Kitchen Tricks

By: Danny Lipford

Joe Truini with pullout kitchen cabinet trash can.

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If a full scale kitchen renovation isn’t in your budget, consider incorporating these inexpensive tips and ideas in your kitchen to make it more functional and attractive as well as improving the organization, storage, and looks of your kitchen without spending a fortune.

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Tips

Adding drawer dividers is a great way to make existing drawers more functional. You can buy them ready made from home improvement stores, or make them yourself out of wood to fit a specific size or shape.

Another option is to replace drawer bottoms with 1/4” pegboard and use dowels as adjustable spacers to accommodate everything from pots and pans to kitchen utensils.

Installing a pullout rack in your cabinet is perfect for storing cookie sheets, baking pans, and trays.

Rollout racks (or drawer slides) can also be adapted for use with a kitchen trash can, or you can purchase a pullout specially designed for that purpose. The cabinet door in front of the trash can either be hinged or attached to the front of the rack so it pulls out with the can.

Kitchen Cabinet Facelift Tips

To improve the looks of your kitchen cabinets, replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Doors and drawer fronts can be custom ordered in various sizes from home centers in a wide range of colors and styles. They’re also available unfinished, so you can finish them yourself to match existing cabinets.

Another option for dressing up bland plywood cabinet doors is by attaching mitered strips of molding to the face. Stain and finish the molding to match the doors, then cut the miters and nail the molding in place.

Kitchen Cabinets Upgrade Tips

To increase the usable space in your kitchen cabinets, consider utilizing the open space above hanging cabinets for display or fill in the space with a custom cabinet for added storage.

You can add a touch of elegance to your cabinets by replacing some of the wood panels in the hanging cabinet doors with glass to display collectables, silver, or fine china.

A plate rack can provide an interesting design feature while making your kitchen more efficient at the same time.

Adding an island to your kitchen can make use of wasted space. Allow 42” between the island and other cabinets, and 36” for walkways.

If your kitchen doesn’t have space for an island, try a rolling cart instead. Park it against a wall when not in use, then pull it out into the room when needed for cooking or serving.

Kitchen Countertop and Backsplash Tips

A tile backsplash is a great way to dress up your kitchen while making it easier to keep clean. Mosaic tile kits, such as those from JEM Expressions, are available with unique custom images ranging from artwork to personal photographs.

Wood, both painted and natural, can be used for a backsplash as well. Vertical wooden beadboard can make a beautiful kitchen backsplash.

Granite is very popular kitchen countertop material, but it can be expensive. One way to have the look and functionality of granite without spending a fortune is by installing a granite insert on the counter next to the stove for pans hot from the oven.

To free up additional countertop space, replace your existing countertop microwave with a combination vent fan and microwave that fits over your stove.

Other Tips from This Episode

Unclogging Faucet Aerators

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Unclogging Faucet Aerators

If you’re having problems with the water flowing from your faucet, chances are the mesh screen in the aerator needs cleaning. Unscrew the aerator from the faucet, and soak the screen overnight in a cup of white vinegar to dissolve any mineral deposits. Reassemble the aerator and screw it back on the faucet. Watch This Video

Dremel Multi-Vise

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Dremel Multi-Vise

The Dremel Multi-Vise is perfect for clamping even the most delicate objects. It attaches to work surfaces up to 2½” thick, and the cushioned jaws expand to over 7” wide. The locking ball and socket base can rotate and pivot to various positions to make working a breeze. The Dremel Multi-Vise is available at The Home Depot. Watch This Video

Sealing the Envelope Around Your Home

Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Seal the Envelope Around Your Home

Almost half of the heat loss and gain in your home is from air leaks in walls, floors, or ceilings. Check your attic to be sure it has plenty of insulation then seal gaps around doors, windows, and other openings such as plumbing pipes. Adding foam gaskets to switches and plugs on exterior walls can further reduce air infiltration in your home.
Watch This Video



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