10 Before and After Kitchen Makeovers You Can Do in a Weekend
See how simple, done-in-a-weekend projects can make an average kitchen look like a million bucks!
Before: Tiny Window
A kitchen with little natural light can feel cramped. Open it up by replacing a small window with a much bigger one. It’s easier than you think to do these type of kitchen makeovers yourself! Plus: Here are 30 other ways to revolutionize your kitchen space.
After: More Natural Light
It’s amazing the difference a bigger window makes! Learn everything you need to know about replacing windows here. And be sure to check out this buying guide, too.
Before: Dated Cabinets
If you’re pleased with the layout of your kitchen and your cabinets are in good shape, there’s no need to gut the space and replace expensive cabinetry. Instead, try this inexpensive (yet dramatic!) cabinet upgrade.
After: Bright Facelift
Remodel your kitchen at a bargain cost with these cabinet upgrades, including new doors and drawer fronts, open shelving, improved storage and painted frames. It’s a lot easier than you might think, and we’ll walk you through it step by step.
Before: Unused Space
If your kitchen needs more storage space and a little decorative touch, look up! Finish the top of your upper cabinets with molding.
After: Additional Display Storage
Here, a simple addition of molding along the upper cabinets adds a decorative touch as well as more storage space for displaying favorite dishes. It’s painted to match other features in the kitchen. Check out more amazing ideas for a small kitchen here.
Before: Worn Out Countertop
Are your old countertops looking a little worn and outdated? Is the sink showing its age? Installing new countertops is a quick and affordable way to give your kitchen a makeover.
After: Refreshed Work Surface
If you’re handy with power tools and used to precision measuring, you can install your countertops in a weekend. You’ll need basic hand tools, a jigsaw, a drill and a belt sander. Of all kitchen makeovers, this one makes a huge difference! We’ll walk you through the steps here, and (bonus!) we’ll show you how to install a new sink, too.
Photo: Courtesy of David Smith
Before: Reader’s Dated Kitchen
Reader David Smith and his wife bought a house in an adult community that needed some upgrades. Being a retired general contractor, David’s first project to tackle was the kitchen.
Photo: Courtesy of David Smith
After: Reader’s Modern Kitchen
“I did all the work myself, from 20 in. diagonal tile on the floor to new lighting. My wife helped with the design and the granite countertops. The “bridge” above the sink has gotten a lot of compliments. Now I am handyman for a lot of residents in our community.” — David Smith. Check out these other amazing projects by Family Handyman readers.
Before: Unused Wall Space
Don’t have room in your kitchen for a pantry? Think again! You can go into the wall to find unused storage space that’s perfect for a spacious pantry cabinet.
After: Pantry Wall Niche
In almost every room of your house, you can find tons of storage space hidden between the two sheets of drywall. Simple stud-space cabinets like the one we show here are great for capturing some of this wasted space, making them one of our favorite small kitchen makeovers. We’ll show you how to build them.
Before: Blah Walls
You don’t have to do a complete remodel of your kitchen to add new life to it. The two projects in this article—a tile backsplash and a new range hood—can quickly and dramatically transform a dull kitchen.
After: Beautiful Backsplash
A tile backsplash combined with a new range hood can quickly and dramatically transform a dull kitchen. Learn how to install both in a weekend, along with a custom, over-the-oven shelf for spices and seasonings. Get the complete how-to here, so you can do it in your kitchen!
Before: Disorganized Under the Sink
Have you finally had it with that dark and dingy, I’m-not-sure-what’s-there storage space under the kitchen sink? Then you absolutely need to build these simple cabinet add-ons!
After: Clutter-Busting Cabinet Add-Ons
Another one of our favorite small kitchen makeovers is to build these handy undersink roll-out trays in a weekend. You can tackle this project with simple carpentry tools and some careful measuring. Get the complete project plans here.
Before: Dim in Important Work Areas
This kitchen makeover includes four weekend kitchen upgrades—a new sink and faucet, a stainless steel backsplash, classy track lighting and open shelves. Each one will make your kitchen feel brighter and fresher, especially if you have a small kitchen. And you save a ton when you do it yourself. Get details on every project in this kitchen makeover here.
After: Strategic Illumination
Our favorite part of this redo is the new lighting because, well, every kitchen needs good lighting! We’ll show you how to use one of your weekends to install a low-voltage track lighting system to brighten dimly lit countertops.
Before: Reader’s Kitchen Remodel in Progress
Ok, so reader Mike Helsel’s kitchen remodel took longer than a weekend, but he worked on each project throughout the process (including removing a wall!) during free evenings. “To take on a very ambitious kitchen remodel, I had the help of my young daughter and my very forgiving wife.” — Mike Helsel.
After: Wide Open Space
“Here is my kitchen remodel. The total project cost $4,100. I built the cabinets from cherry wood that I got from a local farmer for $75. The biggest expense was the black Ubatuba granite countertop at the price of $2,200 (which is actually cheap for that material). During the remodel we were only without a sink or a stove for two days total. I worked on the project at night, from approximately 9:00 to 11:00pm,” Mike says. See more photos of Mike’s kitchen remodel here. Want more? Be sure to check out the kitchen trends you shouldn’t add to your kitchen, because they’re on the way out.