Køkken upgrade på budget

Kitchen upgrade on a budget

All other rooms in the apartment have been given a loving hand and have been made much more personal, so now it was time for the kitchen. It had been pushed to the end because it seemed more cumbersome and because we wanted a dishwasher, but we can't really find space for it in the current kitchen. In order to fulfill that wish, we would have to put in a completely new kitchen with other cupboard solutions. 

But the kitchen looked worn out. In several places, the laminate had peeled off and the wooden tabletop could not withstand all the water it received when washing dishes by hand. The walls definitely had to be painted - like a year ago! To top it all off, we wanted brass details in the kitchen. So how do you make a less cumbersome, affordable, but still functional upgrade to your kitchen? 

The inspiration here is divided into 4 parts: table top, cabinet doors, handles and wall paint. 

All in all, our upgrade cost DKK 1726 DKK which translates to just about 232 EUR or 240 USD. 

This includes wall paint, adhesive primers, wood paint, boat varnish, turpentine, brass spray paint and lacquer spray. 

As for materials, we bought painter's tape, 3 extra paint rollers, a brush for applying varnish and sandpaper. 

(In addition, we got 1 extra bucket of paint in a different color. Keep an eye out for bargain offers. It is almost always possible to get two different colors of paint for the price of 1.)


The table top had to have boat lacquer so that it can hold water when we wash the dishes. It had been oiled before, so for a start we sanded it down with an eccentric sander. Make sure to remove everything from the room and to close off the other rooms. It's absolutely dusty, so wear a mask too. You really have to keep going at it to sand off all the oil and get rid of various scratches and nicks. We would not recommend doing it with sandpaper. You will never reach the goal and your result will not be even. You can get an eccentric grinder for less than DKK 1000, and it is worth its weight in gold! Turn your time into money - then it will be earned before you have even finished the tabletop. Next, we could see that small oil spots continued to appear. To remove the grease from the table, we washed it with turpentine. It is important that you get the oil out of the table, otherwise the boat varnish will create bubbles on your table top when it meets the oil. We washed with turpentine 3-4 times, and then we agreed to take the bubbles that might come with us. All the oil did not want to go. 
Next, we sanded again, because the wood likes to lift up when it gets liquid. Then we vacuumed the table and dried it well before we started with the ship varnish. We applied with a brush, but you can also use a roller. The table got 4 times and between each time we lightly sanded it with sandpaper. The result is a shiny, glossy kitchen table that is easy to wipe down. In some places you can see the burst bubbles, but we live with that - for now.


Kitchen elements

We washed down the entire kitchen to ensure the best possible adhesion of the paint. The cabinet doors and drawers are laminate, so we lightly sanded them with the eccentric sander to ensure even better grip for the paint. Next, the whole thing got a layer of adhesive primer. To make sure it adhered well, we took a sharp object and tried to scratch. If you manage to scratch, you either have to sand more or wash down better. When the adhesive primer was dry, we began the painting work. All the parts got 2 coats. 


Our kitchen handles were dull and silver and therefore went against the idea of the brass details. To avoid having to spend several thousand kroner on brass handles, we also tried to spray paint the ones we had. They were also washed down well to start with and then got 2 coats of brass paint. Finally, it got a coat of varnish. It is important to follow the directions on the cans. When it says that you must be 30cm away, then you must be 30cm away. We learned that the hard way.
The color does not become completely even, but it does not matter much. It looks a bit like it is brass that has got a patina, as it is darker in some places. They don't last forever. We can already sense that now, but they have already convinced us that we must have brass grips when these wear out. It just looks better in the kitchen. We will definitely do it again - it's not wasted, but as I said, it's not a 10-year solution. 

Wall painting

Initially, we wanted to paint the kitchen the same beige color as the hallway - However, we quickly realized it wasnøt colourful enough for us.Fortunately, we came up with other ideas with the help of all our followers on Instagram - and the walls turned blue. And the ceiling - because Frederik accidentally hit it with the paint when he really wanted to get the job done quickly. The color is called Light Aqua 1C. 

Our hallway and kitchen are the only rooms that are not separated by a door frame, but instead by an arch. To get the two wall colors to meet nicely, we played a bit with masking tape. Our striped arch is now one of the best things in the apartment. Both the hallway and the kitchen are in relatively muted colours, but the striped arch brings a bit of circus into the rooms despite this.

The ceiling needs an extra layer of paint - but otherwise the kitchen is finished for now and we are happy with the result!
Please let us know if you have any questions, good advice or share your own make-over with us if you use some inspiration from here! 

Lots of construction hugs, 

Frede and Chris

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