Kitchen makeovers are some of my favorites of all and I get lots of questions from readers asking for advice on painting cabinets, choosing floors, etc., so I know many of you are cooking up a revamp in the kitchen. And since most of you are DIY-ers at heart, I know you’re searching for ways to get the job done right at the best possible cost.

That’s why I’m sharing this inspirational kitchen makeover that my brother recently did for a friend of his. You may remember David from when he and I worked together on Extreme Makeover Home Edition last year

He’s not a professional builder, but he’s a pretty handy guy when it comes to home renovating. He’s learned a lot from our dad, who learned from his dad. So, he “gets it honest,” as my Mamaw would say. And he has had plenty of experience painting kitchen and bathroom cabinets and laying wood floors, so he’s pretty good at it by now.

Here’s a little snapshot of his friend’s kitchen before… (Please excuse the quality of the cell phone photo, but you get the idea.)

They tackled the cabinets first. David recommends sanding over the cabinets with around an 80 grit paper to bring out just enough texture for the primer to grab onto. Remember when sanding with a course paper to keep the sander moving quickly so as not to damage the finish of the wood. Sanding for this kitchen only took about an hour.

Next, came the primer. His favorite primer for cabinets is Zinsser 1-2-3 Bulls Eye. It’s a great primer that will work well on almost any surface. It costs around $19.95 at Home Depot. Some cabinets require only 1 coat of primer, but due to the dark stain of these, they used 2 coats, then allowed them to dry. When priming and painting cabinets, be sure to use foam rollers and foam “brushes” to achieve a smooth finish without brushstrokes.

Meanwhile, they got to work on the floors. It was a 300-square foot kitchen and living space that was half “vintage” linoleum and half “vintage” carpet.

The homeowner wanted laminate wood flooring for the whole space, so they did some shopping around and found a dark-stained, 7mm laminate with the pad pre-attached at a local salvage yard for only $1.05 per square foot. With the help of a couple extra people, they were able to remove all the existing flooring, clean up the staples and debris, and install the new laminate in about 8 hours.

Next, they finished the cabinets with 2 coats of Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan in their “Advance” paint, which works great for cabinets. The cost is around $39 per gallon.

The following morning, they put the cabinets back on and added the hardware, which they were able to find for a great deal at Home Depot.

Even the original countertops and appliances look better next to the new paint and flooring!

I think it’s a great transformation. And the total cost of the project was just $453 plus tax!

So, if you’re considering a DIY kitchen renovation, I hope this gives you some inspiration.

Too bad I can’t talk my brother into traveling around the country and helping out each of you who’d like a kitchen update, but you can use some of these tips. And that’s the next best thing, right?