See how a savvy DIY-er transformed a dull, wooden kitchen with £3 paint and a hairdryer

It cost him £170 in total and looks so fresh
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  • Rental homes can often seem a little dated, especially when it comes to the kitchen. However, one savvy DIY-er transformed his for an incredible £170.

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    Nick Richards, 23, from Essex, set out to change that in his council accommodation. With a shoe-string budget, he totally transformed his dingy, dated and very wooden kitchen into a bright and modern space.

    ‘The main motivation for our new kitchen project was to brighten up the space. Our previous design with walnut cabinets made it look quite dark overall,’ Nick told


    wooden kitchen cabinets before makeover

    Image credit: Nick Richards

    ‘We wanted to makeover the kitchen because we wanted something more to our taste and a little bit more modern and fresh. Because we live in a council house we don’t have permission to physically change anything so everything is 100% cosmetically done and reversible.’

    Thrifty Nick sourced all of his wares from B&Q, Amazon and IKEA – including a five-litre tub of Dulux Pebble Shore Matt Emulsion paint was reduced from £26 to a mere £3.

    For more white kitchen ideas take a look at our gallery for inspiration.

    white painted kitchen cabinets with black handles

    Image credit: Nick Richards

    First, he painted the dated cream tiles white with £20 GoodHome White Tile Paint: ‘This was a pretty straightforward process,’ says Nick. ‘There are a few brush strokes visible on the tiles if you look closely but it’s not too bad.’

    Then, he applied white and wood-effect rolls of DC Fix – a sticky-back vinyl film – to the dark, walnut cabinets and benches using a £3 wallpaper smoother tool, and even discovered a handy hack in the process…

    ‘Use a hairdryer when you’re applying it,’ he revealed. ‘When smoothing the plastic around the edges and corners, the hairdryer helped to slightly melt the plastic to make it softer and more pliable.

    white kitchen cabinets with black handles

    Image credit: Nick Richards

    ‘It does take some time to get into a good rhythm and process when applying the DC Fix, but everyone always has their own ways of doing things!’

    After swapping tacky silver kitchen handles for trendy black ones from Amazon for £17, and picking up some finishing touches from IKEA – Nick’s now unrecognisable kitchen ended up costing him only £170.

    The gleaming new kitchen is proof that budget is no match for the savvy shopper – as long as they’re willing to put their back into it. ‘No professional quote was given,’ Nick revealed. ‘We always try and give DIY a go before getting the professionals in – best way to save some money (as long as you are confident enough to do some DIY yourself!)’ Nick added.

    Related: Be inspired by this homeowner’s amazing second-hand kitchen makeover

    Nick is naturally thrilled with his finished kitchen and pleased he learned a brand new DIY hack in the process.

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