Kitchen Renovation: 1960s Kitchen Update

Homeowners with Danny Lipford in completed kitchen remodel.
Homeowners with Danny Lipford in completed kitchen remodel.

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In this episode we take on the renovation of a dated kitchen from the 1960s, and turn it into a dream kitchen any homeowner would love.

Our 1960s kitchen renovation project included:

  • Painting the existing cabinets.
  • Installing new cabinet doors and hardware.
  • Replacing the plastic laminate countertops with granite.
  • Installing a new stainless steel sink and faucet.
  • Removing wallpaper and installing a tumbled marble backsplash.
  • Installing recessed and under cabinet lighting.
  • Laying a ceramic tile floor.
  • Replacing the appliances with stainless steel.
Dated 1960s kitchen before remodeling.
Dated 1960s kitchen before remodeling.

Out with the Old

Our 1960s kitchen renovation began by taking out the old appliances, sink, cabinet doors, drawers, and plastic laminate countertops.

Next, we modified the hanging cabinet over the stove to accommodate a combination microwave and vent hood by cutting the existing face frame on the cabinet and removing the cabinet bottom. The frame and cabinet bottom were then reattached higher up on the cabinet to provide the needed space.

The old plywood paneling on the walls was removed, and drywall installed and finished. In addition, the door to the room was replaced, and larger crown molding installed around the ceiling.

Watch our Kitchen Renovation Demolition video to find out more.

Kitchen Lighting

The old fluorescent light fixtures were removed and holes cut in the ceiling for new recessed light fixtures. Remodeler cans were used for the recessed light fixture housings to minimize the amount of work in the attic.

Under cabinet light fixtures were added under the hanging cabinets to provide additional lighting, and new wall switches and outlets were also installed.

Watch our video on Recessed Light Fixtures to find out more.

Painting the existing kitchen cabinets with oil-based paint.
Painting the existing kitchen cabinets with oil-based paint.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

The old cabinets were sanded with 220-grit sandpaper to dull and smooth the varnish finish. After the cabinets had been wiped down to remove any sanding dust, they were primed using an oil-based primer.

Any imperfections in the cabinets—such as indentations from the old hinges and screw holes—were filled with automotive body filler and sanded smooth. This was followed by two coats of oil-based paint on all the cabinets.

Once the paint on the cabinets was dry, the new doors and drawer fronts were installed with hidden hinges and brushed nickel knobs and pulls. Replacement cabinet doors can be custom made by a local cabinet shop, or ordered from home centers.

Watch our video on How to Paint Kitchen Cabinet Boxes and read our article on How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets to find out more.

Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash

The homeowners selected sapphire brown granite countertops for the kitchen. The 4”x4” tumbled marble noche backsplash tiles by Mohawk were installed in a diagonal pattern with accents of sapphire brown granite to match the countertops.

Watch our How to Choose Kitchen Countertops video to find out more.

Laying the ceramic tile kitchen floor.
Laying the ceramic tile kitchen floor.

Tile Floor

Since the existing vinyl flooring was glued securely to the concrete slab, the floor tile could be installed right over it. The homeowners chose 14”x14” noche ceramic tile, also by Mohawk, to blend with the backsplash.

Check out our step-by-step article on How to Lay a Tile Floor to find out more.


Stainless steel GE Profile appliances—including range, microwave/vent hood, dishwasher, and refrigerator—were installed to complete the kitchen remodel.

Watch our video on How to Choose Kitchen Appliances to find out more.

Completed kitchen renovation.
Completed kitchen renovation.

Finished Kitchen

The white painted cabinets with new frame and panel doors contrast nicely with the granite countertops and tumbled marble backsplash. The tile floor and stainless steel appliances complete the transformation from a dated 1960s kitchen to an attractive modern kitchen with all the conveniences.

Other Tips from This Episode

Easy to Find Keys

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Easy to Find Keys

To make it easy to find the key you use the most often on a large ring of keys, paint the head of the key with brightly colored nail polish. Another way to mark a key for easy identification is to file a small notch in the head of the most often used key. That way you’ll be able to feel the notch on the key even in the dark. (Watch Video)

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Countertop Transformations Kit

The Countertop Transformations kit from Rust-Oleum allows you to refinish plastic laminate countertops to give them the look of real granite. The kit includes a diamond embedded sanding tool, adhesive base coat, decorative chips, and protective top coat. Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations kits are available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Ask Danny Lipford:
Preventing Water Hammer in Pipes

To prevent the thumping noise, known as water hammer, that can occur in pipes when water is turned on and off, a plumber can install a water hammer arrestor or water expansion tank in the water line near the water heater. The devices provide a compressible cushion of air in the water line to absorb spikes in pressure that occur when faucets are turned on and off. (Watch Video)


  1. Small things I would have done to give that kitchen renovation a more “pulled together” look: outlet faceplates to match the cabinet pulls: get rid of the piece of wood that hides the top of the window you just reframed (opening up that space. Update window treatment, too), and paint the kitchen table and chairs to update them and compliment the white cabinets.

  2. The kitchen reno looks nice, but I do not understand why you did not warn the couple that the granite countertops and large-sized ceramic tile floor trend has just about run its course. They could have been on the cutting-edge of the new trends. Now they will probably spend another 17 years with an outdated kitchen.

  3. Enjoyed the show and we are very curious as to the cost of job, not including the new appliances. We are about to update our kitchen and possibly use Home Depot as our supplier. Our cabinets are probably not reusable as they have several coats of paint on them. Will be purchasing new cabinets. Any comments to this will be appreciated. Thank you and once again enjoy your show.

  4. My wife wants new lighting above our sink. Currently, we have a fluorescent fixture. I need some advise how to take it down.


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