I’ve been on a kick lately about freshening up our space. It started with a simple paint job to the top of our half-wall (dividing the living room and the kitchen) from ’90s oak to white. This weekend, I got a hair up my bum (erm) and decided it was time to take that kitchen and overhaul it. Well, overhaul what I could manage.
Before I get into why I chose this particular project, I’ll explain the look of most of my home. It’s a mix of farmhouse cozy with modern whites, shiny decor and textures. I’m the farmhouse-loving gal and C.D. is the modern-loving guy. We compromise, but really I purchase all of the home goods so I tend to make most of the decisions. I try to be fair… but… anyway, the lion-share of the house is done in grays, blues and whites. I pepper in other colors, like yellows and oranges, and contrasting features, like mercury glass and silvers/mirrors, to give it character.
Enter the kitchen. It’s a world of a difference. The previous owners had a range of European flair in the home — burnt oranges, deep, royal purples, even some mustard yellow walls. The kitchen cabinets were done in a reddish brown stain (shiny), black granite countertops and red-brown clay tile. So when we painted the light gray on the walls in the kitchen, it clashed. And really, everything in our house clashed with the kitchen.
If I had energy, time and money, I would have LOVED to have stripped, sanded and repainted my cabinets (which I HATE!). But, I’m currently 17.5 weeks pregnant and am as big as I was at 22 weeks with Evvie. That project wasn’t going to happen.
I would have also loved to have brought a sledgehammer to the horrid stone tile backsplash that was introduced likely with the original homeowners in 2000, but again… pregnant.
Instead, I did research on painting tile. This fix would be a nice temporary solution that I could live with.
I started by searching for the right kind of paint. Most experts agree that oil-based paint is the ideal paint for ensuring stickiness and longevity to the adherence of the paint to the tile. WELP…. pregnant. Oil-based paints are NOT recommended for use while pregnant due to their high VOCs. I had a lengthy conversation with my local hardware handyman and he advised that regular paint would also adhere just as well to stone tile like we have. So, that’s what I went with. (And rest assured, Mommies, I got sign-off from my doctor before starting this project.)
Because our kitchen isn’t very big, I kept the paint purchase to a quart and it had all of the paint I needed. Valspars Signature line of paints is ZERO VOC, so I felt more comfortable painting with it while pregnant. Instead of a flat paint (like shown below), I picked up their semi-gloss in white — it added a tiny bit of shine and dimension that I realized I needed after the primer went on (imagine, if you will, prison cinderblocks in your kitchen…).
After taping up the cabinets and walls (to which I still somehow managed to get paint on… I’m seriously not someone you want to call over to help you paint), removing the outlet covers and scrubbing the tile, I got to work on applying the first coat Friday evening.
I let the paint sit a good 15 hours overnight and into the morning, with a fan on to circulate the air and windows open to help the paint dry quicker. When Evvie went down for her nap on Saturday, I added another coat.
I evaluated the paint after the second coat and could have stopped there — the coverage was enough — but I felt better adding a final coat to finish the job. Because the paint was going on stone tile and not drywall, I worried about accidental chipping. The third coat was my “sealer” to ensure the paint was thick enough to endure any bumps or scrapes by kitchen gadgets.
Here is the kitchen in all of her white paint glory. Is it beautiful? Honestly, no — I’m not a liar and won’t say that it’s what I’ve always wanted. Is it what I’d hoped for when I set my goal? Kind of… it’s definitely lighter and brighter in the kitchen and I don’t wish the kitchen was a punching bag I could punch over and over again. Would I do it again, nope — I’ll be smart and save in the future to have tile replacements when I fall out of love with the look. 😉 But, again, most importantly, I don’t cringe every time I walk into the kitchen.
While I was “renovating,” I also hopped over to Hobby Lobby to pick up decor for the kitchen to make it feel homier and less “rental” temporary.
These wooden signs were 50% off retail, and I spent $30 all-in for decor that I could use from room to room.
I also snuck this cute sign into my cart as a replacement for our bathroom art:
I DID actually have SOME fun this weekend despite working harder than I probably should have. Evvie and I spent a great deal of one-on-one time together and I couldn’t ask for more. 🙂
I hope everyone else enjoyed their weekends — be sure to share your own DIY ideas, plans and work with us. We love to be inspired!