Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | January 21, 2023


Learn the secret to removing vinyl wallpaper and how to prevent internal frost on windows. (3 Echoes Content Studio)


Hour 1

Learn what trends are hot in kitchen remodeling, how to prevent internal frost on windows, the difference between refacing and refinishing cabinets and more.


Blue kitchen island
46 percent of homeowners surveyed for Houzz’s 2023 Kitchen Trends Study chose an island cabinet color that contrasts the color of the main cabinets. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

As a home improvement professional, I’m always looking to learn about the latest design trends. I recently came across the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, and I have to say, the findings are quite interesting. 

The study surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning, or recently completed a kitchen renovation project, and the results provide a valuable glimpse into what’s trending in kitchen design. Here’s what stood out the most to me:

Renovation Spending Rises: The median spend on a minor remodel increased $4,000 year over year to $14,000 by mid-2022. Homeowners spent $15,000 on a minor remodel of a larger kitchen and $13,000 on a smaller kitchen.

Sustainability Influences Choices: 92 percent of homeowners incorporate sustainable features during a kitchen remodel. These include LED lightbulbs, energy-efficient appliances and water-efficient fixtures.

Open Layouts are Here to Stay: Following a dip in the trend of open kitchens last year, this year renovators are once again more likely to open their kitchens to other interior spaces and outdoor spaces. The most popular choice for kitchens newly open to interior spaces still is to have no wall separation. For the transition between the kitchen and outdoor areas, the most common choice is double doors or a row of doors.

Wood Cabinets Gain Popularity: White cabinets aren’t going out of style anytime soon. The color remains the most popular choice, but wood tones are a strong contender. Nearly a quarter of homeowners choose wood-tone cabinets.

Colorful Islands: 46 percent of homeowners selected an island cabinet color that contrasts the color of the main cabinets. The popularity of blue and gray declined slightly, while black, medium-tone wood and dark wood saw increases.

Read the full report: 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study


Why is Frost Forming on the Inside of My Windows? 

Split image of frost forming on the corners of a window and glass panels on a door window
Frost building up on the inside of windows and doors during extremely cold temperatures could mean the humidity in the home is too high. (Julie Geving)

A homeowner in Wyoming says during the last cold snap, temperatures dropped to around 36 degrees below zero! She noticed frost building up on the inside of all of her windows and doors. 

“Is there anything we can do to prevent this from happening?” she asks. 

Frost building up on the inside of windows and doors during extremely cold temperatures can be caused by a number of factors.

Our first thought is that the doors and windows are older and defective. However, the homeowner says the house is new, so the doors and windows are very energy efficient. Because of this, less humidity is escaping from the home through the windows and doors. So, once the moisture in the air makes contact with those cold surfaces, it freezes.  

So what’s causing this high humidity? Some possible explanations include:

  • Lack of ventilation: Insufficient ventilation can cause humidity to build up in a home, especially in bathrooms and kitchens where moisture is generated from cooking, bathing and showering. 
  • Houseplants: Large numbers of houseplants can release moisture into the air, contributing to high humidity.
  • High occupancy: High occupancy in a house can increase humidity levels because of the many people living and breathing in the same space.

The solutions to high humidity are adding ventilation and insulation, and in extreme cases installing a whole-house dehumidifier. Make sure you’re venting any moisture out of the house, like using a range hood and bathroom vent fan. 

To keep an eye on humidity levels in your home, and address the underlying causes, get a hygrometer to measure the amount of humidity in your home. It shouldn’t exceed 50 percent. 


Refacing vs. Refinishing Cabinets

Split image showing refaced cabinets and Chelsea Lipford Wolf spray painting a kitchen cabinet door
Refacing is the process of covering the existing cabinets with new materials to change the overall design while refinishing is the process of applying a new finish on the existing cabinets. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

We’re renovating our kitchen, but the budget doesn’t allow for all new cabinets. So, we were planning on refinishing them by sanding and then repainting. But then I read an article about refacing the cabinets. What’s the difference between refinishing and refacing, and which would you recommend?

Refinishing and refacing are two different methods used to update the look of kitchen cabinets.

Refinishing involves sanding down the existing finish on the cabinets and applying a new finish, such as paint or stain. This method is typically less expensive than refacing and is a good option for those looking to change the color of their cabinets. However, it does not change the overall design of the cabinets and can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

Refacing, on the other hand, involves covering the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new materials, such as veneer, laminate or solid wood. This can change the overall design of the cabinets and can be used to update the look of your kitchen. It’s also a more expensive option than refinishing, but it’s a quick way to change the appearance of your cabinets, and it’s less disruptive to your kitchen.

