Refreshing our Kitchen

We are currently on lockdown from the Covid-19 outbreak (and have been since the middle of March), and as expected, because we’re cooped up in the house day in and day out, the urge to change up some rooms in our house crept up on us. After being stuck in the house for a few weeks at the start of lockdown, I started thinking about ways we could freshen up our kitchen without doing an entire remodel. We want to do a full renovation eventually, but right now its just not in the cards for us – big renovations can be SO expensive, and we know kitchens can get pretty pricey! After much deliberation, Peter and I decided to do a few DIY projects – paint our backsplash and lay down new kitchen tiles! If you don’t follow me on IG, then you wouldn’t know that I am IN LOVE with the outcome and would recommend it to anyone thinking of updating their space. I wanted to create this post to document exactly what we did, what we used & the outcome.

We started off by doing a lot of research for both projects – how much would it cost to put in a new backsplash? How can we get a new floor without ripping up the tile? How handy do you need to be? We ended up coming across this blog post from Brepurposed about how to paint your backsplash, and decided to take the plunge. If it didn’t turn out, we could pay a bit more and get new tiles put in (spoiler alert – we didn’t need to because her method worked). Based on her blog post, we ended up purchasing:

  • Latex Primer
  • Valspar High Gloss Enamel (we chose untinted white)
  • Small foam rollers
  • Small paint brushes
  • Sanding blocks

This is what our tiles looked like right as Peter started to paint – yellow, dark grout, just not our vibe.

We followed her post (clean the backsplash, sand, prime, sand, paint) and it was scary at first, I won’t lie. The primer went on streaky (which I think is to be expected but it’s still scary), and we were worried it wouldn’t cover. Nevertheless we continued and after 2 coats of primer (just to be safe) and 3 coats of paint, we had our finished backsplash. Let me tell you – I am so so happy with it. It’s shiny like tile, but so much better than the yellow we used to have! I was worried it would look cheap and like we did it ourselves, but honestly, there are only a few small areas that look a little off and luckily, those are all hidden by appliances or shelves. Overall, it’s GORGEOUS!! I am so happy we went with Bre’s method!

After we painted the tiles, we tackled the floor. I had seen people on Instagram using peel and stick tiles, and after even more research and deliberating, we decided on peel and stick tiles from Brewster Homes (but you can find them on IG @wallpops) and the style is called Comet. There are 10 12×12 tiles to a box so after we measured out our kitchen we purchased 10 boxes from Home Depot (we purchased from Home Depot and not directly from the company because we were worried about major shipping delays since the company is out of the US). We worked in sections because a) we had to move all the large appliances and the island to lay the floor down and b) because we have a toddler, we couldn’t have an inaccessible kitchen. Took us a few days longer to get the job done but it was worth it.

We started by cleaning the floors using an all purpose cleaner, making sure we got up any crumbs or sticky spots. Once the floor was clean and dry, we started to lay down the tiles. After about half the floor had been laid down, we noticed some of the corners weren’t sticking very well. We were super worried and disappointed that the tiles weren’t living up to the hype they’d been given. Pete did some Googling and discovered we could use a spray adhesive to get the tiles to stick down. Unfortunately since some of the tiles were already down, we left those (and we spot treated them as they lifted over the course of the next week or so) and moved on to the rest of the kitchen. The tiles haven’t lifted or moved an inch since adding in the spray adhesive, so if you take on this project, I’d highly recommend doing the spray adhesive for the entire flooring to avoid any lifted edges!

Here’s a before shot showing our old floor and the tiles being mapped out, and a beautiful shot of the floor laid down:

Overall, we are super duper happy with the outcome of our kitchen. I would say if you’re unsure about renovating your kitchen, start with small DIY’s! Way less expensive and if you don’t like it you can always do a bigger renovation later down the road.

Hope you enjoyed reading this & it helps you if you were on the fence about tackling small DIY’s in your house!

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