Kitchen Completion

It’s no secret, we’ve been working on our kitchen since we moved in. We set some goals early on, and now we’re finally meeting them. One of those goals was to paint the 4″ x 4″ ceramic tile that goes around almost the entire kitchen.

Kitchen Before Paint

That’s a before shot. With our coffee bar and decor removed, it doesn’t look that dissimilar from when we moved in. We knew we wanted to paint the tiles and also add some color to the walls, but there were more important things to be done in the kitchen first, so we put this off.

Covered Countertops

Our latest and greatest investment, our new countertops, were carefully covered with brown paper.

Kitchen Partially Painted Vanilla Steam

We worked our way top to bottom, and painted the trim and the drywall first. We went from a stained off-white color to Valspar’s Vanilla Steam. We were worried the color might be a little pink, or that it might be a little too subtle, but once everything dried, it was bold and matched the swatch pretty well.

3M Blue Painters Tape

Since we were snowed in and we wanted to finish the project in one day, we used Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape for Delicate Surfaces on the freshly painted wall before priming and painting the tiles.

Valspar Multi Purpose PrimerTo prepare the tiles for priming and painting we used Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits, an eco friendly alternative to regular mineral spirits. We were worried about the paint not sticking to the ceramic tiles going into this project. We tested out Valspar’s latex multi-purpose primer on a few loose tiles we had from the bathroom and it worked really well. We ended up using one quart to cover the entire kitchen, which has tile about 4 feet high the whole way around.

Valspar Primer on Tile

Valspar Primer on Backsplash

To cover the grout and tile evenly, we went around with a brush in the hard to reach places and then followed up with a roller. This worked for both the primer and the paint itself.

Kitchen Painted Vanilla Steam

We used the same color paint we used on our cabinets and trim, Du Jour by Valspar. To cover the tiles we used paint and primer in one in a semi gloss. The decision to use semi gloss was sort of unintentional, because that’s what we had already purchased for our trim. It ended up working out really well, and we only needed one coat on top of the primer. I can’t say enough good stuff about that primer.

Final Painted Kitchen and Tile

There it is, that’s the finished product. Coffee bar and decor back in place, it looks modern and updated. This kitchen has come a long was since it was pictured in its listing photo, but there will be more on that next time. Stay tuned for a final detailed timeline of what we’ve done to the kitchen.


A Clean Roof is a Happy Roof

As you know we’ve had some issues with roof cleanliness. We’ve tried a bunch of DIY solutions and none of them worked. We saw a commercial and tried “Spray and Forget” with no luck. We also tried scrubbing with oxygen bleach (aka OxiClean) and the algae stains never went away.
Roof Stains - Algae
I’ve been up on the roof enough as of late and now with the days getting shorter, I was running out of chances to get up there. Last week we finally caved and had a professional come out. Despite the cold weather, the roof shampoo cleaned the roof with no issue.
Roof Shampoo Clean Roof Shampoo After
We love to DIY, but unfortunately, this was one job we couldn’t do ourselves. Stay tuned for some more interesting projects coming up as we return to our first love, paint.
Roof Shampoo Before After

Rusty Handrails

We’ve painted or refinished just about everything we can in this house so far, and we’re not stopping anytime soon. OK, that’s an exaggeration. We’ve painted a lot of stuff in our house, and we’ve got some more stuff we’d like to paint or refinish.

This weekend we tackled a project we’ve been putting off forever. We gave ourselves a deadline on this one so that we would finish before the end of September. It turned out to be a simple project that we got done in a day.

Old White Iron Handrail

Those were our handrails on the steps leading to our front door. Nice and rusty, right? And why were they painted white?

Rusty White Handrail


I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture, but there’s a coat of black paint under the white. These are nice solid iron handrails that deserve better than a chipped and rusted finish.

Iron Rail Refinishing Tools

Stripping Metal Handrail

I used a 3M Drill Mounted Rust and Paint Stripper to remove all of the crumbling finish, and it worked really well. It was pretty loud, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.

Stripped Metal Railing

After about an hour or two of stripping the finish off, and that’s what I was left with.

Iron Railing Refinished

For our new look, we chose a matte black spray paint and primer in one from Rustoleum. This is the same stuff we used on our shutters. Everything matches! Woo hoo!

Handrail Matching Shutters

This was a pretty simple DIY, and I don’t know why we waited so long. Neither of us are too sure about the matte finish, but we’ll see how it holds up in the coming winter months.  Overall I think refinishing the handrails brings the whole look of the front of the house together pretty pleasingly.