Decorating DIY

Budget Friendly Kitchen Transformation

Approximately 20 years ago, we renovated our farmhouse kitchen. We installed all new cabinets, butcher block counters and my dream farmhouse sink. Everything was purchased from Ikea, and we installed it all ourselves with the help of dear friends. The cabinets were a soft yellow. I had always wanted open shelving (back when it wasn’t so popular), but was told that I would regret it and to choose glass front cabinets instead.

Fast forward, and the kitchen has undergone some changes over the years, always on a budget. We painted the cabinets white, took down the glass front cabinets and replaced them with open shelves, took the cabinet doors off the one set of uppers, and replaced the doors under the sink with a sink skirt. I still hadn’t given up on having more open shelves!

This past Fall, we took the plunge and removed the rest of the uppers by the sink (that had the doors removed anyway) and painted all the cabinets once again. This time in a beautiful Benjamin Moore historical colour…Sussex Green. The formula we chose was their corotech command. It’s industrial strength, and it dries to touch in 10 minutes! And with a recoat time of one hour, it didn’t take us long at all to get this project done quickly! My kind of project!

We started the transformation by removing all the doors. We numbered all the doors by writing on the inside hinge, (so it wouldn’t get covered in paint) and Gerald made a rough drawing on where each of the doors went. This saved us trying to figure it out after the fact. All the doors and cupboards were washed with TSP, not my favourite step but a necessary one.

The cabinet hardware was purchased from Restoration Hardware when we installed the kitchen 20 years ago. I planned on using the same hardware. The green glass knobs remind me of my Grandma’s depression glass plates, and I love them.

We are fortunate to have a pack barn, where we laid all the doors out so we could paint them all at the same time. And with the formula of paint we were using, by the time we gave everything one coat, we could start on the second coat! It was so exciting when the doors were put back on! I loved it!

Next phase of the transformation, was finally getting the open shelves, 20 years in the making! We removed the upper cabinets and I picked out some barnboard from the stash piled up in the barn. I had ordered shelf brackets off of Amazon. After installing bead board to match the rest of the kitchen, the shelves were next.

Cabinets were painted! Now it was time to remove this set of uppers! (don’t mind the mess, I was cooking supper when I snapped this pic)

We purchased a couple black rails and hooks from Ikea for under the shelves. My goal was to free up space on the counter as much as possible.

I placed my baking supplies and mixing bowls on the shelves. Baking soda, baking powder and salt were placed in the little basket. The shelves by the sink hold glasses. After i had the necessary items on the shelves, I filled in the rest with with pretty things.

Our faucet is our original Ikea faucet from 20 years ago. To give it a little upgrade, I painted it with Autumn Gold rub and buff. A sealer really should be used over top of it, but I have yet to do this step. I also painted the two drawer pulls on the pantry drawers with rub and buff. The copper measuring cups and accessories placed around on the shelves, give the kitchen some warmth and an old farmhouse cottage look.

Frequently asked questions,

  • How has the paint held up?…….Wonderful!! I love this paint and it is SO durable!
  • Aren’t the open shelves hard to keep clean?…. They are made from barnboard, so they certainly can’t be sanitized, but that doesn’t bother me. I use the items on there most every day, and I love the look and convenience of having them right there handy. I enjoy decorating them for the different seasons as well!
  • What about storage?….I purged all the cupboards of unnecessary gadgets, and dishes etc I did NOT need!
  • Do you like the butcher block counter?….I love the counter, and it has lasted over 20 years, we give it a light sanding and put mineral oil on it once a year or so
  • Was this really budget friendly?…. sure was! Paint was $95, rub and buff $20, pack of shelf brackets $45, Ikea rail system, with hooks and basket $45. We had the barn board and paneling sheets in the barn, leftover from other projects. The rest was lots of elbow grease.

I just love our kitchen! You don’t have to spend a ton to get a totally different look! Do I wish it was a little wider? Yes, then I would be able to fit a small table in the middle as an island. But in the big scheme of things, my kitchen has the charm I was looking for…with the open shelves I had wanted for so long! , and its a joy to cook in there!

As always, thank you so much for joining me here! I appreciate each one of you so much!

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  1. Barbara H. says:

    I love everything you do. Great job on the kitchen!

    1. Tracey says:

      Thank you so much Barb!

  2. Lynda says:

    Love the kitchen reno! I have never regretted pulling my doors off! Love the colour too ❤️

    1. Tracey says:

      Thanks Lynnie! xoxo

  3. Marilyn Moore says:

    You are amazing!! Your kitchen is amazing too.! . It’s beautiful to behold. Also we have the privilege of the great tasty meals etc that come the kitchen. Beautiful . Love Mom. XOXO

    1. Tracey says:

      Thank you Mom xoxo

  4. Aunt Barb says:

    Love it❤️.. your talent never ceases to amaze me
    although I’m a bit disappointed in Coconut.’s photo shot… I mean really Coconut… I look forward to your photogenic poses, and look what we got this time!!!

    1. Tracey says:

      Thank you so much Aunt Barb! And I was waiting for someone to comment on Coconut! haha

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