Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kitchen Incarnations (& DIY Painted Tile)

This post could have had SO many alternate titles.
Such as...

Covering Ugly Wallpaper
Covering An Ugly Built In Intercom System
Covering Ugly Tile
Covering an Ugly Kitchen With My Own Ugly Crap
What the Heck Was I Thinking Choosing That Wall Color?
Kitchen Take 2
Kitchen Take 3
Kitchen Take 4
Kilz and Paint Are My Best Friends

...just to name a few.

I am actually super mega embarrassed to share some of the before photos of my kitchen.
Even now when I look at them I often wonder if I was living in some drug-induced alternate universe or something.
I'm lucky someone didn't shoot me for some of my decor choices.
Seriously...some of these are downright criminal!

Incarnation #1 - The Inherited From Previous Owner Kitchen
When we purchased our home, the kitchen was wallpapered in a lavender and light green floral on a light beigey-pink background.  
Even in the 90s, when the wallpaper was chosen, there is NO WAY this would have been considered attractive.
I can only guess that someone flipped through the cheapest wallpaper book they could find wearing a freakin' blindfold, opened to some random page, pointed, and said, 
"Okay, we'll take this ugly crap!"

After selecting wallpaper, the obviously color blind 'chooser person' said,
"Forest green is a nice color that matches in no way whatsoever. Let's pick that crap, too!"

"And while we're at it, let's throw on some lavender metal mini blinds!"

Incarnation #2 - Trying To Work Around Ugly Wallpaper
So I move in and try to cover up as much wallpaper and tile as I possibly can by adding lots of my own ugly stuff.

Until one day it's too much to take and I decide the wallpaper has to go!
So I paint it all RED!

Incarnation #3 - Trying to Work With Ugly Green Tile

Yes, it was better than that horrible wallpaper but it was definitely not 'me'.
And that ugly green tile is still the first thing you notice every time you walk in.
(And don't even get me started on those pacifier lights which were just one of several horrible light fixtures we have had to rpelace.)

Incarnation #4 - STILL Trying To Work Around the Green Tile
After several months of trying to accept the red paint I decide it just won't do.
So I paint the kitchen the same color as the rest of the house.
And still try to obscure it with a bunch of stuff on my countertops.

And then, after seeing the photo above, I realize that the real issue is the horrible green tile.
It simply MUST go!

Incarnation #5 - Why Kilz and Paint Are My Best Friends
Retiling the entire kitchen was not a budgetary option so I thought I would try painting it.
It certainly couldn't look any worse than it already did so I didn't feel I was risking too much.

DIY Steps for Painting Kitchen Tile
1. I took everything off the counter, cleaned all of the tile with dish soap and hot water and let it dry thoroughly.
2. Then I used painters tape to tape it off and applied a nice coat of Kilz primer directly onto the tile using a paintbrush (directly over the grout and all!)

3. Once the primer was dry I applied the first coat of paint***.
I used a roller for the first coat which made it go much faster.
***I definitely recommend using oil-based enamel instead of latex for this project.
It looks better and wears better in this high-use area.

4. After applying the first coat of paint I removed the painters tape to keep it from sticking to the tape and pulling off the tile.
5. After the paint was COMPLETELY dry, I retaped and applied another coat of paint, again removing the painters tape after each coat.
I rolled this coat of paint on, too, since it was obvious I was going to need a 3rd coat.
6. After the third coat (this is DARK tile we are talking about) the tile was finished and looked like brand new white square tiles!

The best part was that it only cost me about $20 for paint and brushes because I already had everything else!

Here is what my kitchen looks like now:
 Corralled utensils and basket for oils, salt and pepper

A silver tray at the coffee station

A wine rack to hold rolled dish towels

Cabinet displaying white dishware also covers 
an unused, obtrusive intercom system

 Vintage aprons hung inside the pantry door

 I can say without a doubt that this room will go through several more incarnations before I consider it to be a  finished room.
But, for now, I can live with this version.

À la vie et à l'amour

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