Remodeling kitchens should be something the pros do, right? It is possible to do super quick kitchen remodels within a short timeframe, such as a 3-day weekend. The key to a successful, quick renovation lies in strategic planning, perfect execution, and focusing on impactful changes that can transform the “heart of the home” without requiring extensive time or resources.

A kitchen renovation can seem impossible, but a complete transformation is achievable over a long weekend. Transforming your cookroom in just three days might seem ambitious, but with good planning and execution, it is doable. This approach can save both time and money while delivering a fresh, new look.

The key to a successful quick cuisine renovation is focusing on impact changes. Replacing outdated fixtures such as faucets, cabinet handles, and lighting can immediately modernize the space.

Table of Contents

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George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

Swapping old cabinet doors or applying a fresh coat of paint can make a significant difference without breaking the bank.

Incorporating smart design choices ensures the cooking area/room is both functional and stylish. Adding a sleek kitchen island or new countertops can provide additional workspace and storage.

Each zone of the kitchen must be well-defined – from the cooking area to food prep and supply storage – to enhance efficiency and make the most out of your limited renovation timeframe.

Planning Your 3-Day Kitchen Remodel

A 3-day kitchen renovation requires meticulous planning and managing, understanding the scope of work, managing your budget effectively, and making smart design choices to ensure your project aligns with your dreams. Depending on the type of layout, the cost can vary.

Infographic "4 Steps of Quick Kitchen Makeover: 3-Day Reno Planner." Day 1: prep/paint; Day 2: doors/backsplash; Day 3: sink/hardware; Day 3-4: cleaning. Each day lists specific tasks with estimated timeframes.
Infographic "4 Steps of Quick Kitchen Makeover: 3-Day Reno Planner." Day 1: prep/paint; Day 2: doors/backsplash; Day 3: sink/hardware; Day 3-4: cleaning. Each day lists specific tasks with estimated timeframes.

For example, if you’re planning to replace your kitchen sink and tap during the remodel, allocate sufficient time for this task. Removing the old sink and tap, cleaning the area, and installing the new fixtures can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the complexity of the job and any unexpected issues that may arise. By scheduling this task for the morning of day 3, you ensure that you have ample time to complete the installation without rushing, allowing for any necessary adjustments or troubleshooting.

To achieve the best outcome when planning your renovation timeline, start by creating a detailed schedule that breaks down each task by day and estimated duration.

Be sure to account for drying times for paint, primer, and adhesives, as well as any necessary prep work or cleanup. Assign tasks to specific team members or professionals to ensure efficient execution and avoid delays due to miscommunication or overlapping responsibilities.

Example Cost Breakdown by Components: 

Cabinetry and Shelving: $100 to $200 per linear foot for DIY materials.
Budget spread: Cabinets are a significant part of the budget; if you can, not replace the carcasses but only the doors or just repaint. You can expect an average total of $200-$500 bill at the end.
Countertops and Backsplash: $30 to $100 per square foot for DIY materials.
Materials: Options range from affordable laminates to high-end granite or quartz, significantly affecting the price.
Flooring: $1 to $15 per square foot for DIY materials.
Materials vary based on the type of flooring chosen, from affordable vinyl to expensive hardwood.
Lighting: $50 to $400 per fixture for DIY materials.
Proportion of Budget: Lighting is an essential part of the renovation, impacting both functionality and aesthetics.
Painting and Drywall: $30 to $60 for DIY materials.
Proportion of Budget: Painting is a cost-effective way to refresh the kitchen’s look.

A hand pointing towards a kitchen design that transitions from a line drawing into a fully rendered, modern kitchen with white cabinetry, island, double pendant lights, and stainless steel appliances showcases the potential of a quick kitchen makeover.
A hand pointing towards a kitchen design that transitions from a line drawing into a fully rendered, modern kitchen with white cabinetry, island, double pendant lights, and stainless steel appliances showcases the potential of a quick kitchen makeover.

Evaluating the Scope of Work: 

The first step is to detail the scope of work for the renovation. Identify which areas of the kitchen need updating.

Then, prioritize tasks such as replacing countertops, installing new cabinetry, or upgrading appliances.

Create a list to capture each task required. 

Task List Example:

  • Required cost
  • Required tools
  • Replace kitchen countertops
  • Paint or refinish cabinets and walls
  • Install new light fixtures
  • Change the sink and tap

This helps allocate time efficiently for each task. Overextending can lead to delays, so set realistic goals.

