Smart DIYer gave her plain kitchen an on-trend green makeover for just £30

A little green paint was all it took

If you're stuck with kitchen cabinetry you don't like or just want to wake up your space in time for the new season and need some makeover inspiration, you can take your cue from this budget green kitchen makeover

Bored with her brown units and keen to transform them without paying a lot of money, Heidi Vanacore, a primary school teacher from Middlesbrough, has given us a lesson in budget kitchen ideas and how to paint kitchen cabinets.

'Some of my kitchen cupboards were discoloured, I’m assuming from sunlight over time, and I wanted to change them so they were all the same colour,' she told money-saving community

‘I'd seen a lot of people changing their cabinets with either vinyl or paint, but the idea of painting seemed much easier to complete myself. I think I would’ve needed someone to come and help me to lay vinyl properly without getting any bubbles or creases!' 

Armed with her paint supplies, Heidi set to work bringing her green kitchen ideas to life.

Budget green kitchen makeover


a kitchen with brown tile flooring and brown cupboards with a radiator rail next to inbuilt ovens stacked on top of each other, view showing the back door

(Image credit: Heidi Vanacore)

The brown cabinetry and white walls had to go and it was easy for Heidi to come up with her design inspiration. 'Before moving into my first home, I upcycled a kitchen table using white Frenchic paint and a green leaf-print material for the seats,' she says.

'I love botanical designs and I've always loved the colour green, too. In fact, my mum’s kitchen walls are currently a dark green and I liked the idea of having green cabinets as that colour is rarely seen – plus I was fed up with seeing lots of grey and neutral rooms!'


a kitchen with brown tile flooring and brown cupboards with a radiator rail next to inbuilt ovens stacked on top of each other, view showing the back door

(Image credit: Heidi Vanacore)

Using two tins of Frenchic paint in victory lane that cost her £29.90 in total, Heidi has given her kitchen a bold look that not only makes much more of a statement but has also given the room a modern, up-to-date feel.

So, how did she go about it? ‘I started by painting my kitchen walls pure white, using some paint that I already had, as they were previously off-white and needed a refresh,' she says.

'The following week I painted my cabinets, removing a few cabinet doors from their hinges and taking off the handles. I cleaned the doors using sugar soap and then sanded them down until they had more of a matte look, as they were previously hi-gloss.'

'Next, I applied four layers of paint to everything, waiting two hours between coats before applying the next one.'

a kitchen with green cupboards and long silver handles, with a sink underneath the window and a small dog peeking around the cupboards

(Image credit: Heidi Vanacore)

The project wasn’t all plain sailing, however. ‘One challenge I faced was having the space to lay out all of the doors,' says Heidi.

'As it started to rain, I couldn’t leave any of them outside to dry. This meant it took longer than expected and I could only remove up to three doors at a time. Luckily, the drawers could be painted while still attached to their fittings.'

‘Another challenge was getting the integrated fridge and freezer doors back on in the correct position. Luckily my mum and dad came to help me with this bit!'

corner of a kitchen containing double inbuilt stoves stacked on top of each other with green cupboards above and below, next to a wall rail radiator and a shelf containing jars of spaghetti and cereal

(Image credit: Heidi Vanacore)

Even the bank of appliances at the back of the kitchen got a brand new wall colour. 'While I do prefer more unique designs, this look suited the style of cabinets that were already installed,' says Heidi.

‘Overall, I don’t think there's anything that I would have done differently. I love creating things myself and I loved the idea of changing the colour of my kitchen.'

It just goes to show what a difference a few coats of furniture paint can make. Plus it's a makeover that was cheap as chips!

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