How I updated my old kitchen cabinets for less than $50

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One of the compromises that I made when I bought my condo was that it doesn’t exactly have my dream kitchen.

The U-shaped kitchen features white cabinets, granite countertops, a subway tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances. But I would have to describe the materials used as “builder closeout special.”

When I got a quote from a professional to makeover my space, I was stunned that it would set me back $15,000 or more. Ouch!

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Update kitchen cabinets with fresh paint and new hardware

I’ve watched a lot of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” and they seem to put a price tag of $10,000 to $15,000 to gut entire kitchens, but remodeling in real life costs a lot more than on a reality TV show.

With a full remodel out of the question for now, I came up with two solutions to refresh my kitchen on a budget…

Touch-up paint

A few of the laminate cabinet doors had minor scratches and dings from the previous owner. I took one of the doors off and brought it to my local Sherwin-Williams paint store to have it color matched. After spot treating the doors, they look so much better.

When you shop at Sherwin-Williams, always check their website for a coupon. You can usually buy paint for 30% to 40% off the regular price.

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex - Satin
Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex – Satin

New cabinet hardware

Once the imperfections to the cabinet doors were repaired, I thought it was time to replace the knobs. I didn’t want to drill additional holes, so I just bought knobs of a different style to give the space more character.

I ended up buying 35 weathered nickel knobs for $43.90 on Amazon, which works out to about $1.25 per knob. I actually paid nothing out of pocket because I used gift cards that I earned from Fetch Rewards.

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New knob top, old knobs bottom
New knob top, old knobs bottom

Final thought

It’s still not a dream kitchen, but I’ve taken two steps to make it better while I consider whether I want to start saving up for a full remodel in the future — and all it cost me was 50 bucks!

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