Popular DIY-Er Shares Before-and-After of $3500 ‘Sweat Equity’ Kitchen Makeover

USA News


  • DIY TikToker Delancey Carson shared a before-and-after video of a drastic kitchen makeover.
  • Carson told viewers she spent 4 months and $3,500 remodeling her 1980s kitchen.
  • Carson updated dated features and added clever life hacks like deep cabinets to store cookie sheets. 

Delancey Carson, a mom of three, has gained over a million followers across social media by sharing “budget DIY” projects as she renovates her family’s 1988 home in Georgia. On December 17, she shared a before-and-after video of one of her most satisfying makeovers: a drastic $3,500 kitchen remodel.

Carson showed viewers the 80s kitchen at the outset — replete with brown cabinets and a “stamped” ceiling — and the drastic result — a bright, modern kitchen with recess lighting, arched doorways, and glossy white cabinets.

“We didn’t have the tens of thousands of dollars to completely gut this kitchen,” Carson explained in the video, viewed more than 9.5 million times. “So, I started thinking of what sweat equity I could put in to update this kitchen to be more beautiful and functional for our family.”

Over four months, throughout which Carson tackled half the kitchen at a time to keep the space functional, she updated every inch of the room.

First, Carson painted over everything — including the wood trim and the wallpaper — explaining, “paint can update a space so much.”

composite image of a kitchen remodel -- a dark, brown wood kitchen as the "before" shot on the right and a bright, modern kitchen on the left with white cabinets and modern lighting

Carson used $3,500 and four months to remodel her family’s kitchen, sharing the final before-and-after shoots to TikTok in a video with over 9.5 million views.

TikTok;@delancey.diy



Next, before adding a coat of paint to the ceiling, she sanded it flat with a drywall sander she rented from Home Depot, explaining that the original stamped material just “collected dust.” In Carson’s video, the sanded ceiling section appears brighter and lighter than the stamped ceiling.

To tackle the cabinets, Carson removed each, sanded and wood-filled the grain, and primed and painted them. Then, she added soft-close hinges. “If you want professional results, you have to put in the work,” she told viewers. You can find her step-by-step tutorial here.

She said she replaced two water-damaged cabinets, filled the unused space above existing cabinets with three more cabinets, and added purposefully deep cabinets above her fridge to store cookie sheets and large, cumbersome items.

“No, this isn’t a fire hazard — cabinets are built to the ceiling all the time,” she said. According to a December 17 Instagram post, the cookie-sheet life-hack cabinets and the sink are two of Carson’s favorite features of the build after six months of living with the new kitchen.

composite image of screenshots of the cabinets

Carson built three cabinets above the existing cabinets and added storage above the fridge for cumbersome items like cookie sheets and pitchers.

TikTok;@delancey.diy



Next, Carson and her husband added new laminate countertops, a single-bowl sink, and an arched doorway using a pre-made kit. Carson then built a bay window seat for $199 — complete with hidden storage for the family’s surplus food and supplies and hydraulic hinges “so the door doesn’t smash any little fingers,” and covered with a seat cushion she sewed.

Carson redid the floor in LVP (a vinyl alternative to wood) to match the rest of the house, added recess lighting to brighten up the “dark” space, added trim to give the doors dimension, and enlisted her four-year-old to help her redo the backsplash with a neutral tile. Finally, Carson added floating shelves, explaining that the family keeps their most-used dishes there, so they don’t collect dust, and a display rack with brass rails.

Aside from the scratch-and-dent appliances, Carson told followers in an Instagram post that the cost for the remodel was $3,500 in total (not including the tools the family has accrued over time). “No part of this project was sponsored,” she said. You can find a breakdown of the budget here — ranging from $167 on lighting to $779 for a new laminate countertop.

“You killed it. You would’ve paid probably $40,000 for that by hiring a company. I’m in the business so I know,” one commenter on TikTok wrote.

“Sometimes a whole room makeover can feel overwhelming, but breaking it up into manageable chunks definitely helps,” Carson, who learned most of her skills through YouTube tutorials and trial-and-error, told viewers.

Insider reached out to Carson for comment.

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