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Budget kitchen makeover: how to add character to a kitchen peninsula

Budget kitchen makeover: how to add character to a kitchen peninsula

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You must be on the hunt on how to add some character to your boring builder grade kitchen peninsula or island? This upgrade is easier to do yourself than you might think. Today I want to show you how we added some charm to our kitchen peninsula and to the ends of our base cabinets without spending a whole lot of money to do it.

I’ve wanted to tackle the kitchen for a while now. In fact it made it on our 2018 and 2019 project goals. When I chose to make over our tiny kitchen nook for the $100 Room Challenge it really pushed me to sit down and map out what I wanted our kitchen remodel to look like as well as get an idea of costs.

This post demonstrates what you can do on a tight budget. I share how we are updating our home with do it yourself projects. You should know we are not experts. Our hope is that we can show you that you too can create a home you love one DIY project at a time.

Kitchen remodel phase 1: add trim to kitchen peninsula and end of base cabinets

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How to determine what your kitchen peninsula makeover will look like and how much it’s going to cost + trim out those base cabinet ends

There are different ways you can figure out how much your project is going to cost you. For me the process usually begins in my head visualizing what I want the space to look like. I also gather inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. When you begin a design collection you can begin to see what you gravitate towards such as colors, textures, and style. Me…I like coastal modern farmhouse. I know. A mouthful.

Next I sit down and begin to map my design ideas onto a piece of paper, notebook paper, journal…basically get yourself some paper (wink). I tried creating a mood board or inspiration board but realized I work better with paper and pencil.

With my notebook I then sketch out the structures I plan on working with. Then I add the measurements (width and length). Now I am ready to sketch in the elements I want. This helps me figure out the materials I will eventually need and begin to get an idea of what the overall expense will be.

In my original plan I was going to go with a wide (1x6x60 in) for the floor trim and use the 1x4x8 boards for the rest. I also wanted to add the X style to the end of the kitchen peninsula. When I shared my plans with hubby he thought the wide base trim was a bad idea because it would look funny next to our wall floor trim. He was right! A reminder to stretch you vision to where your eyes flow. You want it to work.

Now that I have a basic idea and I could break down what was needed.

I’ve included the prices for most of the items on the list; which I hope will give you an idea of what you will need to budget for. Keep in mind that the primer and the paint will also be used for our lower kitchen cabinet makeover, kitchen cabinet extension project and for the shiplap backsplash we will install. So even though it’s expensive at first glance, it will go a long way towards our budget friendly kitchen makeover.

Materials Needed & Cost

  • 1 gal primer (I used Zinsser BIN) $44.95

  • 1 gal white paint (Clark+Kensington Designer White satin enamel) $34.99

  • *Wooster 2 in. Shortcut Polyester Angle Sash Brush $5.47

  • *2 in. Angled Oil Polyester/Natural Bristle Blend Paint Brush ( primer) $9.27

  • *1 tube DAP Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone white $2.28 ea

  • *1 tube Hard as Nails adhesive $3.77 ea

  • *Caulk gun

  • 6 1x4x8 mdf pine boards $1.32 = $7.92

  • *air gun with 1 1/2 in. nails OR hammer and finishing nails (Crown Bolt 1-1/2 in. Stainless Finishing Nails (50-Pack) $1.67

  • *Miter saw or chop saw (If you don’t have a saw to cut your trim, take your measurements to Home Depot or Lowes and ask them to cut them for you. Home Depot does it for free.)

  • *hammer and tool to shimmy old trim off

  • *fine grit sand paper

*already had on hand from other projects

Our total kitchen peninsula and end base cabinet makeover expense (without tax): $87.86

Prep your kitchen peninsula and base end cabinets for trim work

Step 1: remove the old flimsy trim pieces with your hammer and chisel (what I had on hand). Start at the top or the bottom and pry it away from peninsula. Once you get it started you can pull the rest right off.

Step by step tutorial for how to add board and batten to kitchen peninsula.jpg
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With the trim removed it’s obvious my original design will need to be revised. Don’t worry. This happens. See that gap below? That will need to be covered.

I provide the width to give you an idea of what I am working with.

How to determine spacing between DIY board and batten for kitchen peninsula.jpg

Step 2: take your fine grit sand paper and rough up the surfaces you plan on painting later. Using the right primer means you don’t have to completely sand the surface.

Easily give your kitchen peninsula coastal farmhouse charm with trim boards

Step 3: measure and frame out your kitchen peninsula and end of base cabinets.

Safety tip: if you have electrical wire on peninsula or kitchen island, make sure you turn the breaker off before you begin nailing your boards to frame. Mine didn’t so I was good there.

Begin by measuring the ends. Mark and cut your 1x4x8 board and cut with your saw (we used our miter saw) . Place your board where you plan to attach to make sure your cut is correct. Assuming it is, add some Hard as Nails adhesive dots to back side of your cut piece. Place on base (I began on the wall side) then add your finishing nails. Repeat on the other side.

