Friday, August 30, 2013

Backsplash and Kids' Bathroom Update

Okay, so last time I posted about the kitchen backsplash in Part 1, I had only painted one tiny section behind what will be the coffee bar.  Well, I went ahead and got brave and painted the tile behind the stove.

First, I stripped the grout at the counter line and cleaned the tile with a mixture of ammonia and water - because this thing was GREASY and NASTY...

See?  That's the color the water was to begin with on the right, and what it looked like after cleaning the backsplash on the left.  Blech.

Then I followed the same routine as last time - 2 coats of oil based primer, one coat of oil based paint letting some of the primer show through for texture.  

One coat of primer

Painting the second coat of primer

These two were after the oil paint - and that dark grout drove. me. crazy.  Everything was now light except that.

So I bought grout paint.

MUCH better :D

And for a side-by-side, because I love these :D

And a final side by side of before and after:

For Part 3 of my forays into kitchen backsplash painting, go here.

 I also finished painting the kids bathroom - except for under the vanity.  Totally forgot under the vanity ;P  But it already feels so much more open and clean.

Sorry it's blurry - lighting is not great yet
The in-progress shot taken by my 7 year old ;P
Yeah...forgot that section...
Also, common sense bathroom painting tip #1 - don't paint ABOVE the toilet before you paint BEHIND the toilet, or this will happen to you ;P  Yeah...not my finest moment...Ha ha!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Working within the parameters - and Phase 1 of Operation Depoopification completed!

Our new house is coming together.  Slowly, but at least we're moving forward, so that's something.  I think the hardest part about trying to redo things to suit our style is working within the parameters of things we just can't afford to replace right now.



Granite countertops.  

Oh, those countertops.  They're not HORRIBLE, but they're definitely not our style.  They're just super dark and super yellow.  Some people see them and comment how beautiful they are - and granite countertops really are beautiful, so I'm thankful that at least they're not laminate.  But the kitchen is relatively small and the dark makes it feel that much smaller.  

But we have to work with it because granite is INSANELY expensive.  And somewhere down the road, we want to completely gut the kitchen and make it more functional...(can anyone say more cabinet space?!?!), so why replace something twice, right?  Right.  

So here is my dilemma.  How to make the kitchen feel brighter and less yellow without replacing the countertops - which, of course, have a ton of yellow in them?   Have I mentioned that my husband hates the color yellow?  Like all yellow.  Butter yellow, sunshine yellow, highlighter yellow - you name it, he hates it.  Especially when decorating a house.  I like me some yellow, but it has to be the right shade in the right setting.  And based on how many gross issues we've had in this house with pee, etc., we naturally want to steer clear of the yellows  :/

Here are the befores...not awful, actually quite nice.  But not our style.  This is the first time in the history of ever for us that we're able to actually make a home our own - and we're doing it with gusto ;P  Perhaps a bit too much gusto, as we've been asked numerous times why we bit off so much at one time.  The answer?  We thought we had much more time before we had to actually live in the house and thought we'd be able to accomplish the majority of what we wanted to do.  Wrong.  Uber wrong.  Anyhoo...

I thought I'd start with the tile.  My thought was that if that looked less yellow, then the countertops would be less yellow.  They do have a TON of different colors in them, after all.  A lighter color should theoretically bring out different shades in it.

Again, can't afford to replace it right now, and I REALLY don't want to go to all the work of ripping out tiles if I don't have to.  So I pinned a TON of tutorials on how to paint tile.  Check them out hereherehere, and here.

Here is the before - this is actually behind the stove, and I painted on the coffee bar, but it gives you the main idea.  Very yellow.  Also very dirty.  Yuck.

I decided to do this while the kids were in bed.  That was a very good call, because oil based paint is VERY stinky and gross.


Painters blue tape
Caulk removal tool (Mine is a two-in-one, but this would work, too)
Small paint brush
Paint thinner to clean brush

I removed the outlet cover, and caulk where the tile meets the countertop with the tool - quite easy, actually.  Then I cleaned the tile with TSP - which once I read the primer can, it specifically said NOT to use, so YAY for me.  The next walls will be cleaned with Ammonia ;P 

I let it dry for about 30 minutes, taped it all off, then broke out the primer.  I didn't take pictures of these steps because I wasn't sure if it was going to work, but I will take pics of the next walls I do.

