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Your guide to  DIY kitchens, Do-it-Yourself kitchen planning and DIY kitchen design ideas, advice, suppliers & appliances

DIY Kitchens



diy-kitchensDo It Yourself Kitchens

There is a great choice of flat pack DIY kitchens at the big sheds now, which the reasonably competent handyperson can use to make a very respectable kitchen. This is proving to be an increasingly popular way of going about a kitchen renovation. However there are some important points to bear in mind before you rush out and buy your cupboards.


do-it-yourself-kitchenA cheap-looking, poorly installed kitchen will devalue your home because prospective purchasers will think it needs replacing. Check carefully that the kitchen cabinets you choose are of a quality that suits your home. Ensure that you do only those things that you are fully competent to do. Get professional help with things that the eye falls on and must look perfect. Make sure things that should be done professionally  like plumbing, electrical fittings, benchtops and finishing details, are. Don’t spoil that hard work with a shoddy finish that will put people off.

diy-kitchensQuality problems at the cheap end of kitset kitchens include the use of cheap particle board (known in the trade as Weetbix); thin edge-banding using the thinnest pvc or even paper; Cheap-looking benchtop blanks that are roughly cut to size and not jointed properly. Water and ‘Weetbix’ board just don’t mix. It swells and turns to mush when wet, ruining the appearance of your kitchen and requiring costly repairs

Fortunately high quality DIY kitchen systems are starting to appear, kitchens that don’t have that cheap shed-kitchen look. Look for moisture resistant carcases, high quality doors and panels, and custom made benchtops.

Building Codes

Ensure that your new kitchen conforms to the building regulations and requirements for your area. An illegal installation could be dangerous to you and your family. It could well jeopardize the eventual sale of your home.


Bear in mind that everybody has different ideas about how a kitchen should be laid out and what should be in it. Colour is another area of personal choice. If you ever plan to sell your home you need to be mindful of ensuring that it has broad appeal rather than be too quirky.

Remember that your choice of Purple Haze might be someone else’s idea of a nightmare colour. Also remember that today’s fashionable, must have colours (battleship grey say) are tomorrows dated has-beens. Choose carefully with maximum and enduring appeal in mind.

Remember too that you should not sacrifice quality for a budget kitchen. Don’t turn your DIY kitchen project into a Bodge-It-Yourself disaster.




New Cabinets Or Use The Old?

If your existing kitchen is well designed and user-friendly but just looks tired and dated, you might prefer to give it a facelift rather than replace the whole thing.  Usually the benchtop needs to go because this is what takes the most wear and tear but if the cupboards are in good shape you might be able to replace the doors.  However, since end and face panels usually match the doors and have to be replaced with them, the units will have to be taken apart and the  job can become quite a mission and also rather expensive.  An alternative is to repaint the doors and panels.

On the other hand, you might prefer to get rid of the whole lot and put in a complete new kitchen using flat-pack or kitset kitchen cabinets.  More...

painting-kitchen-cupboardsPainting Kitchen Cupboards

Before starting your DIY painting project you should be prepared for every aspect of the job you are planning.  Wear comfortable clothes that allow for ease of movement and that won’t suffer for the inevitable splashes of paint.  Flexible shoes with good grip are important for climbing on and off the ladder you’ll have to use to reach those high cupboards.  Make sure your ladder is stable and that you are comfortable using it.

painting-kitchen-cupboardsMake use of the test pots that are available in most colour shops to get a good idea of how the paint colour will look when it dries.  Paint a patch of colour on the kitchen cupboard doors you wish to decorate and where colours abutt, put them together to make sure they match or complement each other.  Always follow the instructions carefully when preparing to paint.  Ensure that the paint is properly mixed before you start and keep mixing from time to time to keep pigments etc. in suspension.

Where you are decorating the interior of your home make sure that each room is well ventilated with windows open and as much air circulating as possible. Paint fumes can be noxious to people with sensitivities and allergies.  Be mindful of any noticeable reactions (such as headache or nausea) as you paint.  Read the safety instructions on the can.

painting-kitchen-cupboardsWhen working on a DIY painting project on the interior of your home, always make sure to use drop sheets liberally to thoroughly cover all furniture and carpets in order to avoid the paint splashes that will occur no matter how careful you are.  Wipe your hands whenever you contaminate them with paint to avoid spearing on surfaces. A good trick for protecting surfaces you don’t want to paint and to achieve neat borders to colour changes is to use masking tape.

Oh, and don’t fall off your ladder!





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