What a weekend!

>> 12.21.2009

Friday was an all night holiday party/ bowling extravaganza then Nate and I spend all day Saturday and part of Sunday clearing out his old (third floor!) apartment just so that we could spend Sunday afternoon grouting the kitchen backsplash. Why were we grouting? In my efforts to keep costs low, I opted to do the demo and grout work and let the guy with the experience and tile saw do the tiling work.


I can’t give you a full tutorial on grouting (because we didn’t know what we were doing), but I can give ‘ya a rundown and a few pointers…

I gathered my supplies and mixed my grout and things seemed to be going smoothly.


*insert image of my ridiculously bad grouting skills...*

...which led to this

...and a whole lot of scrubbing!

What, you don't grout in pink?



My rookie grouting tips:
*Watch those YouTube demo videos at least 5 times each.
*Do a test patch.
*Use a tube of actual toothpaste for comparison with the texture of your grout mixture (I made mine too thick).
*Don’t grout too large of an area before sponging off the excess.
*The dried grout is not going to come back to life with water.

Things ended up working out, but we'll leave the big reveal for later :).
Oh, and did I mention that afterwards, I had to run 15 miles? And so, after one heck of a hectic weekend, I want to add on to my not-so-holly-jolly Christmas equation… Renovations + boyfriend moving in + Christmas + marathon training= never again.

In kitchen related news, last week Danielle commented asking me if my base cabinets were black (they’re a dark green) and a lightbulb went off~ not only would black instantly conceal the slightly dated cabinets (remember the difference it made in my bathroom vanity?), but could continue that hotel-chic vibe I’m looking for when paired with the white of the backsplash and upper cabinets. What do you all think of the idea?

19 comments:

Lauren December 21, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

Your weekend was much more productive than mine! We got 18 inches of snow on Saturday!

I like the idea of painting the cabinets black. I think it will look great. Congrats on moving in with Nate! :) (or him moving in with you..)

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog December 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

@Lauren~ I've been reading about everyone's snow adventures! It's crazy to think that you all were stuck in the cold stuff while I was running in shorts and a t-shirt (it was 70 here in Texas yesterday)!

LizzieBeth December 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM  

I would like to add to the snowbunny party- 23 inches in the city of brotherly love. woot woot.

Anyway, I always thought the cabinets were black or slate grey and looked awesome, so my vote is paint away!

LB

Danielle and Clint December 21, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

Well, you know what I think :-). With the modern counter tops and backsplash, I think it will go great!

Meg December 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

My vote? Yes ma'am! That'll look ab fab!

dolores @ "Welcome to My Humble Ablog" December 21, 2009 at 1:53 PM  

My vote is for black! I love a tuxedo kitchen. ^_^

Sara @ Russet Street Reno December 21, 2009 at 2:07 PM  

Uh, hells yes to the black cabs! I thought they were black already, too. It will look amazing.

Amanda December 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

I like the black idea, but lately I've also been very into smoky gray. But against the black countertops it might just look like you were unsuccessful at matching them. So... maybe stick with the black. It will look great!

chacha December 21, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

All black everything or just the bottom ones? I think just the bottom once is good.

Emily@ChattingAtTheSky did black cabs, but her counters are not also black (http://www.chattingatthesky.com/2009/03/16/dare-you-to-paint-your-cabinets-black/). So I think one level is probably good. It'll draw the eye up. Or you could do a crazier color on the bottom... (http://lifeongrace.blogspot.com/2009/04/retro-cottage-kitchen-and-painted-wood.html)

Anyway, with grouting - wipe the stuff off quickly. They say to let it set, but don't. Just give it like 5 minutes or so, and wipe it off with the grout sponge. Grout can even be on the "soupier" side of toothpaste consistency.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog December 21, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

@chacha~ Just the bottoms. I like the black kitchen look, but I know that it would look a little off. Since my appliances are off-white, I thought black bottoms would take away some focus from them. I looove the way that those brightly colored cabinets look in the 2nd kitchen, but I'm thinking that the appliances would bring a look like that down a few.

As for the grouting tips, you're so right about both points!

Mrs. Chic December 21, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

Yes! On Black/drank gray cabinets (bottom only) Thanks for the tips on the backsplash...this is what we are playing for ours

micah @ the yellow front door December 21, 2009 at 4:48 PM  

I say "YES" to painting the bottom cabinets black! I think it would look really sharp!

Kirby3131 December 21, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

I had a "pro" do my tile and after they had cleaned up, it looked like your close up --- this was after they cleaned up! Needless to say, they had to come back and clean up...and I hired someone else to do the next tile job lol

I applaud you on your decision to pay for the pro to lay the tile. A bad grout job can easily be fixed - a bad tile job major. I bet your grout looks just fine - it just took a whole lotta elbow grease.

Kristin - The Goat

Amanda December 21, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

PS I can't believe you're training for a marathon. I'm debating whether to sign up for the Big Sur on April 25. I've done a half, but I'm scared of the time commitment to train for a full. How do you do it??

change is a good thing December 21, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Wow! You are making such amazing progress on your place. I've been out of touch for awhile, it was crazy, busy with the wedding and all, but now it's calming down and I'm catching up on my blog reading. Keep up the great work, you are doing great and I'm enjoying seeing all your projects. :) Nice job doing so much on your own too. Happy holidays!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog December 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

@Amanda~ How do I do it? A miracle! I keep myself in good enough shape to run 10-mile long runs year round, but when I do 13+ runs it really wipes me out. I try to make training a priority over the housework so I usually end up taking off the day of a long run. Also, I do my weekday runs in the mornings so that leaves me plenty of time after work to accomplish things before my 9:30 bedtime.

The Brick Cottage December 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM  

Oh goodness, I bet you are exhausted. I moved from a third floor apartment to a third floor apartment (Thur loaded up the Uhaul in Florida, drove to TN and unloaded it on a Saturday--I was sore for a week!). I can't believe you had time to run 13 miles, grout and have fun in addition to that!

I think the black cabinets would look great!

Kim at Yellow Brick Home December 22, 2009 at 2:56 PM  

Oh, al black on just the bottom could look tres chic. I say go for it!

Also, the hubs and I are in the market for a tile backsplash in the new year. I can't WAIT to spruce up the kitchen! Your white ones are so clean and crisp, and I've always been a fan of who simple the design in. Hmmm...

Alexis L. of One Grand Home December 31, 2009 at 6:43 AM  

Ooooh please do the black kitchen cabinets.

As regards post-Xmas shopping, it's been weird for me this year. While I was all full of stuff-lust before the holidays, the post 12/26 markdowns just haven't been substantial enough to really attract my attention. Maybe I am a strictly 70% off type of girl.

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