Kitchen Tile Paint – Stage 3

Following on from Stage 2, as promised, I’m back with some images and details now that my tiles are white!

I had prepped, prepped and prepped again, and was so ready to be painting over the jazzy tiles, that I could barely wait to get the dust sheets taped down and get started. Because of the texture in some of the tiles, I was unsure how a paint roller would cope, and had anticipated perhaps having to do the whole job with a brush.

I started with a narrow edging brush anyway, and worked my way around all the edges. Like a gloss paint, as long as you work quickly and smoothly, the paint did level surprisingly well. I was also impressed with how well it was covering.

It did say on the paint can that depending on the colour of your existing tiles, one may or may not suffice. Now, some of mine were deep brown, so I didn’t expect them to cover in one coat, but I was really impressed with how well it did cover. Yes, it would definitely need a second coat, but I knew it wouldn’t need more than that.

IMAG2780As I had purchased a small gloss paint roller (foam) and tray for the job, I thought I may as well give it a go, and was also pleasantly surprised by the time I’d finished. To begin with, I did have a few moments of panicking whether or not I’d done the right thing. It hadn’t covered perfectly, and it took a few moments to self level, and I was awfully worried I’d just made a big mess. But at that point, I’d already gone too far to go back, so just kept rolling the paint on.

By the time I’d done the main tiled wall, it had levelled a lot, I’d lightly touched up some patchy areas, and the overwhelming feeling was that the kitchen was already feeling brighter.

As expected, the single can of paint wasn’t going to do a second coat, so I had to wait a few days until I could purchase another before I could continue, but second time round I was feeling much more confident. I did have to continue using the brush a little here and there to get into some of those awkward angles caused by the un-level tiles, but overall I think it’s a huge improvement.

You’ll notice in the picture as well just how WHITE it is. It’s a lovely and bright fresh white. And certainly showed up how grubby the painted wall and ceiling were! Good job I knew I had those to scrub and paint too.

I’m getting there now with this little project being finished. The wall has had a couple of coats of paint and looks great, the ceiling has had a couple and doesn’t. It’s just so badly stained, it’s being a bit of a pain. I’m going to buy some more specialist paint and give that a go, as a single coat and one regular emulsion coat didn’t suffice. Then I just have the top of the windowsill to sand and gloss, and a new blind to purchase and put up and I’ll be done!

It’s so far, so good, and as a temporary measure until we re-do the kitchen (and have that icky ceiling fixed) it’s great. So much nicer to walk into this bright white room everyday when I’m making my morning coffee!

I’ll show you some finished pictures once the ceiling and everything else is done.

Have you been decorating recently? Thinking about starting a project? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to hear how it’s going!

For now, with love,

Kitchen Tile Paint – Stage 2

If you read my previous post, Kitchen Tile Paint – Stage 1, you’ll know my first job was to scrub scrub scrub. I scoured and scraped, washed, bleached and rinsed. And finally the tiles were squeaky clean. Next job, grouting.

I’m not sure why the original tiles weren’t originally grouted, perhaps it was the fashion then, perhaps the homeowners just decided not to do it (the tiling was very much a DIY job, if the unevenness is anything to go by!). But for a good smooth paint finish with no nasty dark lines in between, I had to grout. And this was a little more difficult than it would have been with professionally laid tiles.

Because the tiles were only roughly straight, and at varying thicknesses next to each other, across the whole wall, no two grouting gaps were alike. They varied hugely in width and depth. With a bit of trial and not too much error, either a damp cloth or finger was enough to smooth some grout into the gaps. I just ran my finger between it, wiped off any excess with another damp cloth and called it satisfactory. It looked perfectly fine.

What was impressive, was how much of a difference it made to the wall! When you look at the photos side by side I certainly think the tiles look better grouted. I also filled in a couple of holes from where the old extractor fan had been, and was nearly done. I just had to let the grout dry overnight, and give the tiles one last thorough clean and rinse and I was ready to paint.

Coming up will be Stage 3, the painting, so stay tuned for that one, and some almost final pictures. (I still have the ceiling and non-tiled wall to paint).

For now, with love,

Kitchen Tile Paint – Stage 1

When we purchased our house last year, we always knew how much potential it has. And how beautiful it will be once we’ve worked on and updated it. Because at present, it is very, very outdated.

The upstairs rooms will just need some basic decorating, while the living area and extension are getting some more in-depth treatment. We’re focussing on this area first as it’s very labour intensive, and being the room we use the most, the most important to us.

