Video: My diy country cottage kitchen make over

DIY cottage kitchen facelift.


Hi everyone,
Back in winter of 2014 I took the plunge and gave my ugly kitchen a makeover, lots of you ask when I post a pic on Instagram how I did it and what I used so have a read below for the details on how done. As you know I am obsessed with all things country cottage and shabby chic, the kitchen is the heart of my home as it is the room I spend most of my time in.

The room gets good light however the orange cupboards made the room look smaller. 

I had always dreamed of having a cottage style kitchen, as I had only bought my home I could not afford to spend thousands on a fancy new refit. 

I had tackled a few painting jobs in the house and felt confident to take on the job of painting my presses. 

My before pictures are terrible so please excuse them as it was long before I had gotten my good camera. Don’t let money stop you from having the dream home you want. 

My whole kitchen cabinet makeover cost me less than €100 and three days of graft and elbow grease.

Also as it is almost 2 years now since I have done it I can happily report that my cabinets are still in great shape with no chips and have been washed and wiped down many times and have held up amazingly.

Also by doing this job my self and saving a fortune which means I had plenty of money to spend on the fun kitchen accessories.

As you can see the whole kitchen was dull and dark!, you’ll also notice the little Santa on the table as it was around November I tackled this job.

So I really really wanted a new kitchen and weighed up my options. A new kitchen was anywhere up to €3/€4k especially in a fancy colour so that was ruled out. 

Then I got a quote for a respray and that was around €950 which was not bad but then I decided to try the Autentico superior eggshell and managed to do the whole makeover myself for change from €100.

I had used the Autentico eggshell on my interior doors so I had a little experience of using it.

I chose the colour called frozen fountain. It’s a lovely shade, it is a warm grey with a green undertone to it and in different lighting, it can look more green.

I got my Autentico paint and primer off Ursula in Trim in her shop Nook, she is a fountain of knowledge and has plenty of experience with this paint so I highly recommend Ursula and if you are stuck picking a colour then she is your lady to chat to. 

Here is a better pic of the colour (these pics were taken on my phone so they look a little grainy) 

The reason I went with grey is that of my white back splash and my worktop. 

When I first bought my house I was mad for a cream kitchen like most people are at the moment as cream kitchens are so popular right now. 

The more I looked at it a cream kitchen would be too harsh with the tiles and back splash so I chose this grey shade. I had seen some grey kitchens in Ikea and in the fancy kitchen shops so that made up my mind. 

So now for the technical stuff. 

How did I do it? 

Okay, so I was painting on a veneered MDF, not solid wood. 

I prepped! And I cannot stress enough the prep. 

Sanded lightly with a palm sander and especially concentrated on edges and around handles and these areas get the most wear and tear and chip easiest. 

I think the reason my cabinets have lasted so long is that of the prep I put in. 

Then I washed them with sugar soap and rinsed in water.

Sugar soap cleans off all of the grime and greases that accumulates over time and gives your paint a good clean base to adhere to.  

Now here is a giggle and a great idea. 

I removed my cabinets and washed them down in the bath.! Mad? yes but genius? Yes! Saved me a lot of mess and with it being winter it was too cold to rinse in the garden with a hose.

I prepped in the evenings after work. 

I removed cabinets as easier for me to paint on the flat surface and fewer drips. 

Then I painted! The fun part. 

One coat of Autentico primer. The reason I used primer is that I was painting on MDF and wanted extra adhesion. 

Then two coats of colour. The autentico eggshell paint gives great coverage and great pigment so two coats were plenty.


I used a roller to get that pro re spray effect. I used a 1-inch brush for the surround and edges then used the roller to give that smooth effect. 

I did thin coats of paint I didn’t slap it on. 

Drying time?

So I gave myself three days for this project. 

This allowed me to leave 24 hrs between coats however the paint does cure quicker than other eggshell paints and is re-coatable after 6 hrs. 

I then painted my surrounds. 

I didn’t paint the inside of my presses as they are a really light shade that compliments so to save on paint I left the insides the same. 

I treated myself to some new knobs to finish off my country style kitchen cabinets. 

These were €7 for 4 from Harvey Norman. 

I didn’t use a varnish over the presses as the eggshell paint is really durable and self-sealing. 

So here is the breakdown of what it cost me. 

Autentico primer €30 (have half a tin leftover ) 

Autentico paint 1litre €40 

New hardware €28

Rollers and sugar soap €5

Then 3 days of elbow grease! 

I hope this inspires you to maybe give your kitchen a face lift and save yourself some pennies because if I can do then anybody can! 

I love seeing your kitchen makeovers so please tag me in pics or leave your links in the comments section below. 

Please get in touch with any questions and don’t forget to follow over on Instagram @daintydressdiaries 

Chat soon,




  1. Cindy Meyer
    February 11, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Hi Catherine! Your house looks absolutely fab! I would love mine to look as nice. Thanks so much for the advice. I am going to try to paint my kitchen cabinet doors too in the spring maybe. That's if I'm able, getting on 🙁 Wish you would do up my place. Thanks again for sharing. X

  2. Paint It White Interiors
    January 5, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Gorgeous kitchen! I started watching your video of floating trees cups, so cute, and then found myself looking and awe ing over this fabulous kitchen 🙂 you have fantastic talent.. Well done.. Now I'm off to see what else you do. Happy New Year and many good wishes to you and yours.. Marie 🙂

  3. Mueeid Soomro
    December 22, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Quality is company's life. We can ensure efficient workmanship from making, testing & packing. VENTAIR have many good ideas to give clean environmental kitchen to every customer.

  4. Catherine Carton
    October 14, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Thanks so much for reading I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Make sure to send me some pics of your diy job x love seeing them .

  5. jack955
    October 14, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    You kitchen really look very nice, I gathered some cool ideas for my own thanks to your post. Also the pictures were perfect. Thank you for sharing. Joseph P.

  6. Saiful Islam Patwary
    October 12, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    Really a nice cabinet and makes the kitchen more wide. The furnitures are good too. Thanks for sharing.Italian Furniture Store

  7. The dainty dress diaries
    July 9, 2016 / 8:22 am

    Hi Karen, Thanks so much for reading, send me pics of your transformation I can't wait to see, best of luck!

  8. Karen Pollard
    July 9, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Hi Catherine Absolutely gorgeous. You did an amazing job on your kitchen. I have been wanting to do mine for ages but just seemed like a huge job. You have definitely given me the motivation!Karen x

  9. Jo Mellor
    July 8, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Thanks great, thank you so much, I will be attempting it soon! X

  10. The dainty dress diaries
    July 8, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Hiya Jo X I used the spongey gloss roller not the fluffy one. I think I used the ones from dealz for €1.49 but I used 2/3 of the sponges as they go limp after a few uses so I used a fresh sponge each day X

  11. Unknown
    July 8, 2016 / 12:46 am

    Your kitchen looks great & I defo want to do my kitchen now, my cupboards are a similar style but darker wood! You said you used a roller, did you use the smooth gloss roller looks spongy or an emulsion roller? Thank youJo x

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