26 Ways to Upcycle Your Kitchen

Hoping to transform your kitchen on a budget? We're here to tell you there's no need to break the bank or to rip everything out and start again to give your kitchen a facelift right away. So why not tuck in to our cheap kitchen revamps and get creative?

26 Ways to Upcycle Your Kitchen

1. Go bold with the walls

Kitchens needn’t be all white if that isn’t your aesthetic. Instead, you could paint your wall a bold shade or add a statement wallpaper.

2. Writing on the wall

Why hang a chalkboard when you could paint one instead? Using blackboard paint on one of your walls not only looks cute (and is easy to maintain), but it can provide hours of entertainment. Kids – and big kids – will love drawing, leaving messages and maybe even writing shopping lists on the wall.

3. Add panelling

You may think that panelling is a feature reserved for well-preserved period homes, but actually it’s surprisingly DIY-able. You can add panels to your kitchen using just some MDF panel board, strong adhesive and caulk – and plenty of measuring and spirit level action, of course. A lick of paint and your period-style kitchen is complete.

4. Make a statement ceiling

Most people just opt for plain-white ceilings, but why not really bring a burst of colour with a rainbow ceiling or two or three colours in a pattern?

5. Bring contrast with the door

A colourful door is a good way to add a big splash of colour, especially in a little room. You can keep the walls white so things still look spacious. Then paint the door or frame in a bold colour like yellow. You could even do the door and frame two different colours.

6. Get a classy splashback

A splashback from Gumtree could transform your cooking space. If you don’t have a splashback already, it’s a practical and cheaper alternative to tiles and saves your wall from – you guessed it – cooking splashes. If you’re bored of your current splashback, why not look for a fun design with marbling or perhaps made of copper, acrylic or glass?

Revamp your cupboards

7. Revamp your cupboards

You have so many possibilities when it comes to redoing your cupboards. We’ve got 25 ideas for upcycling kitchen cupboards that are sure to inspire you.

Redo your wooden worktop
Home kitchen photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

8. Redo your wooden worktop

If your wooden worktop is looking like it’s seen better days, hold fire before you replace it completely. You can sand a solid-wood worktop down, oil it and revarnish it to give it a fantastic new look. You might even like to use varnish that’s a shade lighter or darker than the original wood to freshen it up.

9. Switch to open shelving

To add a bit of excitement to your walls while keeping them practical, why not switch out a cupboard or two for open shelving? You can really tailor the shelf to the style you’re aiming for. You could have metal, industrial-style shelves, sleek floating shelves or raw wood shelves with metal shelving brackets for a farmhouse-esque look.

10. Go rustic with pallets

We’ve all seen pallets used for outdoor furniture by now. But you can also put them to great use indoors. You could DIY a pallet bench for along one side of your table, or upcycle the pallet into the table itself. You can also saw the pallet down to size and hang it on the wall. The gaps between the planks are perfect for storing jars, herbs, bottles and condiments.

11. Add basket storage

Baskets are a great kitchen storage solution, and you can find plenty of great ones – whether wicker, rattan or wire – on Gumtree. The best way to create efficient basket storage is by mounting them to your wall with screws or nails.

12. Attach a storage rail

A simple rail attached to the wall can hugely expand your kitchen storage options. You’ll just need some S-hooks and then you’ll be able to hang tea towels, a tub for holding cutlery or utensils and more.

13. Make magnetic storage

Your fridge has several large surfaces that could be used for storing magnetic items. You can glue a sturdy magnet strip to the side of the fridge (or wall) to hold your knives. Then you can attach a little magnet to wooden utensils like mixing spoons and spatulas and stick those out of the way on the fridge too.

Get a trolley

14. Get a trolley

Trolleys and drinks carts are a stylish and convenient way to add extra storage and flexibility to your kitchen. You can upcycle a vintage bar cart to hold supplies, or your drinks and glasses, by polishing, sanding, adding tiles or a sticky-back patterned material. Butcher’s block trolleys have baskets or shelves underneath and an extra work surface or chopping board on top. They’re particularly handy if you’re short on work surface space.

