I sent a nice email to our landlord about wanting to upgrade the kitchen. I included links to examples of what I wanted to do, a step-by-step list of how I planned on doing it, and a photo of a previous painting project I did to show her that I've got the skills. I will admit, I was a little nervous of being turned down, but I got a reply within a couple of hours saying yes. Woohoo!
I took one of our cabinet doors off the hinges and took it to Home Depot so they could use it to match the paint. I bought a can of paint (didn't bother with primer), some sand paper, a paintbrush and a small foam roller, and the most clean/simple/affordable knobs they had. And then I took my sweet-ass time with this project, but the end result is worth it. This entire project cost around $100.
Before painting, I took the rest of the cabinet doors off the hinges and lightly sanded the cabinets and the wood strip across the tops/bottoms of each door and drawer. It took 2-3 coats of paint, depending on the condition of the wood where I was painting. In this case, the actual body of the cabinets was wood. At our old place that had similar cabinets, the body of the cabinets was the same off-white laminate and the only wood was the strips on the cabinet doors/drawers. Those cabinets would have been much quicker to paint! After everything was painted, I drilled holes for the knobs. I got about halfway through drilling and screwing in knobs by myself, and then on Valentines Day I came home and Kyle had finished drilling and screwing in knobs!
I am so glad I did this! I knew it would look better, but it almost looks like an entirely different kitchen to me. Now hopefully we end up staying here for a few years.
If you want to see dreamy kitchens I would have if money were no object and I was a homeowner, follow my Dining Rooms + Kitchen board on Pinterest.