A Dramatic Tile Makeover

Guess what?

It’s ANOTHER post about my kitchen.

I’m on a roll!

Unfortunately, it’s really so bad that all these projects are only making a tiny dent in the ugliness.

But a tiny dent is better than no dent. Right?

And today’s dent is definitely not tiny. In fact, I think it’s pretty big.

You see, there’s this area of my kitchen you don’t see often. Because it’s embarrassing. And ugly. And so horrible that I really just want to pretend like it doesn’t exist.

THAT TILE. Seriously? Who picks that tile?

(If any of you happen to adore that tile, please know I do not judge you for it, and I’m sorry for being so mean to it. It’s just really ugly.)

Funny story about the tile: When we were first showing this house to my parents right after we bought it, we were all standing in the kitchen and I made a (very sarcastic) comment about how the tile was my favorite part of the house. My mom replied (in a very NOT sarcastic manner) that she was sure we could track down some more of it so that we could continue it throughout the rest of the kitchen.

I love that woman, but she’s slow to pick up on the sarcasm sometimes. Don’t know how she managed to birth two of the most sarcastic people in existence.

Anyways. I hate the tile. Eventually we’re going to give this kitchen a complete gut job and basically start from scratch, but considering we just paid an arm and a leg (and maybe a kidney or two) for our new windows (which are getting installed NEXT WEEK!) and our garage renovation (which is slow going, but I’ll have updates soon!), it’s not going to be in the cards for us anytime soon.

So, I decided to go for a quick fix.

Check it out! It’s not blindingly awful! It’s white! And crisp! And clean! And, dare I say, PRETTY!

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but have been waiting to track down the tile paint kit that Home Depot is supposed to carry (but doesn’t actually carry because I can’t find it anywhere). So, finally I broke down and decided to just paint the dang stuff with regular paint. I used Zinsser primer (which is the only stuff I’ll ever use) and regular old white paint. It’s probably not the most durable solution, and probably not what I was “supposed” to use…but it worked and I love it. So I’m just gonna roll with it.

There’s no real tutorial here – I just painted it like I’d paint anything else. I was a little worried after the first coat of primer, because things weren’t looking so hot.

I decided to just power through it, though, and I’m glad I did. I figured it couldn’t look any worse than the fruit, so there was no reason to stop. After the second coat, I had higher hopes…

And after one more coat of primer and two coats of paint (yes, this took a lot of coats!) it was looking pretty amazing.

I’m so glad I decided to risk it and try this project…I love how it turned out and it makes that whole little area feel much less cluttered and awful. I probably wouldn’t try this technique on an area that gets foot traffic or that needs to be cleaned super frequently because I’m not sure how the paint will hold up, but this little area stays pretty clean and doesn’t get messed with very often, so I have high hopes it’ll last us until we can rip it all out and replace it!

Have you painted anything unique lately?

5 thoughts on “A Dramatic Tile Makeover

  1. We just plastered the walls of our kitchen (white), which isn’t very clever with food splashes from the food on the stove, because you can’t clean it with a wet cloth. We then treated the wall with a clear/transparant coating. We used a varnish that is normally used for boats and yachts, which is really just a very strong and hard varnish. Now I can easily remove any dirt on the wall with a wet cloth and my walls are still white! Maybe a tip to keep your white painted tiles beautiful?


    Amanda Reply:

    Great tip! Thanks!


  2. I’ve been thinking of painting the tile around our fireplace (it’s ugly and doesn’t match the tile floor right next to it) and this post is what I needed to read to get the job started. You’re right, it probably isn’t what you are “supposed” to do but it’s a nice easy and inexpensive trick to do while waiting for a complete demo/reno! ECC used chalk paint on a fireplace tile which I think I’m going to try. Thanks for the encouraging project!


  3. The back splash looks great. Definitely better to spend a lot of time painting than tearing down and replacing the tile. Thank goodness for Zinsser Primer!


  4. Nice work!! My parents did this to our ENTIRE kitchen (not kidding- even counters) when we moved in because it was going to be a year or so before they gutted the kitchen. It made it bearable as opposed to the LIME GREEN AND YELLOW kitchen that was there!


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