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Thrifty Kitchen Makeover – $100 Budget, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the $100 Room Challenge! What was I thinking???? Just kidding, but I’ll admit, this is a huge undertaking. I know by choosing to paint the kitchen cabinets that I am in for a ton of work! So come along and find out where I am in my one hundred dollar kitchen makeover after the first full week!

Just so we are all on the same page, I have plans to update my kitchen cabinets with only $100. You can see all my detailed plans for the 4 weeks – click here to see!   I mapped out a timeline to keep me on schedule. So did I stick to the schedule??

If you missed week 1, definitely check out my plans – here!  And if you aren’t familiar with the $100 Room Challenge, please check out Erin at LemonsLavenderandLaundry.  She started this amazing 4 week challenge to transform a room with only $100. You don’t have to spend a fortune to change the look of a room.

One Hundred Dollar Kitchen Makeover – Week 1

Here are my original plans for Week 1:

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!

And here’s what I’ve accomplished each day in Week 1:

  •  1:  Remove all lower doors/drawers, clean with TSP and wipe with liquid deglosser
  •  2:  Clean cabinet frames with TSP and wipe with liquid deglosser, caulk the seams in the cabinet frames, spray one coat of primer on fronts and backs of     doors/drawers, prime lower cabinets inside, first coat of paint on cabinet frames
  •  3:  I had to work a long day today so all I got done today is the second coat of paint on the cabinet frames
  •  4:  Nothing – Another long shift at work
  •  5:  Spray one coat of paint on the fronts and backs of the doors/drawers, clean most of the upper cabinet doors
  •  6:  Finish cleaning upper doors, remove all uppers, and spray one coat of primer on the backs of the upper doors, rehang lower doors and attach drawer fronts
  •  7:  Nothing – Schools are closed due to Hurricane Irma and we are preparing for some pretty bad weather here
Partially painted kitchen cabinets with the doors removed.
Paint supplies on the counter in a kitchen.

I’m actually a little ahead of where I thought I would be at this point. That’ll be a good thing since we are preparing for power outages tomorrow due to Hurricane Irma.

And I made a few changes to the plan:

I decided to make a few changes to the plan. For starters, we decided not to paint the island. Two reasons – 1. I don’t even like having it in here because it’s always in my way, and 2.

If it has to stay, I’d like to paint it a different color and maybe add some beadboard. Since I may paint it, I don’t have enough money left in my budget this time around to buy more paint. I’m going to be very tight with money sticking to the $100.

What did I spend so far:

Here’s the list so far of what I’ve spent on this 4 week challenge:


And in an effort to show you a true cost of a project like this, I gathered a list of supplies that you’ll need and some that are optional, but I already had on hand. Most of this we keep because we are constantly doing projects.

What’s worked, what hasn’t:

It’s definitely helpful to work in sections. However, I will say that if you have the room to lay everything out at once, I would do it this way at least for the primer. I’m spraying primer in my garage and wow! If you haven’t sprayed primer before, prepare for the smell!

It’s overwhelming. Definitely use a mask. It’s a necessity.

I don’t have the room so I did only the lower doors/drawers first. Here’s one mistake I made. I have a tarp down in the garage and I also used a blanket. Big mistake. Do not use a blanket.

It’s an old comforter from years ago, but it still left fuzzies on my paint. I gave the messed up spots a quick sanding with fine-grit sanding paper and it was fine. Then I scrapped the blanket and used two tarps instead. Much better.

Dark wood cabinet doors prepped for painting on the floor.
See that blanket – don’t use one!

Also, I started out by putting my doors on solo cups to be able to get the sides better. Not a good idea because there is so much overspray from the sprayer that the undersides of the doors had a fine powdery primer dust on them. Ditch the cups and just lay flat on the tarps.

I always start with the backs of everything. Label your doors – I write their number in the hinge hole and then cover the number with painters tape. For the drawers, I put the numbered piece of tape on the tarps in front of each drawer front.

Then when you are ready to paint the fronts of the drawers, stick the piece of tape right back in the center of each backside. It won’t matter if it messes up the paint a bit, because you will never see that part.

