I'm well into my (almost) free kitchen update now, and so far, so good. If this is your first time reading about my crazy project, you can catch up here:
With the cabinets down, I have focused on repairing walls and painting. I'm going to start on the half of the kitchen where I've removed the cabinets, and once I have finished all the work on that side of the kitchen, I'll paint the other side of the kitchen.
Before painting the walls, I wanted to deal with the forest green monster that is our backsplash. Seriously, I think if we were to do a scale comparison between Fenway Park and my kitchen, the green monster at Fenway would be shrimpy compared to my backsplash.
The first thing I had to do was chip away an extra couple inches of tile that had been installed to meet up with the original cabinets. Taking the entire backsplash down would have created a big mess and a lot of repair work, but I could handle a few inches. So I got out a hammer and chisel and went to town.
I considered several options for covering up the rest of the backsplash. Pinterest is rife with clever ideas for covering over the tile with materials like barn board, pallet wood, corks, aluminum flashing, and even pennies. These options were either more work or more money than I wanted to commit. One option I seriously explored was to cover the backsplash with off-cuts of bamboo flooring left over from redoing some floors in our upstairs. It would have looked kind of like subway tile. I laid out all the pieces we had - and it looked super cool - but in the end, I just didn't have enough off-cuts to work with. I suppose if I was really determined, I could have found a way to make it work, but I'm not that ambitious.
So in the end, I opted for paint. Boring, I know. I kind of feel like I compromised cleverness for convenience. But when it comes down to it, I really want the backsplash to take up less usable space, and paint is probably a good method of accomplishing that. I had some leftover heavy duty white paint in the basement that I could use, but first I needed to invest in a super duper primer that could deal with the glossy surface of ceramic tile. I did some research, and landed on Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 Primer for all surfaces.
Before painting, I scrubbed down the tile with hot water with soap and vinegar to make sure all the grease was off the tiles. Then, using a foam roller for a super smooth finish, I rolled on two coats of primer, followed by three coats of my leftover white paint.
Now, there are a lot of conflicting opinions about the success and effectiveness of painting tile. So I have no guarantee of the longevity and durability of my choice for coverage. But from what I can tell so far, that primer has stuck to the tile with true affection: no peeling away, flaking, or bubbles. I've already wiped splatters of tomato sauce off of the backsplash, and the paint has held up with no problem.
The true test of the paint's durability over the years will be on the backsplash around the stove and sink areas. I'll keep you posted . . . .
And now for the walls. I had intended to use more leftover paint on the walls, but Dan weighed in on this one. Most of our downstairs is painted in shades of muted yellow. It's a bit weird, actually. Dan convinced me to shell out some cash for a can of paint so that we could stop the yellow madness and completely change the colour of the kitchen.
. . . and another before and after (well, half way, anyway) . . .
Sorry about the mess and the subpar photos.
I'm still getting used to the colour. It feels really blue. But I think adding shelves and whatnot will even out the effect a bit. I do love how the white tile and blue walls work together. And the coffee grinder will fit in quite nicely.
So now for the budget update on my (almost) free kitchen update . . .
The Almost Part (including taxes)
$ 13.65 spent to date
+ 13.55 (Zinsser primer for tiles)
+ 73.44 (Benjamin Moore paint for walls)
By now, you might be crying fowl: "Hey, isn't this supposed to be a free update? You haven't done anything free yet, you fraud." Well, just you wait, my friend. The free stuff is coming next. Are you excited? I am.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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