Renewing the look of a kitchen – The cheap way

The best way to renew the look of a kitchen is to paint the dated and water stained wood finished laminate and then change the handles. This is what I recently did and the place now looks brighter and more modern. The picture doesn’t give it justice as you cannot see the water stains and rusted handles. I’ll have to update the after shot since it was taken from my iphone and hence is lacking a little quality/detail. Photo updated 🙂

Before - Water stained wood laminate with rusted handles.

Before - Water stained kitchen cabinets

After - Cabinets painted white with "White knight Laminate" paint. Replace replaced handles with knobs.

Selected these knobs to match the house. Modern however with a rustic old look and feel. Made from Pewter so was told that it will be rust free.

Position 1/3 down. Not in the middle.

The steps to paint laminated cabinets are:

  1. light sand surface
  2. Sugar soap
  3. Putty up the handle holes if you are replacing the handes
  4. Sand back the putty and sugar soap again
  5. 1 coat of undercoat. I used the Tile and Laminate Primer below. It’s water based.
  6. 2 coats of White Knight Laminate. Remember to buy turps as unfortunately this is an oil based paint. It would be a pain to wash.

Refer to “How to paint a wall” for more painting tips.

This goes on cream colour and provides a good texture for adhension.

For more details click here.

I used basic "White". If you like you are able to buy the "ascent" white version and have it blended to any white you like. For the basic white select the non-ascent version.

For more details click here.

Note: The largest tin for both primer and paint is 1L. Works out to be $40 something dollars per tin. I just made do with 1 tin 🙂 Knobs were around $7.70 each. In total, this equates to $160-170 and 2 weekends for a updated look and feel. Not bad. If you are umming and arrring on whether you should do this, let me try to convince you that it’s definitely worthwhile losing 2 weekends.


  1. Use a roller of around 5-6mm nap. Do not roll over the same spot too many times as this will tend to leave marks. Worst case scenario, let it dry, sand lightly and give it another coat.
  2. How to position your new knob? Wondering what is the best position for your new knobs? Are your draws all different in height? My tip is to place the knobs above the centre or 1/3 of the way from the top. Placing the knobs right in the middle looks funny. Maybe this is back to the 1/3 design rule again.  Remember 1/3 of the way down is different for each draw as the height is different. I just lined up the draws and did this by “eye”. Obviously you will need the ruler to ensure that each knob is centered and lined up.

6 thoughts on “Renewing the look of a kitchen – The cheap way

  1. Pingback: Another Teaser – Bedroom 2 is complete | Pingheng 平衡

  2. Hi, I’ve stumbled across this post several years after you posted so… so interested to know, how did the paint hold up???

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