Create a designer kitchen in 1 day

A kitchen reno can blow a giant hole in your overall project budget. They’re tricky to get right and you can be easily seduced into spending big!

Most Aussie’s spend $10-15K on a kitchen renovation and top end designs can cost up to $50K. But there is a way to slash your budget and get a designer look for much less. This week, I had the pleasure of helping Sydney first home buyers, Leisha and Jamie, do just that.

One of my favourite tricks of the Renovating For Profit trade is to work with the existing cabinetry in a kitchen and update the cabinet doors only. You’ve seen me do this in the past with laminate paint, which is great if you’re on a super slim budget. But if you want the look of designer luxury, then take note of this one-day makeover!

Scroll down for my project breakdown.


With the help of the team from Sydney Doors, I’ve taken a really tired kitchen and modernised it with a slick two-tone scheme in dark grey and crisp white, changing the doors, drawer fronts and end panels only. The doors are custom-made and ordered online, and they can be installed DIY, or by a carpenter or handyman.

The Sydney Doors team working their magic

The average kitchen makeover like this costs $2.5K-$3K. You can let your design eye run wild with lots of door styles and profiles to choose from. And you can get the exact shade you’re after by selecting from thousands of colours from any paint manufacturer.

Forget the mess of full-scale kitchen reno. This option takes 1 day to complete and you can leave everything in your cupboards and drawers.

Loving the look of these satin finish doors with integrated handle
Here’s a breakdown of how you can get the look:
  • Rearrange your cabinets to get a better flow
  • Add flat pack cabinets to your layout to gain valuable storage space
  • If you’ve added base cabinets, add a benchtop offcut to fill in the gaps
  • Doors with integrated handles give you a clean modern look
  • Choose from matte, satin or gloss finish for your doors
  • Dark-coloured base cabinets ground your design and light upper cabinets open up the room
  • Freshen up your old benchtops and tiled splashback with tile and laminate paint
  • Loose lay vinyl flooring is a low-cost option that can go down over existing tiled floors
  • Shop around for your styling items – they don’t have to cost a bomb!



$ 2,800.00 – Cabinet Doors (Sydney Doors)

$ 600.00 – Kaboodle flat pack cabinetry (Bunnings)

$ 30.00 – Benchtop offcut

$ 47.00 – Tile and Laminate Primer (White Knight)

$ 42.00 – Laminate Paint (White Knight)

$ 53.00 – Tile Paint (White Knight)

$ 97.00 – Benchtop Protective Coating (White Knight)

$ 500.00 – Textline loose lay vinyl flooring in ‘1982 Medley Pearl’ (Gerflor)

$ 30.00 – Wall and ceiling paint

$ 20.00 – Extra tiles to extend splash back – 6 x wall tiles

$ 25.00 – Timber shelving for the window

$ 40.00 – Brushes, rollers, drop sheets and paint trays


$ 150.00 – Carpentry to modify the benchtop and install new window shelving.


*Additional DIY labour provided by Cherie Barber and her team, whilst mentoring and working with the homeowners. Sydney  Doors provided installation labour free of charge to assist in completing the renovation quickly for filming purposes, however, this is typically a DIY project. Prior to the renovation, the homeowners purchased a 2nd hand fridge on gumtree ($250) and a new kettle and toaster ($50) from Kmart. This is not part of the renovation budget


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• Sydney Doors –
For a kitchen renovation or bedroom makeover that is quick and easy, you can simply replace the doors and panels. It can save you thousands and dramatically improve the value of your home. It’s fast, easy, cost-effective and looks great. Update your tired old kitchen or wardrobe now!
All doors and panels are custom made to your sizes and spray painted in beautiful, hard-wearing polyurethane in the colour of your choice with a satin, matt or gloss finish. Soft closing hinges, handles, laminated benchtops, wardrobe sliding door tracks and other accessories are available too. Your new doors can be ready in around 3 weeks and delivered anywhere in Australia.


  1. I n your last radio show you talked about vinyl flooring and gave the name of the company. You said it was easy to lay. Is it possible to have the name of that company?

  2. Great tips, you make it look easy. Have a very tired looking 60s house in Corio that needs your magic when you are next looking in this area.

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