By: James Hand

Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

Tags: selling for more money, selling your home quickly and for more money, best return on investment renovations

         $68,000.00 kitchen renovation in a Burlington

For most home sellers, the goal is to sell their home for the highest possible price and in the shortest amount of time. That of course is quite possibly the largest no brainer comment in real estate blog history. However, the question that typically follows is "how?". Two ways to achieve this is with proper marketing, which gets people in the door and then secondly, by presenting the property so as the people that come through the door fall in love . So, how do we achieve the latter, well by presenting the house in the best light possible. Professional staging and other minor fixes will net you some great gains, that's a proven fact but what about the big ticket items that need to be staged, like your kitchen? It is estimated that a kitchen renovation will have an ROI (return on the money you've invested) of about 75%, meaning every $100 you spend you'll get $75 back. Well that makes zero sense, why would I do that? Especially when some kitchen remodels can cost upwards of $35-$40,000 or more.....meaning you only get on average about $28,125 returned for a $37,500 it cost you, or a loss of $9375.00.

Well, the good news is, if you minimize the costs associated with a similar "remodel" then your ROI will increase. Welcome to the wonderful world of paint! Giving your kitchen cabinets some updated pizazz with new, clean colours, updated hardware and a new faucet for the sink can make a world of difference. Even if you don't go the additional steps of putting in new stone countertops or new (to you) appliances the ROI can go well beyond 100%.

     The total cost of this renovation was under $10,000.00 including appliances purchased at a scratch and dent sale. With the 
      other remodels and clean up which cost $6500.00 this home was listed at $529,000.00, which it previously had not sold for. 
      This time it had 17 offers and sold for $614,300.00.

Before getting started, you’ll need to know some costs associated with having your cabinets painted and how choosing to D.I.Y. your project or hire professionals will have an affect on how much you spend. Now before we go and dive headfirst into Pinterest to learn how to make it look "amazing on a budget", let’s first learn why painting cabinets is more difficult than you'd think. Speaking with both D.I.Yer's and the pros this is some food for thought.


Challenges of painting kitchen cabinets

Painting your cabinets isn’t as easy as grabbing a brush and slapping on a coat of paint even though bloggers....yes I'm pointng at me too....would have you believe otherwise. There happens to be a fairly significant amount of challenges that could pop their head up before you actually get painting. Here are some things to consider beforehand.


Repainting vs. refacing cabinets

If you’re thinking about changing the look of your cabinets, there are actually other options besides repainting them. Many people who wish to do renovations on their home have turned to refacing to give their cabinets a sleek and modern look. However, refacing your cabinets as opposed to painting them comes with a lot of differences.

When repainting your cabinets, you’re just applying primer and paint to them in order to improve their look. Refacing your cabinets involves using a thin layer of wood or plastic to cover the exposed frames of the cabinets and then replacing the door, hinges, knobs, etc. in order to create a brand new look.

If you’re considering refacing your cabinets as an option, here are some things to note:

Cost of repainting cabinets vs. refacing

One of the biggest deciding factors of whether to reface or repaint your cabinets will likely be the costs of each. The cost of painting your kitchen cabinets can cost anywhere from about $1200 to $6000 while the cost of refacing them will likely be within the higher end of $1000 to $9000. The costs will be determined based on the requirements of the project. These are the things that will end up having the biggest effect on your final costs.

Calculating kitchen cabinet paint cost

If you’ve made the decision to paint your kitchen cabinets, you likely want to know how much the paint is going to cost. In order to know the cost of painting your cabinets beforehand, you’ll have to know the right way to measure them. Here are the steps to calculating the cost to paint kitchen cabinets per square foot.

