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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!

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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.

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Family Handyman

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.

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cabinet facelift

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.

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after cabinet facelift

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.

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unused cabinet space

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.

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display storage shelf

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.

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countertop before

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Are your old countertops looking a little worn and outdated?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.

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refreshed countertop

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.

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Before kitchen remodelPhoto: 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.

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kitchen remodelPhoto: 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.

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Family Handyman

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.

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Family Handyman

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.

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before backsplash

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.

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beautiful backsplash

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!

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under sink mess

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!

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pullout 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.

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adding kitchen lighting

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.

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track lighting in kitchen

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.

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Kitchen Remodel Tear Down

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.

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Kitchen Remodel

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.