Man transforms kitchen for £170 using £3 paint and hairdryer hack

The simple changes make a huge difference. (Image: Nick Richards)

In a rented home, making the place look like your own can be a challenge, but a man has come up with a solution to updating his kitchen without making major changes.

Nick Richards, 23, from Essex, is a YouTuber and part-time retailer. He was on a tight budget but was determined to overhaul his kitchen to make it lighter and more modern.

“Our kitchen was installed by our local council about six years ago, and we actually had the opportunity to choose what it would look like,” Nick tells the money-saving community

“Back then we decided on a cabinet with a dark wood look with cream-colored worktops, cream-colored tiles and cream-colored walls.

“We wanted to redesign the kitchen because we wanted something more to our liking and a bit more modern and fresher. Since we live in a meeting house, we don’t have permission to change anything physically, so everything is 100% cosmetic and reversible. ‘

Kitchen beforehand

What Nick had to start with. (Image: Nick Richards)

Nick says the main motivation for the new kitchen project was to brighten up the space. He says the previous design with walnut cabinets made it look pretty dark.

He decided to make a few simple but effective changes – the tiles were given a coat of cream to gray, the worktops switched from cream to wood look with DC Fix and the dark wooden cabinets got white DC Fix with the silver handles for stylish new black ones exchanged.

“The idea of ​​using DC Fix to cover the cabinets and countertops came about because I have a part-time job at a hardware store and I talked to some customers over the past year about using it for their own kitchen projects,” says Nick.

Nick paints tiles

He painted all the tiles himself. (Image: Nick Richards)

“I thought it was a great way to give our kitchen a little makeover on a budget.”

Nick sourced everything he needed from B&Q, Ikea, and Amazon.

The first stop was B&Q, where he got GoodHome White Tile Paint for £ 20. Then he saw a big bargain where a five-liter tub of Dulux Pebble Shore Matt Emulsion was reduced from £ 26 to £ 3.

New worktop

The new worktop. (Image: Nick Richards)

He bought B&Q Wallpaper Smoother for £ 3.32 and 10 rolls of DC Fix Plain Gloss White for £ 5 each. He also bought three rolls of DC Fix Oak Woodgrain Effect for £ 10 each.

Ikea was the next stop, where Nick got some supplies to match the new color scheme.

He got chair hooks for 3 pounds, a large cutting board for 10 pounds, a small cutting board for 9 pounds, and a black drainer set for 7 pounds.


Nick wanted to create a brighter, more modern room. (Image: Nick Richards)

Eventually Nick bought a pack of 20 black kitchen handles from Amazon for £ 17.55.

“The total for this makeover was about £ 170,” he says.

The first step was painting the walls and tiles.

“That was a pretty straightforward process,” says Nick. “If you take a closer look, you can see a few brushstrokes on the tiles, but that’s not that bad.

Kitchen before and after

The transformation. (Image: Nick Richards)

“The main process was applying the DC Fix to the cabinets and countertop surfaces. It was a matter of cutting a length that was slightly larger than the cabinet or countertop and then starting from one corner, gradually peeling off the DC Fix and smoothing it onto the surface. ‘

He adds that using a smoothing tool helped achieve a cleaner finish and reduced the amount of air bubbles that formed.

“After I had the DC Fix where I wanted it, it was time to cut the edges with a Stanley knife and fit it perfectly to size,” says Nick.

“Finishing the cabinets and the DC Fix was a lot more difficult than I expected. I thought I could do it in about two hours, but I was wrong! However, in the end I learned a good trick for winding DC Fix that prevents air bubbles: use a hair dryer when applying.

Kitchen after

The end result is much more to Nick’s liking. (Image: Nick Richards)

“In smoothing the plastic around the edges and corners, the hair dryer helped melt the plastic slightly to make it softer and more pliable.”

Overall, Nick is delighted with the results of his transformation and happy that he has learned from the project. He regularly posts updates on his budget DIY renovations on Instagram and YouTube.

“It takes some time to get into a good rhythm and process when applying the DC Fix, but everyone always has their own way of doing things,” he adds.

More: hacks

“If I had done this makeover all over again, I might have done something more exciting with the tiles than just painting them. While they turned out well, I think either putting on some type of self-adhesive tile or even a color other than white would have made the tile design more exciting. ‘

Nick was also delighted that he managed to do the job himself on a limited budget.

“No professional offer was made. We always try to try DIY before we bring in the pros – the best way to save some money (as long as you’re confident enough to do something yourself).

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