Kitchen Cupboard Makeover | How to Upcycle

Renovating a kitchen can be hard work, and expensive too. So try a DIY kitchen cupboard makeover – skip the cost and upheaval of completely new units, and amaze with these easy to achieve looks…

As our contribution to the Thrifty Jan Blog Hop, we’d love to give you some ideas of how to spruce up your kitchen on a budget. Keep reading to find out how to transform your kitchen cupboards, all with the minimum amount of fuss and bother.


kitchen cupboard makeover - paint and wallpaperHow to paint your kitchen cupboards

You will need

  • Sugar soap
  • Medium- to fine-grade sandpaper (or liquid deglosser)
  • Undercoat
  • Kitchen paint in chosen colours
  • New handles (optional)





kitchen cupboard makeoverkitchen cupboard makeover sandingPrepare the surfaces

1. Make sure that the surfaces are free of grease by cleaning with sugar soap.

2. To ‘key’ the surface of the clean cupboard, cabinet or shelf, so that the new paint bonds to it, sand it down lightly but thoroughly with a medium- to fine-grade sandpaper.

Tip: Cupboards with a shiny finish will definitely need sanding before you can paint them. Alternatively, use a ‘liquid deglosser’ (also called liquid sander) available from DIY stores.


Paint with care

1. Remove the cupboard doors (and the hinges and handles). Carefully apply a thin coat of undercoat, followed by one or two thin top coats. Thin coats dry more easily and will give a smoother finish. Make sure each coat is dry before applying the next. Never be tempted to slap on a thick coat of paint hoping to cover the doors in one go! We recommend choosing a specialist kitchen paint that is designed to withstand the heat, steam and repeated cleaning.

Tip: Unless there is a dreadful clash between the old colour and the new, you don’t need to paint the backs of doors or the inside of the cupboards. Use masking tape so that the colour doesn’t run over onto areas you don’t want to paint.


Add new handles

You could go for something ultra-modern or opt for a shabby chic look. We made some with old teaspoons.

To attach the teaspoon, use a soldering iron, an epoxy adhesive or drill and screw to the door, depending on the structure and material of your door. A DIY beginner is better to stick to ready-made handles.


upcycle kitchen cupboards with wallpaperThe paint-free alternative

Who says your kitchen cupboard makeover has to be limited to plain paint?

Instead you could try experimenting with a different kind of finish.

We love the idea of making a feature of your door panels – and you can achieve this either by using wallpaper and varnish, or sticky backed plastic (which comes in a variety of colours).

Tip: use up off-cuts of a wallpaper you’ve used elsewhere in the house. You won’t have to spend money on wallpaper for your kitchen cupboard makeover, and your cupboards will match the walls!









kitchen cupboard makeover black board paintPerfect for little monsters

How about turning your kitchen cupboards into tasteful canvases for your budding little artists?

Blackboard paint is as easy to use as regular paint, and you can find it in any good hardware shop.

And not only is this a great solution for keeping the little ones occupied – it’s also a practical and creative way or providing space to write shopping lists, chore reminders and meal planners.






These techniques have been excerpted from  Make It & Mend It.


Still want more inspiration? Here are some of my favourite blog finds

kitchen cupboard makeover by Dear Lillietile DIY kitchen cabinet makeoverfaux tin tile cabinets

Dear Lillie used basic chicken wire in place of glass or wood for the doors of this antique hutch, and the result is absolutely stunning.

We also love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens – where small tiles are used to turn a plain cupboard door into something beautiful and unique.

Infarrantly Creative also had great success with this kitchen cupboard makeover by using metallic paint to old furniture lavish accents.


I hope you enjoyed these thrifty tips! For more clever DIY projects, take a look at our Thrifty Jan Blog Hop. Bloggers from all over the world tested out their favourite low-cost projects to give you inspiration for your home crafting.

thrifty ideas - January magazine blog hop with SCC

And if you need to stop up on some craft supplies, don’t forget we have a huge range of products available in the store

Happy crafting!





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