A quick kitchen makeover mood board featuring marble countertops, brass hardware, wooden cabinets, modern light fixtures, a stainless steel hood, and various kitchen utensils.
A quick kitchen makeover mood board featuring marble countertops, brass hardware, wooden cabinets, modern light fixtures, a stainless steel hood, and various kitchen utensils.

Budget and Resource Allocation:

Your budget will drive many of your renovation decisions. Determine the total amount you can spend and break it down by category.

Budget Breakdown Example:

  • Countertops: $500
  • Cabinets and hardware: $700
  • Lighting: $400

Make sure to include a buffer for unexpected expenses.

Then, allocate resources, such as hiring professionals for specific tasks like electrical work. Efficient resource allocation is key to staying within budget and on schedule.

A modern kitchen with an island, open shelves, stainless steel appliances, and large windows allowing natural light. Featuring a sink, stove, various utensils and decor, this space is perfect for a quick kitchen makeover to refresh your home.
A modern kitchen with an island, open shelves, stainless steel appliances, and large windows allowing natural light. Featuring a sink, stove, various utensils and decor, this space is perfect for a quick kitchen makeover to refresh your home.

Design Choices and Themes: 

Interior design ties all elements of the kitchen together for a cohesive look. Start by choosing a color scheme that complements the overall home decor.

Neutral tones with splashes of bold colors can create a modern, vibrant space.

Incorporate textures through backsplash tiles, cabinetry finishes, and flooring materials.

Accessories, such as stylish faucets, drawer pulls, and knobs, add personality without overwhelming the space.

Integrate natural elements like wood or plants to add warmth and a touch of nature. Choose design elements that reflect your style and remain within your budget in the room and floor including the rest of the property..

Incorporate a mix of modern and timeless elements. 

Examples of choices:

  • Colors: Neutral tones for versatility
  • Materials: Quartz counters for durability
  • Layout: Open shelving for easy access

These choices create a cohesive theme and ensure your kitchen meets both aesthetic and functional needs.

A detailed sketch of a modern kitchen with wooden cabinets, a center island, stainless steel appliances, and ample natural lighting from large windows showcases the perfect space for a quick kitchen makeover.
A detailed sketch of a modern kitchen with wooden cabinets, a center island, stainless steel appliances, and ample natural lighting from large windows showcases the perfect space for a quick kitchen makeover.

Updating Essential Services:

Ensure to update all essential services, such as plumbing and electrical systems, to support new installations.

First, inspect existing systems for any necessary repairs or upgrades. Checklist for essential services:

  • Plumbing fittings and pipes
  • Electrical outlets and circuits
  • Lighting fixtures

Then, hire licensed professionals to perform these updates. This not only guarantees safety but ensures compliance with building codes.

Properly updating these services lays a solid foundation for the cosmetic aspects of your renovation.

Day 1: Cabinet and Hardware Refresh

Refreshing your kitchen cabinets and hardware on day one will change and rejuvenate the space significantly; even if you stop with that, the difference will be significant for your space. The process includes preparation, painting, and hardware installation for a polished look.

In case the new door handles are larger or smaller, you may need to fill the existing holes with wood filler and sand them smooth before drilling new holes to accommodate the updated hardware. This ensures a clean, professional look and proper alignment of the new knobs or pulls.

Prep and Sanding

Start by removing all cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware such as knobs, pulls, and hinges. Labeling each piece can save time when reassembling. If you are changing hardware keep in mind all fixing holes.

Then, clean the cabinet surfaces with a degreaser to remove kitchen grime.

Once cleaned, sand the surfaces with medium-grit sandpaper to create a smooth base for the primer.

Sanding helps paint adhere better. After sanding, wipe down with a tack cloth to remove sawdust.

Distressed wooden board on a workbench, surrounded by various tools including hammers, paintbrush, chisel, and hand saw— ready for your next quick kitchen makeover.
Distressed wooden board on a workbench, surrounded by various tools including hammers, paintbrush, chisel, and hand saw— ready for your next quick kitchen makeover.

Priming and Painting

Next, apply a coat of high-quality primer to the sanded cabinets. Use a brush for corners and a roller for flat surfaces to ensure even coverage. Then, allow the primer to dry completely.

Once primed, begin painting your cabinets with a durable cabinet paint.

