How to Update an Old Kitchen on a Budget

Is your kitchen feeling drab and dreary? Old vinyl floors or yellowed cabinets can make your kitchen unappealing and drag down your home’s value. But no matter what size your kitchen is, a few budget-friendly cosmetic changes can be transformative. 

Read on to learn how to update an old kitchen on a budget!

Swap Out Hardware and Fixtures

If you’re on a budget, one of the cheapest fixes is new hardware. Hardware takes a beating each time you access a cabinet and it can look chipped or blemished.  Once-fashionable brass knobs may appear dated or tired every time you reach for the pantry door.

New drawer pulls in a brushed nickel can look sleek and refined. Keep the handle shape simple or go for a more ornate design so the hardware is the star of the show. Or, if you want a quirky kitchen, choose fixtures featuring faces, flowers, or other sculptural motifs. 

For fixtures that don’t look too weathered, you can even paint them. Scuff them up with some sandpaper and block off your cabinets first with protective paper. Then use spray paint with a glossy or matte finish to finish the job.

As another option, look into upgrading your faucets or light fixtures. A new chrome faucet with a vintage-style light over the sink can enhance any workspace. 

Choose a faucet with a strong arch and skinny neck for a retro look. Lower, understated faucets with clean edges can add definition to a sink. With upgrades to either fixtures or hardware, you may only need to spend a few hundred dollars.

Try a New Backsplash for a Cheap Refresher

Kitchens with old or no backsplashes can look plain or uninviting. Why not add a backsplash to inject some colors or patterns? When you’re stuck inside on a snowy day, you’ll feel more energized seeing a fun pattern rimming the countertops.

Peel-and-stick backsplashes are cheaper than traditional styles and easy to install. The adhesive locks them on the wall and they mimic the look of ceramic tile. Choose from chevron patterns for a subtle and modern flair, or go with vivid floral patterns.

Best of all, you won’t need to commit to these backsplashes like you would with a traditional backsplash. You can change your mind in a few months, peel off the backsplash, and try a new one!

Wondering How to Update an Old Kitchen on a Budget? Turn to Paint

Are your kitchen walls a tired mauve or boring beige? A fresh dose of paint can brighten a space instantly. You’ll just need paint, painter’s tape, brushes, and some patience to get started.

You should consider how many windows you have, as well as your cabinets’ color. Go with a lighter paint if your kitchen is low on light to avoid making it feel cavernous. A white or light gray would be a safe bet.

And if you want to create more visual punch in your kitchen, you could paint the walls in a color that contrasts your cabinets. Alternatively, to keep things light and fresh, keep the colors similar. 

If you have an eating nook, you could even introduce an accent wall with some striking wallpaper. You can paint on patterns or decorative elements, too.

Give Your Cabinets a Facelift 

There’s nothing quite like dated oak cabinets to make a kitchen look heavy and enclosed. While installing new cabinets can cost several thousands of dollars, other cosmetic changes are more affordable.

One option is to paint cabinets. You should lightly sand the cabinet surfaces first and clean them with a damp rag. After the cabinets are dry, you may want to apply primer to create a smoother finish.

Then choose your paint!  A white kitchen is always fresh, classic, and versatile. Blue is soothing or rich, depending on its value, while gray is a solid neutral that will age well.

Painting isn’t your only method to achieve better cabinets, however. If you have solid wood cabinets that aren’t too bruised, you may want to reface them. This process requires sanding the surface and then applying a new stain.

You can change out a yellowed stain in favor of a rich cherry. For a lighter look, go with a clear and delicate stain. You’ll breathe new life into your cabinets and show off the wood grain!

Budget Kitchen Remodeling Ideas Include Floor Upgrades

Peeling vinyl or laminate floors can look gross and be hard on your feet. To refresh your kitchen, investigate new floor tiles or planks. Just about anything can match white cabinets, but you might want to keep it neutral for a smaller or busier space.

You don’t need to invest in hardwoods or luxury planks if they’re out of your price range, either. Kitchen design experts can help you find the right kitchen changes that will provide the right blend of durability and good looks. After all, you don’t want to blow your kitchen remodeling budget.

The quality of vinyl has improved dramatically over the years. It can mimic the look of stone or wood and stand up to lots of foot traffic and moisture. As another cost-saving perk, you can even install it yourself!

Learn How to Budget a Kitchen Remodel

When you learn how to update an old kitchen on a budget, you can create a more welcoming space. From stick-on backsplashes to fresh paint on the walls, the options are endless. Determine your priorities, map out the costs, and get started! Renting a dumpster is one way to save money and time on major kitchen updates!

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