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Kitchen Catch-Up

By: Danny Lipford
Green painted 1930s brick bungalow house with front porch and white columns.

Brittany and Miller Callaways’ 1930s bungalow style house.

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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.

Danny Lipford and Brittany Callaway installing subway tile backsplash.

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.

Kitchen with white subway tile backsplash.

Completed subway tile backsplash.

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.

Using nail gun to build banquette.

Homeowner Miller Callaway building banquette.

Building Banquette

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.

Refinish Table

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.

Women wearing dust masks sanding dining room table.

Chelsea Lipford Wolf and Brittany Callaway sanding table.

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.

Kitchen with dining table and banquette.

Kitchen with refinished dining table and banquette.

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Keeping Groceries from Spilling in Trunk

Here’s a tip for keeping groceries from spilling all over the trunk using a rope and carabiners. Watch the video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Diablo Carbide-Tipped Hole Saw

This carbide-tipped hole saw from Diablo is tough enough to cut through wood and metal, and delivers 20 times longer cutting life and faster performance. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch the video.



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Kitchen Catch-Up