First off I think we should just have a moment of silence for the Colorado housing market.
We just aren't Waco, right? It's a dog-eat-dog world for real estate out here and you just take what you can get, if you can get it! So, that's what we did! We bought a spec home which meant we weren't able to choose any of the finishes in the new build. In the end, NONE of it is what I would have chosen walking through the design center when buying a new build. Beggers can't be choosers so we were just grateful to have a home for our little family.
Slowly over the 2.5 years that we've lived here we've made small changes to make it more our style. One of the things that meant so much to me was the kitchen. One of the first things we did was our subway tile wall. Brett the master man did the entire wall by himself! Crazy! I absolutely loved the look but the floor always drove me crazy. That vinyl was the worst of the worst in my opinion.
I had nothing to lose by throwing some paint on there. I hated that floor with a passion and just felt like it ruined the look of the amazing tile job Brett did on the wall. Annie Sloan paint to the rescue! You know we believe this paint can work miracles!
Here is our kitchen before. See the beautiful tile wall?! You probably can't because your eyes are stuck on the ugliest floor in the history of floors.
We used painters tape around the trim and island and just pulled up the laminate transition piece between the wood flooring to re-glue at the end of our project.
In total our project took 3 quarts of graphite, 3 quarts of pure white and 2 quarts of lacquer. When I did research on moroccan mosaic tile, the cheapest I was able to find was $4 sq ft then all the way up to $20+ sq ft. Which puts my total for moroccan tile between $1500-$7000 just for the tile! Ain't no way that's happening. My Chalk Paint® total was about $375. Much more doable for a completely transformed kitchen! We started by pouring the graphite on the floor and spreading it with a roller. We did 2 coats of this and it took about 3 hours between letting the first coat dry and adding the second.
We let that sit overnight then began the stencil the next morning. I ordered this stencil from Stencils Lab!
Initially, I had this custom sized for fit 4 of our faux tiles on the vinyl flooring however we ended up just measuring to the center spot of the dining space in our kitchen and going from out from there.
We used a small roller to paint on the tile. We filled in all the spots that would allow for a full tile around the entire kitchen first, circled our way around the island and the tile met right back together on the other side. We kept sweeping up in between rolling another tile spot because our feet brought dust and dirt onto the graphite so we wanted to make sure it stayed clean between laying down each stenciled tile.
I noticed a paint build up after a while around the stencil cutouts. Since Chalk Paint® is amazing and dries fast this made our project go so quickly but also we had to pause several times to deep clean our stencil. I noticed that the shape of the cutouts changed a bit on the floor and then we had some bleeding paint with all the build-up left on the stencil.
I would recommend wiping down your stencil after every tile so that you don't get into the predicament that we did with our stencil. In total we probably spent about 1.5 hours picking the paint build up off of the stencil which was a serious time waister! We should have just cleaned our stencil carefully along the way.
We used a hair dryer on cool shot to blow on the floor after we painted each tile to get it to dry faster so we could keep moving. Once we got to the island we just switched from one side of the island to the other to let the paint dry on one side while doing a tile on the other side. In total this process probably took me one day of working on it by myself and 2 evenings of Brett and I working together. It really went quickly because of the fast drying paint. We had to fix a couple of boo-boos too.
I had a very sweet little helper decide that she also wanted to try her hand at painting the floor.... and herself... and the back glass and screen door.... ya look away for 2 seconds and BAM!! It was an easy fix though. I just rolled some black back on and restenciled the spot. We still have pure white all over our screen door... I'll get to that eventually, right?
We decided to add a border to the edge of the room and around the island. We just decided since we were painting this it would give us a clean line and we wouldn't have to hold the stencil right up the the fold of the wall and floor. It wasn't my first choice however now that it's finished I hardly notice it and actually like it that way. Since the white isn't exactly the same as the cabinets it separates it so that the floor doesn't clash.
We had a couple of problem areas where a corner made it really difficult to get the stencil to fold into the tiny space so we left the little corners like this for the very end of the project and cut our stencil to fit these spots easier. Also, you can still see in the photo above a little bleeding in some spots the tile left because of the paint build up. After spending so much time picking the paint off the stencil we just decided in our case it would be easier to go back with a fine little brush and do touch-ups. If it's in the budget I would recommend getting 2 tiles. It would be so worth it for this project! That way, when you cut one to get those problem areas you still have a full stencil left over in case down the road you want to do a touch up in some area. We'll be ordering another tile to have just in case.
Once we finished with all of the white we let that sit overnight before we rolled the lacquer. We did a trial run in our pantry where we didn't put any stencil to see how the lacquer would come out and had a mild freak out at first because it was milky and filmy. I was thinking that there was no way I was going to roll that all over my brand new beautiful floor! We let it dry overnight and noticed that the spot we used the blow dryer on (cool shot as well) stayed bubbly and milky while the other part in the back we let sit on its own dried clear.
We also bought two different kinds of rollers to see which would leave the least amount of bubbles and tested them where the fridge would go so that you wouldn't see this either.
In the end we decided that we didn't really like either of those so one person rolled the floor while the other went back over with the Annie Sloan® flat brush. That left the lacquer finish clear and smooth after it was fully dried.
You can barely see in the photo above the milky look that the roller left but the light sweep of the paint brush smoothed it out perfectly. We did 2 total coats of lacquer and let that sit for 24 hours before moving our fridge and stove back into place. We put both of them on blankets to pull them back into place to protect the floor. We had a little oopsie with moving the stove back into place but just reapplied a little bit of lacquer and you can't even tell we scraped some of it up. All in all this project was so much fun (besides the crazy amount of time I spent picking little pieces of dried paint off the stencil) and was relatively easy to accomplish! The project was a tiny bit more time consuming but no more than laying actual tile! If you're looking for a cheap option to get rid of your linoleum floors then Chalk Paint® is the way to go! I still have a few changes to make in this room but slowly with time we'll get there. You can get the look of your style in steps. Slowly but surely we're transforming our home into our style and making it feel more like "us". Here is our transformed kitchen!