decorating with dodi

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Semi" Projects

So, while my yard STILL looks like this and I just can't look at it another minute without screaming, I have been inside looking for anything I can find to keep me preoccupied.

I have definite plans to re-do my kitchen cabinets but, that is a BIG project and for some reason, until the pool gets done, my brain can't focus on a big projects. That being said, my cabinets were in dire need of some touch-ups where they have been nicked by pots, pans and whatever. So I decided that today would be a good day to do that. I actually keep the special cabinet paint and a brush hidden away in one of the lower cabinets so I can do touch-ups whenever needed. As I was getting out said paint, I found this pushed into the corner. I have no idea when I bought it or truly for what reason.

I have used grout colorant before. When we had the guest bath re-done many years ago, ceramic floor tile was just becoming popular and there were no where near the choices then as there are today. I went with a beige tile but put in a light grout. As much as I was OK with the floor, I always disliked that grout.

While I was at a tile store one day picking out tile for another room, I saw a bottle of colorant on the counter and asked about it. It actually changes the color of the grout and I didn't waste a second grabbing up several bottles of taupe. I did this in the guest bath many, many years ago and all of that grout is still taupe. It is actually like a dye not a paint so it doesn't come off with wear and tear or washing.

Since my white tile kitchen counters are also getting very old and showing their age-not well-I knew I was on to my next "semi" project.

This is how I clean the counter grout about once a month...and have been for many years. Not only can I no longer get it sparkly white clean but I think I have probably scrubbed away a good bit of the grout. At one point in time I actually had all of the supplies to re-grout these counters in my cart at Lowes but ended up putting it all back-for whatever reason-and that might be when I bought the white colorant.

In any case, I have started to try this out in a small area of the counter and we'll see how it goes. I know I have a lot of counter but really didn't think it would be too bad until I remembered that the entire backsplash up to the cabinets is also white tile and I think it's going to be one of those "once you start" kind of projects! I might be awhile.

I'm back and it has been a few hours. This has turned into a "good news-bad news" kind of post. In any case, I did the small area I was talking about. Because this is a countertop with very narrow grout lines, I used a very small angled craft brush and kind of "laid" in the colorant. I then did what the directions said and waited an hour, sprayed it lightly with water and used a white plastic scrubbie to get any excess off of the tiles. This was a disaster! It pulled some out of the grout and left big, lumpy piles in other places. I ended up removing almost every bit of it-which was more time consuming than the initial project-and was ready to throw up my hands in defeat.

But, those of you who know me know I am pretty determined when I want to be and go by the old adage "where there's a will, there's a way"! And so I reread the directions and noticed it said to go back and forth when applying the colorant. Ah-ha! It dawned on me that I was putting it on more like it was new grout and I should probably just be scrubbing it in like a stain. And so, I went and got a stiff bristled brush and went back and forth as I was putting it on. And then, instead of waiting the hour ( because this stuff seemed to be drying on the tiles very quickly and was hard to remove after the fact), I used paper toweling and just cleaned the tiles immediately trying to go against the grout lines instead of with them so as not to pull out any color I had just put down.

The good news is that this seems to be working. The bad news is that it will probably take at least 2 coats-but, it goes on more quickly this way and I am eliminating the wait and scrub after that. No matter how you look at it, it is a project...but that's what I wanted, wasn't it? If I start back at it tomorrow morning, I can probably have the whole kitchen done by Tuesday evening...I do have a lot more tile than even I realized...but it already looks so much better! If you look very closely, you can see the difference between the counter and the back wall already.

In these dog days of summer, it's the "little" things! Stay tuned.

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