How I Redid my Kitchen for $300
First off, I would like to preface this post by mentioning that my house is an old lake cottage. Every project I do here I like to call a “lipstick reno”, a cosmetic tune-up that refreshes the space without breaking the bank. Doing these smaller fixer-upper projects makes sense for us so that we aren’t going totally over budget as we will most likely have to rebuild in about 5 years. I should also mention that I completed this reno about 5 years ago… so here’s hoping I remember everything lol.
So let’s start with the cabinets. Originally the house came with upper cabinets made out of cheap particle board. I ripped those out and replaced them with open shelving. Open shelving is a great way to open the space. It can provide a more rustic feel and decor opportunities to display unique decor items and dishes. Personally I love adding wicker baskets for bread and coffee storage. Or anything that you might not want to display can easily be stored in a pretty wicker basket rather than be an eye sore.
I purchased the brackets handmade from a local fabricator and spray painted them black since they weren’t available online 5 years ago. I’ve seen them on amazon and wayfair since then. Make sure they are deep enough to hold your dinner plates or your wicker baskets if you plan on incorporating them.
I already had my 2x10 wood planks to make the shelves and countertop. If you go to a local lumber yard specialized in milling lumber in the industrial area, guaranteed they will have stock like 2 x 10's on hand that are generally cheaper than going to your local RONA or Home Hardware. The shelves were fairly easy as I just needed to cut to length. The upper shelf I cut from wall to wall and the lower shelf I butted into the fridge as that made it more of a built-in look, framing the fridge nicely. The countertop was a bit more work as I had to straighten the edges, glue it together, and cut out the sink. Since my flooring, post, and beams are so warm I opted to do the shelves and the counter in a grey wash to introduce another wood tone to go with our overall lake cottage vibe.
For the back wall, I had to get creative after damaging the wall by taking out the uppers. Instead of drywall repairing, I simply bought a sheet of 1/4” MDF plywood and ripped it into 8” strips which made up the shiplap wall. After installing I purchased Kitchen and Bath paint from Benjamin Moore that is waterproof and applied 3 coats of that - Simply White, OC-117. The backsplash has lasted for 5 years now without a kitchen hood and we haven’t had any problems with moisture whatsoever.
I found the kitchen sink and faucet at a local consignment shop called Restore which totally helped keep the cost down. I would highly recommend frequenting local consignment and thrift stores while planning a lipstick renovation. It’s amazing what you can find at these places, and they add a unique and often vintage element to a space (plus they are very cost-effective). Instead of totally replacing the lowers, I simply replaced the cabinet fronts. I used some weathered wood and whitewashed them. I wanted the character of the knots and splits to come through. Since the MDF shiplap is so clean looking it was nice to juxtapose this with some more rustic pieces.
There you have it! That’s my kitchen reno for $300. See a breakdown of the pricing and affiliate links below.
1/4” MDF shiplap - $20
Kitchen and Bath paint (gallon) - $80
Sink and Faucet - $100
Brackets - $20/each
2x10 wood planks - $0, already had but you can usually find for around $30 a plank.
If you’d be interested in a tutorial on how to whitewash wood, create a shiplap wall or reface cabinets, shoot me a message on instagram letting me know this is something you’d enjoy or can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.