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Savvy mum transforms her dated kitchen for just £150 after being quoted £15,000 for the job

A woman has revealed how she transformed her kitchen on a budget of £150  after being quoted £15,000 for the job.  

Rachel Marston, 27, ‘hated’ her kitchen the more she cooked in it, especially the red splashback tiles which she labelled an ‘eyesore’. 

The fashion and wedding photographer, who lives in Manchester with her partner and two children, aged two and seven months, wanted a rustic farmhouse-inspired space since moving into her new house in August 2019.   

After moving in, she paid for a a full roof retile and a boiler in their new home, so the eye-watering £15,000 renovation was out of their budget, so savvy Rachel decided  to do the job herself, at just one per cent of her quoted price.

Rachel Marston, 27, 'hated' her kitchen the more she cooked in it, especially the red splashback tiles which she labelled an 'eyesore'

Rachel Marston, 27, 'hated' her kitchen the more she cooked in it, especially the red splashback tiles which she labelled an 'eyesore'

Rachel Marston, 27, ‘hated’ her kitchen the more she cooked in it, especially the red splashback tiles which she labelled an ‘eyesore’ 

The fashion and wedding photographer, who lives in Manchester with her partner and two children, aged two and seven months, wanted a rustic farmhouse-inspired space since moving into her new house in August 2019. Pictured after the renoavation

The fashion and wedding photographer, who lives in Manchester with her partner and two children, aged two and seven months, wanted a rustic farmhouse-inspired space since moving into her new house in August 2019. Pictured after the renoavation

The fashion and wedding photographer, who lives in Manchester with her partner and two children, aged two and seven months, wanted a rustic farmhouse-inspired space since moving into her new house in August 2019. Pictured after the renoavation

‘We thought we’d be happy with it for a couple of years until we could afford a new one, but we were wrong. The more I cooked in it, the more I hated it,’ she told Latestdeals.co.uk.  

‘I was sick of the sight of those red tiles. They really were an eyesore – for me, at least.’   

Her main goal was to lighten up the space because the kitchen always seemed ‘so dull and dark’.

As the existing kitchen was in good order, Rachel, who shares her home renovations on her Instagram, used paint for a refresh. 

Her first job was to freshen up the cabinet doors, which she started by prepping them with sugar soap spray and giving them a good clean. 

Next,  she used a medium grit sandpaper to give the doors a light sanding down. Before washing them once more and starting the painting. 

As the existing kitchen was in good order, Rachel (pictured) who shares her home renovations on her Instagram , used paint for a refresh

As the existing kitchen was in good order, Rachel (pictured) who shares her home renovations on her Instagram , used paint for a refresh

As the existing kitchen was in good order, Rachel (pictured) who shares her home renovations on her Instagram , used paint for a refresh

What did Rachel use to transform her kitchen for £150?  

  •  Frenchic Al Fresco paint
  • A large Frenchic paint brush
  •  Frenchic finishing coat
  • A paint roller
  • Black matte spray paint
  • A black grout pen
  • A floor tile stencil that was exactly the same size as the existing floor tiles, a couple of stencil brushes, 
  • Plenty of masking tape
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‘I started by using a spray-paint gun, but I wasn’t getting the result I wanted so I switched to hand painting using a special chalk paint brush. 

‘I decided to keep the doors on the cabinets, rather than removing them,’ she added to the money-saving community. 

Rachel explained how she tackled three to four doors at a time, as ‘having two small children around meant that doing the full kitchen in one go wasn’t an option’ 

Rachel used a similar method to transform the beige floor tiles and splashback. She painted the bold red tiles a stylish shade of white called Dazzle Me!, accentuated with black grout. 

She used the same shade of paint for the kitchen cupboards and as a base for the floor tiles. 

‘The floor tiles were by far the biggest job. I had to paint them white before starting the stencilling. 

