Friday, March 15, 2013

bringing color to the kitchen, part two.

Y'all might remember that earlier this week, I talked about bringing color to our rather brown and black kitchen in cheap, temporary ways. Cheap, because Mr. Spouse has been patient enough with my desire to buy anything and everything for our casita. Temporary, because we both realize that someone else may love the kitchen as it is in its original form when we look at selling.

My first attempt to bring color to the kitchen came with me taking off some cabinet doors and installing fabric on the back-most wall of the cabinet.

The next thing I wanted to tackle was our backsplash. As you can see in the picture above, I liked the stainless steel tiles, but wasn't so crazy about the muddy tiles that took up 98% of the wall - not exactly "light and bright".

I considered painting the backsplash, but felt that this change would be a bit too permanent and future buyers might not appreciate my artistic genius. After doing a bit of online research for temporary backsplash fixes, I found a technique that many renters use - applying fabric to the backsplash using liquid starch. For example:

The starch acts as an adhesive between the fabric and the tile while also giving it a bit of a protective coating to protect from stains, water, etc. Further, when you grow weary of your cheery backsplash, all you have to do is pull the fabric off the tile! Done and done. So let's get started.

I began by finding this fabric on Amazon:

Once it came in, I decided to tackle the smallest bit of my backsplash first.

I began by cleaning off the counter and cleaning the tile with a bit of soap and water to remove any sort or residue.

After measuring the area of the backsplash, I then measured out the appropriate length of fabric...

...and ironed both the wrinkles and a one-inch hem to insure that the fabric had a clean edge.

Using painters tape, I then tacked up the fabric on the wall both to make sure that the sizing was right, and then to trace around the power outlet.

Knowing that the sizing was accurate, I then began working on making a hole for the power outlet. I started by using an Exacto knife to cut a large X on the traced area.

I then tucked each triangle of fabric under...

...and ironed to make a nice, crisp edge.

It was finally time to starch! All I used for this step was a large bottle of Sta-Flo Liquid Starch (I found it in the detergent aisle of my grocery store) and a foam roller.

After covering the countertops with butcher paper...

...I first applied a light coat of starch to the tile, and then applied a generous amount of starch to the top of the fabric.

To be honest, you will curse yourself for not having 8 arms for the starching steps. There were definitely times I was starching one area and the fabric I had just finished starching fell down. Just keep applying plenty of starch and pressing the fabric onto the tile - it will stick, I promise! See?

As you can tell, I applied enough starch so that the fabric was almost translucent. After 12 hours of drying and reloading the counters, I was loving the results!

I repeated the exact same steps for the rest of the backsplash:

I am totally in love with our bright and cheery kitchen now!



So far, food and liquid splatters have easily wiped off the fabric and there haven't been any stains!

How have y'all transformed your backsplashes?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this tutorial! I was thinking about cutting 4" squares and doing each tile individually... do you think it'll work?