Friday, April 1, 2016

Crafting my floors

The kitchen and 1st floor bathroom tile that I inherited wasn't really my cup of tea. It was nice enough, but the color was somewhat drab--although I have to say it hides dirt well! :) I looked into the cost of laying down a new lino floor when I first got here and it was prohibitive (and a lot more than I expected!). I cannot make it a top priority, ditto new cabinets and counter, although I admit to being quite fond of the current cabinets. They are solid and functional and they've been here a while, I like that. No hurry to replace them. The counter top? Well, yes, it would be nice to have something new. This one is showing some age. Still, it's bright and not unreasonably worn. But... a renovation/remodel is not in the works. Not for some time.

A make-over, on the other hand... well that's what's occupied much of my time these past few weeks. It began when I decided to lighten up the cabinets from their darker palette. I chose 2 different whites and it makes a world of difference. The kitchen now appears much brighter and lighter than before.

Working on the cabinets put me in a mood for makeovers and I started to browse the WWW for ideas. I went in direct search of info on painting over tiles--there's a lot out there. I pretty much knew I wanted to do checkerboard in large squares (larger than the 12" tiles in the house) and I wanted natural colors. I chose a tan that is similar to terracotta and a red that is similar to brick. Sherwin-Williams low VOC, latex floor paint, a gallon of each was more than enough. Today I put the final 2 coats (3 in all) of clear polyurethane over the paint job and it looks nice. I used "Vermont Natural Coatings", a water-based clear satin finish with lower than average VOC. It's a very nice product.

For the bathroom floor, which was done in the same tiles as the kitchen, I chose 2 tones of bluish grey and some gold stencil paint. Tomorrow I will put the final coat of clear finish over that.

I found a very pretty farmhouse-looking table and ladder-back chairs this afternoon at a local repurpose shop and they will replace my current kitchen table. I'll have to let the floors cure for another week, but by this time next week, my kitchen should be looking well spruced up! :)

This is what the original tiles looked like: (clicken to enlargen, of course)

This is what the new "tiles" look like, with a view of the new paint job on the cabinets:

Here's a better view of some of the cabinets (and I put knobs on them, they didn't have any before):

And this is my new bathroom floor:

In all these pictures, the clear poly finish was not yet applied.

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