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You don’t have to hire a contractor and spend a fortune remodeling your kitchen. With a little creativity and by doing much of the work yourself, you can end up with the kitchen of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Kitchen before DIY budget makeover.
Kitchen before DIY budget makeover.

Ordering Cabinet Doors

While the tile floor and cabinets in this kitchen were in good shape, the doors, drawer fronts, and countertops had seen better days. After measuring the cabinet openings, unfinished raised panel doors and drawer fronts were ordered through the local home center from Quality Doors.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the order form carefully, remembering to take into account the overlay around the doors and the number of doors per opening.

Prep Work

After the old doors, drawers, and countertops had been removed, any necessary modifications were made to the cabinets. These included installing a narrow cabinet next to the door and trimming the hanging cabinet to accommodate a microwave over the stove.

A two-part auto body filler was used to patch holes in the cabinets since it sets up quickly and doesn’t shrink. Start by mixing a small amount of catalyst with the filler.

Then use a putty knife to push the filler into the holes, removing any excess before it sets up.

Once it has hardened, sand the filler flush with the wood.


To prepare the cabinets for painting, a liquid deglosser was applied to allow the new paint to bond with the old. When using deglosser, body filler, or any flammable or hazardous material, be sure to read and follow all safety instructions.

The cabinets were primed with a yellow tinted primer. This was followed by black latex enamel on the exterior and yellow paint in the interior. Sheets of plastic were used to create a temporary spray booth in the storage shed to paint the doors.

Inside, a foam roller was used to give the cabinets a uniform texture.


The countertops from VT Industries feature Wilsonart Bella Capri plastic laminate with a Barcelona double-waterfall molded edge to give them the look of natural granite at a much lower cost. VT Industries countertops are available at The Home Depot.

A Culinaire™ stainless steel sink and faucet from American Standard were installed before the countertop was put in place to minimize the time spent working in cramped quarters. After a bead of caulking had been applied to the rim around the sink, it was attached to the countertop with fastening clips. The faucet and sink strainers went in as well, leaving only the supply lines and drain pipe to be hooked up.

When everything was ready, tinted sealant was applied to the mitered ends of the countertop. The two pieces were carefully aligned and joined together with miter bolts in precut slots before being screwed to the cabinets.


Once the countertop was in place, a Compact Evolution Series™ food waste disposer from InSinkErator was installed. An optional air assisted SinkTop Switch™ makes using it a breeze.

A combination microwave/convection oven/vent hood from GE was installed over the stove. The unit mounts on a metal plate that is attached to the wall. Once in place, it is secured to the hanging cabinet.

Hanging Cabinet Doors

The cabinet doors featured adjustable European style hinges that were tapped in place with a rubber mallet. Expanding plastic anchors secure the hinge to the door without driving any screws.

To hang the doors, a strip of wood was clamped to the face frame of the cabinet for the doors to rest on, which allowed for perfect alignment. A cordless drill/driver made quick work of drilling the pilot holes and driving the hinge screws into the cabinet frame.

The doors were then fine-tuned by turning the adjusting screws on the hinges.

After the doors and drawer fronts had been attached, the cabinets were distressed to give them an antique look by lightly sanding along the edges until the yellow primer peeked through.

The final touch was installing the Amerock weathered nickel drawer pulls and door knobs.

Other Tips From This Episode

Measuring Tile

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Measuring Tile

Here’s an easy way to measure the small pieces of tile around the edge of the room without using a tape measure. Place the tile to be cut directly on top of the last full tile. Put another tile on top of it that is pushed up against the wall. Using the edge of the top tile as a guide, draw a line on the bottom tile. Cut the bottom tile to the line for a perfect fit.

Wagner Control Spray Sprayer

Best New Products with Emilie Barta:
Wagner HVLP Sprayer

The Wagner Control Spray is a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) sprayer that’s designed to spray thinner materials with maximum control and low overspray. It features three adjustable spray patterns along with Wagner’s special Lock-n-Go system for easy cleanup. Wagner sprayers are available at The Home Depot stores.

Ask Danny:
Dealing with Hard Water

What is hard water, and is that something I should be concerned about? -Frank from Louisville

Dealing with Hard Water

Hard water is water that contains a high content of minerals such as calcium or magnesium. While not considered dangerous to your health, it can cause scale to form in plumbing and prevent detergent and soap from working properly. While there are several ways to remove minerals from your water, the most common method replaces the calcium or magnesium with sodium. This is done using a device called a water softener that is installed in the main water line running into the house. Water softeners are recharged from time to time with salt to keep them working properly.

Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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