A $96 Paint Transformation Rescues These “Dreadful” Orange Kitchen Cabinets

published Jul 9, 2024
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Sometimes when it comes to kitchen makeovers, it’s the finishes and color choices “before” that need to change, but the actual footprint of the sink, fridge, stove, and more are salvageable. That’s how DIYer Lyndsey Wardman’s (@myhomeismyhappy) kitchen was. 

“While I appreciated the layout, the look left much to be desired,” Lyndsey says. “Although the house was only eight years old when we moved in, and the kitchen was relatively new, its color was dreadful … the predominant orange color gave it a cheap appearance.”

Lyndsey says giving the kitchen a paint makeover was the obvious solution. “Our budget didn’t extend to a new kitchen, nor did I feel one was necessary; it simply needed a burst of color.”

A sage-meets-seafoam green revives the cabinets.

After a lot of research, Lyndsey prepped her cabinets for painting by cleaning them with sugar soap, sanding them, and taping off the doors and hinges. She said the hardest part was painting the interior of the cabinets. “Special care was needed around the hinges, as I chose to paint them while they remained attached to the units rather than removing the doors,” she says. 

The green paint color on the cabinets is Rustoleum’s Interior Wood paint in Serenity. “After the first coat, the transformation was evident, and by the second coat, it looked perfect,” Lindsey says.

Lyndsey’s painting advice for those wanting to tackle a similar kitchen cabinet makeover project? Invest in a quality paint so it won’t chip, clean with sugar soap, and lightly sand before painting — and purchase high-quality rollers and brushes, too. 

“Also, consider the color,” she says. “Darker shades reveal imperfections more easily, so if you’re a novice like me, start with a lighter hue. Despite my inexperience, a friend thought we had a new kitchen fitted, so I assume my painting wasn’t too shabby.”

Two other swaps brighten the room.

Lyndsey says someday she’d like to change the countertops and get a new sink, but for now, she’s happy with her results. 

She made a few other swaps to make things feel even brighter and airier, like swapping the dark brown flooring from before with a lighter wood option (no one ever thinks it’s vinyl, Lyndsey says!) and swapping the gray roller shade from before with a striped Roman shade. “The blind is the finishing touch to add that softness to the window,” Lyndsey writes on Instagram.

Mostly, though, under $100 worth of paint made the biggest difference. Lyndsey’s project cost £75, or about $96 USD. “The paint was a delightful surprise, applying smoothly and effortlessly,” she says. “The kitchen feels like a brand-new kitchen; it’s lighter and brighter as well as more modern.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.