Kitchen Updates on a Budget

Homeowner Stephanie Ward with Danny Lipford in updated kitchen.

Homeowner Stephanie Ward with Danny Lipford in updated kitchen.

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We gave the kitchen of homeowner Stephanie Ward a facelift on a shoestring budget for only $200 in materials.

Refinish Kitchen Countertops

To give the worn plastic laminate kitchen countertops a new look, we refinished them using Giani granite countertop paint for only $80 in materials.

Giani Countertop Paint KitThe Giani do-it-yourself painting kit includes:

  • Black primer
  • Mineral colors
  • Clear topcoat
  • Roller
  • Foam brush
  • Sponge
  • Instructions and DVD

To apply Giani granite countertop paint:

  1. Clean the countertops to remove any dirt or grease.
  2. Remove any silicone caulk and replace it with paintable caulking.
  3. Fill any gouges in the countertop and sand smooth.
  4. Mask off area around countertops with painter’s tape.
  5. Apply black primer with foam brush and roller and allow to dry.
  6. Use sponge to dab liquid minerals on the primed surface.
  7. Add veining to the surface with an artist’s paintbrush.
  8. Lightly sand any high spots with fine sandpaper.
  9. Wipe down the countertop after sanding to remove dust.
  10. Apply clear topcoat using roller and brush.
  11. Allow topcoat to dry for eight hours.
  12. Lightly sand off any rough spots with fine sandpaper.
  13. Wipe down the countertop to remove any dust.
  14. Apply a second coat of clear topcoat.
  15. Allow the finish to cure for 48 hours before using.
Countertop after refinishing with Giani Granite Countertop Paint.

Countertop after refinishing with Giani Granite Countertop Paint.

Find out more at DIY Faux Granite Finish for Kitchen Countertops. Granite countertop paint can be ordered on the Giani website at

Clean Kitchen Cabinets

To improve the look of the stained wood cabinets, we cleaned them by heating a damp sponge in a microwave for 30 seconds, then using it with a citrus based household cleaner (such as Orange Blast) to remove any grease and grime.

Be sure to wear rubber gloves to keep from burning your fingers on the hot sponge.

Watch our video on Removing Grease from Kitchen Cabinets to find out more.

Finish Kitchen Cabinets

Once the cabinets had thoroughly dried, a coat of satin polyurethane in a spray can was applied to give the cabinets finish a fresh, new look. For best results apply several light coats.

Replace Cabinet Hardware

Danny Lipford replacing hinges on cabinet doors.To complete the kitchen cabinet transformation, we replaced the knobs and hinges on the cabinets with similar ones with a brushed nickel finish.

When buying replacement hinges for cabinets, bring one of the old hinges with you to the home center to make sure the screw holes, footprint of the hinge, and overlay of the new hinges match the existing ones.

Check out our Guide to Cabinet Hinges to find out more.

Kitchen Cabinet Storage

To improve storage in the cabinets, we added a pullout wire basket under the kitchen sink, available at The Home Depot, and tilt-out hardware on the false drawer in front of the sink.

Watch our video on Adding Roll Out Wire Baskets to find out more.

Completed budget kitchen remodel with refinished countertops and new hardware.

Completed budget kitchen remodel with refinished countertops and new hardware.

Other Tips from This Episode

Using cardboard box to remove paint stripper.

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Reduce Paint Stripper Mess

To reduce the mess involved in stripping furniture, cut a slit in the side of a small cardboard box a little longer than the width of the putty knife you plan to use to remove the stripper. Insert the putty knife in the slit near the handle, then pull it out to deposit the used stripper in the box. (Watch Video)

InSinkErator Evolution Garbage Disposer

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
InSinkErator Garbage Disposer

The InSinkErator Evolution Select Plus garbage disposer has a powerful 3/4 horsepower motor, SoundSeal technology for quieter operation, and Quick Lock sink mounting to make installation easy. The InSinkErator Evolution Select Plus is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Inserting hex key in bottom of garbage disposal to unclog it.

Ask Danny Lipford:
Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

To unclog a jammed garbage disposal, turn it off and insert a hex wrench in the slot in the bottom of the disposal. Use the wrench to move the cutting blades back and forth to dislodge the clog. Clean the disposal using baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar, followed by boiling water. (Watch Video)





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Kitchen Updates on a Budget