A Dark & Daunting Kitchen Becomes Light & Bright

Brian and Catherine Vailes’ kitchen was trapped in the 1980s. The laminate countertops, dark cabinets, purely decorative fur down and popcorn ceilings dated the room and made it appear much smaller than it is. Now, it’s light and bright!

Part 1:

Part 2:

This week, we’re beginning a two-part kitchen renovation with a family who’s been waiting 20 years for this moment.

Brian and Catherine Vailes love the home they share with their kids, Jackson, Luke and Meggie.

But their kitchen is past due for an update.

So, we’ve been helping them plan a way to pull off a massive project in just two weeks, which we’ll cover in two episodes.

On top of all that, Brian, who owns Sign Pro in Mobile, Alabama is planning a custom “digital backsplash” for the kitchen.

The Projects


Scrape popcorn ceiling


“Popcorn” ceilings are so 1980s, so we’re going to scrape the ceiling, paint it and add new light fixtures.

The Vailes’ kitchen will receive a major makeover, but first we have to scrape the popcorn texture off the ceiling to make it all match the modern look.

It doesn’t hurt when you get the kids to help out. In just a few hours the first night, they get the entire ceiling scraped!

The drywall’s surface is uneven due to DIY texturing the homeowners applied years ago. We’re going to remove the chair rail and sand off that texture.

Finish the drywall and ceiling


The kitchen’s drywall is textured above the chair rail, but smooth below it. We need the walls to match, so first we need to repair the drywall, and then we need to sand off the texture.

Before I repair any areas where the drywall paper is torn, I spray them with primer to seal them. Then I apply the joint compound.

And before we start making dust, we seal off the kitchen with plastic zippered walls and hook up BuildClean’s dust-control system to filter the air.

Then, little by little, we knock down the texture.

Paint the cabinets, walls and ceiling


Everyone knows Chelsea loves her paint sprayer. Now, Catherine gets to join the fun while painting the cabinet doors.

We move the cabinet doors outside to prep them for paint. While Brian and Catherine sand the doors outside, Chelsea sands the cabinet boxes inside, and I’m checking to see how easily the chair rail will come off.

The next project for Chelsea and Catherine is priming those cabinet doors.

Once the first coat on the doors is complete, Catherine carries the work into the evening by spraying the cabinet boxes inside.

Later, Brian applies the first coat of wall paint to see if we’ve removed enough of the walls’ texture, and after that, we paint the ceiling.


  1. Episode : A Dark & Daunting Kitchen Becomes Light & Bright

    Can you please provide the name of the grey paint used in the kitchen?

    Thank you!

  2. This episode has inspired me to make similar changes to our kitchen. What paint sprayer do you recommend? I am ready to brighten up by painting cabinets, adding trim, etc. Love the show! Thank you, Christine


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