Here are the things I did to give the kitchen a new look:
- Benchtops - replaced the orange benchtop with a modern laminated benchtop. After I visited a few kitchen manufacturers, I discovered that I could buy "benchtop seconds" which were incorrectly cut or cancelled orders for next to nothing. At the time, quotes for new benchtops (x3) were over $700, but I was able to pick what I needed from the secondhand pile for $50 cash, including the strips I needed for the edges. Now you can get better value with large benchtops from Bunnings for around $200, but you don't get the edge strips if you need to cut them.
Materials/tools - $150 (Benchtops $50; Circular Saw $80; Blades $10; Clamps $10)
Cupboards - removed and painted all the doors because new doors were too expensive. After removing the doors I repaired any chips/scratches and imperfections with regular wall plaster and sanded back where required. I then sealed the doors with sealer so that the final paint would have something to stick to. I used a short hair roller suitable for oil based paints. I sealed the doors with one coat and applied 2 coats of oil based gloss white paint. I rested the doors on boxes so that I could paint one side and the edges, waited 24 hours and painted the other side, then did it again for the second coat. Using a roller gave that orange peel effect. I covered the inside of the cupboard shelves with white contact. I also painted the front of the cupboard frames and exposed sides with a short hair roller.
Materials/tools - $50 (Sealer $15; Paint $20; Brush roller/tray $5; Turps $5)
Cupboard Handles - the replaced the old handles with modern looking white plastic handles. I don't remember why I picked such a basic handle - I think these were the cheapest. Overall they matched the white gloss doors perfectly for a basic look.
Handles - $5
Tiles - replaced the broken tiles that were visible. This is where I discovered there are many colour variations of "white" tiles at the tile stores. I could find the right size but I couldn't find the exact same white colour, so I removed the tiles from behind stove area that were out of sight and replaced the removed ones with the new tiles. It was very hard removing the tiles - I had to sacrifice a few in the process. I also removed the grout and replaced it with new grout. This made the tiles look new again. Re-grouting is time consuming and messy work, but cheap.
Materials/tools - $10 (Grout $5; Tiles $5)
Taps - replaced the tap handles with basic white gloss handles.
Tap handles - $10
Blinds - replaced the old curtains with wood slim line venetian blinds. They look good, but not a good idea in the kitchen, as these warped due to the hot and cold temperatures and moisture present in the kitchen when cooking. I later replaced these with white slimline metal venetian blinds.
Blinds - $10
- Exhaust fan - removed and replaced just the plastic cover. The original cover was extremely dirty and cleaning it would have been a too much effort.
Fan cover $5
This was my first attempt of renovating a kitchen at a very basic level. After this attempt I was hooked with renovating. I realised I was good at getting the desired look without spending a lot of money. I understand that this makeover was very basic and that a lot of people would not have accepted the final finish and demanded a new kitchen, but for $250 I think it was worth the effort to give an outdated kitchen a new lease of life.