Light, even coats are essential to prevent drips and achieve a smooth finish. Apply at least two coats, allowing each to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Paint usually dries in 24 or 48 hours but here is quick rule of thumb:

  • Touch dry: 2-4 hours
  • Hard dry: 24-48 hours
  • Fully cured: 7-14 days
A modern kitchen countertop with a wooden finish features a mortar and pestle, a bowl of white grains, and a potted plant, perfect for showcasing your quick kitchen makeover. Below are black cabinets with sleek handles.
A modern kitchen countertop with a wooden finish features a mortar and pestle, a bowl of white grains, and a potted plant, perfect for showcasing your quick kitchen makeover. Below are black cabinets with sleek handles.

Reassembly and Hardware Installation

After the paint is fully cured (during day three), reattach cabinet doors and drawers. This is the time to install new hardware if desired.

When selecting knobs, pulls, and hinges, consider styles that match your kitchen’s design.

For precise placement, use a template or measure carefully.

Upgrading to soft-close drawer slides and hinges can enhance functionality.

Use this opportunity to reorganize cabinet interiors, possibly installing pull-out shelves for better accessibility.

Day 2: Backsplash Makeover

It’s day two and transforming your kitchen’s backsplash.

Peel and Stick Tiles

Peel and stick tiles are an excellent option for those looking for a quick and easy installation process.

Tile selection is crucial; ensure the tiles match your kitchen’s decor.

These tiles come with an adhesive backing, making adhesive application straightforward and hassle-free.

When installing, cutting tiles accurately around outlets and corners is essential. Use a utility knife or a tile cutter for this.

Spacer placement helps maintain even gaps between tiles, ensuring a professional look.

Leveling methods are important to prevent a slanted appearance. Once installed, press firmly to ensure adhesion.

A modern kitchen with green cabinets, a wooden countertop, and plants on shelves. There's an oven, sink, and utensils hanging on the wall next to a large window with black framing—truly showcasing what a quick kitchen makeover can achieve.
A modern kitchen with green cabinets, a wooden countertop, and plants on shelves. There's an oven, sink, and utensils hanging on the wall next to a large window with black framing—truly showcasing what a quick kitchen makeover can achieve.

Paint

Painting an existing backsplash can offer a fresh look without significant cost.

Begin by cleaning and sanding the surface to ensure the paint sticks.

Choose high-quality paint designed for kitchen spaces, as it needs to withstand moisture and heat.

Applying a primer is recommended for better adhesion and coverage. Use painter’s tape to protect adjacent surfaces.

Multiple thin coats yield the best result, so don’t rush the process.

For grout color choices, you can match or contrast with your backsplash for added visual interest.

Finally, seal the paint to preserve its finish and make cleaning easier.

A modern kitchen featuring wooden cabinets, open shelves with dishes, a countertop with fruit, a stove, and various kitchen appliances. Warm lighting enhances the cozy atmosphere—perfect for a quick kitchen makeover.
A modern kitchen featuring wooden cabinets, open shelves with dishes, a countertop with fruit, a stove, and various kitchen appliances. Warm lighting enhances the cozy atmosphere—perfect for a quick kitchen makeover.

Microcement

Microcement provides a modern, seamless finish. This material is durable and water-resistant, making it perfect for kitchens.

Start by preparing the wall, ensuring it’s clean and smooth.

Then, apply the base coat of microcement using a trowel, followed by a second coat for better coverage. It dries quickly, so work efficiently.

Leveling methods are key to achieving an even surface. Incorporate mosaic patterns if desired for a unique look.

Once the microcement is set, the sealing process begins.

Seal the surface to protect against stains and spills, ensuring longevity.

Microcement’s versatility allows for various finishes, from matte to glossy, providing ample design flexibility.

Day 3: Finishing Touches and Lighting

Day three focuses on adding essential lighting, installing knobs (in some cases these must be last) and other hardware, and conducting a final cleanup and inspection to ensure every detail is perfect.

Lighting and decorative accessories are crucial for enhancing both the functionality and aesthetics of the kitchen.

Installing Lighting and Fixtures

Lighting is essential to creating a well-functioning kitchen.

Begin with pendant lights over islands or dining areas for focused illumination. Consider under-cabinet lighting for tasks like chopping and prepping. Select fixtures that complement the kitchen’s design.

