See How New Tile Transforms These 2000s Kitchen Cabinets (Instantly!)

published Feb 12, 2024
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Kitchen renovations can be an intimidating project to DIY, thanks to all the various elements at play, including cabinetry, tile, countertops, plumbing, lighting, and more. But easing into a few DIY projects can make a huge difference in the look and function of a kitchen — even if you don’t jump headfirst into a gut renovation.

A prime example: DIYer Chloe O’s (@diyishbychloe) kitchen redo project. Chloe’s 2000s-style kitchen started out with both aesthetic and functional issues. “The house was built in 2000 and the kitchen hadn’t received even a lick of paint since,” Chloe says. “The walls were classic magnolia, wall tiles textured with cherry designs, and they didn’t go all the way along the wall.”

On top of the dated aesthetics, the space was impractical for what Chloe needed it for. There was not a lot of storage, for one, and the outlets had baffling placements — there were ample outlets right next to the sink, but not enough where the appliances actually lived.

Credit: Chloe O
Credit: Chloe O

A Clever IKEA Hack Added More Practical Storage.

Chloe knew she had her work cut out for her, but she set out on a project full of DIYs that would all be new experiences. Her starting point was removing the dated trim from the upper cabinets, which revealed space for another layer of cabinets. “I bought some vertical ones from IKEA and modified them to fit in the space horizontally,” she says. “This was one of my first big DIY projects.”

Credit: Chloe O
Credit: Chloe O

A New Backsplash Changes the Look of the Old Cabinets

Next, she decided to redo the backsplash, choosing glossy blue subway tile to replace it. She had to start with removing the old backsplash, which was harder than anticipated. “This destroyed the plasterboard underneath, as many of the tiles were fully stuck to it,” Chloe says. But once the old tile was down, she moved around outlets and then repaired the wall — a first for her — before retiling.

Chloe also created a solid wood windowsill that became one of her favorite elements of the entire kitchen project. Her last few steps were grouting the tiles, installing a new sink and tap, hiding the boiler, and painting the walls. The bigger sink and sprayer attachment are both practical additions to the kitchen.

Almost every aspect of the renovation was a first for Chloe, meaning she learned a lot about DIYing throughout the process. She used online videos to help guide her, and she recommends it for anyone embarking on a true DIY. “Watch a lot of YouTube,” Chloe advises. Beyond that, though, she has a few other pieces of wisdom: “Always allow twice or three times as much time as you think. Be patient. Learning new skills is hard and you won’t be good at it straight away.”

With everything finally finished, Chloe loves the new space. “The whole vibe has changed,” she says. “It’s clean, modern, and bright. Sometimes I still walk in and think, Is this my house?