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Bring new life to your kitchen for the holidays

Got the family coming in to town, or just ready to give your kitchen a facelift? "Today" contributor Lou Manfredini has some tips that can help.
/ Source: TODAY

Some day I am going to build a house where the entire first floor is a kitchen. I might as well as we spend on average 80 percent of our time in that room. So for many of us, a little up-grading may be in order. Not only will it make your kitchen look better, but you’ll be adding value to your home as well.

Let’s start with your cabinets. If they are a natural wood finish and a little drab looking, you can bring them back to life without stripping or painting. An old secret of the antique industry is a product called Howard-Restore-A-Finish. This very mild stripper when used with #0000 steel wool, (the more zero’s the finer the wool) will take the tarnished top layer off of the cabinets and bring new life to the finish. You use the steel wool with light pressure and with the grain. (

Now that the cabinets look great, how about a new counter top? There are so many good choices when it comes to these surfaces. Laminates offer the most economical option, and then there are solid surface tops, natural stone and synthetic stones. The benefit of synthetics is that they're made from granite and they're non-porous, come with a warrantee, and have a depth of color and texture. Granite Transformations take this product to a new level. The new counter top, which comes in 24 available colors, is installed right over your old outdated counter top, so there is little mess in your home. The installation happens in about a day, and you have an entirely new look for less than traditional granite or synthetic options. (

You can also install a new back splash behind your range all by yourself in less than an hour and enhance the look of your kitchen. Broan makes terrific splashes that fit behind the range and under your vent hood. They come in several sizes and styles and range in price from $150-$300 depending on what you choose. Installing these is almost like hanging a picture on the wall, but it’s secure and if you want, when you move you can take it with you. To learn more visit

Now to set off all of of your new handy work, under cabinet lighting will really make it pop. New Stick 'N' Click self stick battery-operated lights will stick under you cabinets or anywhere and cost about $19.99 for four of them. No electrician is needed; you’ll find them at many mainstream retailers across the country or at

Finally, try a new floor made from a tried and tested material. Everything old is new again with “Marmoleum Click Flooring." This floating floor is a version of linoleum, but it’s not your Grandmother’s floor. With 18 rich and vibrant colors and an installation that is like clicking together a puzzle you can create a whole now look. It’s made from natural materials, requires no special cleaning products, is warm to walk on and helps to deaden sound with its cork backing. This flooring is also great for allergy and asthma sufferers and can be used anywhere in your home. The cost is around $5 a foot and you can install a new kitchen floor in a day. (

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