’70s Kitchen Update

By: Danny Lipford
Competed budget kitchen remodel.

Competed budget kitchen remodel.

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Without making any structural changes, we’re updating an outdated galley-style kitchen to be more modern and efficient.

Jim and Peggy had waited for years to be able to do a kitchen renovation and their patience certainly paid off. The kitchen was over thirty years old and had started to show its age. The adjoining den was also somewhat of a time capsule from the seventies so we had our work cut out for us.

We started by removing all of the cabinets, countertops, and flooring in the kitchen as well as a pantry closet the interrupted the flow of the room. After a few repairs to the walls and ceilings, we installed a great new set of cabinets, beautiful granite countertops, and a new ceramic floor.

The homeowners decided to reuse their existing appliances, which were about the only part of the kitchen that was from this century. The adjoining den received a new coat of paint to brighten up the dark paneling, as well as new carpet.

The result was a beautiful space that the homeowners can really enjoy. The kitchen has more counter space to accommodate big holiday meals, and the new cabinets more than make up for any loss of storage space from the removal of the pantry closet.

Producer's Notes from Allen Lyle

Salvaging cabinets

I’d be willing to bet that in at least 75% (if not more) of the kitchen remodels I’ve been involved with the homeowner has requested the old cabinets to be salvaged in order to be re-used in another location. At first glance, this is a great idea, and, yes, I’ve been able to do this on several occasions. However, I also think it’s important to note that in a lot of older homes, the cabinets were built in place rather than built modularly at a cabinet shop.

Back in the 1970’s, this was more the norm, in fact. That meant that the cabinets seldom had backs, and that it wasn’t uncommon to have sections 8-10 feet long that consisted of nothing more than a face frame, bottom and the doors/drawers. In this kind of situation, re-using cabinets really isn’t feasible. Even if the cabinets do come out intact, you only want to re-use them in a garage or basement.

Painting Paneling

When painting over paneling or stained doors and trim, as our painter did in this show, it’s vital that you follow his advice to get the same results he did. Stained items have a glossy finish, whether high gloss or satin. Either way, if you try to paint over these items without sanding them, your paint will eventually start “rolling” right off.

Our painter used a 100-grit sandpaper to rough the surface, but there are other products on the market to cut down on the elbow grease needed to sand. A liquid sandpaper can be used instead of actual sandpaper. You’ll find this in most home centers where it’s known as liquid sandpaper, no sand sandpaper, or de-glosser.

With these products you can achieve the same results without creating all the dust involved with sanding. However, you need to follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations when working with liquid sandpaper. You have to have adequate ventilation, because it can be pretty potent and always wear gloves and safety glasses. You also have to allow ample time for it to dry, but it does a decent job and saves the frustration of trying to sand in hard to reach areas.

Foundation Cracks

In the instance of discovering the foundation crack, the one Danny pointed out is a typical settlement crack that should cause no worry. Danny also mentioned that if there is a large difference in the two planes when a straight edge is placed across the crack, then further inspection is recommended.

So what happens if the crack is a structural concern? You definitely want an expert to do the inspection. This often means going directly to a structural engineer.

Unfortunately, if there is a structural concern, this could be a costly repair. In some cases, a grout mixture can be pumped under the settling area to stop any further problems. Steel pins can also be driven in. Be aware that an average cost is about $1,000 per pin (ouch!). In extreme cases, excavation and reconstruction will be necessary.

The key is to try to identify settling problems before they become severe. Now, you don’t want to keep ripping up carpet to inspect your slab, but you can keep a close eye on doors and windows for any “stickiness” that begins to appear, and look for cracks developing in the walls where the vertical and horizontal plane of doors and windows meet. These are tell-tale signs that can give you an early warning of developing problems and help save a lot of money.

Environmentally Friendly Bleach

When using bleach in an outdoor situation, as Tricia showed us in Around the Yard, be sure to follow her advice. Bleach is a very caustic substance and will kill any plant it contacts, as she mentioned.

If you’re concerned about using bleach, though, there are other products on the market that are touted as being environmentally friendly. If you are computer savvy, then simply Google the term, “environmentally friendly bleach.” You’ll find several suggestions for a “greener” approach. Be forewarned though, you’ll pay a lot more for these products.

Other Tips Seen in This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Cutting Plywood on Sawhorses

Notched sawhorses with 2x2 for cutting plywood.

Cutting large 4’x8′ sheets of plywood on sawhorses can pose a problem, since the heavy sheets tend to bind on the saw and fall off after cutting. To solve this problem, cut two 1½” x 1½” notches in the top of each sawhorse, and then insert 8′ long 2×2’s into the notches to support the sheet of plywood after cutting. This approach also can be used to turn your sawhorses into a sturdy work base that can be used as a portable workbench.

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization System

Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization System

Between lawn and garden equipment, ladders, bikes, tools and everything else taking up space many homeowners are finding they can’t fit the car in the garage anymore. The FastTrack System from Rubbermaid organizes your garage with vertical and horizontal storage. There are a variety of accessories and shelves to hang everything from a bike to garden tools and sports equipment. Just determine your storage needs, hang the FastTrack rail then simply snap hooks, shelving, brackets, and other accessories onto the rail.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Getting Rid of Moss

Getting Rid of Moss

Shady areas of your walkways or driveway may be prone to grow moss, but wet moss is extremely slippery and poses a safety hazard. To get rid of moss along walkways, scrape it off with an old putty knife. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t return, so soak the area with a solution of equal parts water and household bleach then allow the solution to dry. Repeat the treatment as needed, being careful to keep the bleach solution away from the lawn and nearby plants.



Please Leave a Comment

5 Comments on “’70s Kitchen Update”

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  • Caroline Marquez Says:
    April 10th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I have laminate counters and cabinets from the 80’s in my Kitchen. I was wondering if I can use liquid sandpaper on the cabinet door fronts and then apply some sort of paint or stain in order to “reface” them myself. Can you please tell me about this and what products you would use for the liquid sandpaper and also what type of finish you might recommend we use after – ie paint or stain or something else?

    Thank you.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Hi Anne,
    Screwing the table to the studs would be by far the best approach. If the location of the studs makes that impossible, you will have to use some heavy duty wall anchors like toggle or molly bolts. To find out more about which ones hold the best, check out our article on Testing Wall Anchors and Picture Hangers.

  • anne polidoro Says:
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:09 am

    how do i attach afloating bedside table to the wall?

    thank you

  • Official Comment:

    Nicholas Roussos Says:
    August 20th, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Larry, that was in episode 629, Word of Windows. You can find instructions at the bottom of its episode description.

  • Larry Johnston Says:
    August 18th, 2007 at 8:00 am

    On todays show (8-18) you showed how to make a garage work bench. I am interested in the print.

    Than you

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