First of all, it sorta goes without saying, I’m obviously not a very good blogger. I want to be. The concept sounds fun. But rarely do I find myself with time – or make time – to sit down at the computer without a specific task at hand that must be accomplished. That said, our house has been in MAJOR transition mode of the past few months, so I should have plenty to blog about.
We discovered a few months ago that our subfloors had water damage – some a considerable amount. So since the end of July we have been ripping up flooring, cutting out the old subfloors, reinsulating and then putting new subfloors down room by room. I say we, but for the most part, I mean my hubby and some servant-hearted men from our church. But I helped some. Meanwhile, I’ve made the most of the chaos that has been our home lately and taken the time to repaint, rearrange, and redecorate. It’s kept me sane…and busy.
On to the Kitchen Facelift…
A bit of background. I’ve been giving my kitchen a gradual makeover for about 2 years. First I did a temporary facelift on the countertops with granite looking contact paper. I was really pretty pleased with it. It cleaned nicely, held up pretty well, looked as real as laminate and was a super affordable temporary solution – $14!
Last spring I restained the cabinets with General Finishes Gel Stain in mahogany. It was very time-consuming and the kitchen was in disarray for about a week, but it wasn’t difficult. For a bit of time and around $60 it made a HUGE difference in the look of the kitchen!
I also spray painted my existing hardware. I just touched up a couple drawer pulls this week, but overall they’ve held up pretty well too.
Now on to the current makeover….
I am calling this a “Faux Style” facelift because I used faux brick and faux stainless steel paint. A professional designer would probably cringe, but I think it looks pretty good and it was affordable! 🙂
Faux Brick Backsplash
Amid the repainting, I took down a couple sheets of faux brick paneling (8′ x 4′) that had been behind the wood stove (which we eliminated). I liked the potential of the brick panels, just not their location or their previous state. So my mind began dreaming of new ways to repurpose them. After many hours on Pinterest and a few back and forths, I settled on a white-washed brick backsplash. I looked at lots of pictures and fell in love.
If you don’t happen to have a couple of spare faux brick panels laying around, Pinterest told me that you could buy them at Lowes (and the like) for $20ish. I didn’t look. I had some already!
I had two panels and after doing lots of measurements and math in my head, I discovered that was sufficient. I actually thought I could get what I needed out of one panel. And I technically could have, but the bricks wouldn’t have lined up. So that would not have been very pretty. So if you are purchasing paneling buy more than you think you will need. I used one and a half sheets to get everything lined up right (and correct a few errors I made).
My biggest recommendations for cutting the brick are to measure, measure again and then maybe once more. Try to be as precise as possible. Also, cut one panel at a time and work your way around the backsplash. In hindsight, this seems like common sense, but I didn’t start out doing it this way. I started by just cutting a few strips at the height I needed and the bricks didn’t line up like I thought they would, so I had to redo some. My recommendation would be to cut your first section, make sure it fits, then lay it on the floor next the panel you plan to cut next to line it up and figure out exactly where to cut your next piece. That is what I ended up doing and it worked well!
In general, I am okay with power tools, but things with spinning blades frighten me – I sorta want to keep my fingers. So this is only my second project using a circular saw. I made a few mistakes, but I did okay, I think. And I still have all my fingers and limbs! Yay! Since our house is still a work zone (still have just subfloors in the main areas) and we’ve grown accustomed to cleaning up saw dust, I did most of the work on this project inside. It’s cold outside! But, I will say, these cardboard like panels, produced quite a mess of dust. So if your house is actually put together, I would probably go outside.
Once I got all the pieces cut and fit, the next step was painting. This step was pretty fast and painless. I read several tutorials on white-washing faux brick, but once I got started I had to find what worked for me with the paint I was using. I decided to use Rustoleum’s white gloss latex paint. I picked gloss because it seemed like it would wipe down easier. We will see. I thinned the paint to 50/50 paint and water. Then I just painted it on the panels. Several blogs I read said they wiped it off, some with a wet rag, some with a dry rag. I found the paint I was using seeped into the paneling quite a bit, so after some trial and error I decided not to wipe it off at all and actually did a couple coats. Because the paint was thinned and seeped in I still acheived the white-washed look I wanted and you can see some color variation in the bricks. The paint I used was labeled white, but I think it has a bit of a gray tint, which I was happy with.
I used subfloor glue to fasten them to the wall (we had plenty on hand). It seemed to work well. If your panels are cut fairly secure then you should not need any other way to support them while they dry if they are resting on the counter. I just pushed mine on and they stayed. The panel behind the stove is not supported by anything so I put a couple screws in it which I later covered with gap filler. I also used the same gap filler to smooth over the seams and fill in a few spots where I messed up on my cutting. The great thing about the white-wash technic is it is very forgiving, so I didn’t paint over the filler or anything (it was white and blended in).
Faux Stainless Countertops
Time will tell if this trick worked, but for now, I have pretty countertops that cost me about $10. I used stainless steel colored appliance spray paint by Rustoleum. It claims to be wipeable, water-resistant and ultra hard enamel, so if those claims hold true, I am in luck! The cans say they cover 15-18 sq ft and I think that is actually pretty accurate. My counters took about two and a half cans.
I read lots of reviews before using this paint and several reviewers warned against using it indoors. I decided to try it. I opened lots of windows and used an air mover (high powered fan) to make sure the fumes went out the nearest window and fresh air came inside. The smell reminded me of a nail salon. I wouldn’t call it pleasant by any means. I used a drop cloth and some painters tape to cover the cabinets, but I didn’t have a major issue with overspray. Some reviewers said they found traces of the paint 20 feet away. I didn’t find that to be the case. But again, I currently just have subfloors in my kitchen, so I wasn’t that worried. The paint does leave some stainless colored dust nearby, but I found it to clean up easily. If you decide to paint the counters inside make sure you can achieve good ventilation and protect surfaces that you are concerned about. I’d move any nearby rugs, curtains or other fabrics that can’t be easily washed.
As far as prep, well, I cannot really tell you. This was my second attempt at painting my countertops. The first attempt was faux granite. It worked, but I didn’t like it like I thought I would. So I had already used a primer on the counters for that. I just used the stainless steel enamel over what I had done with no additional prep. It is made to stick on glossy surfaces, so it seems plausible that you wouldn’t have to prime, but your guess is as good as mine. I’d say if in doubt, use a primer that is made for glossy surfaces.
Here is again!
Since I has some stainless steel paint left over I did some other finishing touches, including painting outlet and light switch covers. I also painted my kitchen faucet. It was already stainless, but this paint has a bit more of a shimmer to it and looks a little fancier, so I think a coat of paint really jazzed up the faucet! I also didn’t bother to tape off my sink. I didn’t strive to cover it with paint, but some paint did get on it and it sorta made it blend into the counters, without a full covering. It may or may not stay, which is fine either way.
I recently added the island. I suppose in keeping with the theme you could call it a “faux island” because I converted a dresser we already had to the island for a little extra storage and work space. I painted it and added the stainless enamel to the top and to the hardware. I also did a little distressing, which don’t show up too much in these pictures.
Another change you may or may not have noticed from the pictures – I relocated my microwave cabinet. I just took down a couple cabinets and swapped them.
What turned me on to the joys of appliance paint was a couple weeks ago when I bought a can of white appliance paint to turn my stove from a two-tone to solid white.
Here’s one more set of before and after shots all together….
Thanks so much for stopping by!