My Home | Weekend Kitchen Renovation

retro kitchen renovation, weekend kitchen renovation, cheap kitchen renovation

Last weekend I finally conquered the last remaining undecorated room in my home - my kitchen! I did it on a budget too! A full renovation wasn’t in the cards for us (we’re not sure if this is our forever home and don’t want to sink ten, twenty or thirty thousand dollars into a complete gut reno) so I kept the total budget under $500.

retro kitchen renovation, weekend kitchen renovation, cheap kitchen renovation

$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen

Click through to see the entire kitchen renovation! My mom came to help for 24 hours (a snowstorm forecast cut her trip short) but we managed to repaint almost every surface (including cabinets).  I also tiled behind my stove and sink. Adam updated my electrical outlets from builders beige to a clean crisp white too. Later in the week I was able to shop for accessories and finishing touches and I just love how it looks! And the best part is that it didn’t cost a lot of money!!

$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen


We live in a 95 year old home and based on the style lines, we believe there was a kitchen update in the 1950s when the second owners moved in as well as a basic update to get the house on the market when we bought it. The cabinets were mismatched not only between sides of the kitchen but the builders grade cabinets on the stove wall didn’t match each other perfectly either. I’d been eyeing kitchens on Pinterest with white uppers and dark lowers so that’s what I did with my space. On top I used Bistro White and on the bottom a dark gray (not sure on the name!). Before painting I used a shellac primer to give the cheaper cabinets a more durable surface for the paint to hold onto as well.

$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen

$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen

On the ceiling I used standard white ceiling paint and on the walls, the same grey from Felix’s nursery I had left over.

My mom and I were able to get the majority of the painting done before she left town - quite a feat with a six month old baby wanting all of our attention!!

I hadn’t previously planned on it, but my mom hinted at how cool the backsplash would look tiled, and I had two and a half left over boxes of subway tile so I went with it! Adam picked up mortar and grout along with a tile cutter and I was able to complete both in a total of about four hours (broken up between naps and help with the baby and sitting overnight to strengthen!!)

I kept most of the existing hardware because those knobs and pulls can really add up in price! I did change out the upper cabinet hinges on the sink side from an antique bronze to chrome which works better with the white.
Decor wise, I changed out taupe mini blinds for white cellular cordless window treatments(similar). They let in so much light and now I don’t have to look at the alley while I do dishes (unless I want to!!). I also bought two kitchen rugs for the sink side because a new floor wasn’t something we could tackle in a weekend. I think they looks great!!!

Additionally I treated myself to new kitchen towels and a couple of bowls that were on clearance. To keep my fridge a little more streamlined, I put some of our favorite family photos into magnetic frames and moved them to the side. And it’s not every day I have a case of fresh flowers, but they make such a difference to me!

I spent just under $200 for paint, painting supplies (rollers, tape, trays, etc) and electrical outlets. The tiling supplies were around $50 and as I mentioned above I used tile I had left over from my bathroom reno. The window treatments were pricey at $90. The rugs were $50 total (from Target) and the other accessories about $15. I donated our older large microwave and swapped it out for a smaller version which was $65. (I also moved it to the counter so I could use its previous shelf for cookbooks and bowls of fruit). The project was done almost entirely in one weekend but was totally complete within a week!


$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen

retro kitchen renovation, weekend kitchen renovation, cheap kitchen renovation$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen

$500 Kitchen Renovation, DIY Retro Kitchen, Retro Kitchen Renovation, Dark Lower Cabinets, DIY Kitchen