I wanted tile floors but I didn’t want to tile floors. Queue DIY music (or Macklemore’s Thrift Shop. Loathe as I am to give them props on anything, that song is my life all summed up).
In the interest of giving the goods up front. Here are before and afters of my kitchen.
Very Blurry Before Still Shots from A Video Before We Moved In:
Before Painting: Note counters already prepared with goodies to paint with
So there’s my floors all done with my own two hands. In the interest of full fledged honesty, which I encourage round these parts, this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. I use to participate in technical theater as a scenic charge in high school and painting floors was apparently my jam. Proof? Exhibit A: 100 lbs lighter and 10 years younger version of me coated in paint.
So when I decided to paint my floor, I had all the confidence that I could get it done and come out alive with less paint coating my clothing. I checked the internets and yes! It could be done and has been done, in exactly the floor I wanted no less, by the lovely Mysha of Remington Avenue. And praise be to God she posted a tutorial which I sort of followed. Here are the steps that I took. But definitely stop by her site to see the one that started it all and to avoid my lack of structure.
Our floors are of the laminate peel and stick variety and I knew down the road that I wanted to replace them with tile. I know my style is rather distinct so I try not to make too many of “those kinds” of specialized changes that won’t add value for when we decided to sell in the distant yet foreseeable future. So it only made sense to give those peel and stick tiles an affordable face lift and then keep real tile in my wayfair cart ‘less I messed up heavily.
- Foam Rollers -small to give more control and not be bigger than the stencil. Foam to avoid lint and shedding of fibers.
- 220 grit sanding block
- Microfiber cloth
- Painters tape- feel free to get the delicate but pro tip: just stick it to your sweater a full times and pull off to soften the stickiness
- Exacto knife
- Mylar sheets or transparent poster board
- Foam brushes
- Polyacrylic sealant
- Plastic shopping bags (you’ll see, promise)
- Kilz 1-2-3 Primer
- Dry Swiffer or other mop with electrostatic cling
- We have these beautiful bistro chairs that I snagged for a steal before we moved from a consignment shop (when has your fave ever?!). I knew I wanted the floor to be a close match to the color so I toted this picture into Lowe’s. As the human color match machine. I picked out the colors I thought were the closest and brought them home with me to look at them in different lighting.
- Gathered supplies. (including unpictured supplies)
- Emptied the floor of everything, dry swiffered, dry swiffered again, dry swiffered again. See a trend here. It’s really important to make sure that you get as much dust and particulate up from the start so it’s not caught in the floor. We have dogs which means that even though they have never been allowed in the kitchen, that I found dog hair in the cracks and crevices of the floor. Scrub floor with a degreaser. I used a bucket of hot water and blue Dawn dish detergent followed by a wash of clean water to make sure no soap was left behind. You could also probably use a cap full of bleach in a bucket of hot water. This step is really important because you need a good base to begin with.
- I taped off the floor with blue painter tape. Note that I got the thick tape. I’m not usually very careful with painting since old habits die hard butI knew I needed to protect the cabinets. Usually I skip this step (repeat: not careful) but I really wanted to get this right ‘less my husband blow a gasket.
- Rolled my table into the way so the dogs wouldn’t shake close to the kitchen boundary line (looking at you Sirius), tied up the curtains and primed the floor with the Kilz. We had a leftover can in our garage from previous projects and it has never let us down. While the primer dried I went and picked up paint.
- My favorite colors turned out to be Valspar Bleached Slate and Iron Frost which I got in Signature. I painted the floor and while waiting for it to dry I got started on a stencil. Top pictures are of iron frost while wet at night and the other photo is dry in daylight. It’s a very close matched me the chairs. 7. I purchased sheets of transparent poster board from Michael’s. You can purchase Mylar Sheets on Amazon if you decide to make a stencil yourself or just purchase it like a regular person. I didn’t have the patience to extend this project to more days so I got to work. These tiles in my kitchen is 18 x 18. I’m lazy so to measure I just laid the transparency on the floor and traced it.
- Then I measured to find the halfway mark on the transparency both length and width and drew a line.
- I repeated the action by finding the half mark of the half mark and making a dashed line. This split my stencil into fourths so that I could turn one tile into four smaller tiles with the pattern I was making.
- I then used some of the extra sheet outside of the stencil to cut out a square the size of one of the smaller squares. From that I bent the square in half and drew a little curved and then cut that “little football”.
- I traced that it into the small squares and then labeled where to cut with an exacto knife.
- I laid the stencil onto a cutting board/mat and exacto-knifed the placed where I traced the football.
- Finished stencil.
- I started near my back and worked into the house. I taped the stencil down with the painters tape, made gentle by tapping it to my sweater.
- Rolled over stencil with a clean new foam brush brush. At this point I realized there was still residual dog hair in my kitchen so I snagged a swiffer cloth and began running it over the squares before I rolled over them.
- I scattered the pattern so that I could still walk around the kitchen. I made sure to do no two side by side so that the stencil wouldn’t overlap and smudge.
- After the initial squares dried, I went back in and started filling in the squares that I skipped.
- I completed the vast majority of the kitchen and then doubled back to do the edges. because this happened on day two, the stencil was completely dry so I just taped it to the wall and rolled in the empty space.
- After the vast majority of the squares were completed, I went back and completed touch ups using the foam brushes.
- Once touch ups were complete, I rolled three coats of polycrylic sealant on, giving each coat 2 hours of dry time before touching/walking and 24 hours before the next coat (Coat +24 hours, coat+24hours, coat +24hours). I used polycrylic instead of polyurethane because the polyurethane will yellow over time. Make sure that you are dust free. Between coats I used the sanding bar to loosen any grit and scratch up the coat so the next coat would adhere well. I then wiped the grit with the microfiber towel so that the towel wouldn’t leave dust.
- After the coat dried, I carefully removed all of the tape using the exacto knife to make sure it didn’t pull up any of the sealant.
- Once the floor was complete and had 72 hours to dry, I put in this art deco gold vent cover for only $5. #winning
So tada that’s that. Well sorta. I need to pull out the appliances and paint underneath but I’m giving the floor a second to rest a bit more and cure before I put them out. So that’s it. I tend to freestyle when I paint (and when I live, honestly). I always describe myself as a “measure half a time, cut three times” kind of girl which means I plan in my head and then fling headlong into a project. So something here may not be clear. Gotta question? Let me know.