DIY Kitchen Makeover Part 1

Research: How to add texture to kitchen walls and cabinets

I'm on a mission to give my kitchen a style overhaul. I feel bad for saying this, as there's nothing actually terrible or hideous about it but... I hate our kitchen (sorry kitchen). It's a bit bleugh and definitely doesn't fill me with joy or inspiration when I'm in it (which with two kids and WFH is A LOT!).

As there is nothing actually wrong with it, I cant justify spending a wedge of cash on improving it, so the revamp needs to a)be completed be me, b) work within a tight budget and c) bring all the joy!

I've been gathering inspiration which I've saved to this Pinterest board.

As you can see, I'm hankering after a fun, fresh, modern feel, lots of texture and some bright, uplifting colour.

The ‘before’

Before we go any go any further, I better show you some 'before' pics, again to clarify it's not awful, it's just needs a bit of love (& a lot of paint)...

I'm going to document the process with regular updates, so apologies if you are reading this soon after I posted it and were hoping for some 'after' pics and lots of tips, but dont worry, I'm feeling really in the zone so will pull my finger out and wont keep you waiting ages for progress updates!

Adding texture

If you follow me on instagram, you'll know that I love sticking wood on things (& if you dont...why not??!) I've customised our sofa with half dowel rods, hacked an IKEA coffee table with the same decorative mouldings as the sofa and I went through a phase a couple of years ago where if something stood still in our house, it got panelled!

When it comes to interiors, if something is reeded, ribbed or fluted I love it more, so it's no surprise that this is the bit I'm most looking forward to.

3d wall panels

I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a stack of prefabricated 3d wall covering due to budget restraints, but also because I enjoy sourcing materials and the process of actually using them to create the desired finish myself.

For this project I was originally thinking I'd like a wider diameter than the half dowel rods that I used previously, something a bit more tube-like and rounded as per the inspo pics at the start.

So a quick research trip to B&Q was in order, where I was hoping I'd find the perfect material (perusing the plumbing aisle is not exactly glam, but I was as happy as a pig in.. well you get the idea).

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of the materials I found...

Wider half dowel rods


These are 2.1cm wide and would definitely create the look and as they are wood they are easy to get hold of and a sustainable option. They are strong and once painted will be easy enough to clean.


At £2.97 each (2.4M long) it's going to be really expensive to cover the whole run of the back of the cupboards and the wall behind the hob.

Pipe insulation


Cheap and easy to get hold of and was exact shape i was looking for.


Soft so would be easily damaged which would be ok for the higher walls but not the back of the cupboards but wouldn't be easy to clean once painted and wouldn't be suitable for anywhere near the hob, also made of Polyethylene foam so not very good for the environment, which is another factor I'm trying to keep in mind through this project.

I actually bought a piece to test with paint at home and it looked really good when it was cut and painted which made me determined to keep searching for the right materials.

All the plastics

I then went on to look at clear perspex shed roof sheeting, plastic pipes and guttering, but they were all discounted as I'm trying to avoid plastics.

Cardboard Tubes

In parallel with planning the kitchen revamp, I've been working on another IKEA hack in the front room on which I've been experimenting with cardboard postal tubes as textured cupboard door cover. This has basically meant having all the fund with a vat of PVA glue!

I concluded that the tubes will be perfect for fitting on to the back of the run of cupboards (I think the posh word is peninsula isn't it?!), but would not be ideal for behind the worktop area, even after priming and painting due to the need for extra cleaning so I'm thinking that maybe Tongue and Groove panelling might be the way to go as it would still give a linear, textured vibe and can be painted so it’s easy to keep clean and is really cost effective, with a minimalist single shelf, some posh wall lights and lots of beautiful colour. I've ordered some long cardboard tubes for the peninsula and they should be here in a couple of days so will bring you the next update then.

subscribe to my mailing list if you don’t want to miss anything… I don’t spam email I promise!

#kitchendesign #kitchenremodel #diykitchen #kitchenrevamp #texturedfurniture