And speaking of drawers, I find it easier to remove the drawer front instead of taking the whole drawer out. This takes up much less space and you don’t have to tape the sides of the drawers.

Is a Paint Sprayer Necessary?

If you are in a time crunch, yes. It’s a huge time saver. It takes no time at all to spray doors. However, it is not necessary. You can easily do this project with a roller and a brush. I wanted to keep the look of no brush strokes on the doors so I decided to use it.

Prepare for a messy, smelly clean-up with the primer though and it’s time-consuming to clean the sprayer with mineral spirits. Because the primer I use is oil-based, it has to be cleaned with mineral spirits and not water.

We are using a five-gallon bucket and then we will dispose of it properly. (Check your local requirements for disposing of hazardous waste). Do not pour this into your septic system or down the drain.

Tips for Using a Paint Sprayer

If you haven’t used a paint sprayer before, it’s definitely a handy tool! I got one for Christmas a few years ago (yes, I’m that girl who asks for DIY stuff for gifts!). Test it out first.

Get used to the way it sprays before you dive into the kitchen cabinets. It takes a bit of practice to know how close you need to be to whatever you are painting.

Apparently, I sprayed a little too far away on some of mine and the finish is a bit rough. Follow the instructions and thin your paint/primer appropriately. I have the Home Right Finish Max HVLP Sprayer and it has detailed instructions on how thin your material needs to be.

After testing my primer, I didn’t have to thin it at all. However, I did need to thin the paint with water. I’ll admit that clean-up is a bit of a pain, but it’s worth the effort, especially with a big project.

Overall, if you’re going to be painting a lot, I’d recommend trying out a sprayer.

Week 2 Plans:

I’m actually a little ahead of where I thought I would be at this point. That’ll be a good thing since we are preparing for power outages tomorrow due to Hurricane Irma. So for week 2, my plans will change a bit:

  • Prime the fronts of the upper doors
  • Paint fronts and backs of the upper doors
  • Prime and paint the cabinet frames inside

Whew! Wish me luck! If I can knock out all that in Week 2, I’ll be ahead of schedule! Don’t forget to check out all the other amazing bloggers that have joined in this challenge! There’s tons of inspiration and talent in this group!

And one big project that is already done in the kitchen is painting the backsplash! If you’ve thought about painting ceramic tile backsplash, go for it! You can see how I did ours – click here!  It is holding up beautifully and much cheaper than replacing the tiles!

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Saturday 14th of September 2019

What colour did you use for your cabinets? Was it the same shade as your backsplash? I'm trying to move to a mix of whites in my kitchen but struggling with choosing shades for the walls/cabinets/backsplash and have it looking too blah or too mish-mashed! :/ Looks great! You're inspiring my next huge project!

create and find

Saturday 14th of September 2019

Hey Shannon! I used the same color as the trim in our house. It's called Panda White from Sherwin Williams. It's a white that has more brown tones in it. It wouldn't be my first choice, but if I had used a bright white, it would not have looked good with all the trim. And I did use the same color on the backsplash. Just used a gloss finish there. Hope this helps! And good luck with your project!


Wednesday 20th of September 2017

Great work, especially with a hurricane!


Monday 18th of September 2017

I am so scared of using my paint sprayer inside. I so need to give it a try!! I can't wait to see the finished room.


Monday 18th of September 2017

Oh I definitely didn't use it inside! I don't think I'd ever get enough plastic up to keep everything from the overspray. It was a real time saver in the garage though!

Erin @ Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry

Monday 18th of September 2017

Woohoo! Ahead of schedule! The cabinets you have completed look great! Thanks for all the handy tips. Our kitchen cabinets are on our list of "things to do", so I'm watching this makeover carefully. And we have a paint sprayer, which I'm sure makes the process go a whole lot faster :)


Monday 18th of September 2017

Thanks Erin! It's getting there. I've made a few mistakes along the way for sure, but I would definitely use the sprayer again. It's such a time saver! I can't wait to see yours when you get to it.


Saturday 16th of September 2017

These designs are amazing!

Have an awesome day!