A couple of days ago I shared Part 1 of our DIY, budget-friendly kitchen makeover. Remember how after the cabinets and walls were painted and everything was looking SO MUCH BETTER, I then began to have eye-twitchiness over the disgusting tan/brown backsplash tiles? I tried my best to just ignore the hideousness of it and focus solely on the lovely new white cabinets and how they went smashingly with the black granite counters. I told myself, “Self, you’re being obsessive. Just let it go.”
I just couldn’t, y’all. I couldn’t let it go. SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE. I mean, this was a kitchen makeover, after all. I couldn’t just ignore a huge part of the kitchen! But what could I do to update these ugly old tiles without replacing them outright?
Painted Tiles…Can It Be Done?
So I did some quick research on a crazy idea that popped into my head. I thought, I bet someone has tried to paint their tile before. Surely, that someone has written about it somewhere on the interwebs. Perhaps I can learn whether or not it is really a stupid idea before I try it.
Sure enough, many people have tried it. And some, recently, with great success. So I decided, what the hell? If I do it and it turns out to be awful (which, let’s be honest, nothing could be more awful than the brown catastrophe that already was my backsplash) then I’ll just have to replace the tile sooner than we anticipated.
Step 5: More Painting
So I went out and bought an oil-based paint in a gloss finish and matched at half-strength to the color of my cabinets (White Dove) and a Wooster brush made for oil-based paints. I usually avoid oil-based paints like the plague but because I’m painting tile, an inherently smooth surface that you can’t necessarily sand, using an oil-based paint pretty much assures that the paint will stick. I also used the same primer I used on the cabinets.
After taping off the wall space and priming all the tile, my method for getting a smooth finish with the paint was as follows: paint tile with Wooster brush, roll over painted tile with small foam roller. That way, I was able to coat each tile with a nice even coat of paint with the brush and then get rid of any brush strokes with the roller. It worked well and I was very happily surprised by the finished product.
The moral of this story: I am a genius. And it pays to take small risks. But mostly, I am a genius.
Step 6: Put the Puzzle Back Together
After everything was painted and dried(ish), Hubs and I raced to put all the hardware back on the cabinet doors and drawers and then all the doors and drawers back on the cabinet bases while the kiddos napped. We managed to just start hanging the doors back up when our little monsters woke up, so Daddy went and played with them while I finished hanging doors. By the way, hanging cabinet doors by oneself is not easy. Much cursing ensued.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
After the kids went to bed that night, Garry got started installing some under-cabinets LED lights we picked up at Lowe’s. Meanwhile, I started putting everything back in the cabinets on hanging stuff on the walls. I ended up purging a LOT of crap we never used or I no longer wanted or needed, so we ended up having a ton of space in our cabinets.
Finally, this is how everything turned out:
Not too shabby for a cheap DIY kitchen makeover, eh? It turned out so well! In all, it took us a good two weeks to get everything said and done. Granted, if you are kid-free or have a nanny or can send the kids off to Grandma’s for a few days, you may be able to get everything done in 4-ish days. But the point is, it can be done!