Dimmer switches can add flexibility and set the desired mood. Ensure any electrical wiring complies with safety standards.

Placement should avoid shadows on work surfaces. Consistent color temperatures help maintain a cohesive look.

A quick kitchen makeover reveals pink cabinets and yellow walls, with various utensils hanging. A counter holds a white appliance, a toaster, a bowl of fruit, a potted plant, and tableware. A wooden table stands in the forefront.
A quick kitchen makeover reveals pink cabinets and yellow walls, with various utensils hanging. A counter holds a white appliance, a toaster, a bowl of fruit, a potted plant, and tableware. A wooden table stands in the forefront.

Bonus: Change the Sink and Tap

Updating your sink and tap can make your kitchen remodel even more impressive and improve the style. Changing a basin takes no more 2 to 5 hours from uninstalling to installing the new one. If you plan to add micro cement or terrazzo vinyl on the counter, make sure to remove the washbowl first and not after the finishes are applied.

Here is what to do.

A quick kitchen makeover transformed this space with pink cabinets, a terrazzo countertop, and backsplash. The counter holds a wooden cutting board, potted plants, a bowl of oranges, a glass jar, and a small bottle.
A quick kitchen makeover transformed this space with pink cabinets, a terrazzo countertop, and backsplash. The counter holds a wooden cutting board, potted plants, a bowl of oranges, a glass jar, and a small bottle.

Selecting a New Sink and Tap
This step is to be done one to two weeks in advance. Measure your current sink to ensure the new one fits seamlessly into the existing countertop opening. Consider the sink’s material, such as stainless steel, granite, or ceramic, and choose one that complements your kitchen’s style.

Keep in mind the type of fixings for your sink, as there are a few types available:

  1. Over-the-counter (top-mount): These sinks sit on top of the counter and are easier to install. They have a visible lip around the edge that rests on the countertop.
  2. Under-the-counter (undermount): These sinks are mounted beneath the counter, creating a seamless look. They require a solid countertop material like granite or quartz for proper installation.

Removing the Old Sink and Tap: First, turn off the water supply valves under the basin. Then, disconnect the water supply lines and the drainage pipe from the old sink.
If your old sink is top-mounted, use a utility knife to cut through the caulk around the edges. For an under-mount sink, locate and remove the clips holding it in place.
Carefully lift the old washbasin out of the countertop opening. If the tap is separate from the sink, remove it by unscrewing the mounting nuts and lifting it away.

Installing the New Sink and Tap: Clean the countertop opening thoroughly. For a top-mount washbowl, apply a bead of silicone caulk around the edges of the opening. Gently lower the new sink into the opening, ensuring it is centered and level. Press down firmly to secure the sink to the caulk.

For an under-mount sink, apply a bead of silicone caulk around the underside of the countertop opening. Place the basin beneath the opening and secure it using the mounting clips provided, following the manufacturer’s instruction. Install the new tap by placing the gasket and mounting nuts, then tightening securely. Connect the water supply lines to the tap and turn on the water valves to check for any leaks.

Finally, the drainage pipe is connected to the new sink and tested by running water down the drain.

Final Cleanup and Inspection

A thorough cleanup is crucial. Remove all debris and ensure surfaces are spotless.

Then, verify that all lighting fixtures are operational and secure.

Check the installation of knobs and hardware to ensure they are firmly attached and aligned correctly. Inspect every element, including plumbing and electrical wiring. Ensure that decorative accessories like wall art are adequately placed.

Consider adding window treatments for a complete focal point look. Incorporate real or faux plants for a touch of nature.

Address any issues detected promptly to leave your kitchen looking professionally done.

A rustic kitchen with wooden cabinets and open shelving seamlessly transitions to a dining area through a wooden archway. Sunlight streams in through the window, casting soft shadows on the wooden floor—a perfect setting for a quick kitchen makeover.
A rustic kitchen with wooden cabinets and open shelving seamlessly transitions to a dining area through a wooden archway. Sunlight streams in through the window, casting soft shadows on the wooden floor—a perfect setting for a quick kitchen makeover.

3-day kitchen renovation when selling a house

Main benefit – Impact on Home Value

A well-executed 3-day kitchen renovation can significantly increase your home’s value, especially if you’re planning to sell. A modern, functional, and aesthetically pleasing kitchen is often a top priority for potential buyers.

