If your kitchen needs a little TLC but you’re low on funds for a complete overhaul, why not go for one of these budget-friendly upgrades instead?

It’ll give you a few more years to save up before you need to go in for the full renovation. If you’re selling, it might just give your kitchen the sparkle it needs to make a prospective buyer fall in love.

1. Benchtops

An old school laminate bench that is scuffed and scratched can bring your kitchen down a peg (or 10), but it’s not always affordable to rip it out and install a new one.

Consider grabbing a bag of from Bunnings and doing a little DIY. You can create an industrial-looking concrete bench using several layers of a thin concrete overlay (which you can do over the top of your current bench in a weekend).

Mix up the concrete and apply to a roughly sanded benchtop (this improves its ability to bond with the old bench) and spread thinly with a trowel. Once dry, sand each layer to remove any bumps, and keep adding coats until you’re happy with the look. Then use a food-safe sealer to keep moisture out.

2. Lighting

If your kitchen was built when fluorescent tubes were the go-to option for lighting, there’s a good chance that updating this one area will have a big impact.

Adding some well placed down lights, rather than expecting one big light to do the whole job, can be very effective. A feature light above the dining table can also become a talking point.

You can try adding lights inside higher cupboards, or a row of lights along the base of the cupboard doors can add instant va va voom.

The option to dim the lights is always worth the effort too, as you can adjust the strength of the lighting depending on your needs and the mood you want to create say for feeding little ones versus hosting people.

3. Splashbacks

If you’re unlucky enough to live with dated tiles on your splashback, you may have been put off by the idea of replacing them due to time and cost involved. But there are ways to update your splashback without removing the tiles at all.

Bunnings sells tile paint made just for this purpose. All you need to do is clean the current tiles thoroughly, sand them lightly so that the new paint sticks, apply a tile primer, and then when that’s dry you can start painting.

You could also consider applying pressed-tin panels over the top of your tiles, if your tiles don’t have cracks or missing pieces. Simply use a primer from Bunnings over the tiles, and then affix the tin panels with strong adhesive. Your tin-panel supplier will have more information on this process.

4. Cupboard doors

When your cupboards or drawers are still in good shape, a budget-friendly way to spruce them up is to just paint the doors. This does take some time to get right, and you have to remove the doors so that you can get into every nook and cranny. Clean the doors thoroughly, then sand them so that the new paint will stick.

You can have a bit of fun with your paint choice – for instance you could consider painting the inside of your cupboard doors with chalkboard paint so that you can leave notes like “I’d love a coffee thanks” next to the mugs for your other half to read.

Another great idea is to choose a couple of cupboard doors to remove completely, allowing for quicker access to items (that you don’t mind the world being able to see). Think teapots, vases, and wine glasses.