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How These DIY Kitchen Renovations Tips Can Save You Thousands

A local DIYer saved thousands of dollars by rolling up her own sleeves

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Kitchens are often the first place people look to renovate in their homes, but they can be the most expensive.

Local home décor influencer Rashida Banks says she saved thousands of dollars on her kitchen renovations by doing it mostly herself.

“It was just very dark and our kitchen is very small,” Banks said, “so we wanted to brighten everything up and make it feel bigger and taller.”

Rashida Banks' kitchen before renovations.

Though she contracted out some projects, most of the kitchen’s revamps are her own sweat equity. To plan out a new look, Banks used Canva, a graphic design website, to create blueprints.

“It’s like Photoshop but a more user-friendly Photoshop," Banks said. "I used Canva to design the kitchen almost like a mood board."

Though she kept the kitchen’s original layout, she refaced just about every surface.

Rashida Kitchen after
Rashida Banks' kitchen after renovations

“Everything was organized,” Banks said. “We just made sure we had the right equipment, watched a lot of videos and read a lot of blogs.”

Cabinets are often the most expensive item in a kitchen, but that’s where Banks was looking to save money. She kept the cabinet boxes and ordered custom door fronts in the raw. She finished them herself on a turntable using Benjamin Moore’s “creamy white” paint to finish them. 

“Kitchen cabinets can be on the lower end of $10,000,” Banks said. “To reface the cabinets, it was just $2,000 and then the paint was about $60 a gallon.”

Banks added unlacquered brass knobs and pulls to complete the look.

“The cool thing about DIY is that you can really splurge on the other little things, so we have some hardware from Rejuvenation,” Banks said.

Banks used a $30 jig from Amazon to drill precise holes again and again. 

But the tile work in the kitchen, both the marble backsplash and floors, she let someone else do. Professionals installed new windows and doors too — she says she knows well enough not to take on more than she can chew.

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