Have you been thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets, but can’t stomach the thought of all the mess or aren’t sure where to start, or if it can even be done? Then I have good news for you! I redid my apartment kitchen in two days with a budget of $200 using marble contact paper on the countertops and backsplash and this is how it turned out!
How the remodel came to fruition
My boyfriend and I have been living in our apartment for about 2.5 years. When we moved in, we thought it would only be about a year or so, but then COVID hit and we ended up staying much longer than we anticipated. I don’t mind it much, I know we will get our very own place all with due time. But the one thing that I am the most unhappy about is our kitchen.
It had dark brown cabinets, speckled counter tops and just standing in it made me feel depressed. The ceiling lights would glisten off the cabinets leaving this ugly glare and it was always so hard to create recipe content for my readers. Besides, my kitchen is basically my office, so it’s important to be in love with where you work!
I spend all my days baking and cooking in the kitchen, and since it’s just an apartment I know there’s no point in putting a lot of time and money into remodeling it. Luckily for us, our landlord said we can do whatever we wanted with the place when we moved in. I just never got around to it because quite honestly, I thought it would be much harder than it was.
To my surprise, I did the entire remodel by myself in two days time. You honestly could do it in one day if you start early and have all your supplies. I’m really an adventurous person at times, I didn’t have this remodel planned out. I literally woke up one morning and said I was going to do it. I logged onto amazon, purchased the contact paper for the counters and backsplash and was told it would be delivered the following day. So then I headed to our local Home Depot, picked up the painting supplies and got started.
The best and easiest way to paint kitchen cabinets
Now if you’re anything like me, you don’t know one thing about painting kitchen cabinets. I watched a ton of videos on tiktok, Youtube and read a few blogs. Once I educated myself I felt like it was something I could totally do. So I did it!
First, there’s a lot of information online that is saying you need to sand down your cabinets before painting them. Now, this is probably true for most wood, but I just had a feeling there had to be another, easier way. I read online that you can use a product called Krud Kutter which basically cleans off any grime that is sticking to your cabinets currently. It was just a few dollars at Home Depot and with using this product you can skip the sanding.
Next, I read that you needed a primer. Which makes sense, so that way the top coat of paint will stick. After doing a ton of research I found that BIN Primer was the best, so that’s what I went with.
Then, last put not least, paint. What makes this remodel so quick and painless is that you don’t need to remove everything from your kitchen. You can paint the cabinets while they are still attached. I read that if you are using traditional latex or oil paint, then it’s not recommended to paint vertically, due to the risk of drips. But if you use a paint like Satin Enamel, then the paint holds it shape better while it’s wet, which means it goes on smooth, and has the perfect drying time. I used BEHR Ultra Pure White Base Semi-Gloss Interior Cabinet and Trim Paint
Steps to painting cabinets:
Step 1: spray on Krud Kutter and clean wipe off with a clean dish towel. Allow to dry completely before priming.
Step 2: apply painters tape to walls so you don’t get paint where it’s not supposed to go.
Step 3: prime the counters using BIN Primer and a roller brush. Allow to dry before painting.
Step 4: apply two coats of BEHR Ultra Pure White Base Semi-Gloss Interior Cabinet and Trim Paint using a roller brush. I also picked up a smaller painters brush so I can paint closer to the edges and get a smoother appearance.
marble contact paper and the backsplash
Now that the cabinets are done, it’s time to re-do the counters + put up the backsplash. For both of these steps I used contact paper that I purchased off of amazon. I read reviews and did a some research to pick out the best ones. After comparing all the pros and cons, I decided to go with these two products:
Applying both the contact paper and backsplash was painless and stress free. I was able to complete the counter tops in about two hours and the backsplash in about one. Here are the steps that I did to complete both:
marble contact paper
- Krud Kutter
- Marble Contact Paper
- X-Acto Knife
- Thick card
to apply the marble contact paper, I first cleaned the counters with the Krud Kutter that I talked about previously. This was to make sure there wasn’t any grime left behind to ensure a smooth application. After I cleaned and dried the counters, I then took the marble contact paper and measured + cut what I needed. I recommend using scissors and an X-Acto knife. The X-Acto knife came in handy when cutting off any excess paper from the corners and when cutting out the sink.
Once you have measured out what you need, start by peeling off a smaller portion and applying to the counter. Using the card (such as an old gift card) press down on the paper to ensure there aren’t any bubbles. I used both the gift card and the palm of my hand. Smooth out the surface and then cut off any excess paper with the X-Acto knife.
When I came to the sink, I did the same process, but I instead used the X-Acto knife to cut out the sink once the paper was already stuck on. It was easy to peel off the excess this way.
I lightly overlapped each piece, you can’t see it unless you are really close. This was the best course of action for me to ensure there weren’t any gaps.
Applying the backsplash was also very easy and stress free. The hardest part was making sure everything matched up to the pattern correctly.
To start, I again sprayed the walls with Krud Kutter and let them dry. Then, I peeled off the backsplash and stuck them to the walls. For the outlets, I measured the wall first then traced over what I needed to cut off. I used scissors and the X-Acto knife to cut out what I didn’t need.
The rest was pretty easy and seamless.
I’m so happy with the way that it turned out and how fast and simple it was it put together.
I purchased the hardware and started by measuring and drilling the holes into the cabinets. After screwing in two handles, I realized that the wood that we had wasn’t meant to be screwed into. Also, we are in an apartment, so we didn’t want to get in trouble for making permanent holes in the cabinets. After some thought, we decided to skip the hardware and just keep the kitchen as it.
I was bummed because I think the hardware would tie everything together. But I’ll just save them for our next kitchen!
That’s it! It’s really that simple
It’s been a few weeks since I did this kitchen transformation and everything is holding up pretty great. Now, by all means it’s definitely not perfect. There are a few things that aren’t 100%, but I personally don’t mind them.
If you are a perfectionist, then maybe this route isn’t for you. But for me personally, I am so much happier about my new kitchen, I feel like it’s a place that I am proud of and that I can be creative in.
If you have any questions, leave them below and I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability!