12 Easy Kitchen Update Ideas You Can Do on a Budget

Today I have 12 cheap and easy kitchen update ideas to share with you. These DIYs will enable you to refresh the look of your kitchen without even having to paint the cabinets. The best part is, that these ideas are all super budget-friendly.

Changing the kitchen cabinet hardware

1. Clean cabinets and change out the knobs

To give your cabinets a really good cleaning, use a degreaser spray like Super Clean. I bought mine on Amazon, but it’s also available in the automotive sections of many stores. As you clean the cabinets you can replace the knobs to give them a more updated look. If you don’t want to buy new knobs, consider spray painting the knobs you have.

Peel and stick backsplash

2. Add peel and stick backsplash

One of the quickest ways to transform is to change out your backsplash. There are so many options available today. There are products that you can apply to your existing backsplash or directly to the drywall. Either way, start by cleaning your area well with a good degreaser.

Align the stick-on backsplash with the base of the counter and smooth out any wrinkles with a plastic paint guide. You can use an X-Acto knife to cut out around outlets. Then, use the paint guide and X-Acto knife to cut off the excess wallpaper from the edges.

I also recommend running a bead of caulk along the edge between the wall and the counter to make sure the paper doesn’t start to peel over time. Changing out your backsplash can drastically change the style of your kitchen with minimal time and effort.

Repairing broken things in the kitchen

3. Repair anything that’s broken

If you have any cabinet doors or drawers that are sitting a little crooked, take a few minutes to repair those issues. You might have to replace some screws and hinges but it’ll be well worth the effort. These small repairs tend to make a big difference to the overall visual aesthetic of the space.

Covering the dishwasher

4. Cover your dishwasher

You can use some more peel-and-stick wallpaper to cover your dishwasher. This can take an ugly appliance and transform it to seamlessly blend with the rest of the design of your kitchen.

DIY small work island

5. Repurpose a thrift store table to create a small work island

I picked up a small wooden table from the thrift store for $30. I sanded it down, painted the legs black, and stained the wood top. I also installed a rail with S-hooks on the side to make the table even more functional.

DIY stylish dining table

6. Create a stylish dining table

I decided to replicate an expensive table I liked. I bought some wood and used some additional wood that I had in my workshop at home to create a new, very stylish replica of the expensive table. I sanded the wood, painted it, and covered the tabletop with two coats of polyurethane to give it extra durability. I love the way it came out.

Upcycling thrifted chairs

7. Upcycle some thrifted chairs

I picked up some old chairs from the local thrift store and decided to fix them up. I spray-painted the legs of the chair black and cleaned the seat and back of the chair with some leather conditioner. I cleaned the wood with some Orange Glo spray and was pleasantly surprised at how well it revitalized the wood.

Swapping out light fixtures in the kitchen

8. Swap out light fixtures

Updating your light fixtures is a simple way to bring new life to an old kitchen. I picked up a drum shade at the thrift store and added some personality to it by gluing a black fringed trim around the bottom. I switched off the circuit breaker to the kitchen light to remove the old fixture. Then I hooked up an inexpensive light kit and attached the pendant to the light.

Updating the kitchen window treatments

9. Reconsider your window treatments

I wanted to use window treatments that would allow light to flow into the space while still providing privacy. I decided to install window film. I ordered some window film that looks like bamboo and it was so quick and easy to install.

Hanging a plant in the window

10. Hang a plant in the window

I installed a hook in the ceiling to hang a plant in the window. A little natural life is a great way to add some interest, style, and color.

Painting an accent wall in the kitchen

11. Paint an accent wall

The previous owners of the space had added a half wall to cover the side of the refrigerator. I decided that would be the perfect area for a little accent wall. I painted it black to match the rest of the décor of the space. I also added a piece of wooden wall décor.

Adding wall art to the kitchen

12. Create some fun wall art

I picked up a piece of wall art from the thrift shop but it was very dated looking. I took it apart to take off one feature of the art that I thought would be interesting to play around with. I painted it black and hung that on the wall and it looked great.

Kitchen before and after
Kitchen update ideas

Kitchen update ideas

Using some creativity, thrift store items, and whatever else I already had around the house, I was able to update this kitchen for under $200. I am so pleased with the results. I think it looks like thousands of dollars have been put into updating the space so I am really proud of how well everything came out.

I hope this inspired you to try some easy and affordable DIY updates to your kitchen. Give them a try and leave me a comment to let me know how your renovations come out.

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 1 comment
  • Tera Tera on Oct 22, 2023
    How talented you are, Kudos !!Love it !!Thanks for all your ideas !