Even minor updates like painting cabinets, installing new hardware, or updating the backsplash can yield a high return on investment (ROI). According to recent studies, minor kitchen remodels can provide an ROI of up to 92.9%, while more extensive renovations can yield an ROI of around 91%.

By focusing on impactful changes that appeal to a wide range of buyers, you can create a more desirable and valuable property. When selling your home, a thoughtfully renovated kitchen can set your property apart from others on the market, potentially leading to a quicker sale and a higher selling price.

A quick kitchen makeover featuring a pink island, wooden stool, white cabinets, hanging lights, and flowers in vases on the island and counter. Pink kitchenware and decor items are visible on the shelves.
A quick kitchen makeover featuring a pink island, wooden stool, white cabinets, hanging lights, and flowers in vases on the island and counter. Pink kitchenware and decor items are visible on the shelves.

For example, a homeowner who invested $5,000 in a 3-day kitchen renovation, including painting cabinets, installing new hardware, updating the backsplash, and replacing the sink and tap, saw their home sell for $15,000 more than comparable properties in the area. The renovation not only attracted more potential buyers but also created a sense of perceived value, leading to a higher final selling price.

To achieve the best outcome when renovating your kitchen before selling, focus on changes that offer the most significant visual impact and functionality improvements while staying within a reasonable budget.

Work with a local real estate agent to identify which updates are most desirable to buyers in your market, and consider the overall style and design of your home to ensure a cohesive look.

By making strategic choices and executing your renovation efficiently, you can maximize your home’s value and attract more potential buyers.

Main benefit: The primary advantage of the high angle shot is its ability to showcase the property in relation to its surroundings, providing a broader context and understanding of the location. By capturing the property from above, this technique can highlight nearby amenities, green spaces, or other attractive features that may appeal to potential buyers. Additionally, high angle shots can be used to emphasize the size and layout of a property, particularly for larger homes or those with unique architectural features, such as courtyard gardens or swimming pools.

Should you hire an Interior Designer for for a quick kitchen renovation?

Hiring an interior designer for a quick kitchen renovation is optional. While their expertise can help optimize the design and selection of materials, it may not be necessary for a short timeline and limited budget.

If you have a clear vision and can manage the project independently, you can save on the added cost of an interior designer. Their experience with various kitchen remodeling scenarios can offer solutions that a homeowner might not consider, saving time and avoiding costly mistakes.

Most impactful one super quick makeover per type of layout kitchen

Here is a list of the most impactful super quick makeovers for different types of kitchen layouts:

  1. Galley kitchen: Replace upper cabinets with open shelving to create a more spacious and airy feel, making the narrow layout appear larger and more inviting.
  2. L-shaped kitchen: Update the countertops with a durable and stylish material, such as quartz or butcher block, to modernize the look and improve functionality.
  3. U-shaped kitchen: Install a statement backsplash, such as a boldly patterned tile or sleek glass panels, to add visual interest and depth to the enclosed layout.
  4. Island kitchen: Upgrade the kitchen island with a contrasting color or material, such as a dark wood stain or a marble waterfall countertop, to create a stunning focal point.
  5. Peninsula kitchen: Replace outdated barstools with modern, comfortable seating to refresh the look and encourage casual dining and socializing in the space.
  6. One-wall kitchen: Maximize vertical storage by installing floating shelves or a pegboard wall to keep the compact layout organized and clutter-free.
  7. Open-concept kitchen: Define the kitchen area with a striking light fixture, such as an oversized pendant light or a cluster of industrial-style bulbs, to create a distinct and stylish space within the larger room.

Working with Professionals

If the budget allows it, engaging with professionals in a 3-day kitchen renovation can ensure efficient project management and high-quality results. Clear communication and careful selection of contractors are crucial for success.

Selecting the Right Contractors

Choosing the appropriate contractors involves several key steps that will not play tricks.

Start by researching contractors with specific experience in kitchen remodeling. Look at their previous work, online reviews, and request references.

Ask for detailed written estimates from several contractors.

Compare these estimates not just on price, but on the scope of work and timelines.

Verify that any potential contractors are licensed and insured.

Professionals must have the necessary certifications to handle specialized tasks such as electrical and plumbing work.

Building a good rapport with the contractor is essential. Trust and understanding will foster a smoother renovation process.

Even for a 3 days, detailed contracts should clearly outline all expectations, including timelines and payment schedules.