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Kitchen Makeover Plans: Bye-Bye 1970’s

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Now that it’s fall and the weather will be cooling off, I wanted to show you my kitchen makeover plans. I have been planning how I am going to begin making over my 1970’s era kitchen on a small budget. I have been gathering inspiration on Pinterest and supplies and am now ready to begin next week.

If you are new to my blog, then you may not know that the money we planned to use when we first moved into the house to gut the kitchen and install a brand new one… went to buy a boat. We do live right on the water’s edge and so it was a no brainer decision, plus I knew I could get the look I wanted for the kitchen using my DIY skills. I, however do not have boat building skills :-)

Kitchen makeover plans for a 1970's kitchen. Before DIY makeover

The kitchen has a nice layout and everything works. I am very happy with it, except the fact that it is all very brown. I have already painted the ceiling fans white, but that is all so far.

Here is my inspiration…

white kitchen inspiration

…a white and bright kitchen.

How am I going to get this look for my kitchen on a budget?

Let’s dissect this pretty kitchen a little, shall we? Breaking down the details allows me to see what I can DIY myself.

1970's kitchen before updating on a budget

Here is one side of the kitchen and what I plan to do to get:

  • White cabinets – I can paint my stained brown cabinets. I have done it twice before in previous homes and will be using these products again:  Glidden Gripper and Sherwin Williams Pro Classic in semi-gloss.  To create the glass door look, I simply am going to remove a few cabinet doors, paint the insides of those cabinets to create an open shelf look.
  • Carrara marble counters – Fake the look with a countertop painting kit from Giani in the color White Diamond.
  • White subway tile backsplash – Brand new glass tiles from Aspect that are peel and stick will make it fairly easy. No grout needed.

Plans for updating a 1970's kitchen on a budget

  • Chrome pulls and glass knobs – D. Lawless Hardware has quite a array of affordable classics. I need pulls, knobs, and hinges.
  • Gooseneck faucet – I had this Delta Touch 2 O Cassidy faucet in my previous house and miss it.
  • White sink – I would really love a white apron front sink, but we would have to change the arrangement of the cabinets and dishwasher. A plain white drop in sink will have to do. This makeover is not about ripping things out, but just doing a cosmetic makeover. I found this one at Lowes. It is acrylic. Does anyone have any one?  Do you like it?
  • Glossy white appliance finish – The double oven on the wall has a flat primer on it. I think the previous owner had it done to cover up the original avocado green color.  I will use high heat glossy white paint to finish the job.
  • Dark wood floors – Right now the wood floor in the living room and kitchen is not stained, but has an orange-toned varnish. We eventually will have these redone so they resemble the color in the photo.
  • Big windows with no coverings – I have two sliding glass doors and a window. I do need to have coverings for sun control, but I did make them white so the blend in with the wall color. You can read about how I covered the window, here and what I did for the sliding glass doors I will be showing you later this week.

(affiliate links)

  1. Giani Countertop Paint | 2. High heat paint  | 3. Bar Pulls & Glass knobs | 4. White Hinges | 5. Delta Touch 2 O Faucet | 6. White Sink | 7. Aspect Glass Tiles in Frost White | 8. Primer: Glidden Gripper | 9. Sherwin Williams Pro Classic Paint – self leveling | 10. French Bistro Comfort Mat

In my inspiration photo there is a banquette. I loved the one in my previous house and could create one in the dining area of the kitchen. I like the round table and chairs I have now. If I create an L-shaped banquette, I could use the table that used to be in the dining room of my previous house.  Maybe a project to take on next year.

UPDATE:  The Kitchen is Finished. See the finished kitchen in this post with Before & After Photos

Kitchen Makeover DIY

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59 Comments

  1. This is great inspiration for me, I have just moved into a much smaller house (downsized now kids left home) and am actually loving the neat and tidy space of my kitchen diner although it looks dated and old fashioned with or he wood like yours. My husband is overseas and I go to see him in four weeks so have set myself a four week make over challenge to pretty much do the same as you, although thrown into this to build a nook bench and paint table and chairs. Do you think it’s achievable? Oh and I work full time ..,.

    1. Hi Carolyn – Whew…that is a lot of projects to get done, but it can be done. Since you will be alone you can get everything set up so when you come home from work you can put a few hours into painting every night and then on the weekends. I would write down a daily schedule…Day One…sand cabinets, clean, set up drop cloths and then keep them in place so the next night you can do the next step without having to do any set up. Do the same for the table, chairs and bench. Keep them on drop cloths so you can simply paint a coat on while your dinner is cooking. :-) I find when the paint is drying on one project you can be painting another. This is a good use of your time…doubles your output. Good luck and when the process begins to get old and you start to lose interest in having to apply another coat of paint, just keep the end image of a transformed kitchen in your mind.

    1. Hi Angela –

      I have not ordered the sink yet, but so far it is my top choice for the price. It is acrylic so I need to research a bit more since I have never had one before. Cast iron ones are a little too pricey for a single bowl sink in the size I need. I found it at Lowes. Here is the info that you can plug into the search bar at Lowes: Dekor Master 22-in x 33-in White Single-Basin Acrylic Drop-In 4-Hole Residential Kitchen Sink Item# 248922 Model# 78400

    1. Hi Rose – I have not started the process yet, but yes I will be sanding the cabinets. It is a must. I don’t have to take them down to the bare wood, but need to rough them up enough to remove the sheen and provide some tooth. I will be following the process I did when I first painted the cabinets in my previous house many many years ago. They held up great. You can read about that process here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2010/01/diy-kitchen-makeover.html and the update I did on them here: https://inmyownstyle.com/2015/06/how-to-paint-laminate-cabinets.html

      I have been asked why I am not going to use chalk paint. I may, but I would still sand first and use Gripper or a good primer that will block the wood tannins from coming through the paint and changing the color.

  2. Hi! You were my inspiration ( and guide) to redo a pink(!!!) Corian kitchen counter top. I am curious to know why you’ve chosen to go with a kit (Gianni). I followed your method and did it freehand. It’s been 2 mths. now and is holding up nicely even after spills,water,etc. YOU do not need a kit! Go for it!

    1. Hi Gretchen – I originally was going to use the faux marble technique I used on my kitchen desk which I recently repurposed and made into a sink vanity for the powder room. That finish has held up better than I ever imagined. But, since readers look to me for my reviews and opinions on all things paint, I want to try out the paint. It is the only reason I plan to use the the Giani paint kit. I will then be able to answer questions about it and compare it to my method. :-)

  3. Good morning, Diane. I am so excited for you! I actually have the ame picture saved as one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see your progress. Will it be finished by the holidays? I’m back in school for my Bach in nursing so I’m still dreaming about the kitchen.

    Oddly and thankfully, I still love my green and black kitchen from 2003 but it IS time to go!

    Have a great weekend

    1. Hi Paige – I do plan on having the kitchen done by the holidays. If I get it started and get in marathon mode, I can get a good part of it done in a few weeks. When I painted the kitchen cabinets in my previous house it took 3 weeks and that was when my daughter’s were little and I only had time to paint when they were at school. Now I can paint all day if I have the energy. :-) How many years to do have left in school? My twin sis has a few nursing degrees and now heads a nursing school so I know how busy you must be with classes, studying, and clinicals. Best of luck with all of it.