This contemporary new-look kitchen cost the owner just £350 to create

Painting the cabinetry and adding new handles was only the start of the new-look design

kitchen with painted grey cabinets and copper accessories
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If you're looking for some painted kitchen ideas to give you some inspiration, then you'll like this clever room makeover. Using grey Frenchic paint and budget accessories, this homeowner's kitchen was completely transformed for just £350.

Stephanie McCormick, a complex needs assistant from Scotland, is the homeowner that tackled the task, having been faced with a dated kitchen on moving into her new home. Being so budget-savvy meant Stephanie saved £8,000 compared to the kitchen she had initially been looking at installing. 

Contemporary kitchen makeover

Having made the leap onto the property ladder in October 2021 when she purchased a three-bedroom bungalow in the rural village of Clovenfords in the Scottish Borders, mum-of-two Stephanie knew she wanted to change it immediately.

 'While the house was in a good state of repair, it needed to be brought up to date and a bit of our own style splashed onto it,' she told  Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK and 'The kitchen in particular was your typical 15-year-old, light beech laminate look, but it was in great condition and the tiny pot of savings we had left over after purchasing the house certainly wouldn't stretch to the thousands we had been quoted for a re-fit.'  


before shot of dated kitchen

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Although the old kitchen was in good working order, it certainly wasn't to Stephanie's taste and she was keen to use paint to change up the dated beech cabinetry. 

'I'd used Frenchic paint previously on wooden furniture that I'd bought on Marketplace and absolutely loved the finish, but I'll admit I was concerned about the longevity of the finish on laminate and in such a high-use area,' she says. 'We have two young kids and two large dogs, so the units do take a battering. Nevertheless, this eyesore of a kitchen couldn't be made any worse so I had nothing to lose!' 


kitchen with painted grey cabinets and copper accessories

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What a difference a lick of paint and new handles have made, and the copper accessories (including the ones hanging above the hob from Studio) really pop against the dark grey cabinets.

'We debated long and hard whether we should go for such a dark colour, but eventually decided that we would brighten it with light white walls, tiles and the blind,' says Stephanie.

'I love industrial chic, so the dark-grey shade Smudge from Frenchic teamed with copper T-bar handles from Amazon was a natural choice for me. Everything was scrubbed with sugar soap and lightly sanded, and I chose to paint the inside of the doors and the edges of the carcass too, for a more professional finish. 

'The insides of the doors were given three coats, while the outsides of the doors and any more visible places were given four coats, with two hours drying time between coats. As it's the Al Fresco range it doesn't need sealing and I love the matte finish.'

dark grey kitchen with sink and blind

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The tiled splashback was scrubbed and lightly sanded, then given three coats of Frenchic's 'Dazzle Me' paint, £12.70, at Amazon, using a brush. 'The walls also had two coats of Dazzle Me,' says Stephanie. 'It makes for a beautiful contrast against Smudge and keeps the room lovely and bright.' 

A patterned roller blind at the window adds interest and Stephanie went for a design with geometric shapes from English Blinds Online. 

grey kitchen cupboards with vinyl and accessories on worktop

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A similar geometric design to that on the blind was also used on the inside of the glass cupboard doors, which Stephanie added vinyl to. 'The process started with removing all the cupboard doors,' she says, 'and it's a good idea to number them so you can put them back in the right place!'

'The kettle, toaster, mug tree and kitchen roll pole are from Tower's Cavalletto range,' she continues. 'They're the perfect shade of grey with copper accents.'  

grey kitchen units and microwave

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The whole budget kitchen idea took around two weeks, with Stephanie juggling doing the DIY with working and parenting. With lots of new buys, the budget was stretched and didn't allow for a new floor, however, the existing grey grout does tie it in with the new colour palette.

'I purchased lots of trailing plants and trendy succulents from Dunelm, The Range and Ikea, and we changed the sockets and downlighters for more modern black nickel ones, which have given a lovely high-end finish to the room,' she says. 

'We're delighted with the overall look to have made such a saving – we've also saved a perfectly good kitchen from landfill. The money we've saved means we have enough to redecorate the rest of the house now!

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at