealthy foods? Check out these low-cost updates that can give you and your kitchen a whole new outlook.
Cover the Backsplash in Beadboard
Instead of tearing out your old backsplash, just go over it with beadboard. This project is a winner because you can paint beadboard any color, it’s inexpensive, it has a cute farmhouse vibe, and the only power tool you’ll need is a circular saw or table saw. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
If you’re looking for a little bling with a touch of traditional style, install tin tiles on your backsplash. Originally these metal tiles were made for ceilings, but their classic look and durability make them a win for kitchen and bathroom surfaces. See how it's done >>
Pegboards Include Storage
Pegboard panels were cut to size and screwed on to the wall to create a backsplash where you can hang utensils and colorful dishware. This is a great project for renters: you can just unscrew the panels from the wall and patch the holes when it's time to move out. Take a look at the how-to instructions >>
White Kitchen With Map Covered Backsplash
Take this idea and run with it. We used maps, but you could use wrapping paper, comic strips, magazine covers, whatever. Cut a thin piece of plywood to the exact wall size, glue the paper on top, then apply shellac. When it's dry, attach the plywood to the wall.
We did six other backsplashes in the pegboard kitchen pictured above, all renter-friendly and all inexpensive. We used maps, vinyl tableclothes, old fence pieces and more, check it out >>
Tile Can be Painted
If you’ve got a boring tile backsplash that looks lifeless, try stenciling it. No power tools are required, you can wipe off any mistakes while the paint is still wet and it’s very inexpensive. Once you get your design looking just the way you want it, make sure to apply a sealer to protect your gorgeous artwork. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
Stainless Steel Paint
If you’re dreaming about a stainless-steel upgrade for your appliances, but you can’t justify the cost because they work just fine, then look to stainless-steel paint. There are brush-on paints that can give you that high-end stainless look. If you’re looking to paint a hood vent, stove or toaster, make sure to get a paint that is made especially for high-temperature surfaces. Get more details >>
Wallpaper the Fridge
If you’re a renter with a fridge that's a humdrum big white box, try covering it with removable wallpaper. There are plenty of patterns and colors to choose from so you can get as funky or subtle as you want. And when it’s time to move out, just peel the wallpaper off. Get the step-by-step instructions >>
There's Always Artwork
If your landlord won’t let you paint or replace anything, hang bold artwork to draw the eye away from the not-so-pretty aspects of your rental. Plus, it’ll give you an opportunity to show off your personal style.
Make a Flip-Down Table 03:12
Is the lack of adequate dining space an issue? Build a flip-down table with a piano hinge so that your table can lay flat against the wall when not in use.
Use Every Inch of Space
Here's another example of a genius flip-down table. This half-wall that separates the kitchen from the living area was turned into a breakfast bar with extra shelving. The vertical support holding up the table is hinged, allowing the tabletop to be folded down.
Trick Out Store-Bought Furniture
Plain kitchen carts and portable islands are readily available in many big-box stores. You don’t have to keep their look plain and generic, see how this one was tricked out with a little paint, hardware and some handy hooks.
If storage is the main grievance with your kitchen, there are plenty of store-bought options that will help you make the most of your space. Add-ons like these wire racks can increase storage capacity and at the very least, make it easier to reach your dishes.
Pantry and Kitchen Storage Hacks
7 Ways to Organize Your Pantry
Here are more ideas to help you keep your kitchen tidy.
Breakfast Storage Bar
Ever since blogger Tonya Staab and her family moved into their new home, she longed for more storage space in her kitchen. Since she uses her kitchen island for prepping meals, she came up with the idea of adding shelves under one side of the island. She uses the wooden crates to store vegetables, cans and recycling.