Hello, White!

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.

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (5 of 6)

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (4 of 6)

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (1 of 6)

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.

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (1 of 8)

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.

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (5 of 8)

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:

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (4 of 8)

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. 🙂


LongoLiving_PaintingTile (6 of 8)

Helping Aunt “Er-ka” and Uncle “Mit-ss” move into their new home.

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Not happy that Mom said “time for dinner,” which meant no more water table.

LongoLiving_PaintingTile (3 of 8)

FEET PHOBES: LOOK AWAY! Swelling started in on my toes and feet after doing too much. Yep, lesson learned. It’s back to R&R this week.


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!

One thought on “Hello, White!

  1. caitpb says:

    lovely! our home has gray walls everywhere, but I would love to do a cream or white in our bedroom. it looks good in your kitchen!

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