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Thrifty Kitchen Makeover – $100 Budget, Week 1

I am so excited to be part of the $100 Room Challenge this month! If you haven’t heard of it, Erin from Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry started this challenge in September of 2015. And for me, it’s going to be painting my kitchen cabinets in 4 weeks on a $100 budget.

I may be crazy, but I’ve decided to tackle our kitchen. And I do realize that I have to put my money towards something that will give me the biggest impact for my $100. And what better way to do that than paint the cabinets?

Paint is a powerful tool that almost anyone can learn to use. And if I’m doing a thrifty kitchen makeover, I need a powerful tool!

I already painted our backsplash several months ago and it did wonders to change the look in there. You can see how I did that – Click here!

Now our kitchen currently has dark wood cabinets. On top of very dark wood floors. It’s not small, but feels cramped because of the layout. But, there’s no shortage of storage.

In fact, if I had the cash, I would probably ditch some of the upper cabinets and add open shelving. And I’d ditch our island because it never should’ve been put in a kitchen this size. There are less than 2 feet on either side of it and it’s always in my way! But that’s not happening this go-round.

Because then I’d open up a whole other can of worms and this challenge is only 4 weeks and $100.

Why change perfectly good cabinets?  Our kitchen is in the middle of our house. It doesn’t get a ton of light during the day and it’s pretty dark in there. And I’m a neutral kind of girl. I like white cabinets. I’ve wanted white cabinets for years.

This isn’t a fleeting decision. I picked something that I know I’ll be happy with for years to come. I want something that I won’t want to change in 3 months.

So where is my $100 going in this thrifty kitchen makeover?

  • Paint
  • Supplies (Brush, roller covers..)
  • New kitchen rugs
  • A few new decor items if I have any money leftover
  • And there a few things I already have on hand so that’s a win for the budget – primer, TSP, liquid deglosser, and painter’s tape. I also have a paint sprayer and I may try to use it to speed up the process. But it’s definitely not a necessity for this project so don’t fret it you don’t have one.

I’ve mapped out my timeline for this one because I’ve got to stay pretty organized to get this thing done in 4 weeks. In addition to my regular job, 2 kids, a dog, and a husband, there’s not a whole lot of spare time.

Image graphic that reads \"$100 Room Challenge, One Room | One Month | $100\" and an office desk with a chair.

Here’s my plan for the $100 Room Challenge:

Week One:  I’m starting with the lower cabinets and doors. I originally planned to remove everything at once, but I don’t have enough garage space to lay everything out. So I’ll work in sections. I’ll prime and paint the lower sections.

I am priming because I want this job to last for years! I’m not skipping this step because a kitchen takes a lot of abuse. I know it’s extra work, but necessary. Hopefully, in between drying times for the doors/drawers, I can prep and prime the cabinet bases.

And here’s a little helpful tip. Buy a box of Ziploc baggies. Use one bag for each door’s hardware including hinges and knobs/pulls. Label every single door/drawer and label your baggie to go with its respective door. Trust me.

I’ve messed this up in the past. You think there won’t be any way to get confused but it’ll happen. And man – it’s a bad feeling having to go back and take it apart again just when you think you’re done. Don’t skip this step!

Week Two:  Remove all the upper cabinets doors. Repeat cleaning and prep steps for these or finish what didn’t get done in week one.

Week Three:  Finish painting. All the priming should be done at this point, so any painting that needs to be done can get done this week.

Week Four:  If I have any money for decorating, I’ll get a few things or just shop at my house! And then put it all together!

Just writing this list out is overwhelming to me. I know this will be worth it in the end, but it’s definitely a huge undertaking for 4 weeks. Wish me luck on my thrifty kitchen makeover! Hopefully I’ll get it done!

And here’s some before shots so you can see what I’m starting with!

Kitchen Before:

A kitchen with dark brown cabinets and tan granite countertops.
Dark cabinets in a kitchen with an island.
Dark brown upper and lower kitchen cabinets.
A kitchen with dark brown cabinets, granite countertops, and a tan backsplash.
Dark brown lower cabinets in a kitchen with granite countertops and tile backsplash.
Dark brown lower kitchen cabinets with a gas stovetop range.
A kitchen with dark brown cabinets, granite countertops and a center island.
A brown and tan kitchen.
Drawn plans for a cabinet makeover.

And I know this is possibly the crudest drawing ever, but it’ll help keep me organized. Every drawer and door has a number. Each one will get labeled so there’s no chance of mixing it up when I’m drowning in paint and exhausted at the end of this 4 weeks!

And be sure to check out the other bloggers’ posts that are linked at the bottom this post for the $100 Room Challenge!

UPDATE:  SEE WEEK 2 – click here, and WEEK 3, and the Final Reveal of WEEK 4!

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Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I love the bones of the kitchen! Can't wait to see the magic you do!


Wednesday 13th of September 2017

Thank you Stephanie! I may need a magic wand to wave to get it finished in time!

Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Good luck! I can't wait to see everything you do for just $100. #HomeMattersParty


Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thanks Donna! I'm hoping I can make it work on the $100 budget!


Tuesday 12th of September 2017

I cannot wait to see this transformation! I also have dark cabinets that i've been wanting to paint! And what a good idea to number everything!


Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thanks Rebecca! The numbering system has been a life saver! I would've been all mixed up without it. And I hope it turns out like I'm envisioning! I'd love to hear about it if you do yours too!


Monday 11th of September 2017

I love a white kitchen. You are lucky to have such a gorgeous space to work with! I am sure it will be lovely when you are done.


Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thank you Keri! I definitely think it will be an improvement to brighten it up in there!

Brittany Serowski

Monday 11th of September 2017

Ah I love my white cabinets and I think you will love it too!! I can't wait to hear about the progress and how awesome doing it totally in a reasonable budget!! I can't wait to see the after photos!


Tuesday 12th of September 2017

Thank you Brittany! I've wanted white cabinets for so long! Hoping I can get it done in the 4 weeks!