A Quick And Easy Kitchen Refresh for Renters

I’m really fortunate to live on the main floor of a 100-year-old Victorian apartment in downtown Toronto that for the most part is very light, bright and airy.

That is, every room other than the kitchen. Since the day we moved in it was always a sore spot for me. Old dingy cupboards and a retro (not in a cool way) black and white tiled backsplash. If I had it my way, we would have done a full blown kitchen reno with new cupboards, tiles, counters, the whole nine yards! But alas, as renters that wasn’t really an option, so I convinced my landlord to meet me halfway and let me update my kitchen with a little elbow grease and a lot of paint!

What a difference! 

The biggest impact in this kitchen was BY FAR the backsplash tiles. I was a bit skeptical that painting the tiles wouldn’t hold up, but I am pleased to announce that these tiles have been painted for more than 6 months and there’s not even one scratch.

Here’s a look at where we started compared to what the kitchen looks like now!

Here’s how we did it:

First, you’ll want to give your tiles a nice cleaning and a light sand. To clean our cupboards we used Fantastic All Purpose disinfectant with bounty paper towel. After our backsplash was sparkling clean we went in with a 100-grit sandpaper for a light sand.

The MOST IMPORTANT step for this to work, is to use a bonding primer. The bonding primer helps the paint stay on and adhere to the tiles. We went with Sico Primer. We used a small foam roller brush to paint it all on. I found a foam roller worked really nice to keep the paint from looking textured or bubbled.

After allowing two coats of the bonding primer to fully dry we did two top coats using Sico kitchen and bath paint tinted white.

How fresh! After painting the backsplash white, I wanted to also give my upper cupboards a fresh coat of white as well so I followed the same process. I cleaned them with Fantastic All Purpose disinfectant using Bounty paper towels and then gave them a light sand with a 100-grit sandpaper for a light sand. I used the same bonding Sico GOPRIME Primer on the cupboards and then painted a top coat with Sico Furniture and Cabinet Interior Paint tinted to Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. Honestly, it’s THAT simple. 

We also upgraded some of our appliances, including this beautiful Cuisinart 2-Slice Classic Metal Toaster. The entire kitchen feels bright, fresh and smells like toast!

Want to see the after?! Here’s what the kitchen looks like now.

Watch the Full Transformation

About the Author

Autumn Hachey

Autumn is a stylist, Youtuber, marketer, content creator and the owner of Make Moves Vintage store in Toronto, Canada. You can follow her adventures in style and design on Instagram and YouTube.

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