A Dark & Daunting Kitchen Becomes Light & Bright

“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford (right) and Chelsea Lipford Wolf (left) visit with homeowners Brian and Catherine Vailes.

Post-Production Thoughts


This kitchen has been waiting 30 years for an update. The space seemed smaller than it was, thanks to darkly stained cabinets, the pointless fur-down and a dated valence.

Plus, the fluorescent light fixtures and vanilla laminate counters made the room feel unnecessarily institutional.

But after some good decision making and two weeks of hard work, the room has been transformed!

Removing the fur-down and valance has opened up the space so your eyes can be drawn to the new light fixtures, which give it a clean, modern feel.

Everything is brighter now too, thanks to the lighter color we painted the cabinets and the new tint that was added to the walls.

The darker shade of paint Catherine chose for the island cabinet adds just the right amount of contrast. Plus it coordinates perfectly with the granite that she’s been waiting so long to enjoy.

By the way, the materials and installation for these countertops totaled about $2,300 and all the other materials combined came to just less than $1,500.

Here’s the price breakdown:
Countertops: $2,300
Digital backsplash: around $75 retail and about $225 for labor/installation
Light fixtures: $259 for all three
Faucet: $260
Sink: $300
Knobs: $75
Hinges: $105
Paint: $250
Crown: $206

So Brian and Catherine’s kitchen renovation cost about $3,800, and I think it’s safe to say they’re happy with it!

Other Tips from These Episodes (Parts 1 and 2)

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
How to Build a Storage Shelf Under the Kitchen Sink

Here’s how to build a shelf that will fit under the kitchen sink and will nearly double the storage space so you can organize all your supplies. Watch video.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Don’t Wipe! How to Scoop Wood Glue Residue to Protect Your Wood Grain

You could wipe away wood-glue residue with a damp cloth, which most woodworkers do, but then you’ll drive the glue into the grain. Here’s how to scoop out the glue. Watch video.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
This Faucet Lets You Know When the Water’s Hot (or Cold)

When the water is cool, a ring on this faucet lights up blue. When it starts to get warm, it turns to magenta and when hot it turns red. Watch video.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
This Ladder Offers Great Stability and a Useful Flip Tray

Gorilla has a new hybrid project ladder that features a wider footprint on the steps to offer greater stability. Watch video.

Watch and Learn:
Do It! How to Properly Paint Cabinets

Here are Danny’s tips for properly painting cabinets — the key is preparation. A pad sander with 220-grit paper will help! Watch video.


  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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