Monday, November 24

And thank the baby monkeys, the kitchen is done.

I had another home project that ate up most of my time - this time it was the kitchen!

I had previously posted about the bathroom, and the bathroom was actually the test run before I tackled the kitchen.   The kitchen had the same "golden oak" that is so ubiquitous in newer model homes that I hate :)

I also wanted to paint the walls.  Originally I was going to go for a muted green, but then I decided to carry the same color from the rest of the main living area (Benny Moore's Thunder) through onto the walls, and go with a greenish tile backsplash.

Hilariously, I was shopping tile online and went to area stores to look at the finalists in person and chose a tile I had totally dismissed online (it was grey, even though the name was "seaweed").  I happened to be flipping through tile boards when I saw the perfect tile and it was my seaweed.  Hah.

Sadly, I cannot find any before pictures  so you'll have to imagine boring oak cabinets with white walls and no backsplash, because I fail.   I will update this entry if I manage to unearth any (I thought I had taken some!)  Hooray, I found my "before"/in process pictures!  Please excuse the mess, I realize you can see everything in the cupboards and all of the mess, but I am not a neat house-wrecker.

I first ran across the technique for staining dark/espresso from this blog post that I ran across.  And then to do the tile, which was surprisingly easy, I just surfed DIY videos on Youtube.

I have to apologize regarding the quality of the photos.   It's been so rainy lately that I haven't gotten a lot of good lighting to work with.  C'est la vie.

We have one of those weird desk/storage cubby things one one end.   The crate obviously works out there, and that's the counter where I dump all of my crap when I walk in from the garage.  This was the first spot I finished paining/staining and I was rather pleased with it.
After the first coat of gel stain
More stain, and the paint is going up!

 This took up the bulk of the time, we have tons of cabinet space (yay?).   I had to re-poly these, because the satin poly I had bought actually dried to a high gloss.  It's much better now.
I find the kitchen a little dark, so I will take out the fluorescent lights and either put in can lights or track lighting (still deciding!!!)
But most importantly, you can see all of that magnificent tile.  I love it.  Love it, love it, love it.

This is during the time I was tiling.
You can tell that I did the lower cabinets first and then the uppers (they're still "golden oak")

This is towards the corner - That little half wall leads into the fridge, and my buddies thought I should have kept tiling, but I like that wall "normal"

Before-ish.. First coat of Gel stain on the lower cabs, nothing else, no paint, no tile, etc...

This was easily the most difficult portion to tile.  Between the tiny size and the 4 (FOUR!!) outlets, it took me a long time.  It was really awkward to tile there.

This is a good shot of the tile.  It's a greyed out green (hence "seaweed") mosaic with marble, frosted white, frosted dark and light green, clear greens and then some of those textured tiles.  I really did like it.  I was originally looking for piano tile, but I really, really like the way this came out.

Super close up so you can see how the textured tile looks.  It does look great, but it was an utter PITA to get the grout out of the textures.   I still occasionally pick at the tile toward the corners were I wasn't able to scrub as well.

So that was this year's project.   I got the half bath done as well, but the goal was the kitchen.  It was a much bigger project than I realized and I burned out most of the way through it.   The tile was easy, it was all of the staining that broke me.

Other than lighting and flooring, we're done with the downstairs.  I need to find someone that will paint the stairwell (18' ceiling, great) and I need to paint the upstairs hall (easy).  I also want to re-do the master (new shower door, new paint, new fixtures, and doing the golden-oak cabs in there, too).

I might get to it next year.   Maybe.   There's always the picket fencing I want to put in the backyard, too.


  1. Its gorgeous!! Everything about it is seriously beautiful! I'm jealous. :-)

    1. Thanks! I grew up in a household of chronic DIYers, I can't leave something alone if I think it can be upgraded! :D

  2. So pretty great tile choice!

    1. Thanks, Heather! I'm so glad to have found it. It's just the color I was hoping to find (without breaking the bank!)


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