how to update an old kitchen on a budget uk

Unfortunately, kitchens do not stay looking new and fresh forever. Eventually, you may need kitchen upgrades or even a remodelling or reconstruction. And this is a costly thing to do. Luckily, in this guide, you will learn how to update an old kitchen on a budget in the UK.

Update Your Old Kitchen on a Budget With 10 Easy Tips

There are many things you can do to instantly update your kitchen without spending a fortune.

1. Add Tiling or a Tiled Kitchen Splashback

The area behind your oven hobs and underneath your extractor is known as a splashback. This is the area where cooking grease and grime can splash and hit the wall. Oftentimes your kitchen may have a simple splashback already installed – like a sheet of metal.

However, you could look at tiled splashbacks instead. Adding a tiled splashback to your kitchen can add a big splash of colour. You could also extend the new tiles to the surrounding walls to completely transform part of your kitchen colour scheme.

This will make a huge difference, and you can save on costs by taking care of the tiling yourself.

2. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Using a different colour scheme can give a complete kitchen makeover for a low cost. One area that you can concentrate on is your kitchen cabinets. Why not consider repainting your cabinet doors and the sides and interior of the units?

Choose a completely new colour – something that breathes life into your kitchen. You could also choose a colour that contrasts greatly with your walls and furniture.

It is only ideal for painting wooden cupboard doors and cabinets, however. Other materials that have a high gloss finish may not be suitable for painting. Also, before painting, it is advisable to lightly sand the wooden surfaces too so that the paint will stick better.

3. Change Your Kitchen Flooring

kitchen floor

If you can’t afford to replace your kitchen completely, why not replace one area instead? A relatively cheap alternative, therefore, is to change your kitchen flooring.

Laminate and vinyl flooring are common in kitchens. Generally, these are inexpensive to change and fit. In contrast, if you have a tiled kitchen floor, this may not be as practical or cost-effective to change.

If you want to change your flooring, you can choose a completely new style, pattern, or colour. This can radically change how your kitchen looks. It can also affect the ambient light and make your kitchen appear larger.

4. Repaint the Kitchen Walls

If you have a kitchen that has plenty of blank wall space, why not repaint the walls? This is another great thing you can do to revamp your kitchen on a budget. For this kitchen renovation, all you need is a supply of paint and some brushes! If you feel confident enough, you can also do the painting yourself to save on the cost of paying for a decorator.

Make sure the paint is suitable, and think of the finish. You could choose a gloss finish, for example, or a matt finish. Also, take time to consider the colours. If you have changed other aspects of your kitchen, like the flooring or cabinets, you want a paint scheme that matches your walls!

5. Change Your Kitchen Storage

Woman at home near wooden shelves

Oftentimes we have a range of simple storage accessories and racks dotted around our kitchen and on the worksurfaces. These are great additions, but they can look outdated or get damaged over time.

To keep your kitchen in good shape, why not look at replacing your storage units? Items like these are inexpensive compared to the cost of installing a brand-new kitchen. Also, if you choose different materials and colours, you can radically change the look and feel of your kitchen with minimum effort.

Instead of replacing all your units, you could remove some of those and play around with open shelving, which is an even cheaper option. Use your creativity: style your shelves with recipe books and your favourite herbs, or showcase your china set.

Look at the other areas of your kitchen you have changed. You can then make a trip to a home store and purchase some new storage units or shelves to complement it.

6. Add a Feature Wall to Your Kitchen

While painting your walls in a single colour is a great idea, why not spice things up and add a feature wall in your kitchen?

There are two types of feature walls you could add.

Solid Paint

Firstly, you could simply paint one of the walls completely different from the others. Using two different solid colours allows you to add extra colour and creativity to your colour scheme without going over the top. If you go for this option, you may need to apply a few coats to properly cover the wall and make the new colour opaque.


Secondly, you could wallpaper one of the walls. Using decorative and patterned wallpaper is a surefire way to update your kitchen space. You could pick a wallpaper that features the colours of your other walls. Alternatively, you could pick something completely different to make a statement.

Wallpaper is a little more difficult to apply, but if you are on a tight budget, doing it yourself will save you a lot of money. If you want to wallpaper, make sure you assess the quality and suitability of the walls first. It may transpire that the walls need plastering first.

7. Add Something to Your Worktop Space

When looking at how to revamp a kitchen, we often overlook the smaller things. We look at larger aspects like the walls and cabinets. But what about new appliances, ornaments and accessories?

Small ornaments and accessories carefully chosen and placed can completely alter the look and feel of your own kitchen.

For example, you could purchase some small pot plants, cacti, and greenery to place on your worktops or on window sills. This is a great way to add vibrancy to your kitchen. Alternatively, you could hang art on your walls – like canvases or paintings.

The possibilities are endless! We advise taking a trip to your local home store and looking at the accessories and plants they have.

8. Change the Fixtures

UK homeowners have plenty of options when looking at ideas on how to update an old kitchen on a budget, and fixtures are one of the simplest things you can change.

These include taps, cabinet handles, hinges, light fixtures, and light shades, for example. That’s six different things you could immediately change. Aside from the taps, there are also relatively cheap and easy to install.

Look at the fixtures you have, and see what difference it would make to change them. One of the best budget kitchen ideas is to change all of your fixtures to a matching colour scheme, for example.

9. Add New Lighting to Your Kitchen Cabinets

DIning space with dark wood cabinetry and decorative lights

Lighting is another great idea for kitchen makeovers on a budget. A new set of pendant lights revamp your kitchen feel in an instant, for example. But if you want to take a step further, try lighting in and around your cabinets to spruce up your kitchen units.

You can purchase a range of different LED lights for the interior of your cabinets. These are generally easy to install too. Some may require running wiring to your cupboards which can be tricky, but some may simply use batteries.

Also, look at under-cabinet lights. You can purchase cool LED strip lights, for example. These simply stick to the underside of your cabinets and can often be programmed in different colour combinations. LED lights are also far more energy-efficient than traditional halogen bulb lights.

10. Replace Your Kitchen Worktop

Lastly, if your old kitchen worktop is damaged and stained, why not replace it? This is not the cheapest option available, but it is still cheaper than replacing your entire kitchen!

Also, if your worktops are extensive, changing them to a different material or colour can totally transform how your kitchen looks.

Kitchen Update Ideas FAQ

Why Is It So Expensive to Buy a New Kitchen?

Firstly, the new units and appliances are expensive. It can cost thousands alone to buy new kitchen cabinets and things like kitchen sinks. However, you are paying more for the installation costs. The hourly rate for this type of work will add a hefty amount to your new kitchen bill.

Can You Repaint Your Kitchen Worktops?

It is generally not a good idea to try and repaint your kitchen work surfaces. Kitchen work surfaces are specially made from hard-wearing material like granite. The materials should generally not be painted, and you could completely ruin the look and feel of the surfaces.

Can I Update My Kitchen Cabinets Without Breaking the Bank?

Of course! Cabinets are one of the easiest and most cost-effective things to update. You can paint them, reface them, change the handles, and even remove the cabinet doors to make them look different. You can also install cabinet lights or under-cabinet lights, for example.

Start a Kitchen Makeover Now

And that’s it for how to update an old kitchen on a budget in the UK. If your kitchen looks tired and outdated, you can easily revamp it without breaking the bank! As you’ve seen from our guide, there are many kitchen ideas on a budget that you can implement.

Just play with your creativity and think about the different items and areas in your kitchen that can be changed! You can easily modify things like vinyl flooring, kitchen cabinets, and colour schemes in a budget-friendly way.

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