Rachel Marston was not a fan of her ‘eyesore’ kitchen.
But when she started looking into a professional makeover, the fashion and wedding photographer was blown away by the cost.
‘We got the keys to our new house in August 2019, but before we could make a start on renovating it more to our taste, we learned that we had to pay for a full roof retile and a new boiler,’ Rachel told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.
‘After that, there wasn’t much money left over for a new kitchen.
‘We researched how much it would cost us to get a new kitchen and we were looking at £15,000 for the style we wanted.
‘This wasn’t in our price range.’
Rather than giving up and making do with a kitchen she hated, Rachel, who lives with her partner and two children in Mossley, Manchester, got creative.
She managed to transform her kitchen for a budget of just £150.
No, it’s not a total refit, but the space looks radically different – and Rachel is thrilled with the results.
The project took five months and involved a large amount of paint to give the kitchen a ‘rustic farmhouse’ feel.
Rachel made up a £150 kit of Frenchic Al Fresco paint, a large Frenchic paintbrush, Frenchic finishing coat, black matte spray paint, a black grout pen, a floor tile stencil (that happened to be the exact size of the existing tiles), stencil brushes, and plenty of masking tape.
Then she set to work, starting with the cabinet doors.
“I prepped the cupboard doors by using sugar soap spray and giving them a good clean,’ Rachel explained. ‘Next, I used a medium grit sandpaper to give them a light sanding down. I then washed them once more before starting the painting.
‘I started by using a spray-paint gun, but I wasn’t getting the result I wanted so I switched to hand painting using a special chalk paintbrush.
‘I decided to keep the doors on the cabinets, rather than removing them. I tackled three to four doors at a time, as having two small children around meant that doing the full kitchen in one go wasn’t an option.
‘You need to build up chalk paint with thin layers, and lots of people do their last coat with a paint roller for a smoother finish. However, I like the rustic look so I stuck with a brush.’
Once that was done, it was time for the floor tiles – and getting rid of the red splashback Rachel had absolutely hated.
Again using sugar soap to clean them, Rachel gave these areas a light sanding down then painted them Dazzle Me! white.
To the splashback she added black grout, then it was on to the floor – the biggest part of the project.
After painting the floor tilkes white, she added the stencils and gently painted on the design with a grey shade, called Greyhound.
‘I did a few trial runs on tiles underneath the stairs where no one would see them if I made a few mistakes,’ said Rachel.
‘The trick is to use a very small amount of paint and to dab it on with a stencil brush. This helps you to avoid any excess paint, which tends to bleed under the stencil and doesn’t look good.’
The floor’s new design was then sealed with Frenchic Finishing Coat, and the cooker hood and cupboard handles were sprayed a matte black.
Once all the painting was done, Rachel added some furniture to complete the look – all while sticking to a strict budget.
‘The kitchen always seemed so dull and dark,’ said the mum. ‘I wanted to brighten it up so it was a lighter space to cook in.
‘The table and chairs are from Red Brick Mill, which I got from the clearance section.
‘I bought the egg basket from my local garden centre in the sale for about £2 and the antique flour tin is from my favourite local charity shop, Emmaus.
‘I made the wreath on the wall myself and bought the wooden one from the garden centre and wrapped some faux eucalyptus around it.
‘I still want to add a few more decorative touches, however, such as a couple of rustic wooden shelves where there is space on the wall tiles.’
Rachel, who posts about her home renovation on Instagram, is thrilled with how the makeover turned out.
‘This was my first big DIY project and it’s better than I expected, especially considering I didn’t have to spend thousands to get the kitchen looking how I wanted it,’ she said.
‘I was really flexible with the timescale, as my kids are young so I couldn’t devote large chunks of time to it. I completed it step by step, as and when I could, which is why the makeover took around five months in total.
‘The floor took the longest – seven days in total – and I often worked into the night until 3am just to get it finished, as I wanted my kitchen back up and running but it was worth it in the end.’
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