Couple transform their kitchen with genius whiteboard pen hack

This year, Brits have spent more time in their houses than ever before.

And as a result – many have turned their attention to long-overdue DIY projects that have been on top of the to-do list for years.

Transforming an entire room in your home can get pricey, but a savvy Bolton couple managed give their kitchen a contemporary new look while sticking to their budget.

Sean Kay, 30, and his wife Leah, 23, gave their ‘dated’ kitchen an impressive makeover using a lick of paint, budget-friendly accessories, and whiteboard pens to upcycle the kitchen tiles.

Sean said: “As I am a teacher, I had lots of whiteboard markers lying around my house.

“As the black grouting pen wasn’t showing up very well we decided to get colouring in the grout with the whiteboard markers and it looks amazing!

“It wiped off the tiles so easily but stayed in the grout. It was done in two hours.

“We are so proud of ourselves for making our vision a reality on a budget.

“Previously, we didn’t spend much time in our dated kitchen but now we don’t want to leave it!”

Sean posted before and after pictures in the DIY on a Budget Official Facebook and received more than 768 likes and more than 100 comments.

In the post, Sean wrote: “Nearly finished our kitchen transformation using hornblower blue frenchic paint and we love it!

“We’ve just got our new glass top table today and we are waiting for our blue velvet chairs to arrive.

Before picture of the kitchen
(Image: Sean Kieran Kay)

“Everything bought has been haggled and searched for until we grabbed bargains.

“We used white dc fix fablon on the worktops. We used white board markers in the grout of the tiles.

“Just awaiting our curtains blinds and other accessories now!

“We now need to change the flooring as the current vinyl has got so many stains, holes and paint on it!

“Thanks for all of your comments. It’s been hard work over the last few weeks but worth it.”

Sean and Leah’s stunning kitchen transformation
(Image: Sean Kieran Kay)

Sean and Leah, a part-time GP receptionist and owner of the Leah Kay The Body Shop at Home Facebook group, began to use social media to boost their DIY skills.

The couple, who also have a two-year-old son called Terry, joined the Frenchic Fan Forum Facebook group for tips and tricks and watched YouTube DIY tutorials in their spare time.

Sean said: “To prime the cupboards we first cleaned them with frenchic sugar soap, wiped them down with water, lightly sanded them by hand and wiped off any dust.

“After that the paint went on like a dream – a little paint goes a long way. You are supposed to use it sparingly and it dries really quickly.

Sean and Leah Kay

“After the first coat, they looked awful and we were starting to regret it but after the second and third cost they looked great. We applied three coats leaving two hours drying time between each coat.

“It took us two days to completely prime and paint all of the cupboards.”

Searching for online bargains and haggling down prices of materials and products helped the pair complete their kitchen makeover on a budget.

Sean said: “The biggest bargain I managed to find on Facebook marketplace was the real wood flooring (£90 but RRP £729.92).

The couple up-cycled their kitchen tiles with whiteboard pens and added bargain accessories including this artificial Bonsai tree from B&M

“I found some fitting quotes which were over £1000 but we don’t have that kind of money, so again, I watched many YouTube videos on how to lay this and got to it.

“I borrowed my step-dad’s jig saw and bought a cheap floor fitting kit at £7.99 from Wickes. This included spacers and a pull bar.

“It was hard work measuring, cutting and hammering the pull bar for hours but we managed to get it done in a day.”

The Kay’s dining area

Sean and Leah kindly shared their full kitchen make-over shopping list:

  • YPO whiteboard markers – but any will do
  • B&M White Gloss DC Fix (five 90cm x 2.1m rolls) – £8.99 each
  • Fandangle Interiors French Horn Blower Paint (two x 750ml) – £19 each
  • Fandangle Interiors Fine Sand Paper (x3) – £2 each
  • Fandangle Interiors Sugar Soap – £4.50
  • Fandangle Interiors Medium Frenchic Oval Brush – £13
  • Daytona Clear Glass Small Dining Table With Brushed Gold Base from furnitueinfashion.net (it’s on the website for £299.95 but Sean and Leah went to the actual showroom and managed to haggle them down to £130)

  • Four Dining Chairs Velvet Fabric Padded Soft Seat Metal Legs Accent Back Home Set from eBay for £89.98 for all 4 including postage

  • Elka Washed and Smoked Oak UV Oiled 18mm Real Wood Flooring (14 sqm) – RRP is £729.92 from doorsandfloors.co.uk. (Sean and Leah bought it for £90 from Facebook Marketplace off a man who’s wife didn’t like the colour when she opened a box)

  • B&M Artificial Bonsai Tree – £10

  • Vase and artificial flowers – approximately £10

  • Champagne Luxury Large Ornate Mirror – £120 from a furniture warehouse but the couple found it on Facebook Market Place.

  • B&M Curtains and pole – £50

  • Dancing in the kitchen sign – £20 from ‘Dansky Arts and Crafts’ on Facebook

Since completing their impressive DIY transformation, The Kays have put their home up for sale. You can view it here on Zoopla.


Manchester Evening News