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

The simple changes make a big difference. (Picture: Nick Richards)

In a rented home it can be a challenge to make the place feel like your own, but one man has found a solution to update his kitchen without making any major changes.

Nick Richards, 23 from Essex, is a YouTuber and part time retail worker. He only had a small budget but was determined to overhaul his kitchen to make it lighter and more modern.

‘Our kitchen was installed around six years ago by our local council and we actually got the opportunity to pick how we wanted it to look,’ Nick tells money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.

‘Back then, we opted for a dark wood effect cabinet with cream worktops, cream tiles and cream walls.

‘We wanted to make over the kitchen because we wanted something more to our taste and a little bit more modern and fresh. Because we live in a council house we don’t have permission to physically change anything so everything is 100% cosmetically done and reversible.’

Kitchen before

What Nick had to begin with. (Picture: 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 quite dark.

He decided to make a few simple yet effective changes – the tiles went from cream to grey with a lick of paint, the worktops changed from cream to a wood effect with DC Fix and the dark wood cabinets had white DC Fix applied, with the silver handles being swapped out for stylish new black ones.

‘The idea of using DC Fix to cover the cabinets and worktops came about because I have a part time job in a hardware retailer and I’ve spoken to a few customers over the past year about them using it for their own kitchen projects,’ says Nick.

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

‘I thought it would be 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. He then saw a major bargain, where a five litre tub of Dulux Pebble Shore Matt Emulsion paint was reduced from £26 to £3.

The new worktop. (Picture: Nick Richards)

He went on to purchase B&Q Wallpaper Smoother for £3.32 and 10 rolls of DC Fix Plain Gloss White for £5 each. He also picked up three rolls of DC Fix Oak Woodgrain Effect at £10 each.

Ikea was the next stop, where Nick picked up some supplies to match the new colour scheme.

He got chair hooks for £3, a large chopping board for £10, a small chopping board for £9 and a black draining set for £7. 

Nick wanted to create a lighter, more modern space. (Picture: Nick Richards)

Finally, Nick purchased a pack of 20 black kitchen handles from Amazon for £17.55.

‘The total for this makeover was roughly £170,’ he says.

The first step was painting the walls and tiles.

‘This was a pretty straightforward process,’ Nick says. ‘There are a few brush strokes visible on the tiles if you look closely but it’s not too bad.

The transformation. (Picture: Nick Richards)

‘The main process was applying the DC Fix to the cabinets and worktop surfaces. It involved cutting a length that was slightly larger than the cabinet or worktop, then starting from one corner, gradually peeling and smoothing the DC Fix onto the surface.’ 

He adds that using a wallpaper smoother tool helped to get a neater finish and reduce the amount of air bubbles that formed.

‘After I had the DC Fix where I wanted it, it was then time to cut around the edges with a stanley knife and fit it perfectly to size,’ says Nick.

‘Completing the cabinets and DC Fix was a lot more challenging than I anticipated. I thought I’d get it done in about two hours but I was wrong! However, I did end up learning a good trick for wrapping DC Fix that prevents air bubbles: Use a hair dryer when you’re applying it.

The final result is much more to Nick’s taste. (Picture: Nick Richards)

‘When smoothing the plastic around the edges and corners, the hair dryer helped to slightly melt the plastic to make it softer and more pliable.’

Overall, Nick is thrilled with the results of his transformation and happy that he learned from the project. He has gone on to post regular updates on his budget DIY renovations on Instagram and YouTube.

‘It does take some time to get into a good rhythm and process when applying the DC Fix, but everyone always has their own ways of doing things,’ he adds.

‘If I was going to do this makeover again, I think maybe I would have done something a bit more exciting with the tiles rather than just painting them. While they did turn out nicely, I think either putting some type of self adhesive tiling on top, or even a different coloured paint than white would have made the tile design look more exciting.’ 

Nick was also really pleased that he managed to get the job done himself on a budget.

‘No professional quote was given. We always try and give DIY a go before getting the professionals in – best way to save some money (as long as you are confident enough to do some DIY yourself.)’

Do you have a DIY success story to share? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.


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