15. Upcycle a table

If you eat in your kitchen, changing the look of your table could be the key to getting inspired by your space again. You could upcycle your existing table by sanding it down and giving it a fresh coat of furniture paint or a lighter or darker shade of varnish. Alternatively, you could switch things up with a new-shaped table you’ve found on Gumtree, which you can then sand and paint yourself.

16. Ditch the table altogether

We don’t mean you have to eat standing up. You could DIY a trendy kitchen island using a secondhand dresser. The first step is to remove the cupboard doors so you have open-access storage. Then you can sand and paint the dresser – or half-sand it for a chic distressed look. Finally, add a table top in whatever material you fancy. You can use a new piece of wood, your old table top sawn off, or perhaps a stone worktop, like marble.

Choose funky bar stools or seating

17. Choose funky bar stools or seating

You can upcycle the chairs you have by reupholstering or using furniture paint for a spruce up. You could also source second-hand ones to upcycle for a new look. Gumtree has plenty of fun bar stools and vintage-style chairs waiting to be rehomed.

18. Create a new mood with lighting

Changing your lighting is an effective way to quickly create a new vibe in your kitchen. If you have a ceiling light, you could change this to an industrial chic pendant lampshade, a pipe light or perhaps an exposed bulb with a funky filament. If you have recessed lighting but want a bit more atmosphere, you can add cool wall lighting.

19. Bring some green in

Adding plants to your kitchen is a great way to add more atmosphere and a fresh look without having to repaint anything. You can add little brackets to the sides of cupboards or the wall and slot your plant pots into those – or dedicate a shelf to plants. Herbs are the obvious kitchen choice, but you could also simply pick some flowering faves.

modern house dining room with art on the wall
Dining room photo created by wirestock – www.freepik.com

20. Go vintage with art

Looking for a vintage vibe but got a modern kitchen? It’s a common (but rather nice) struggle to have. One of the best ways to create a vintage aesthetic – alongside the lighting tips – is through art. You could scour Gumtree for the best vintage clocks and wall art. We suggest thick old-school posters and signs, vegetable and herb-based art and maybe even a rustic-looking mirror.

21. Turn a door into a noticeboard

In need of a noticeboard but lacking wall space? You can use chalkboard paint on the back of your kitchen door and turn it into a perfect list-writing space. Alternatively, you can get a cork sheet and stick that to the back of the door (a hot glue gun is best), and you’ll be able to pin up important things too.

22. Switch out the taps

You can give your sink a chic makeover by switching out your simple taps for a different colour. Copper and matte black are popular modern versions, but you could go for a more vintage style too.

Change your blinds or curtains

23. Change your blinds or curtains

Your window can be a focal point in your space, so maybe it’s time to rejuvenate it with fresh curtains or blinds. You could go for modern patterns on the curtains, wooden blinds perhaps, or a chic wood-look set in black or white. Quaint shutters painted in a pleasant colour can really spice up your whole window space.

24. Switch to jars

A very budget-friendly way to make your kitchen look great is to store bulk items in jars instead of their packaging – this works particularly well on open shelving. You can easily store things like flour, sugar, rice and pasta in labelled jars or mason jars that you can pick up second-hand. You can make a label yourself or paint the word on and instantly you have a Pinterest-worthy shelf you love reaching for.

25. Redecorate your storage

If you have open shelves, why not paint these a fresh colour? If you have your utensils in a jar, could you paint or decorate that, or find a new, vintage jar on Gumtree. The same goes for crates, tubs and even spice racks – spice them up with a new paint job (pun intended).

26. Hide your bin

Let’s be real – few people have a good-looking bin. So getting it out of sight can be a game-changer in terms of the look of your space. Perhaps you could swap your bin for a handy under-the-worktop version or a pull-out bin that sits on rails in the cupboard.

Got some great cheap kitchen revamp ideas now? We hope so! Don’t forget, if you’re getting rid of old items to give your kitchen a facelift, you can sell these on Gumtree.