‘This can be quite tricky to do so I did a few trial runs on tiles underneath the stairs where no one would see them if I made a few mistakes,’ she added.

‘You need to build up chalk paint with thin layers, and lots of people do their last coat with a paint roller for a smoother finish. However, I like the rustic look so I stuck with a brush.’ 

 ‘The trick is to use a very small amount of paint – I used a shade of grey called Greyhound – and to dab it on with a stencil brush. 

‘This helps you to avoid any excess paint, which tends to bleed under the stencil and doesn’t look good.’

Using the same method as the cupboards, Rachel prepped the splashback with sugar soap spray and giving them a good clean before painting them white and accentuating them with a black grout pen

Using the same method as the cupboards, Rachel prepped the splashback with sugar soap spray and giving them a good clean before painting them white and accentuating them with a black grout pen

Using the same method as the cupboards, Rachel prepped the splashback with sugar soap spray and giving them a good clean before painting them white and accentuating them with a black grout pen

The mother-of-two painted the splashback and kitchen cupboards in the same shade of white and accentuated the tiles with

The mother-of-two painted the splashback and kitchen cupboards in the same shade of white and accentuated the tiles with

She removed the cooker hood and cupboard handles and sprayed them with matte black paint on a piece of scrap cardboard outside

Rachel sealed the design in place with a finishing coat and spray-painted the cooker hood and cupboard handles matte black. 

She put the handles and cooker hood on some scrap cardboard outdoors and sprayed them, leaving them to dry for an hour before re-attaching them. 

Once the top was transformed, Rachel picked up soft furnishings to decorate further.  

She bought an egg basket from her local garden centre sale for £2 and the antique flour tin is from her favourite charity shop, Emmaus. 

Rachel used the same white shade for the base colour on the floor tiles

Rachel used the same white shade for the base colour on the floor tiles

The shade was called Dazzle Me!

The shade was called Dazzle Me!

Rachel used the same white shade, called Dazzle Me!, for the base colour on the floor tiles

The savvy designer also made a wreath on the wall and wrapped eucalyptus around it.

But Rachel is not quite finished, revealing there are still a few more decorative touches she wishes to add, including rustic shelves where there’s space on the wall tiles. 

Thrilled with the end result, she added: ‘This was my first big DIY project and it’s better than I expected, especially considering I didn’t have to spend thousands to get the kitchen looking how I wanted it. 

‘I was really flexible with my timescale, as my kids are young so I couldn’t devote large chunks of time to it. 

Rachel said the floor tiles 'were by far the biggest job'

Rachel said the floor tiles 'were by far the biggest job'

She had to do a few practice runs on tiles under the stairs before taking on the kitchen

She had to do a few practice runs on tiles under the stairs before taking on the kitchen

Rachel said the floor tiles ‘were by far the biggest job’ and she had to do a few practice runs on tiles under the stairs, which no one would see, before taking on the kitchen

‘I completed it step-by-step, as and when I could, which is why the makeover took around five months in total. 

‘The floor took the longest – seven days in total – and I often worked into the night until 3am just to get it finished, as I wanted my kitchen back up and running but it was worth it in the end.’ 

Co-founder of Latestdeals.co.uk Tom Church commented on the transformation: ‘Rachel’s kitchen looks super stylish and it’s amazing to know that she achieved it all on a £150 budget.

‘Giving kitchen cupboards, floor tiles and splashback a new lease of life with a lick of paint can make a big difference on a little budget. What’s more, you don’t need to be a DIY expert to have a go at it.’  

The mother-of-two stayed up late, sometimes until 3am, to finish the floor tiling (which took her seven days) because she 'wanted her kitchen back up and running'

The mother-of-two stayed up late, sometimes until 3am, to finish the floor tiling (which took her seven days) because she 'wanted her kitchen back up and running'

The mother-of-two stayed up late, sometimes until 3am, to finish the floor tiling (which took her seven days) because she ‘wanted her kitchen back up and running’

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