Six ‘cost-effective’ methods to give your kitchen a refresh

B&Q: Expert shares advise for painting a room

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According to research conducted by tool hire firm Speedy, more than a third of Britons think that their kitchen is the room in the house that is the most in need of improvement. With the cost of living crisis affecting households up and down the country, a total refurbishment may not be on the cards. However, Matthew Clague from Speedy has shared the six most “cost-effective” ways to give the room a refresh.

1. Freshen up walls

The expert explained: “As is true with any room in the house, there’s great power in ditching dated wallpaper or updating a tired wall colour with a fresh lick of paint.

“Before tackling your wall updates, ensure you’ve properly prepped them. Take the time to fill any imperfections, remove loose old paint with sandpaper and cover windows and door frames with masking tape. 

“If you’re working with wallpapered walls, using a steam wallpaper stripper can help make removal a seamless task. Once you’re prepped and ready, if fresh paint is what you’re after, consider hiring a paint sprayer to elevate your paint job and give it a professional finish. 

“When using this, always spray horizontally to avoid drips, and test your technique on a large piece of cardboard.”

Another way to give the kitchen a refresh is to consider accent panel walling. According to the expert, this look can be achieved “simply” with materials including panels of wood or dado rails, nails or adhesive glue, caulk, wood primer and paint.

The expert added: “Be sure to cut your wood well with the help of a mitre box and circular saw before sticking your panelling to the wall and painting it your favourite colour.”

2. Rethink kitchen cupboards

With a small budget, revamping the kitchen cupboard doors can help make the room look completely different. The great thing about painting is homeowners can tailor it completely to their taste.

Matthew explained: “As is true with wall-prep, depending on the style of your cupboard doors, there may be some steps to take before you can slap on a fresh coat of paint. 

“You should use an orbital sander to sand wooden cupboards down well prior to painting. Or you may have to remove plastic coating from the door prior to sanding, which can be done with the help of a heat gun.

“To ensure your cupboards pop, choose an on-trend colour such as navy blue or dark green.

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“Alternatively, you can create a whole new look for your kitchen by simply removing cupboard doors to create open shelving. It’s a simple DIY project that requires only a screwdriver to remove the doors, while really transforming the look of drab cupboards – win-win.”

3. Tip top tiling

While this DIY task may require a little more work, fresh tiles can make a huge difference to the kitchen.

The expert recommended removing existing tiles by hiring a floor tile lifter, making sure the surface you are tiling on is clean, dry and flat.

Households should also try to work out the number of tiles they will need ahead of time, by measuring the length and width of the tiles and space. Matthew said to allow for around 15 percent extra.

He continued: “Once you have your tiles and are ready to get going, consider using a tile cutter to guarantee your tiles are the right shape. Apply your chosen adhesive to the floor and press the tiles into the adhesive, one at a time, placing tile spacers between the tiles. 

“Allow at least 24 hours for the adhesive to dry, then fill in the spaces using grout and a rubber edged squeegee, before cleaning the tiles with a damp sponge and voila.”

4. Crafty upcycling

The expert said: “Outside of painting and tiling, there are plenty of easy upcycling projects that require little time and money.

“In the kitchen, ample storage is key. Make your new storage truly unique by upcycling used items. This could include creating more shelving with wire baskets. You can easily add an interesting storage nook or wall by hanging a group of baskets on the wall and popping your favourite cookbooks, spices or condiments inside.

“If pot and pan clutter is getting you down, consider creating an upcycled pot rack. The beauty of this project is you can use just about any old item that allows you to hang items off of it – such reclaimed wood or an old curtain pole and hooks.”

5. Think about finishes

There are also few “simple upgrades” to help elevate the kitchen on a budget, including swapping the cupboard door handles.

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They can help bring together the aesthetic room of a room, and are available cheaply on sites such as Etsy and Ebay.

The expert noted: “A well-lit kitchen is key and updated lighting can go a long way too. This can be getting rid of an old fixture in favour of spotlights or even as simple as installing new cluster lighting or a new lampshade. 

“Our sinks work hard and it’s easy for that work to show. It’s also a focal point of the kitchen, so one worth keeping fresh. Consider fitting a pull-out spray tap, which are very popular at the moment, or a new tap with a different finish that will mask the wear and tear, such as copper or black.”

6. Tool hire

Before starting any DIY project, it is important to make sure you have the right tools, especially if you’re after that professional finish.

Over half (54 percent) of Britons Speedy polled said they often don’t know if they have the right tools to tackle jobs around the home.

Matthew said: “Hiring specialist tools is a great way to save money on home renovations, as it works out more cost-effective if you only ever use them a few times. 

“Speedy has a range of 3,500 tools and pieces of equipment available to hire – from electric planers and jigsaws to floor sanders and wallpaper strippers – hundreds of which can be delivered to your door within four hours.”

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