In summary, refinishing is the process of applying a new finish on the existing cabinets, while refacing is the process of covering the existing cabinets with new materials to change the overall design.


Hour 2

Hear the secret to removing vinyl wallpaper, tips for staining a pressure-treated wood fence, and more. 


The Secret Removing Vinyl Wallpaper

Hands removing vinyl wallpaper from drywall
Removing wallpaper may seem daunting, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s a manageable task. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

A homeowner wants to know — what’s the trick to removing vinyl wallpaper?

“I sprayed it down with DIF wallpaper remover, covered the wall with thin plastic, and then waited an hour or so, but the wallpaper was still stuck in place. I don’t want to damage the drywall by trying to scrape it off. What do you suggest?” he asks. 

When removing vinyl wallpaper, you need to score the vinyl coating in order for the DIF wallpaper remover to work. To do this, use a tool called a paper tiger. Simply rub it over the face of vinyl to poke thousands of holes in it. This will allow the remover to penetrate to the wallpaper and deactivate it, so you can easily remove it. 

To remove the wallpaper, mix in a 5-gallon bucket:

Stir the mixture, then apply it to the wall using a pump-up garden sprayer. After thoroughly soaking the wallpaper, cover the wall with a layer of thin (0.7 mil) plastic, using a wallpaper brush to press the plastic onto the wall.

Let the wallpaper remover soak on the wall for at least three hours, overnight would be even better. The mixture will dissolve almost all the adhesive, allowing you to peel away the wallpaper with virtually no effort!

Watch: The Easy Recipe to Remove Wallpaper


Tips for Staining a Fence

Staining wood with a staining pad
Oil-based stains are the best option for pressure-treated wood because they’re more effective at penetrating the wood. (IcemanJ, Getty Images)

A homeowner wants to stain her newly installed pressure-treated wood fence. She asks, “Can you give me some tips or advice?”

Staining a pressure-treated wood fence can be a great way to protect the wood and enhance its natural beauty. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that the stain is applied properly and adheres well to the wood:

Wait for the wood to dry: Pressure-treated wood is typically wet when it is first installed, so wait for it to dry completely before staining. This can take several weeks or even months, depending on the weather and the wood’s exposure to the elements. You can also try this test.

Clean the wood: Before staining, clean the wood to remove any dirt, grime, or other contaminants that may be on the surface. A solution of water and a mild detergent is usually sufficient, but you can also use a wood cleaner specifically designed for pressure-treated wood.

Choose the right stain: Not all stains are suitable for pressure-treated wood, so choose a stain that is specifically formulated for use on pressure-treated wood. Oil-based stains are the best option because they’re more effective at penetrating the wood.

Apply the stain evenly: Apply the stain evenly and in the direction of the wood grain. Work the stain into the wood using a brush, roller or pump-up, then back-brush it into the wood to ensure it’s thoroughly covered. 

Allow the stain to dry: After staining, allow the wood to dry completely before applying a second coat or using the fence. This can take several hours or even days, depending on the weather and what stain was used.


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Simple Solutions

Breaking in a new paint roller cover
Conditioning a paint roller prevents loose fibers from shedding into the paint. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Condition New Paint Roller — Before using a brand-new paint-roller sleeve, it’s important to “condition” it, so that it spreads paint evenly and smoothly. 

Place the new sleeve on the paint roller, fill a plant mister with water, then spin the sleeve as you spray it liberally with water. 

Dry-spin the sleeve to remove any excess water, then roll the sleeve onto a piece of cardboard or other bare, clean surface. That will help remove any loosened fibers from the roller sleeve — and prevent them from getting into the paint or onto the newly painted surface. 

Now use the dampened, conditioned sleeve to immediately apply paint.

Watch: How to Condition A New Paint Roller Cover 

Builder grade wire shelving with an s hook overlayed on top
Hanging S-hooks from ventilated metal-wire shelving is an easy way to add extra storage. (Photo illustration: ABBPhoto, Getty Images/Adobe Stock)

Extra Storage for Ventilated Shelving — If you have ventilated metal-wire shelving in your closet or pantry, here’s a quick, simple way to gain a little extra storage. 

Buy several metal S-hooks and slip them onto the wire shelving. Use pliers to pinch closed the hooks so they can’t pop off. 

The hooks are great for hanging all sorts of items that would ordinarily be taking up valuable shelf space, including dust brooms, hand towels, flashlights, belts, scarves, etc.


Further Reading


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