Budgeting & Saving

How to Remodel a 20 Year Old Kitchen for Less Than $3,000

“Humans have unlimited wants and limited resources.”

That is the fundamental idea behind scarcity and economics.

You probably learned this in school.

Supply and Demand right?

Well I happen to think that I have less wants than the next person. But when I want something, I want it without question.

A few weeks ago I moved into a new home. I use the term ‘new’ loosely.

A better term would be ‘new to me’.


The house is about 20 years old and in pretty good condition. The foundation is solid.

The roof looks pretty good.

And the house is in a really nice neighborhood.

I should have been happy to move in right?


Take a look at this kitchen.

Kitchen remodel Rustoleum Countertop Transformations
Kitchen remodel Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations

One glance at these pictures and you should be able to see what I’m referring to.

Not sure?

Let me make it clear.

I love to cook. LOVE to cook.

I enjoy being in the kitchen. Cooking is like an art to me.

It’s calming and enjoyable.

However, when I first saw that kitchen, my heart dropped.

There was no way that I wanted to cook in that kitchen. I was immediately disappointed.

And I quickly decided to change things up.

If you’re a homeowner, then you know how expensive remodeling can be. So please bear with me as I list all of my desires ‘HGTV’ style.

I want granite countertops! And let’s knock that wall out for an open kitchen concept.

And oh yeah, those cabinets HAVE to go. They are way too old and outdated.

I desperately NEED stainless steel appliances. Please!

I voiced my desires and I started to price the changes. After realizing that my budget was WAY off, I made a few changes in what I had to have.

Ok, maybe I don’t need granite countertops.

And the wall can stay.

The cabinets are still ugly. Maybe a new coat of paint?

I desperately NEED stainless steel appliances. Please!

Once I came back to reality and settled on a few compromises, I began to change up the kitchen.

The final look may surprise you. It sure made me happy.

Here are the before, during and after pictures. The total cost came in around $3,000 and $2,000 of that was for the appliances.

Keep reading to see how we remodeled this kitchen on a budget.

Kitchen-Remodel Rustoleum Countertop Transformations
Definitely a before shot. This house was built about 20 years ago and while the foundation and basics are still good, the design needs a modern update. This stove has seen too many casseroles. The countertops are a vanilla laminate. (That’s the nicest way I know how to describe them.)
Kitchen remodel Rustoleum Countertop Transformations
These are the cabinets in a simple wooden finish. The gold handles are an eyesore, and both the cabinets and the handles are covered in years old grease and fingerprints. The sink is very shallow and the faucet is pretty low, meaning it would be tough to wash dishes in there. The dishwasher is also pretty old. Notice that there is no refrigerator. Lucky us.
Kitchen remodel Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations
Another shot of the stove and cabinets. There is no microwave in this kitchen and the area over the stove has a range hood instead. Be thankful that you cannot see the ‘leftovers’ inside the cabinets.
Kitchen-Remodel Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations
This is a pretty neat island with extra cabinet space and drawers. There are two outlets on each side of the island. This is also an opportunity to see the lovely linoleum floors. They are stained from years of use.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
In order to keep the costs of remodeling down and shorten the time to move in, we decided to DIY the kitchen. For the countertops we purchased the Rustoleum Countertop Transformations Kit in Java Chip. The kit comes with an adhesive color coat, ‘granite’ chips, sanding materials, and a durable clear top coat. Here I am getting ready to sand the countertops and remove any extra grime. The sink has already been removed and the water shut off so we are ready to go. We’ve also removed the cabinet drawers and doors in preparation for the paint job which will come later.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
The first step involves painting on the adhesive color, in our kit it was a deep mahogany color. Before the adhesive can dry, a layer of granite chips is applied. These chips get EVERYWHERE. Fortunately, a shopvac can scoop up these suckers.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
After the granite application, the whole thing has to dry for 24 hours. Then the countertops have to be sanded down to achieve the smooth granite feel. You’ll need a lot of elbow grease.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
After sanding, the durable protective top coat was applied. Here is a shot of the finished countertops. After a week of drying and curing they can be used.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
The countertops look pretty good, but those cabinets… yuck.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances

