Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIW: Maggie's Tile

Why do it yourself and do it right, when you can WRITE!

Today's DIW comes from Maggie in Illinois.

 Maggie purchased a charming little cottage about two years ago that may have been the world champion for worst tile. She explains that the hallway and kitchen had plastic bright yellow tile with gray flecks and compared it to living inside of a Mucinex commercial.

She explained the following:

"I considered installing bead board or wainscoting directly over the tile, but it was expensive and difficult to attach. Regular screws might have damaged the tile, creating an uneven base, and liquid nails might not have stuck. I was also worried about warping. I considered tearing out the tile entirely, but I have plaster walls and I was worried about biting off more than I could chew."

Girl, Maggie, we live in a cave of plaster. We know your pain and your fear.

She sent us this picture of her kitchen. Please do not pick on least she fixed it. (Who ever thought this would be a good idea?)

She decided she was going to try to paint the tile since it was plastic (although I've heard of  people painting porcelain too. Anyone try that?) Maggie writes, "I've had success with Krylon spraypaint- it is specifically made for plastic and doesn't require any sanding beforehand. But while spraypaint works great for lawn furniture, the thought of spraypainting my walls seemed labor intensive and...fume-tastic"

I am really sorry for the feelings I am having towards your kitchen right now Maggie.

This was Maggie's process:

"The first step was washing the walls down with TSP. WEAR GLOVES! I figured a wet rag would pick up everything, but I was shocked when the TSP took off years of grime. Next, I scuffed the walls with some heavy-duty sand paper, and then scrubbed them again with the TSP."

(For those wondering what TSP is, here is a link... you can get it at pretty much any hardware store, I think even Wal-Mart sells a generic version of it)

Maggie continues, "I decided on white tile, so I didn't bother with trying to paint grout. After the TSP had dried completely, I applied a coat of special primer (Rustoleum Plastic Primer)- please note: it is better to do several thin coats than one gloppy coat. I wound up doing three coats of primer, with 24 hours or so to dry in between. I found that foam rollers worked best for this process."

"Once the primer had completely dried, I applied three coats of high gloss, white interior paint. The gloss is key! I finished things up by painting the walls green (Pumpkin Seed by Martha Stewart). For less than $100, I was able to completely transform about 50% of my first floor!"

Maggie. I mean this in the least awkward way possible...your old kitchen was so... "vintage" and now, I am completely enamored with your kitchen. What I love about projects like these is that all it took was a little bit of thinking, some patience and sweat and you've probably added so much equity into your home.

Not to mention now you're living in a cool and breezy cottage instead of a Mucinex commercial. Jeeze, can you guys imagine having to stare at that tile while you washed dishes for +30 minutes. Yuck!

Good job, Maggie! Snaps!

Do you have a DIW you'd like to contribute? E-Mail us your project and photos to

1 comment:

  1. What an easy and inexpensive update. It looks 10 times better! GOOD JOB MAGGIE!


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