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Kitchen Ideas: How to Renovate on a $500 Budget

Kitchen Ideas: How to Renovate on a $500 Budget

The Life Creative is all about decorating on a budget, so when reader Cathy Scullino revealed before and after shots of her parent’s kitchen renovation on Instagram, it was too good not to share.

Kitchen Makeover using Rustoleum Spraypaint

Cathy’s Kitchen Before the Makeover

The most amazing part of this transformation is the price tag: Cathy completed updates on this kitchen for just $500. The kitchen, which was last renovated 25 years ago, was in dire need of a lift, so Cathy carefully considered her options and created a look for less.

“Funnily my parents were not looking to do their kitchen,” Cathy explains. “But it was me that told them they need to, as it would make them feel so much better. Being pensioners, they didn’t have much money to spend, so I told them I could give them a fresh new look for $500”.

Budget Kitchen Makeover using Rustoleum Spray Paint

Kitchen Ideas on a $500 Budget

Cathy rightfully explains that you don’t need to spend big bucks to give your kitchen a new lease on life. It’s really about thinking of budget-friendly ways you can make an impact. Here’s three ideas you can steal from Cathy’s amazing makeover.

Transform Benchtops with Spray Paint

“My priority was the pink benchtop,” Cathy says. “I used Rust-oleum Benchtop Transformations (in Diamond White), which cost just under $200. It has a lovely shimmer effect and it comes in kit form with a DVD”.

Revamp existing Tiles and Handles

“The peachy-coloured tiles were also painted with Rust-oleum Paint for Tiles for under $100,” Cathy explains. “I sprayed the original door handles in matt black too”.

Add Texture in Cost-Effective Ways

“A new, textured woven blind and some wicker baskets completed the look here,” Cathy says. “I also brought two tiles from Bunnings, cut them in four rows and added a border tile in blacks and grey to tie the whole look together”.

Rustoleum Spray Paint used on Kitchen Handles Kitchen Tiles for Budget Kitchen Makeover - from Bunnings

Cathy says that her parents adore the new kitchen.

“My parents were actually so overwhelmed. They adore the kitchen and the effect it has on them and their mood is unbelievable. I love what I’ve achieved, and making my parents happy makes me happy… only problem now is the rest of the house needs some lovin’!”.

What are some budget ways you’ve made a difference at home? Drop a comment below and share some money saving makeover secrets!


Outside of his work as Editor of The Life Creative blog, Chris is also an interior stylist, presenter and author. His first book, Sydney Precincts, is out now. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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  1. Karenc

    3 August

    Looks fantastic! What about the cladding under the benchtop? Would that be timber look laminate planks or some sort of lino stuck on? Not sure the baskets are that practical, but they tie in the whole look.
    Do you know if that benchtop paint scratches easily? I’ve tried white knight tile paint and you have to be very careful when cleaning.
    We’ve just had laminate planks in a whitewashed timber look laid over old fashioned orange parquetry in a very dark room. The transformation is amazing!

    • Yeah, I believe that was some sort of affordable plank-look laminate or the like, Karen. From what I know of Rust-Oleum for benches, it is pretty scratch resistant.

  2. Justine

    3 August

    My mother painted the crazy 70s bathroom tiles a plain, neutral colour and the effect was very calming.

    • I would love to see some before and after shots – sounds like a good plan to me Justine! 🙂

  3. valerie

    10 August

    Wow, what a difference a few hundred bucks can make! I would suggest changing the faucet as well, as that can give an even more polished look to the kitchen! There are some great looking ones on Amazon for very good prices!

  4. Henry

    19 February

    I agree with all these tips, but usually a proper kitchen renovation would call for the intervention of professional contractors. Not that you can’t do it on your own, but still, a consultation might work miracles for you. That’s mainly because competent kitchen interior experts will make great decisions about the colours, furniture arrangement, and all about your kitchen design.

  5. Sally G

    10 February

    Wow! I had no idea you could paint a bench top. That would save so much money if you can just revamp your existing kitchen. I am in the process of trying to revamp now and add value to sell our house. I have added some extra touches like floating shelves from IKEA, down lights from Eternia and my husband installed a DIY wine rack kit we found from http://www.wineracksite.com that hold 72 bottles. This blog has made us reconsider replacing the bench tops as I think we might be able to repaint them for a fifth of the cost.

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