How to Upgrade Your Kitchen on a Budget

March 14, 2022 | Written By: Emma Jones

Whether we like it or not, the kitchen is where we spend most of our time. That's why this room is on top of everybody's list when it comes to home renovation. Many people think they will need to break the bank if they want to do a kitchen remodel. Fortunately, this is far from the truth. While major kitchen upgrades can cost big bucks, there are so many ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget and still have fantastic results. In fact, these minor improvements are the ones that will bring you the highest ROI once you decide to sell your home. Therefore, let's see what budget-friendly updates you can make in your kitchen! 

Paint the walls

Believe it or not, a simple repaint job can completely transform your kitchen. This is actually one of the most budget-friendly ways to update your kitchen and give it a fresh new look, especially if your cabinets or backsplash take up a large portion of your wall space.

Putting a neutral color on your walls is always a good idea to open up the space a little bit and make it visually bigger. Think white, beige, or egg-wash. If, on the other hand, everything in your kitchen is in a neutral shade, you can always paint an accent wall in a bright and fun color. A whimsical wallpaper is also a good option if that's your style. 

In the end, you don't have to change the color of your kitchen walls at all. You can always just put on a fresh coat of the same paint and refresh the space. This will definitely help you hide all the imperfections on the walls. 

Refinish the cabinets

Replacing your old kitchen cabinets with entirely new ones can easily be one of the most expensive home renovation projects. If your kitchen is big, such a change can cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there is a much, much cheaper version of updating your kitchen cabinets. 

Instead of replacing them, you can simply upgrade the existing ones. Sanding and refinishing your solid wood cabinets is an excellent method to put a fresh spin on them. Sanding your cabinets will aid in concealing any scratches or regular wear and tear and allow you to change the stain color to make them both appear and feel new again. Another way to freshen up the look of your cabinets is to sand them down and repaint them in a different color.

A fresh coat of white paint on your cabinets will enhance and freshen up the look of your kitchen. Of course, if you have a different color palette on your mind, you can use a different shade to complete the wanted look. No matter what colors you choose, refinishing your cabinets will spruce up your kitchen, and if you're selling your home, buyers will fall in love with it

Add an interesting backsplash

Another way to upgrade your kitchen on a budget is to install a fun new backsplash. Adding or altering the tile in your kitchen is a terrific way to make a visible difference in no time, whether you have an older backsplash or none at all. Believe it or not, updating the old tile for a new, upgraded version may be done over a weekend. And you can always find a tile that fits your budget! 

If the tiles you want aren't within your budget - don't despair. You can always go with the peel-and-stick tiles. They are available in various colors and designs, providing a fresh new look that is both temporary and inexpensive.

Get rid of the clutter 

The one thing that's absolutely free yet crucial to upgrading your kitchen on a budget is decluttering. Getting rid of all the clutter that's constantly in your way when using the kitchen will definitely open up the space and create a sleek and clean look. So, go one cabinet at a time and look for things you can throw away, donate, or even sell at a garage sale. 

Keeping your cupboards and surfaces clutter-free will help you stay organized at all times. For one thing, it's always easier to clean the room when there's less stuff in it. As a plus, when you decide to move, you'll have fewer belongings to pack and relocate. This is particularly beneficial if you own a lot of appliances, especially small ones, that you need to box up and take to your new home. It's not child's play: without caution, proper packing material, and techniques, you risk damaging them. Still, once you clear the space, it's much easier to focus on the task at hand. 

Replace the kitchen hardware 

Replacing all of the knobs and handles on your cabinets and drawers is undoubtedly one of the cheapest ways to make an instant difference if you want to upgrade your kitchen on a budget. 

If you intend on repairing or repainting your cabinets, take things to the next level by purchasing new handles and knobs to add a wow element to your low-budget remodel. Fortunately, replacing hardware may be done for a couple of hundred dollars or even less. You can come across vintage knobs and pulls at a second-hand store or salvage yard. Another option is to purchase customized hardware online. Whatever you decide to do, you'll have a fresh-looking kitchen in a few days, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. This is definitely one of the quickest home improvements with high ROI.

Install new lighting fixtures 

This simple change may revamp the appearance and feel of your entire room while also making it much simpler to work in. So, make sure to look locally or online for contemporary yet low-cost light fixtures. Here is what we suggest:

  • Add pendant light over your kitchen island
  • Hang a gooseneck sconce or a stunning pendant above the sink
  • Install puck lighting or a string of small white lights beneath your cabinets. This will brighten your work surface and create an inviting atmosphere

As you can see, all these updates are simple. Yet, they will elevate the look of your kitchen in no time. Therefore, if you want to enhance your kitchen on a budget, you can't overlook the lighting. 


After reading this article, one thing is sure - you can upgrade your kitchen on a budget and end up with stunning results. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg to look and feel beautiful. Sometimes, the secret is in the small stuff. A minor kitchen renovation is proof of that. Therefore, if you're looking for a way to improve your kitchen without breaking the bank, follow these tips. You'll have a successful renovation project in no time!