Now measure inside the top of your two end trim boards. Use this measurement to mark your next board. Cut. Test. Glue. Attach. Do the same with the bottom inside board.

You now should have your kitchen peninsula boxed with new trim. Yay!

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Because we had that ugly gap this is where I placed the first horizontal board. Then I measured the inside between this one and the outside board and cut a board to fit inside. I will use this board for the other end ensuing the distance is the same.

how to add affordable board and batten to your kitchen island .jpg

We could have just framed it like this but I wanted one more board between the two we just added. Hubby helped me through this process.

First find the middle between the two boards by measuring inside. Divide this by two and mark either the top or bottom trim board.

Now find the middle of your trim board and make a mark.

Line up your marks and check to make sure your measurements are correct. Attach your board.

_How to figure out where to place your center trim board on your kitchen peninsula makeover.jpg

Trimming the ends of your base cabinets is pretty much the same process as trimming your kitchen peninsula or island.

kitchen remodel on a budget adding trim to the ends of base cabinets.jpg

This is where I had hoped to add an X to the inside of the frame. But the area I was working with just didn’t pan out. I figured once I added the X there wouldn’t be much of the backing to show. So no X which meant less of a puzzle to figure out.

With the peninsula trimmed as well as the 3 ends the next step was to caulk.

Why you should never skip caulking your DIY trim work

Step 4: I had no idea the power of caulking until our master bedroom makeover. We installed a faux shiplap accent wall and replaced the trim around the window and bathroom door. We used caulk to fill in the seams. Ok, why it took me so long to figure out how magical this stuff is, I have no idea? Truly. Do not skip this step!

To get started cut the tip off of your new canister of DAP Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone. I used a bamboo skewer to poke a hole through the seal. Place the tube into the caulk gun. When the handle is facing up, you are ready to caulk.

There’s a learning curve to this step. If this is your first time, expect it to be a bit messy. I like to have a bucket of water and a sponge handy. What works for me is to add the caulk in sections then use my fingers to smooth it out as well as remove the excess. Once that is done, take your damp sponge and go over it again. You want a clean fine line so just keep working it until you have that.

Don’t forget to also fill in your finishing nail holes.

Why investing in a good primer matters to your DIY projects

Like my experience with caulk, I tended to skip the step where you needed to prime your surface. I thought I was saving money. It wasn’t until I was using 3 or more coats of paint that I realized I was actually wasting money. Take my advice, this step is also important if you want your finished project to look and stay amazing.

Step 5: prime your kitchen peninsula and ends of base cabinets.

Why primer is key to painting kitchen peninsula.jpg

I chose Zinsser BIN primer because it’s:

  1. goes a long way

  2. covers stains and paints easily

  3. has little to no smell

  4. dries super fast

  5. provides a way for paint to adhere to

  6. adheres to just about anything

That last number is important. I needed my paint to not chip, bubble, or peal. Since what I was painting was not real wood and already had a coat of dark paint on it, I needed a primer that would cover, seal and adhere to it.

Zinsser BIN primer had already proven to work for me when I used it on our guest bathroom vanity.

Simple way to add coastal farmhouse design to kitchen peninsula is to add trim.jpg

Make sure you tape and cover areas you don’t want the primer to splatter as it is pretty thin.

With two coats the blue is practically covered and is ready for paint.

How to customize builder grade ends of your kitchen base cabinets.jpg

Yep, am also working on our kitchen remodel phase 2 project: paint and add new hardware to kitchen cabinets.

Finish DIY kitchen peninsula makeover with the right kind of paint

Step 6: paint your kitchen peninsula and end cabinets with the kind of paint that can easily be wiped and clean as well as hold up to the wear and tear a kitchen usually goes through.

We chose Clarks and Kensington Designer White in satin enamel. While latex paint is easier to use and dries faster, enamel is less porous and is more durable.

Easy and affordable kitchen peninsula trim work for a farmhouse kitchen makeover.jpg

Another investment you will want to make is a quality paint brush. The reason is you don’t want to constantly be pulling out the paint brush fibers from your work nor do you want to see your brush strokes. Two things that you generally fight with when you use a cheap paint brush.

My go to brush for these kind of projects with lots of edges is Wooster 2 in. Shortcut Polyester Angle Sash Brush. It really makes painting a lot easier.

I also painted the underside of the counter because I noticed it reflected a yellow color that I didn’t like.

When you are done clean your brush with soap and water and this tool will last you a long time. See—pay more up front to save more in the long run!

Give your base cabinets two coats of paint for an amazing finish!

That’s it! You’re done.

Now all that’s left to do is stand back and admire what you have done to take your boring, drab kitchen peninsula and ends of your base cabinets to custom cabinets.

Check out phase 2 of our budget kitchen makeover: What you should know before you paint your kitchen cabinets

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You might also like to see how we are doing with our extreme budget kitchen makeover:

If you found this post gave you some ideas of what you can do to improve your kitchen or know someone who would, please share. Thanks, friends.


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