Category Archives: Kitchen

Kitchen Cabinet Reveal

Painting the kitchen cabinets wrapped up last week!  Which means I can finally share some pictures.  sherwin williams alpaca, kitchen cabinetsBack in this post I shared a little about the color, Sherwin Williams Alpaca, that we chose.  Alpaca ended up being just what we wanted in a paint color.  A color that works well with both the floors and the counters.  Our main concern when selecting a color was that we didn’t want something that would blend right in with the counters.  While this color gray can be found in the counters it’s not the same overall tonal value so the two surfaces read separately.
sherwin williams alpaca, kitchen cabinets

I am so glad that we chose a lighter color gray because the kitchen looks and feels so much bigger now.  And who doesn’t mind a bigger kitchen?  Coming from a girl who generally despises yellow rooms it’s crazy how much we love the Lemon Chiffon yellow.  The lightness of the yellow really gives the room a happy and inviting feel.  These pictures really don’t do the colors justice.  
sherwin williams alpaca, kitchen cabinets

It’s so nice to have the bulk of the painting over with now.  All that’s left in the painting department is painting the trim a clean, crisp white and painting the trim we plan to add to cover the under cabinet lighting that will be installed.
sherwin williams alpaca, kitchen cabinetsPaint wasn’t the only update our cabinets received.  They also got a nice little upgrade in hardware with these TAG satin nickel pulls that we picked up at IKEA last year.  We chose TAG because we wanted something clean and simple, and something that wouldn’t break the budget.  These came in packs of two for $4.99.  So they really were an affordable upgrade for the kitchen.

sherwin williams alpaca, kitchen cabinets
I couldn’t help but showcase these beautiful flowers that ML gave me the other day.  It was perfect timing because I had already planned to stop and buy yellow flowers the next day and he didn’t even know that.  flowers Finally, what’s a renovation without a before and after picture.Kitchen Before-AfterThe kitchen really has come a long way.  Not that it started out in dire need of help or anything but the color palette just wasn’t us.  I had been wanting to change the red wall ever since we bought the house almost six years ago!  Looking at the picture above a hope to sprinkle some more bold yellow around the room.  For instance by adding a yellow dishtowel to hang on the oven and maybe some yellow vases on the counter or yellow artwork to lean against the backs plash.

With this kitchen renovation we have prepped the house for resale by installing matching black appliances as well installing a classic subway tile backsplash, new counters, and a durable rug.

We still lack a few more details to finish up in the kitchen but at least to the naked eye it looks complete.  That’s an accomplishment in itself.

Next week, I plan to share how we made our template to install the new hardware and the process I used to paint the cabinets.  What projects have you been working on lately?  Have you been experiencing a shift in your color palette?  Do you have a color that is your least favorite to see in a room?

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How to Install a Tile Backsplash

Tips for how to install a tile backsplash

Installing our tile backsplash was a huge DIY step forward for Michael Luke. At first the idea of tackling such a major renovation task seemed daunting (see here)but with a little research and prep it proved to be rather easy and extremely rewarding.

The process can be broken down into six easy to manage steps:

1.  Sand and Clean the Wallsanding

Sanding your walls isn’t something that needs to be done before every tile installation. But, in our case it was necessary. Why?  Because somebody at some point or another in our house’s history decided to apply plaster all over our walls.  Leaving it all lumpy and textured like this.

kitchen

So, we needed to get it smooth before we could move forward.  Michael Luke used our electric sander to smooth down the area where the backsplash was going to be installed.

Cover anything you don’t want to get dusty or wipe down later and enclose the room you are working in with a dust partition.  If not, you could possibly end up something like this.

dust

Just picture the dust above all over our entire house.  It was not fun cleaning up.  After, you finish sanding wipe down the wall with a damp cloth.

2.  Apply the Mastic

mastic applicationTo keep costs low we chose Tec Invision Ready To Use White Universal Adhesive as our mastic.  This method doesn’t require any special equipment that an amateur DIYer might not have.  The only tool needed is a notched trowel to spread the mastic evenly and horizontally onto the wall once it is clean and dry. To determine which size notched trowel you need refer to the back of the mastic container.  In our case we used a 3/16″ x 5/32″ trowel  for 3″ x 6″ size tiles. One gallon of mastic was enough to cover our entire backsplash area.