  1. Select a side to begin with.
  2. Measure the height of the cabinet (from top edge to bottom edge) with your preferred measuring tool. Record the number.
  3. Measure the width of the cabinet (from left edge to right edge) with your preferred measuring tool. Record the number.
  4. Multiply the height by the width to get the square footage.
  5. Repeat steps for the remaining accessible sides.
  6. Add all the numbers together to get the total square footage for the cabinet.
  7. Repeat all steps for additional cabinets you wish to have painted.
  8. If you want to calculate how much paint you need, divide the total number of square footage by 400 (the square footage a one gallon can of paint can cover). The answer is the amount of paint cans you’ll need to purchase.
  9. Multiply the number of cans needed by the cost of your selected paint.

      A close-up of white measuring tape along a white surface


Should I D.I.Y. paint my cabinets ?

Deciding to paint your cabinets on your own can sound fun and even comes with perks. However, there are a few potential downsides to painting on your own. Here are the pros and cons of D.I.Y. painting your cabinets.



These are the things to consider before you begin the process on your own.

Cost to D.I.Y. paint cabinets

When figuring out the cost to paint your cabinets D.I.Y., a lot of different factors can affect how much you’ll need to spend. According to industry averages, varying significantly based on size orf your kitchen and the qquality of products you purchase, it can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $1500 or more but with the median being around $800. If you’re needing to invest in supplies, expect to spend anywhere between $200 and $600. The added supply costs tend to be what lead many people to consider the professional painter route.


How much it costs to have cabinets professionally painted

So what exactly is the difference in the cost of painting your cabinets D.I.Y. vs the costs of having your cabinets professionally painted? It all comes down to the additional offerings that increase the cost, which can be easily explained in the case of painting kitchen cabinets. These are the things that will affect the costs of professionally painting your kitchen cabinets.


Should I have my cabinets professionally painted?

If you’re feeling anxious about painting your cabinets yourself, you might want to consider having them professionally painted. Professional painters have the skills and expertise to get the job done as quickly as possible, while making sure the final result is one you’ll be happy with.

Here are some benefits of hiring professionals.

Choosing the right painting professional for the job

If you want to have your cabinets professionally painted, you will want to pick a trustworthy, efficient contractor. When choosing, here are some things to consider:
Good painters will also do most or all of the following.
Now that you have the painting facts, it’s time to decide how much you’re willing to spend on painting your cabinets. If you decide on the professional route, which is the route I typically reccommend when you're looking at resale profits (unless you're a wiz painter), I'd be happy to suggest a few companies both I and other clients have previously worked with.

The Dollars Are Often in the Details


If you're considering having new countertops installed there are a few things to consider.
Note that all countertop prices are subject to the slab quantity and size.
The average price for supply, fabrication and installation is typically $70 to $80 per square foot for most quartz and granite. The average cost of just the supply for a natural stone or quartz countertop is $25 per square foot.
More expensive and covetable materials like marble typically cost $30 per square foot and higher. More affordable materials, such as basic granite, typically cost around $15 per square foot. There are many factors that will influence price, including the material’s thickness, edging, cuts, angles and the number of slabs required. The cost will also vary depending on the material’s finish, from honed to polished to leathered.



The average installation and labour cost for a tiled backsplash ranges depending on the material, but plan to budget between $800 and $1,000. The average price for a natural stone slab is the same cost as that of the above mentioned countertop, at $25 per linear foot. Stone and glass tiles generally cost between $15 to $20 per square foot. As for more expensive stone tiles, such as marble? Prices typically start at $20 per square foot and increase from there. More affordable options like ceramic subway tiles generally cost $2 per square foot and higher. Want to make a major style statement? Intricately patterned tiles crafted from high-end materials can cost upwards of $100 per square foot.


Picking up a package of appliances can be a great investment. The other positive gain is that even though it is the norm to include your appliances with the sale of your house, it is not a requirement. If you've always had your heart set on the latest and most technologically advanced appliances, make your purchase and use them as a slaes lure, being sure to add them to the list of 'exclusions' your realtor puts in the contracts. If your buyers absolutely need them, sell them separately. However, if you're just looking to use them while your home is for sale and are going to include them with your home, look for scratch and dent or used on a site like Kijiji.

If we can be of any help or give you some guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out. Helping you is what we love to do!