Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How to Paint over Tile (or how I did it)

This WAS my fireplace. Isn't it beautiful? Don't lie. it's horrendous. And unfortunately, I've known it was horrendous for four long years. And for four long years I've stared at it night after night, day after day, dreaming of the moment that I could have it torn down and rebuilt into something worth looking at.

I have no clue if it's the original build from the house or if it could possibly be a conscious decision from a previous owner to put this thing in.

 I've spent many nights cuddled up on my couch and found myself lost in thought about the people who lived here before us, gleefully prancing around Home Depot picking out the splatter print pink tile and then arguing about which grout color to splurge on.

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They ended up choosing an indian red of some sort because it complimented the brass on the fireplace doors oh so nicely. 

I married for love, but if I would have known then what I know now, I would have married for handy.  You know the type. The man who could knock down a wall without causing the house to cave in. Or even just able to patch the hole in wall that he kicked in himself when his car got towed and cost him $350. Just learn to patch your own stupid holes. That's all I should have asked on our first date. "Do you drywall? No? Ok nice meeting you!"
I'm kidding. He's pretty good at patching his holes. Although, he's even better at calling those dreamy handy men over to come and fix/repair/or remodel whatever needs to be done immediately. Our next phone call was going to be regarding the construction of a new white fireplace of my dreams. That dream was seized by the pool of water I discovered in my garage with a dripping trail of doom coming from our water heater. My lovely husband did what he does best and called a plumber. $1800 later, my new fireplace had somehow transformed into a big tank that's not leaking in my garage. 
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Riding on the high I got from my gorgeous new water heater, I decided to take the fireplace matters into my own hands. With a little help from Pinterest (what else?) I learned how to paint over those terrible tiles and even get rid of that brass! I told my husband about my idea and he actually thought it was worth trying. He was in agreement that the fireplace couldn't possibly get any worse so it was worth a shot. 

Off I went to Lowes (Home Depot is where they must have bought those tiles right?) And $80 later I had all I thought I needed. Paint, primer, a brush, a roller, handles for the doors and one of those things you roll the paint in. I also got a sandpaper block and a referral for a good contractor (just in case).

While I was gone my husband prepared the fireplace by cleaning it, removing the doors and masking off the edges. I did a light sanding (not even sure if it was necessary) and then rolled on a coat of primer. It immediately looked better. 

After letting it dry for a couple of hours I began on the first coat of paint. I decided on the standard white Swiss Coffee from Valspar because its the color of the mantel and the trim and we could use the leftovers for touch ups around the house. Keeping things simple. I'm already way over my head here. 

My husband grew tired of watching me "Do it all wrong" so he stole my brush to fix my "mess" in the cubby

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I'll give him some credit here, he was able to keep the crack covered. Speaking of cracks. After I took off the masking tape the next day I discovered numerous cracks between the mantel and the tile. 

Another google search led me back to Lowes in search of something called Caulk. I discovered that there are millions of different types and colors of Caulk. I was overwhelmed reading label after label (Latex caulk, silicone caulk, blended caulk, waterproof caulk mold proof caulk, indoor caulk outdoor caulk) Holy CAULK! That's when a salesman approaches me and asks if I need some help, I turn to him, frustrated and confused and I say, "I just need some white Caulk".

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After Caulking, I spray painted the brass on the doors with high heat flat black spray paint and applied one coat of gloss on top of the painted tiles. And VOILA