Since my tiles were relatively matte and had some texture to them, I didn't bother scuffing them up.  I just lightly coated them with the primer one tile at a time, brushing in all directions, and let it dry for an hour.  Scuffed that coat up a bit, wiped it off, then put another light coat of primer on and let it dry overnight.  

In the morning, it looked pretty gross.  The primer was very matte, which just looked terrible, and the white was WAY too bright for the countertops.  Cue panicking.  But, I carried on and broke out the oil based paint.  We had a gallon that we had bought for the trim and then HATED, but it was already tinted to SW Everyday White and was non-returnable.  The nice people at Home Depot tinted it to SW Realistic Beige for me, but made sure I knew that it would not be exactly that color since the starting color was not ultra pure white.  Not a problem.  Better than the yellow ;P

Taking my little brush, I painted on the paint one tile at a time, allowing the primer to show through in some of the recessed areas to highlight the texture.  

Here's the after:

What do you think?  Too light?  I don't know, I kind of like it.  Only time will tell if it will hold up :)  But for now, it'll have to do!

**Update** a year later, and it's still going strong!

Here's a side-by-side:

For Part 2 of kitchen backsplash painting, go here and for Part 3, go here.

Also, Phase 1 of Operation Depoopification of the Poop Caves is complete!  Ceilings in all 4 bathrooms have been painted :D

Playroom bathroom:

Kids' Bathroom - consequently, we won't be using any of these paint colors ;P

Powder Room - also not using any of these paint colors...

Master Bathroom:

That's all for now :D

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Painting, always painting...

Well, as you can probably imagine, most of what we've been doing lately is painting.  So far, we've painted the following places (both ceiling and walls):

All the upstairs bedrooms
Upstairs hallway
Windowsills in all four upstairs rooms
Sills on the random arches in our upstairs hallway have been primed, but not painted yet.

Still to paint:

Upstairs bathrooms
Upstairs little alcove outside the craft room
Living room
Master bedroom
Downstairs bathrooms

As you can see, we have a LONG way to go.  We're making progress, though, a little at a time.  What's funny, though, is that we realized as we moved out of our rental just how boring we are with color.  Let me explain.

I literally spent HOURS pouring over color chips, trying to find a color that we both liked and that matched the flooring that came with the house.  We found one strip with varying shades that we loved and decided to do it throughout the house.  We thought we were a little boring because the colors are all beige/greige and we are using them throughout the majority of the house.  To remedy this, we decided to pick "real" colors for the bathrooms.  Blue for the master bathroom...but when we tried to pick a green for the powder room and the kids' bathroom, we couldn't find anything that didn't look like puke or something else equally nasty.  So, back we went to the neutral pallet.

But it's so pretty - it's like the perfect warm cafe latte color.  I adore it.  And the eggshell finish gives it just that little hint of shine - and washability, I might add - ESSENTIAL with 4 children.

Also, this is our new fan (no clue what my children are doing...)  Brian picked it out and it looked pretty - until we got it up against the freshly painted walls.  Now it looks TERRIBLE.  New glass bowl, here we come ;P

But I digress...

Anyhoo, this is where the story gets a little ridiculous.  When we had cleared out the garage of our rental, we found the leftover paint cans from what we had painted some of the walls there...and I kid you not, I just about died when I looked at the colors - because they were THE EXACT SAME COLORS we picked for our new house.  Not even joking...Diverse Beige.  Utterly Beige.  We are Utterly UN-diverse...good grief, Charlie Brown.

Everyone we've told about this says "Well, you just know what you like."  I guess that would make me feel better if I hadn't wasted hours of my time staring with blurry eyes at massive amounts of paint chips.  But I this is not nearly as amusing to me as it should be.

Oh well.  I'm a historian, and all of my outlets lean toward the granny side of things, so I've learned to come to terms with my boring-ness.  Is that a word?  I'm making it one ;P

***UPDATE 09/04/13 - we got our new fan bowl and I LOVE it!  It's a little different shape, but the color is perfect in this room :D

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