The first space I wanted to update was the kitchen. I loved the tall ceilings, the open floor plan to the living room, the shaker style cabinets and overall layout, but I did not care for the busy pattern of the backsplash or the orange tone cabinet color. The tile design itself resembled a smaller version of traditional subway tile and I liked the staggered layout, but the pattern and color needed a change.
Oh, by the way, I am doing this backwards - I completed this project and went back to write the blog post so you'll see a few screen grabs from my Instagram highlights which is why some photos have text on them.
We had planned on updating the backsplash anyway, but I thought I would try to paint it first to see if it would make enough of a difference to hold off on replacing it altogether. So here are the details on how I painted my kitchen backsplash:
1. First things first, PREP WORK IS EVERYTHING! Clean, clean and clean again. Remove all light switch outlets, label them and take the opportunity to wipe everything down. I used TSP (trisodium phosphate) I had on hand to remove any dirt, grime and grease, but I hear Krud Kutter is pretty amazing, too. Then I took rubbing alcohol to remove any residue and wiped down the tile with a dry lint-free cloth.
2. Use 1.75" - 2" wide painter's tape and tape off where the countertop and the tile meet. This will allow you to roll as close as you want without worrying about painting the countertop when you get down to where the backsplash and countertop meet. I started off with 1" and realized my mistake.
3. I used Zinsser's BIN primer as "paint" meaning I never applied any actual paint color, only the white BIN primer was used. I used a 4" fine finish foam roller similar to these to roll the paint on. Since it was difficult to get into some areas of the grout, I used a small paintbrush to wiggle & work the primer into the grout.
4. I had to apply two coats of primer for a solid white background. Make sure you allow the primer to dry fully in between coats. I waited a day or two.
5. Since it was pretty opaque already due to the white primer's coverage, I actually left it for quite awhile just like this. I intended to go over with sealant or paint, but months had passed and I was shocked how well it held up. The only area that got dirty was behind the sink so when I cleaned behind the sink with a sponge, I ended up wiping everything down and finally putting on a top coat of paint. Behr paint was kind enough to send me some of their Alkyd Satin enamel paint in pure white and this is what I used for the cabinets and the backsplash. I used the same roller and brush technique that I used with the primer and applied one thin coat and allowed to dry fully.
The last thing we need to do is re-caulk where the counter top and the backsplash meet, I think it'll give it a more polished overall look.
BEFORE BUDGET KITCHEN MAKEOVER
AFTER THE COMPLETED BUDGET KITCHEN MAKEOVER
That's it! A super simple DIY project that completely changed the look of the space. Check back soon for how we painted the kitchen cabinets and see our DIY shiplap which is the same method we used for our island in the kitchen, as well.