In order to update the cabinets, we decided to use the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit. It included a deglosser to prep the wood, paint, optional glaze, and a clear protective coating. My back and legs were sore after bending down and leaning over to apply each coat required but the final look made it all worth it.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
My fiancé helping out. Each cabinet had to be coated twice with the bond color. There was an optional glaze but with darker colors it is very subtle and almost unnoticeable so we decided to skip that part and saved an entire day of dry time.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances

Here is the new sink installed! We opted for a deeper basin along with a taller faucet and spray.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
The old style cabinets look much more modern with a dark coat of paint.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
And now for the final look! Here is the stove area. We opted for a stainless steel appliance set that included a stove, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
I’m so excited about my cabinets! The hardware was purchased from Amazon. We ordered brushed nickel drawer pulls/handles and bronze hinges to complete the look.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
The island looks much better with the updated color. I’d like to update the outlet to match the stainless steel plate covers at some point.
How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances
Here is a shot with a view of the floor.

How to Remodel a Kitchen on a Budget | Young Finances

And now for the total costs. I’ve rounded to the nearest dollar.

Kitchen suite: $2,100
New sink basin: $99
New faucet: $99
Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations kit: $75
Rustoleum Countertop Transformations kit: $250
Plate covers: $6
Cabinet hinges: $45
Cabinet handles: $55
Total: $2,729

Not too bad! I’d still like to do a backsplash against the walls so I’m budgeting about three hundred for that. But I’ll wait a bit before I jump in.

Do you have remodeling experience? What was your first home purchase like?

Originally posted 2014-07-21 06:00:26.


Why Female Investors are Better Investors

This may surprise you if you did not already know, but studies have shown that female investors are typically better investors than males. Mostly, it has to do with the way we are wired and how we respond to events. Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research are the authors of this study that explains why women are better investors. We are able to make more money in the market because we don’t take on as much risk.


Think about it, remember the kid in school that used to jump off the side of the playground wall? Or how about the little boy who always took any dare to eat random stuff? Does that sound smart to you? It’s pretty risky to eat the old bologna that’s been on the sidewalk for 2 summers but boys will do it because they like to take risks. Women are more likely to take calculated risks. Calculated is the key word. The study concludes that “Women were more likely than men to have a greater desire for self-control.” That makes sense to me.

So how can you use this to your advantage? Here are a few ways you can make money in the stock market by taking calculated risks.

Don’t Go All In

There’s a phrase called legging into a position. That just means that you don’t put everything on the table as soon as you’re ready to invest in a stock. The first thing you want to do is figure out what size position you plan to take. Is it going to be 20% of your portfolio, 10%? Then you break up your buying in chunks in order to take advantage of dollar cost averaging. That way you are getting an average cost as you move into the trade. Imagine how much better it would be if you leg into a trade if the market happens to dip the next day.

Stay Calm

Don’t worry about tiny market fluctuations or correction days. The market is going to ebb and flow just like the ocean. You realize this because you’ve lived with cycles since you were about 15. You know that down won’t be down for long and up won’t go on forever. So if you see a market dip take that opportunity to step back and reevaluate. Is the stock still a good solid stock? Then take this as an opportunity to buy in at a lower cost basis or just sit back and ride out the storm.

Use Your Emotions to Your Advantage

One of the strengths of women is that we use our heart and head to make decisions. It makes us better at seeing all sides of the argument. If you are panicky about your investments or you feel unsettled, think for a second. Is your intuition usually on point? Then take a second to really think about what has you unsettled. If it is just a fear in general that you can’t really put your finger on, try to take a rational approach and see what the issue is. If you’ve done that and you still have that gut feeling that something isn’t right, or that something is right, go with your gut. Especially if it has worked for you in the past.

What are your thoughts? Do you think women make better investors than men?

Photo via Flickr

Originally posted 2014-04-03 06:16:23.