Let’s just dive right in, because this post has A LOT of pictures and instructions. We’re focusing on the kitchen today, so let me give you a little reminder of what the kitchen looked like the very first time I saw it:
and that’s only the left side. YIKES.
Sorry for the terrible picture, it’s before I even started a blog.
Then within about 4 or 5 months of us living here we had transformed it to this:
a world of difference!
But here’s the thing- at the time we removed the wallpaper we had not yet learned what skim coating was, so we didn’t do it. That means what you can’t see in these pictures is a whole mess of dents and dings and unevenness within our walls. So, as with everything around here, I wanted an under $50 amazing solution- which knocked out the possibility of a real tile backsplash immediately.
Then last week Beth from Sawdust and Embryos posted an awesome faux tile tutorial and I instantly had to have it. I feel in faux tile love. I asked her where on earth so found painters tape thin enough to stand in for grout and she directed me here. Then I checked with my friend Kenz, who imitated another one of Beth’s faux tile tutorials and she used the same tape. So I ordered it for $10 (cost + shipping).
Next I went through all my old paint and here’s what I decided to use for my tile colors:
- Behr Manila Tint (the color our kitchen already is)
- Better Homes & Garden Partridge Grey (colored matched to Behr, the color of the darker stripes in the sunroom)
- Behr Wheat Bread (living room color)
- Behr Sand Dollar White (bathroom and master bedroom color)
I also picked up 2 Martha Stewart textured paints, a silvery gray and a black for $7 each. So my cost for this project was $25 due to all the supplies I already had on hand. But actually, I had a gift certificate to Home Depot so I only paid the $10 for the tape. 🙂
Here’s the breakdown of how I got such a tedious project done:
- Thursday I put up two coats of primer
- Friday I painted pure white (my “grout”) and taped
- Saturday I painted in all the tiles
Enough with the words though, here’s some pictures of how it went down:
I used my laser level to make the horizontal stripes, each two inches apart. Then I randomly placed the vertical lines, only making sure none of them were even but with no real pattern in mind. Once the tape was up I got my license and used it to run over all the tape to make sure it was pressed down real well. And no, I did not do my dishes first.
I had all my paint colors out at once and painted all the colors all at once. I went through and did 5-6 tiles of each to get a lay of the land. Then I went through and did that 4 more times, filling in as I went and making sure I didn’t paint the same color next to itself if it could be avoided.
Here’s the awesome afters:
The tile does a great job at separating the eating area of the kitchen from the prep area of the kitchen. It adds all sorts of interest without being crazy, and for re-sale’s sake… if the next owner doesn’t like it all they have to do is sand and repaint.
We decided to line the backsplash up with the cabinet, and not the counter. I think no matter where we chose our starting point that it would be a bit awkward, I might actually go back at some point and add a white outline around the edge. I haven’t decided on that yet.
The tile is not completely even everywhere so my OCD mind goes a little crazy, but I found out with my laser level that my walls aren’t completely level so that’s just how it is going to be. It does an amazing job at hiding our lack of a skim coat though.
oooh! ahhh! The gray that looks uneven is actually textured and metallic silver, so it doesn’t photograph well. But it looks ah-mazing in person.
And once more, let’s just look at the very very before versus the now:
Love Love Love
This project is not difficult, just time consuming. The tape itself took about two-two and a half hours and the painting probably another three. But the results are crazy worth it!
Wondering how it held up? I’ve got a one year update for you here!