DIY woman transforms mismatch kitchen into ‘modern cottage-core’ space

B&Q demonstrates paint tray hack for easier cleaning

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With the cost of living crisis affecting families up and down the country, many are looking for ways to spruce up their homes on a budget. With the average cost of a kitchen renovation costing £10,550, according to Checkatrade, it is no wonder Britons are turning to DIY, including Rachael, who completely refreshed her old kitchen for just £50.

The 36-year-old, who lives in Manchester, shared her DIY journey on Instagram at @rachs_home_n_life and told My Local Toolbox exactly how she did it. She said her interior style is a “mix of modern cottage-core, colourful and boho, just anything pretty really”, which is reflected in her new kitchen.

Rachael explained: “One of my favourite transformations was my kitchen, I only had a small budget so I carefully researched what I could do and use and in total it probably only cost around £50. When I moved into my fairly new-build house, it was a blanket canvas really.

“The kitchen was cream and magnolia but with a bright lime green wall which wasn’t my taste, so at first I painted the walls white. I didn’t like the cupboards having a birch-coloured surrounding, so my thought was to up-cycle and paint all the cupboards.

“They were in great condition and I liked them, just not the colour. I love the new sage green and pink, it now seems quite a theme in my house. I used Frenchic paint in wise old sage and slowly started to paint the cupboards and love how they turned out.”

The DIYer said it was such an easy paint to work with and easy to apply. She then added wallpops self-adhesive wallpaper to her splash back and fridge because she didn’t want a “boring” white or grey one.

Rachael added: “That definitely added more cottage-core vibes and made the room pop. To finish the kitchen off, I painted pink scallop detail all the way around the edges of the worktops and picked up some pink kitchen accessories from Dunelm.”

Her top decorating DIY tips is to understand that “prep is key”. She recommended cleaning first with sugar soap and giving anything that needs a light standing first to ensure the area gets a professional finish.

The homeowner added: “My favourite part was the painting. Frenchic paint requires little prep and no primer and dries really fast. It did take me a while to do but I’m really pleased with how it turned out.”

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Rachael also added some greenery into the kitchen with some hanging plants as well as some arterial ones in a vase to add a cosy feel to the room. Overall, the new kitchen turned out fantastic with a much needed pop of colour.

If Britons don’t fancy painting their kitchen cupboards, an expert shared top tips on how to spray paint cabinets which can be a fun and “cost-effective” way to update the heart of the home, according to Checkatrade. 

The company explained: “Modernising or putting a new twist on your existing cupboards and drawers is a great way to reuse what you already have rather than sending it to landfill.”

To start, remove the cabinet doors and set them down in your work area, making sure they do not get messy. It may be worth labelling the door so you know which cabinet they belong to. Next, clean the cabinet doors and the cabinets with sugar soap and a lint-free cloth to remove any grease or dirt.

The experts said: “This is a really important step to make sure you get a good finish. Use masking tape and protective sheeting to shield any areas that are not to be painted. For example, the inside of the cabinets, walls, floor, ceiling, worktops, cooker hood and appliances.

“Using a brush to apply the primer and paint to the cabinet frames, sides and trim will avoid the need for protective sheeting, therefore saving you time. At this stage, you can repair any holes or dents with an appropriate filler and putty knife. Once dry, sand all the areas you wish to paint.

“You’re aiming to scuff the surface up a little to take off the shine. Clean away the dust with a damp cloth.” Once dry, apply a light coat of primer, waiting for it to dry before applying another coat. 

DIYers should spray the door edge first and then the rest of the cabinet, sweeping your whole arm back and forth to apply a light coat. It is recommended leaving the paint dry overnight before adding a second coat. 

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The whole process will need to be repeated on the other side of the door once the first side is dry. If painting the cabinets outside, it is worth checking on the weather first, making sure it is a dry day. If painting indoors, the experts said to build a makeshift painting booth to contain the spray.

Leave the cabinets to dry for 12 hours before fixing the hardware back onto the doors and mounting them back onto the cabinets.

If struggling to pick a colour for the kitchen, it is best to look to see how much light the room is getting. If it isn’t getting a lot of light, it is best to stick to bright, airy colours such as light green, a popular choice for kitchen paint in 2022.

If the kitchen receives lots of light, a darker colour could be added into the kitchen, such as a warmer shade or green. It is best to avoid colours including yellow and red as they are too “stimulating”.

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