3.  Installing the Tile

kitchen

Once a section of mastic is applied begin applying the tiles to the wall starting at the bottom and working up.  Before laying the first tile decide how you want the tiles to look.  Do you want to start in the center and work out? Or start on one end and work to the other?  For our installation we started on the end closest to the refrigerator and worked to the left.  Centering the tiles would not have been noticeable on this wall.

4.  Use Spacers for Uniformity

ledge of tile

Spacers are used between tiles to keep them in place while the mastic dries.  They are easy to pull out and are removed before grouting.  The size of your grout joint will depend on your tile size and grout type.  We used 1/8″ tile spacers.

(Helpful Hint: Refer to the grout container for joint size.)

(Helpful Hint: Temporarily nail a scrap piece of wood behind the oven level with the counters to hold the tile in place until the mastic dries.)

counter at edge

5.  Cutting Tile

finished tile

One of the biggest set backs in a tile installation is cutting tile to fit around electrical outlets and other areas.  Tile can be cut with a wet saw or a hand tool.  Michael Luke used the hand tool because we had one on hand and it was more cost effective than a wet saw.  I’ll be back later this week detailing how it works.

6.  Grout

applying grout

After your mastic has had time to dry and the spacers have been removed you are ready to grout.  Refer to the mastic container for drying times.  Drying time depends on tile size and mastic manufacturer.  Like the mastic, we bought a ready to use mix, Tec Invision Read to Use Grout, in color Smoke Gray.  This stuff is great because you don’t have to seal it and it its stain, mold, mildew, and water resistant.

Applying it is super easy.  Spread liberally with a rubber trowel over tile and grout joints.  Next scape the excess grout from the tile.  Then, using a damp sponge pat the tile.  Clean tile ad smooth joints working the sponge in a circular motion.  Finally, drag a damp towel across surface to really make the tiles shine.  Don’t stress if you find some grout remaining after it has dried.  It can still be removed from the tiles using a damp cloth and a little elbow grease.

american olean backsplashsubway tile installation

These six simple steps give you a beautiful tile installation that doesn’t break the budget… or your back!

Have you ever attempted your own tile installation?  Did you learn any tricks of the trade secrets?  What was the hardest part for you?

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An Alpaca in the Kitchen

Ok.  We don’t really have an alpaca in the kitchen.  Although that would make for some interesting photos.  We do have alpaca colored cabinets in the kitchen though.

kitchen

Ok.  So that’s not completely true either. We have cabinets that are partially painted in Sherwin Williams Alpaca.  Partially is the key word here since so far I have only worked on the top cabinets and the doors are still covering my dining room table.

kitcen

I just finished the third coat of paint on the front of all the doors and hope to start on the back side of them later today or tonight.  For the most part painting has been fairly easy and quick.  “Well what is taking you so long?”, you ask.  Finding the time to paint.  The best time for me to paint is during Noah’s naps or after she has gone to bed.  It works well but it kind of draws the whole process out.

Thankfully I (and Michael Luke) am loving the color choice.  I’m not sure Noah has noticed. Kids these days!

Noah

Thank you so much for weighing in with your color choices in our little poll.  A majority of you chose Alpaca.  Even with all your Alpaca encouragement I still almost when with Requisite Grey.  Not because I don’t value your opinion but because I was just afraid it wouldn’t be dark enough.

After seeing Alpaca on the cabinets though I can’t imagine it being any darker.  The tonal value is really close to the existing cream color which you can still see on the bottom cabinets.

kitchen

The difference is in the underlying tones.  The original cream color had a lot of yellow in it.  Too much for our taste after painting the walls yellow.  The new color has a subtle pink tint.  It doesn’t come across as pink at all but it picks up some of the warmer tones found in our floor tile.  And because red and yellow are next to each other on the color wheel they yellow walls work well with the cabinets.

kitchen

The light grey of the cabinets really allows the counters to shine in all their glory.

kitchen

Which is totally what I wanted!  And kind of a cool picture as we, the body of Christ (the cabinets) want God (the counter) to shine in all His glory.  Like I read in my quiet time this morning… “He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30

Hopefully, painting the bottom cabinets will move a little quicker than the top.   I’ll be sure to share pictures along the way as well as let you know the process I used to paint and prep our cabinets.

Have you ever painted cabinets before?  If so, how long did it take you?  What do you feel like has been your most labor intensive DIY project?

P.S. Don’t forget that your purchase from Color Created Family helps to cover our adoption expenses as we journey towards bringing our little girl home from Hong Kong.  This month a portion of each sale will also go towards The Sparrow Fund who helps families through the adoption process.

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