So, not exactly a major re-model, but this is how I made the windowless kitchen in our flat a bit brighter, using a can of paint, and stuff from the local Dollar Store.






Firstly I should say that I get that the baby-poop yellow cabinets have integrity and are totally in keeping with the age of the flat. But I also have to say that they were slowly sapping my will to live.

I  Painted the walls with the brightest white that I could find, it's special kitchen and bathroom paint, which was about $35. (Obviously I sugar soaped the walls first, my least favorite task ever).   Just painting the walls made a HUGE difference, but I still couldn't take the yellowness of the cabinets so I had a big think and after a couple of screw-ups I figured out that I could cover the cabinets with self adhesive vinyl film. That's the stuff that the geeky kids in school (like me) used to cover their exercises books with. It goes on like this:



The film is water-proof and also steam-proof, but I taped the inside down with white duct tape anyway, just to be sure.
It was loads brighter but a bit uninspiring, so I added the little colored stickers. I used superglue so they would withstand cleaning products and steam.
  And..... TA - DA..... The Dollar Store Kitchen Make-Over

 What I used:
10 rolls of GRIP-TAC Adhesive Film
3 packs stickers (the kind that live with the scrap-booking materials)
3 plastic plates (that just happened to work with the colour scheme)

The cool part is that it's not permanent, so, should a 70's design purist with a penchant for gross yellow cabinets be the next tenant they will be overjoyed to discover that the vinyl isn't permanent or damaging.


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Diane Mendez on Sep 29, 2013:

This is so cool! I'm a renter and hate the dark cabinets, so I found you , so excited to start up my cabinets!
Thank you

Amanda on Jun 21, 2013:

Oh my goodness i have been looking everywhere for a blog like this!!  Imagine that same yellow color but on all the walls of the kitchen and painted wallpaper that refuses to let go of any stains.  My landlord says i can do "what ever i want"  but she indirectly complains about any changes. 

Julie on Aug 21, 2012:

I just discovered your blog and LOVE YOU already, btw.

But question, how sure are you that there is no damage done by self adhesive vynal?? Like, how easy is it really to get off? My hubby and I are renting a really cute tiny little 'add on' apartment on the side of some guy's house, he gave us a really big discount on the rent, and he obviously put a lot of money in building our little place, everything is great quality and simple for the most part. The only problem I have is the landlord chose to pair the beautiful dark orangish granite counter tops in the kitchen with beautiful... orangish wood cabnitry. Both look nice but NOT together. They clash. And the resulting impression stimulates my gag reflex.
But like I said, he's a nice landlord and worked hard on the place, and my lease prohibits me from painting the cabnits.

I saw your "dollar store kitchen makeover... again" blog entry and searched high and low for this one looking for more details on this magical vinal you speak of.

So tell me, am I going to destroy this man's cubbords??

etodem on Apr 29, 2007:

I am inspired by this idea of yours Mizz Lilybee. I just bought this vinyl adhesive coating and am going to redo my own kitchen cabinets as well. I too am a big fan of design on the dime... and so far have been content to watch great feats of design on the dime being carried out on TV. Now I think I'm ready to do some trickery of my own.

 I am nervous of it turning into a giant disaster though. For example, I imagine that folding over the self adhesive coating will be a nightmare at the corners of the cabinet doors... what if it gets crinkly? Did you have to do some cutting to get the coating to cover your cabinet door corners so well?

dorkusmilorkus on Mar 16, 2007:

Nice job! Your cabinets look great!

Just an FYI to those interested: Target carries stainless steel self adhesive vinyl, which would also look fantastic on cabinet doors. 

tschoerda on Mar 15, 2007:

self adhesive vinyl film! what a great idea, i love it! i just discovered self adhesive film for another tiny project, but it would definitely work on my dull / ugly kitchen cabinets too. thank you for the tip!

Brendamo on Feb 28, 2007:

Loved reading about your clever idea. I have dingy dark brown wood cabinets that are almost 30 yrs old. This would definitely perk them up. Thanks for sharing.

jasimar on Feb 25, 2007:

Very very clever.  I love dollar store ingenuity.  If it doesn't already exist, you might want to start a website blog about decorating only via dollar store in your own brilliant style.  Really!  I'd be a fan.

AinshaNit on Feb 24, 2007:

I found an economic idea to change to your kitchen… and by 12 U.S. $ More in my blog  ;)

lilybee on Feb 24, 2007:

Thanks Keter! Those laminates have caused me to drool a bit. SOOOO pretty!

I have to say that I'm not sure the 'before' picture I used does justice to quite how horrible the kitchen was. It was BAT CAVE dark... there are other pictures on my profile but I can't figure out how to put them in here.

Keter on Feb 23, 2007:

Nicely done...great idea for those in a rental. I really like the stickers, they add a nice touch.

I remember living for six years in a rental with cabinets that had dark walnut cabinets that were actually plastic laminate that was starting to have the color layer turn GREEN.  I got the management to agree to let me paint the cabinets with an inoffensive beige lacquer.  It took actual lacquer to stick to the plastic, and the place was almost uninhabitable because of the smell for three days, but WOW did it look better!

If I had it to do again, I would use one of these lexan coated laminates.

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