My New $150 Kitchen

I’m going to get right to the point. In one week’s time, we were able to transform our kitchen from this:




To this:





And the best part is it cost us less than $150 to do it! Pretty great, yes?

I knew when we decided to buy the lake place that I’d eventually want to redo the kitchen. But new cabinets would have cost thousands of dollars, and we’ve got more important projects to take care of first. So when the motivation hit me to paint the cabinets, I knew I needed to act quickly before the motivation went away. Luckily Matt was on board with it, so I got to work wiping down the cabinets, removing the doors, and lightly sanding the surfaces right away. I had to fill the holes from the old hardware with putty since I didn’t like how they were located in the middle of the cabinet doors.



I did the cabinets in sections. I did the upper cabinets from start to finish, from sanding to hanging after the final coat of paint, before even attempting to start on the lowers.

Once I was done sanding, I was ready for primer. I went and talked to the lady who works in the M&M Lumber paint section, who Matt says has worked there as long as he can remember. She recommended a primer for me, Zinsser Bullseye, and assured me I’d only need one coat. She also asked me what I planned on using for paint. I reluctantly told her “Sherwin Williams”. After an awkward moment, she assured me the Valspar paint they carried would do just as well and they could color match any Sherwin Williams color.


It did save me a trip to St. Cloud, anyways. She also saved me a lot of time by letting me know I would not need to sand between each coat of paint. Thank goodness.

I wanted a soft, warm white color in the kitchen. After a lot of Google image searches, I had it pinned between two different Sherwin Williams colors; Dover White and Alabaster. Well, apparently I was feeling both cheap and impatient, so I didn’t buy any color samples to try first. Word of advice; buy the color samples. Seriously, just spend the money and take the time and do it. You’ll see why below. I picked Sherwin Williams Dover White at the last second and had it color matched at M&M.


So I went for it. After a coat of primer I started painting Dover White on part of the cabinet frame and one side of a door. And I immediately felt sick. I seriously felt like vomiting. I saw the color next to the stark white primer and started to panic. It looked dingy. It looked yellow. It looked like everything I didn’t want. And I felt like I had just wasted $36 because I was too impatient to take the time to buy test samples. I had to put my brush down and walk away. I brought my little panic attack to Matt. His advice? “You have to figure it out.” So helpful. (I love you, Matt.)

So I did what anyone would do: I posted my dilemma on Facebook. 🙂

After stepping away from it and getting some reassurance, I decided to go for it. Here’s some progress pictures:



Thank you, Anna. Well, at least there’s proof I was working.


Uppers are done. Time for the lowers.

I think the total project took about 30-35 hours total. Which we managed in a week. And it was totally worth it. The color ended up being exactly what I was looking for once every door was hung in it’s place. I’m loving my new cabinets and loving that they were so inexpensive to do. My mother-in-law bought the new hardware for us so that relieved some of the cost. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this, but I can honestly say it was easy, just time consuming and monotonous. But I am fine with monotonous. I’m a Medical Lab Technician, for crying out loud!

I’ll say good-bye with a sign that makes me smile, and even moreso now that there is paint from my project spattered on it.


But wait, the kitchen isn’t completely done yet and I need your opinion! What color should I paint the island? Should I paint it the same color or do an accent color?

A woman’s work is never done.


Thrifty Finds

I used to hate when my mom would go to thrift stores when I was a kid. I hated the smell, the rows and rows of old clothes hung by color, and the stacks of Tupperware and knick-knacks that should have been put directly into the dumpster as opposed to getting the title of “good will”. I don’t think I ever touched anything in the store cause it just seemed dirty.

Well, apparently it was only a matter of time for me to embrace my inner thrifter because now I love thrift shopping. I guess it’s in the genes. My dad is a scrapper and my mom has always had a creative eye to make old things better than new. I love thrifting because it’s the ultimate search for finding a treasure for a steal. I love finding an item that allows me to flex the creative side of my brain.

My sister, Amy, and I both had the day off yesterday, and we decided to go thrifting. The first two stores we went to didn’t have any huge successes, but once we got to Good Will things changed. We found a ton of kids clothes for cheap. Amy found some really cute wooden salad bowls, and I bought these awesome retro snack sets.


They are called Indiana Glass Kings Crown and were made up until the 1960s. I only got three sets but it looks like they will be relatively easy to add to the collection. I love that there is a little groove on the plate for the cup to sit. For 99 cents a cup I went for it. So glad I did. Now I need to work on my hospitality and have some people over to use them. Amy bought each of the kids an afghan. I bought some decorative plates to hang in Anna’s room.


They are the perfect colors to go with her room and have the vintage look I’m going for.

After spending almost three hours at Good Will, I scored my big furniture find. I’d been looking for a night stand for Anna’s room. I found this for $23. I didn’t like the color but loved the structure!


I love a project and trying to bring something to its full potential. And this has a lot of it! Although it was a little more money than I’d usually spend on a thrift, it came home with me.

And today I got to work! I knew just the color I wanted to paint it. Anna’s room is pink. Her dresser is an apple green. I like the mismatched look, and was inspired by the color of a decorative vase in her room. So I took it to the paint store with me and picked a close match.


Valspar Sky Blue View

With a little help from the boy and two coats of paint later, it was done.


Here she is in all of her glory in Anna’s room. So cute! And just what I pictured!


One thing I may do yet is sand some of the edges down to reveal a little bit of the original color underneath and give it a little bit of a distressed look. Oh, and that hot pink afghan on the bed is the one Amy bought for Anna at Good Will.

It feels so great to see at least one room in the house starting the feel “complete”. I’ll take a small win.

Anyone have any good thrifting stories?

Plan C

Now, where were we? The last place we left off I was talking about how we decided not to do our garage project in order to put that money into the roof and exterior of the house instead. I was also feeling really excited about re-siding the house in blue.

Well, we’ve had a change of plans yet again. Matt said we need a new furnace before winter. The one we have is 20 years old and I guess they are known for spewing carbon monoxide when they are on their way out. So I was totally on board with the new furnace thing. And while we’re at it, we figured we should get central air at the same time. But I was shocked when quotes starting coming back between 5-7k.

We figured we’d take out a loan to cover it. But when the bank let us know what our payments would be, Matt pitched to me what is now “plan C” in this new house adventure: We should hold off on new siding and windows and just do the roof and furnace. This would save us taking out a loan.

I’m not going to lie. It took me at least a full week to get over the fact we wouldn’t be getting new windows and siding. I had been so excited with the thought of giving the outside a new look and having it totally done this summer. I guess I’m still kind of having a hard time with it, but I am also glad we aren’t taking out a loan. In the long run I think it will be a good decision.

I’m taking my mind off the outside of the house and starting to plan the inside. This fall we’re going to gut both bathrooms and totally redo them. I want to do beadboard walls so we don’t have to mess with sheetrocking, plus I think the look works well in a lake home.


Simple and clean


Love it!

So that’s plan C. I have to remind myself our projects are more like a marathon than a sprint. It will get there. The waiting is just so hard at times.