Obviously, we use the kitchen every single day too (I always cook at home, every evening) however, it needs to be completely ripped out and replaced. This is expense we simply cannot afford at present, whilst we’re also saving for our wedding next year.

We made some basic adjustments. My darling fiance removed most of the kitchen units and rearranged them to make space for a tall fridge freezer, our washing machine etc. It’s functional, and usable, and the idea was that we would keep it as is until after the wedding when we can start to think about replacing it.

However, we’ve lived here about eight months now, and I’m just not sure I can bear the gaudy seventies coloured brown and patterned tiles any longer. In fact, I know I can’t.

Red is a fairly popular colour in modern kitchens, and some would probably even like the eccentric and vintage styling of our kitchen, but it’s really not to my personal tastes. I much prefer cool tones, white and blue especially. And my least favourite decorating colours happen to be red, brown, orange and yellow. Which are in abundance in this kitchen. I just can’t do it anymore! I have no option with the tomato-red worktop, that will have to stay, and painting it does not seem an option when it needs to be wiped clean on a several-times-a-day basis, so the plan is to neutralise everything else as much as possible. Yes, that may make the red work surface stand out, but it will still be better than it’s current state. And of course, also feel cleaner and fresher.

So with a quick Google, I read a few reviews and blog posts about ceramic tile paint, and my mind was made up. I’m going to paint the tiles white, re-paint the ceiling and the painted wall white again with regular emulsion, and possibly even paint the cupboard doors too, depending on how I’m feeling at that stage.

I don’t have a great base to work with – the tiles are authentically 1970s, and with them came along a lot of dirt, a lack of grouting, and a couple are damaged here and there. The first step is to thoroughly clean them. Really thoroughly. (I did, and have done so between buying the house and now, but I need to be even more thorough this time!) Then, I’ll attempt to re-grout. Because they’re not nice and level, this won’t be an easy or straightforward job, but it will still make the finished look more presentable than if I don’t grout.

So at the moment I’m just going to have a really good clean, and then I’ll get on with the grouting process and update you. I’m really excited to start painting them, but know how important the first steps are to ensure a good, long lasting finish.

I chose the Wilko brand tile paint based on the reviews, and the past experiences I’ve had with other Wilko’s paint and decorating products. It is reasonably priced at £13.95 for 750ml, which with 6m² coverage will be enough if only a single coat is required. If not, a second can will be necessary, but I’ll purchase that if and when I need it. I can’t wait to tone down the look of this room!

I’ll keep you updated with the project. In the meantime, if you have any experience with tile paint, or are planning on using it, please share in the comments below.

For now, with love,

Alessi Ku Mocha Cups & Saucers – Does Good Design Really Date?


I’ve had my Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio machine for quite some time now, and enjoy a variety of the coffee pods available. However, I felt I’d never properly enjoyed an espresso from the machine because I didn’t have espresso cups.

I thought about buying a couple once or twice in Ikea, however, didn’t really like the designs available and ended up empty handed. Luckily, I found these lovely Alessi ones in TK Maxx.

IMAG1660Alessi is an Italian housewares brand, and their products can cost a pretty penny, so I’m happy to have a nice set of these cups. In all honesty, I liked the shape. I hadn’t seen espresso cups with the curved lip before, and I have to say they are very nice to drink from.

IMAG1677This particular style is the KU Mocha Cups & Saucers, designed by Toyo Ito and even have a design date of 2006 on the box. They’re a decade old! As they’re an older style from the brand, I can kind of ignore the RRP price – I mean, the first thing I did was google them and you can get them on Amazon now for £6.99. But it does sometimes mean a better quality product and these were an even bigger bargain at just £3.99 in TK Maxx for a box of two. Besides, until last week I didn’t even own any, why would I care if they’re a past style?

IMAG1678I tend to find I buy what I like. Although I’m interested in home design (obviously) I’m not necessarily all about keeping up with trends in décor or the next big thing. I can’t say that I’m not influenced by changing trends – after all, it usually dictates what’s available in stores and I know that I do take inspiration from store displays and online shops. But I stick to what I like, and I’m not adverse to buying older items, secondhand or new, to complete a look I have in my mind. If I like it, and it fits my budget, it comes home with me!

IMAG1682And that’s why I’m drinking my afternoon coffee out of a teensy tiny pretty little cup that’s perfectly designed and just what I was after.

IMAG1681So for now, with love,