Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIW: Shellie's Kitchen

Do it yourself and do it right, then you can WRITE!

Today's DIW comes to us from Shellie in California!

Shellie wrote to tell us all about how she transformed her new kitchen. When she bought her four year old cookie cutter property it was a foreclosure and the previous owners had left every single room in the house trashed. (She also noted, that the previous owners managed to leave the blue seal on their dishwasher for four years, but couldn't manage to keep the kitchen clean!)

She admits that part of her luck with this kitchen were that the bones were still there. The flooring, counter tops (though tile, which make her cranky- me too BTW) and cabinets were still in decent enough shape that she really just had to give the space a facelift. Not to mention the uhhh....stink that was left by the previous owners needed to be covered up.

Now I warn you, dearest broke ass people, this is the most DRAMATIC facelift I have seen on this budget. I showed it to Nate Nate and his eyes got all buggy like they do and he said, "WOW! WHAT?! SCROLL AGAIN!" We LOVE low cost, high impact. LOVE IT.

Just to brace yourself. ...ya know, just in case.

Here was Shellie's Kitchen before (she took this picture during her original walk through the house):

And, here is the after:


And her budget?

She says it was spread over 2 years and cost them LESS THAN $700! INCLUDING APPLIANCES.


Okay. Stop hyperventilating. Here we go.

She says the huge project was obviously painting all of the cabinets white. She used one gallon of Benjamin Moore Paint and searched the internet to find the cabinet hardware. She ended up selecting these which she got for less than $2 a piece. She warns not to let the cabinets discourage people saying, "Of course, the prep work before painting is the key. I spent hours and hours sanding, puttying, de-glossing and priming those cabinets so they would look good. It took 4 days before the first coat of actual paint was on."

That alone completely changed the kitchen in my opinion. But did that stop her? Nope.

Because one day, she was at her local Habitat For Humanity Restore (All my H4H peeps say HOLLA!) ad scored the microwave range hood for $30! BAM (They did however have to cut that upper cabinet down to fit the new hood/wave in.)

Then as a Christmas present to themselves, her and her husband nabbed the new black dishwasher for less than $300 as an open item clearance at Sears.

And once all the hard stuff was done she attacked the TJMaxx/Home Goods/Marshalls chains to score all of her goodies! Which...not gunna lie, is my favorite part of any project.

And because Shellie said it so well, I'm going to use her words for the best tip for any home makeover.

"Have fun with it! It doesn't have to be perfect! There are a couple crooked doors and a few spots where the paint is scratched off. We removed a cabinet above the fridge and the the drywall repair looks terrible. But those things just fade away. You don't have to go crazy looking for perfection- no one will notice the tiny little things that happen when your house isn't just a model, its actually lived in!"

Just one more time...because I love the paint color (which she says was an oops that she got at Wal-Mart in the return section for $7)

Good job, Shellie! Snaps!

Do you have a DIW you'd like to contribute? E-Mail us your project and photos to


  1. Woop, woop! I'm internet famous now! Thanks so much for posting this. It was a labor of love for sure!

    1. Shellie, this popped up on the facebook page- thought you'd appreciate it.

      "That one is very impressive. Goes to show that taking your time pays too!"

  2. Anytime Shellie! I love everything you did. Enjoy your space!

  3. Stunning! It's amaze-balls what a little paint can do! Nice work shells

    1. I say it to everyone, PAINT. Of one can judge me since my house is still in white mode right now. What shenanigans are you up to today Kenz? Can't wait to see your post!

  4. I detest tile counters myself, but the difference is amazing! The kitchen cabinets in our future house (three weeks to closing!) are the same ugly builder-oak type, and I've been looking forward to painting them or otherwise banishing their ugly. It's nice to see how much a difference a little paint can make. Pictures like this provide great motivation to just get in there and try. Especially on a budget.

    Our house, by the way, is painted completely in khaki. It's fresh paint at least, so we can live with it until spring and decide then what we want it to look like. I won't judge your white if you won't judge my beige!

    1. Hi Erika!

      I'm anti tile in general. We have terra cotta all over our house and I'm itching to jackhammer the crap out of it. Congratulations on closing! I can't wait to see what you do with it!

  5. Mother of god that is a BEAUTIFUL kitchen! snaps, snaps, snaps, and more snaps to shellie for being able to transform that kitchen for under $700! This is definitely more proof that I can have a nice looking place with my budget!


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