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The $550 Kitchen Makeover You Have To See To Believe

You probably don’t think it’s possible to totally transform a kitchen on a very minor budget. But after seeing this makeover, courtesy of Designer and Content Creator Anne Sage, you’re about to become a believer! With a budget of just $550, she turned a totally dated and dark space into the bright and inviting kitchen of her dreams. 

With a little money and a lot of effort, Anne gave her 1960s kitchen modern appeal and an amazing new look you have to see to believe. And today, we’re walking you through how she really made it happen – including her best tips for tackling your own kitchen makeover on a tight budget.


For even more clever kitchen tips, don’t miss our posts Five Ways To Un-Clutter Your Kitchen CountersThe Best Kitchen Paint Colors, and 8 Easy Ways To Update Your Kitchen Cabinets.

The Kitchen: BEFORE & AFTER

Anne’s Story 

So how did Anne’s makeover happen? The story actually begins wayyyy back in 1965…and it’s a family affair. The home was originally built by her grandparents, and they lived in it until her grandfather passed away in 2020. Then in 2021, Anne, along with her husband and daughter, decided to move in and start making some big improvements to the 56-year-old kitchen. And while she has goals of tackling a major renovation down the line, she wanted to quickly make some updates to bring the kitchen into the 21st Century.


Behind The Makeover

When tackling the kitchen on a budget of just $550, Anne relied on a simple solution to make a big impact: Paint. The existing wood panel walls got a bright coat of white, while the cabinetry changed to a rich gray. (These cabinets also soaked up a lot of paint: Anne estimates she and her husband spent about 80 hours applying 6 coats of paint!) But by using Beyond Paint, an all-in-one bonder/primer/finisher, Anne was able to avoid the tedious task of sanding prior to painting.


In addition to painting, removing the upper cabinets and replacing them with a pair of floating shelves brought a much more modern look to the space. And swapping out the cabinet hardware and faucet to bright brass added the finishing touch that took this kitchen from drab to totally fab.

A Breakdown Of Costs

How did Anne spend the $550? We break down all the expenses.


  • Paint and related supplies (trays, rollers, brushes, etc): $340

  • Knobs: $40

  • Sink faucet and Bar Faucet: $110

  • Open shelves: $60

Anne’s Best Kitchen Tips

Anne learned a lot while tackling her makeover – and we’ve sharing her most useful tips.


    While most people remove the hardware and doors when painting cabinets, Anne’s kitchen had a unique challenge. “Our hinges were as old as the house and a very particular style that would have made removing them risky — we might not have gotten the doors back on,” she says.  So she ended up painting right over the hinges, opening and closing them every ten minutes so they wouldn’t dry shut. “The doors open smoothly, and there’s no cracking paint on any of the hinges,” she says.


    To avoid issues, Anne recommends testing your paint color in a few different areas before committing. “I only tested my color on the upper cabinets, where lots of natural sunlight from the windows hits. But once I painted the lower cabinets… I learned that in that area, my chosen color looked MUCH darker” she says. Painting a sample on all the cabinets could have saved her a whole lot of time and headaches. 


What do you think of this makeover? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. You only showed on very small part of the kitchen. It’s great but I would have liked to see the WHOLE kitchen transformation. Where is the frig, the stove. Did she take down all the upper cabinets? This too small a section for me to really grasp the whole look, which I’d love to see.

    1. The homeowner, Anne, is in the process of updating the appliances, so we only included the areas of the kitchen that were fully completed. Thanks for your comment. xx -B

  2. Hello, did the owner also paint the dishwasher?
    Thank you

    1. Yes, she did. Anne used an epoxy paint that bonds to metal. xx -B

  3. I like the look but some things are not clear. Did the backsplash and countertop remain the same or were they painted white? Was the same paint used for the dishwasher and did the appliance necessitate special treatment (sanding, priming, etc.)? Thank you

    1. Yes, the backsplash was just painted, and the counters remained the same. For the dishwasher, Anne used an epoxy paint that bonds to metal. xx -B

  4. Hi Bobby,
    I love all of your makeovers on Queer Eye. It was the only highlight of having covid – having time to binge watch it. Thank you 🙂
    I’m making my kids old playroom into a meditation room/ work space. The room is light and airy and will be boho style. Can you recommend a wall colour to support a calm environment? Much appreciated, Elinor

    1. Thanks so much! I love a pale sage green, light terracotta, or any other earthy tones for a space that feels relaxing and visually appealing. xx -B

  5. What a wonderful clean and peaceful update. Amazing effect for the budget constraints. Just love it !

    1. Thanks so much for reading our story! xx -B