Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY: $6 Cabinet Makeover

Between YESTERDAY'S POST about using decals + today, I've decided to add another tab: Apartment Living. Living in an apartment has serious challenges (and benefits- I dislike shoveling...), generally related to spacial issues + decor. 
Each complex has it's own set of rules, but generally wherever you go you will find limitations to how many holes you can put in the wall, what kind of painting you can do and of course... the kitchen. The kitchen has been especially tough for me. I desperately want a beautiful custom kitchen, but there isn't much that can be done in an apartment.
But there may be more than you think!
Over the next three days, I'll show you a few things that I've done to customize our kitchen... despite rules and regulations.
First up: cabinets.
The first apartment that John and I checked out was a disaster. However terrified I was, I was willing to get on board... if only the manager would agree to let me paint the cabinets. They were *horrible*. Very dated, very ugly. They looked sooo dingy and I just knew that a coat of bright paint would fix them and make the entire kitchen much more inviting. Of course, she said no... and we moved on.
Our next visit ended up being the home we chose and it was much, much better. Even so, the kitchen was plain and needed some love. I'd like to show you how I made over our kitchen cabinets in less than an hour and for under $6.
I bought this contact paper at T.J. Maxx for $5.99. Contact paper is cheap and you can get it anywhere (target by the roll, wal-mart by the yard). The best part about using it is that if you dislike the end results, it peels right off. Of course, that little fact is what makes it brilliant for apartment living as well. When we move out, I can just peel these bad boys right off the cabinets. No residue. No evidence. No issues.
The steps are simple...
(1). Measure it. Measure your cabinets and decide how you want to cover them. I wanted to do ours with a white border, so I left between 1.5 and 3 inches around depending on how large the surface area was.
(2) Cut it. Cut out your pieces... the best part is that contact paper has a grid on the back side! It's perfect for my lazy ways.
(3) Apply it. You may want help with this. I was really glad that John was home. I climbed on to our step stool and held the top while he pulled the bottom taut. We just eyeballed ours for accuracy, measuring them against their neighbors. Feel free to be more precise ;)

Done! Wasn't that simple? I love the way it looks, too. It brightens our whole kitchen and leaves it feeling less "stock" and more "us". We chose to only do the top of the cabinets, not the bottom row too. I was worried that it may be too much yellow. I think that was the right call.
I've got some exciting news coming, so stay posted. Also, if you haven't yet... head over to our FACEBOOK PAGE and "like" it to be automatically entered to win one of 10 prizes! This is the last week, so spread the word!
It is GORGEOUS today! I think I'll con John into taking a walk later on. I hope you have a beautiful afternoon, and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. This is absolutely adorable and brilliant! I am about to move into my first one bedroom apartment for law school and have been trying to figure out how to brighten up the kitchen. So thank you!!

  2. OMG! We have the same cabinets in our kitchen that was updated.....23 years ago! haha SO glad I found this. We plan on gutting and starting new in the next year or so, but after 13 years of these, I'm ready for a change NOW.

    1. I have the same cupboards too! My husband's uncle was approached by some salesman years ago to update his kitchen and these doors are the result, way too much money later. They knew a sucker when they saw one :( I could handle this kind of update for now.

    2. Same cupboards here, too! I can manage this kind of update for now :)

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  4. What a great idea! So creative! Looks too cute and awesome way to make it your own.


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