How to upcycle a kitchen

One of the best ways to make your kitchen feel new again is by simply repainting it. This is a great task for anyone looking to start their DIY project, but be sure to set aside enough time and energy to finish!

First, sand down all surfaces of the cabinets. If you do not first take care of any imperfections on the surface (scratches and dents), the painting will never look as good as it should.

How to upcycle a kitchen, Zazzy Home

Start with fine-grit sandpaper and work your way up through various grits until everything looks smooth and clean. If any areas appear particularly worn, consider using wood filler or wood putty to cover them up before moving on to sanding. Generally, you want as few coats of paint as possible, so you will want to sand enough that the putty won’t show through.

Once your cabinets are perfectly smooth and free of any blemishes, it is time to work on any colors you may be interested in changing. Be aware, though: if you plan on repainting your cabinets a different color than what they originally were, some things need to be done before the project can even get started!

To begin with, unless cabinet hardware has been newly replaced, take down all of it. Next, remove wall plates and switch covers from around the kitchen. Finally, if you’re unsure where anything goes when it comes off, consider taking photographs of each wall in its original state before proceeding with anything else.

Lastly, before you do anything else, it is time to clean. First, thoroughly vacuum any cabinets that may have dust or grime on them. If there are any stains, consider using a mild all-purpose cleaner.

Scrub the cabinets down with water and soap until they’re completely clean. Then, if needed, rinse off the soap residue with warm water. Lastly, wipe down your cabinets with a damp cloth to ensure they are free of any dirt or oil that could affect paint adhesion later on in the project.

Once everything has been cleaned to perfection, it’s time to paint! Whether you want smooth walls in an entirely new color or something more interesting like metallic cabinets, choose what works best for you and follow these instructions.

First, mix a small batch of primer and use a roller to cover the cabinets with a thin layer of paint. Be sure to get in all cracks and crevices. Let this dry for at least 24 hours before going on to the next step.

How to upcycle a kitchen, Zazzy Home

Once that is completed, you can begin painting your actual color onto the walls. You will want to put on two coats of any given color, but it may take more depending on the quality of paint being used. Let both coats dry completely before continuing onto another coat or even touching them. Wait at least 48 hours between each coat for ideal results.

If these steps have been followed properly, you should have a kitchen that looks brand new! Repainting a kitchen can be a great way to update the entire look of it without needing to replace any cabinets.

If you do not want to repaint, consider updating hardware or trying out new wallpaper. Adding some character to your kitchen can be as easy as finding something that fits!


Claire is a blogger, writer, and designer with a passion for making the most out of any space. She's worked in interior design and maintenance for over a decade, and has learned how to make the most of even the smallest room. Claire shares her expertise, where she offers tips and tricks for creating beautiful, functional spaces on any budget. When she's not blogging or designing, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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