Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Post: 4 Fun & Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Kitchen this Summer!

Fun & Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Kitchen this Summer
Author: Mary Kremer

Disclosure: I received no form of compensation for this publication nor am I the author of the post. 

Even though you have a “family room” in your house, your kitchen is likely the heart of your home. That’s where you prepare meals for the family and where people often gather to eat, chat, and just hang out together. So give a little love to your kitchen this summer, and spruce it up with these easy (and cheap) projects and tips.

Grab Some New Accessories

A simple way to add some life to your kitchen or to update it seasonally is by adding a few accessories…
  • Too many pots and pans? Buy a rail and a few hooks ($3 at Ikea) to hang everything up on an open wall. This frees up some cupboard space and can also be used as a decoration.
  • If your feet are always cold, buy a colorful rug ($20+) to place on your kitchen floor.
  • A well-placed vase ($10+) with some fresh flowers is a great way to brighten up the room.
  • New placemats ($2+) or a new tablecloth or table runner ($10) are also simple ways to add a little flair.
  • Updating your fixtures can really create a whole new look for your kitchen. Whether it’s your lighting fixtures ($30+), drawer and cupboard handles ($2+), or a new faucet ($30+), a new look is just an installation away.
Total Cost: $2-$20+

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

One of the best ways to really brighten up your kitchen is by adding a new coat of paint. All it takes is a good eye with color and a few hours to devote to the project and your kitchen will look brand new!

What You’ll Need:
  • A gallon of paint in any color of your choice ($30)
  • 1 paint roller ($5)
  • 1 package of roller covers ($10)
  • 1 roll of paint tape ($7)
  • 1 paintbrush ($5)
Some Tips to Keep in Mind
  • Pick a long weekend to work on your project. It will likely take at least two days to complete, and you want to make sure you have enough time to get it all done at once.
  • If you can’t decide on a color, purchase a sample jar (about $3) in the colors you’d like to try. Take them home and try them on an area of your kitchen to help you decide.
  • If you’re painting over a dark color, you’ll need to prime the walls first. A gallon of primer is about $15-20.
Total cost: $55-$70

Refurbish Your Old Furniture
Want a few stools to fit more people around your counter? Or maybe you have an old end table that could use a makeover? With a little elbow grease and a coat of paint, those old pieces can work together to transform your kitchen. All this project takes is:
  • A solid piece of furniture you’d like to re-work, whether a stool, bench, or end table
  • A bottle of Murphy’s Oil ($5)
  • 150 grit sandpaper ($2)
  • Primer in an aerosol can ($5)
  • Spray paint in your choice of color ($5-$10)
  • Clear spray paint lacquer ($10-$20)
Project Tips
  • Clean your piece of furniture thoroughly with Murphy’s Oil
  • Sand the entire piece with 150 grit sandpaper. Sand all the shine off. You don’t need to sand all the old paint off. The goal is simply to create a rough surface for the new coat of paint to stick to.
  • Spray your piece with primer and let it dry. If you can see through the primer, lightly sand your piece and add another layer. Sand over the layer as well.
  • Once you’ve added your last coat of primer, spray a coat of your color. Add a new coat, sanding between each coat. Don’t sand the final coat of color.
  • Spray your lacquer and let dry.
Take your time. This project may take two days, but if done correctly, the results are wonderful!
Total Cost: $25-$40

Give Your Cabinets a Makeover
If your cabinets are dark and dated, a new coat of paint can give your kitchen a whole new life. Re-doing your cabinets is a similar process to refurbishing a piece of old furniture, though it will take a lot longer. If you’re interested in taking on a big project, here are some tips to keep in mind.
What You’ll Need
  • Liquid deglosser ($7)
  • 100 grit sandpaper, 280 grit sandpaper ($2)
  • 1 gallon of paint in your choice ($30)
  • 1 mini paint roller ($5)
  • 1 package of roller covers ($8)
  • 1 roll of paint tape ($7)
  • 1 paintbrush ($5)
  • You may also need brushing putty ($45), depending on the wood you’re refinishing
Project Tips
  • This project could take several weeks to complete, and you’ll need to clear out all your cabinets to do it, so make sure you have the time and energy to devote to it.
  • Once you’ve cleared out the cabinets, clean them off very well with Murphy’s Oil.
  • Remover the cupboard doors for better access.
  • Using an abrasive pad dipped in liquid deglosser, scrub the surface of your cabinets. Wipe afterwards with a clean, wet rag.
  • Sand the surfaces with 100 grit sand paper.
  • If you’re painting a tight-grained wood (like maple, cherry, or any man-made materials), a coat of primer and then paint will work just fine. For looser-grained woods (like oak, ash, or hickory), you’ll need to first apply brushing putty, which will need to be sanded down after it dries (220 grit paper). The putty works as primer, so you can start painting right on top of it.
  • Paint your color on with a mini roller. Let dry and sand lightly with a 280 grit sandpaper. Paint one more coat on with a new brush.
If this project is a little too much for you, you may want to splurge on a set of ready-to-assemble cabinets. RTA cabinets are a cheaper option because you do all of the installation work yourself. To learn more about the installation process, click here.
Total Cost: $65-$100

Do it for You

Sprucing up your environment doesn’t just make your home look great, it can make you feel great. Learning new skills and taking on new projects can help you expand your skills and increase your confidence. So do it for you! Learn something new this summer and leave your kitchen looking great at the same time.


  1. I like the fact that you can purchase a sample jar, that way you can test the color and see if you like it before spending a bigger buck!

  2. Great read! I really like being able to buy a sample jar of paint as well! Really does help.

    And Murphy's Oil soap works so well :)

  3. I think I could actually do a few of these! I like the idea of painting some old furniture!

  4. I had no idea you could even purchase sample jars. I kept imagining sticking color samples tabs everywhere and trying my best to visualize! Kitchens are supposed to have a nice family atomosphere, so I appreciate these tips!

  5. Our kitchen could use a makeover. I like the idea about a new rug or placemats.