Jun 9, 2021

Million Dollar Home on a Budget: 10 Affordable DIY Kitchen Projects

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The kitchen.

It is one of the most important rooms in your house. You spend time there every day, cooking and cleaning.

Your kitchen is a place you’ll spend a lot of time, but having a dark and gloomy kitchen can take a lot of the fun and excitement out whenever you step in it. Nobody wants that. Kitchens can be a vibrant, fun place to entertain company while you cook up a great meal. 

The kitchen is full of projects of all shapes and sizes. In this article, we will check out projects that fit into three different price ranges:

  • Projects under $500
  • Projects under $2000
  • Projects under $5000

The pricing points on these projects are just estimates. Depending on your kitchen, the cost of these projects will fluctuate. Without further ado, here are some awesome and affordable projects to give your kitchen a new life! 

Projects under $500

A side-by-side image of a kitchen before and after the cabinets were painted white.
It blows our mind how much painting cabinets can change a kitchen. Never underestimate a simple change! Courtesy of House to Home Pros.

These are the bread and butter of your kitchen updates. They are not too much to take on DIY and pack a huge punch in your kitchen’s overall look. Each of these is a great start towards updating your kitchen, and they build excellently upon one another, adding new dimensions to your kitchen with every project. 

Paint Cabinets

This is a classic. Talking about bang for your buck, adding a new coat of paint to an old set of cabinets does wonders for a kitchen at a very small cost. With the nearly infinite spectrum of colors, there’s a shade for any kitchen. 

Painting cabinets is a nice and cheap project, only needing a few cans of paint and primer and the brushes to apply them! Beyond those, a lot of space for the cabinet doors is a plus so you can take them off and make the painting project much easier. 

Change Hardware

Changing kitchen hardware is an easy and cheap kitchen upgrade. As easy as unscrewing old knobs and installing new ones, this is a great DIY kitchen project. 

In kitchen renovation, it is easy to bite off more than you can chew. This is not one of those projects! At no point is your kitchen unusable, and it is easy to contain it to one cabinet at a time. This is a must, and a great project to pair with painting old cabinets to give your kitchen a huge boost.

Add or Change Lights

Another cheap project is all about the kitchen lights! Having just an overhead bulb or two gets the job done, but they don’t add any interest to your kitchen. Adding a strip light to brighten up underneath the cabinets or the counter is a great way to brighten up the kitchen, and adding strip lights or string lights has a huge impact without taking up much space at all.

Changing kitchen lights can go a long way towards updating your look and is a cheap and easy DIY project for any weekend! 

New Backsplash

The kitchen backsplash is in the prime real estate of your kitchen. Occupying the area between the countertop and the cabinets, you, and your guests, cannot help but look at it.

Having a lame, unimpressive backsplash can bog down your kitchen. A bad backsplash makes itself the centerpiece for all the wrong reasons. Fortunately, that is easily fixed! Refreshing the backsplash can breathe new life into your kitchen and is a great project, too. 

A backsplash does not need to be an expensive renovation, with the material cost often around $25 and $35 per square foot.


Do not underestimate the power of a deep clean. It may not be the most fun, but the rewards are not to be scoffed at. The cost is entirely in the cleaning products and your labor. This includes a clean of all the surfaces as well as a general decluttering of the space. 

There is almost always clutter in your kitchen. Taking a day or a determined couple of hours to declutter the space is no more costly than your time and can make an amazing difference in your kitchen’s overall look. All you gotta do is grab some trash bags!

Projects under $2000

A nice kitchen with an emphasis on shelves instead of cabinets
Opening up shelves adds a flair to your kitchen, letting you show off some dishware and add some stylish cabinets all in one. Image courtesy of DIY Network.

These projects are where you start getting into the thick of things. These will dramatically improve your kitchen and change more than just the top layer. As before, these projects pair incredibly well with the smaller ones, like painting the cabinets and exposing the walls, or updating your countertops and lights together. Check out where your kitchen can improve the most, and get started!

Expose the Walls

Exposing your kitchen’s walls is a creative way to add more space to your room. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, this can be a more involved process with taking out cabinets and patching up or drilling into walls for the shelving. 

Though this project is more intense than changing hardware, the payoff is much bigger too. This adds space and lets you show off cool shelves and your plates or glasses that you don’t want hiding behind cabinet doors. 

New and Improved Countertops

Just like backsplash, countertops are a huge part of your kitchen. If you have an island they are the centerpiece of your whole operation. If not they are still where you’ll be preparing all your food and where everything is going to sit. 

An old, out-of-date countertop can drag down your kitchen’s appearance. Uprooting the old opens up your options to bring the kitchen’s foundation in any direction you want. Countertops ranging from wood to stone to steel are all amazing options when it comes to redesigning and upgrading a kitchen space. 

And if a full countertop change seems like too much, consider grabbing a countertop painting kit. These amazing kits can completely transform your old countertop with a few layers of paint. 

Refresh the Decor

This goes best with other projects like changing the hardware or the lights and painting the cabinets. Refreshing your kitchen’s decor is your foundation to change your kitchen’s style. If you have a specific style in mind, this is your project to turn that dream into a reality. 

Projects Under $5000

Beautiful, modern kitchen with whites and greys
This beautiful kitchen is a sum of its parts. The cabinets, lights, island, floors, and decor all work together to give it a strong style and look amazing. 

Your big-ticket items. As your budget increases, so can your scope. These are the foundation of a kitchen renovation and can change the style of your kitchen all on their own. Pairing one of these projects with one or a few smaller ones will be a complete kitchen change, dazzling you when it is done. 

Build an Island

An island is a huge addition to the kitchen. If you have the space for it, and the island adds storage, seating, and counter space, the big three in any home. 

Make sure your kitchen is large enough to hold an island. You don’t want to invest in a stellar centerpiece then have to squeeze around it every day. If you have space, this is an amazing addition. 

Tear up the Old Floors

Flooring. Some kitchens have incredibly old floors that lock the room into an old, unpleasant style. It is hard to get past the floors when you have big plans for a kitchen. 

Sometimes all you can do is tear them up and go from there. 

Installing new floors is a lifeline to any ailing kitchen. It is the foundation to any major kitchen renovation, and doing this in tandem with painting the cabinets is a huge change, one that your guests cannot help but notice and complement the next time you host a dinner party.
Hopefully, these ten projects have inspired you to give your kitchen an upgrade! Each of these projects can transform your home and make it shine. And when you are working, keep track of the things you don’t need! Especially for the bigger projects, selling or donating your old hardware, lights or cabinets can cut the total cost of your renovation or give you the leeway to start another! All of these projects build off of one another, don’t be scared of mixing and matching a pair of them! And if you are worried about how it will turn out, don’t hesitate to contact the pros at Honest Renovators for an estimate on your project and we’ll make it a reality!

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