Yes, today’s post is about one of the very first makeovers, I did quite a few years ago in our previous home. This is how our kitchen looked when we moved into that house. I made it over after living there for a few years. Since I did this long before I had my blog, I have no pictures taken during the process. I have managed to grab a couple of before shots from my old family photos.
Nothing much to write about these cabinets.
This back splash was a wall paper. Nothing much to write about it either.
I wanted a stained glass type back splash in bright colors, which I could not find locally or online. You know when sometimes you have a vision and try to compare everything to that, then it gets quite hard, if not impossible to get that same or even similar thing, that too in a limited budget. Then what a self respecting DIYer was supposed to do? You guessed it right. I did it myself. First I painted the back splash, then a couple of years down the road, I did my cabinets and rest of the kitchen.
The process of doing this treatment on the walls is not hard, but quite time consuming. You need to have a lot of patience, good music to keep you entertained while you are focusing on your paint job and food ready whenever you are hungry, because you don’t have any stamina or patience left to cook after. Here are the steps taken to paint this back splash;
- As with every other painting project, prep work was the key here too. So the surface was cleaned of any grease and grime with water and detergent, before putting on the first coat of paint.
- Took off the wall plates and taped off all the outlets, and the sides of the wall where the back splash was supposed to end.
- Painted the taped in wall area in a light green color to work as grout lines. (shown dark gray in the photos). I made a mistake here and painted very light green color, which did not show well after the tape was taken off. That made this job a bit longer and harder, as I had to paint all the gray lines by hand.
- Taped the desired pattern with 1/4″ tape. It was a simple lined pattern, which needed a lot of measurement and taping. The accent area under the range hood was done in a bold and different pattern than the rest. Check the close up of the photos to get an idea. (it seems 3D, but its not)
- Pressed down firmly all the tape with a rubber brayer (you can use your fingers, if you don’t have a brayer). This step is very important and will keep the lines sharp and clean.
- I then applied with a spatula, regular latex paint in off white color ( a mis-tint from Home depot) mixed with fine sand (a little less than 2 cups in a liter of paint) and a cup of all purpose glue.
- While the paint was still wet, I made light swirls with a serrated cardboard (nothing fancy. you can omit this step if you want a smoother finish). Check the above photo to have an idea about the swirls. My camera could not capture the texture clearly in the photos, but it is quite heavily textured.
- Let it dry for at least 24 hours.
- Sanded with 100, 150, and 220 grit sand papers respectively to make it smooth to the touch.
- Vacuumed the sanded dust and then wiped everything with wet sponge.
- Then I chose six basic paint colors (yellow, green, turquoise, orange, plum, and dark pink) and painted individual taped blocks with a sponge not in any particular order, but making sure, no two adjacent blocks had the same or similar shade. I also made sure not to cover the base coat fully.
- After letting it dry for a couple of hours, I sponged very sparingly with some contrasting colors on each block.
- And in the end, I sponged on all the blocks with metallic pearl white craft paint with very light hand.
- Took off the tape and OH what had I done with the gout lines?
- The light shade of green was not even visible among all this riot of colors and everything looked so mashed up.
- Next one week I lived with that disaster thinking about what could I do to make it right. I quickly ruled out the option of tiling on top of all that heavy texture and painting on top did not seem a better option either.
- You can call me insane, but after a week of pondering over a million ideas, I had an epiphany in the middle of the night. I got up right away, mixed a dark gray paint color (mixing whatever colors I had on hand including latex and acrylic ones) and started to paint the grout lines. What more I had to loose?
- Taping was not working because of the heavy texture, so I painted all the lines with a very steady hand and a lot of patience. I had to take frequent breaks, because I had to sit in a very awkward position on the counters to paint, which was not very comfortable and tired my right shoulder and back quickly.
- A number of times I cursed myself for getting into this hot mess, but in the end all this effort was so much worth it. These dark gray lines made such a huge difference to the pattern. Now all the tiles were separated and had their own identity. OH! just the same as my vision.
- Everything was given two coats of poly for protection. I cleaned these tiles so many times with water and mild detergent and even after 7 years of use, these looked as good as new.
Some more beauty shots
For the rest of the kitchen transformation, here is what I did;
- Took down the cabinet doors.
- Cleaned, primed and painted both sides in a custom paint color mixed in satin sheen from Home depot.
- Painted the cabinets carcasses and range hood taking the same steps as doors.
- Gave two coats of poly to everything.
- Put up two shelves above the sink with shelf brackets in metal.
- Replaced the hardware, painted in the same gray color as the grout lines.
- Counters and faucet were replaced in the end. Somehow they seem a weird brown color in the photos, but are lighter in shade in person.
- I had installed DIY spice storage bins inside the cabinets, photos of which I can’t seem to find, and we have moved out of that house after selling it.
I wish I had a better camera to capture the true beauty of this back splash. Whoever saw it for the first time, usually touched it to see if it was painted or something else.
What good is a makeover without a before and after shot?
What you would have done differently in this makeover?