By: Danny Lipford
When Brittany and Miller Callaway purchased and renovated a 1930s bungalow style home, there were a few projects on their to-do list that didn’t get done.
We’re helping this young couple out with their kitchen improvement bucket list, and giving them some helpful DIY tips and pointers along the way.
Our kitchen projects included:
- Installing a subway tile backsplash.
- Building a banquette with storage inside.
- Stripping and refinishing a wood dining table.
- Installing roll out cabinet storage.
Installing Subway Tile Backsplash
Brittany chose 2″ x 4″ white subway tile (SL1024BJHC1P2) made by American Olean for her kitchen backsplash, with a ½” x 6″ pencil tile border (SL10P612HCSP). The tile came in 12″ x 12″ sheets, which made installing it easier.
Since a kitchen backsplash doesn’t get wet like bathroom tile, it can be installed directly over the existing drywall.
We started by covering the kitchen countertop and applying painter’s tape plumb on the wall even with the outside edges of the hanging cabinets. In addition to giving us a straight line to align the tile, the painter’s tape also prevented adhesive from getting on the painted wall.
Next, thin-set tile adhesive was applied to the wall using a notched trowel, and the sheets of subway tile set into it. A tile saw was used to cut any partial tile to size.
To mark the location of the electrical outlets on the tile sheets, the outlets were covered with painter’s tape and coated with lipstick. The tile sheet was then set in place and pressed against the outlet to leave red marks on the back of the tile sheet.
After the tile adhesive had set, grout was applied to the tile with a rubber float. A damp sponge was used to remove any excess grout and haze.
Watch How to Install a Subway Tile Backsplash to find out more.
To make the breakfast dining area of the kitchen more cozy and provide additional seating, a custom L-shaped banquette was constructed with frame and panel fronts and sides to match the Shaker-style kitchen cabinets. The tops of the banquette were hinged to lift up and provide storage space.
The frame for the banquette was made from 2x4s, with ¾” thick birch plywood used for the tops and fronts. To give the front and sides a frame and panel look, thin solid wood boards were applied over the plywood.
Our final kitchen project was to strip and refinish a wooden dining table to go in the breakfast area. We started by applying Citristrip Gel stripper. Plastic putty knives and nylon abrasive pads were then used to scrape off the old finish.
After the old finish had been removed, the table was sanded smooth, and stained with Minwax Special Walnut penetrating stain. When the stain was dry, several coats of polyurethane finish were applied to protect the table.
Watch How to Refinish Furniture to find out more.
Roll Out Cabinet Organizers
To improve kitchen storage and cabinet access, wooden roll out cabinet organizers from The Home Depot (Knape & Vogt, WMUB-11-4-R-ASP) were installed inside the base cabinets.
Watch How to Add Roll Out Cabinet Organizers to find out more.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Kitchen Trash Can Bag Holder
To hold plastic bags in place in a kitchen trash can, attach a self-adhesive, plastic hook upside down on each side of the trash can. Put the drawstring on the plastic bag through the hooks to prevent the bag from sliding into the can. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm
The Kidde Worry-Free Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Combination Alarm has voice warning and a sealed lithium-ion battery that is good for the 10-year life of the alarm. The Kidde Worry-Free Alarm is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Over the Range Venting
While over the range (OTR) mounted microwave ovens can save space, the built-in exhaust fan often isn’t vented to the outside and is not as effective at removing steam, smoke, and cooking odors as a dedicated range hood. (Watch Video)
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