The cabinets were painted 6 months ago, and the hunt for the back splash ensued (yes, I know backwards). I wandered the isles of the tile shop, aimless, looking for something to jump out at me and grab me. I did this multiple times, each time leaving slightly more confused. When it finally occurred to me what I wanted I headed out to purchase it and it was discontinued, not to be detoured I happened upon the perfect choice whilst trying to convince the salesman to call every store so I could have what I wanted. It was just lying there staring at me.
Being the somewhat transformed wife that I am today, I only bought a sample. “I must show The Husband.” (these are very new words for me, just ask The Husband) The salesman’s stunned expression only made me more proud. Because we have been married for 11 years The Husband barely glanced and said “whatever you think.” (Whaaaaaaaaa? he is apparently also transformed.)
The demolition began immediately considering that I had plenty of work to do before I could get to the tile. I made quick work of these beauties. The Teenager arrived after school and didn’t even bat one long lash. I prodded her and she said “this is how our house always looks” :( The Associate’s only concern was how long this was going to take.
When The Husband toured our home before we purchased it 12 years ago, the previous owner was particularly proud of these fruit tiles. He removed the earlier accent tiles adorned with anchors carefully so as not to disturb the luxurious dimpled tile surrounding them, but with no regard for the drywall. With each fruity tile removed a deep gaping hole was left. Patches were made.
Once all of the tile was removed and the surface was almost clear of dust, the naked drywall had to be primed with a coat of oil based sealer. The next step skim coating.
If I was a more poetic person, my first efforts would be titled something like “ode to drywall magician” If you are paying someone to plaster or drywall and the price seems high, it is worth it. After what seems like days, countless moist towels, possible lung infection, and glob removal, I have a semi smooth surface on which to tile.
After several YouTube videos and reference books I am going for it. I painstakingly apply thinset (also a art form) and get busy setting my tiles.
before grout. The grouting is actually kinda fun. I channel my Italian grandma Carmela and use my best tools, my hands. I am free forming it I know, but how else am I expected to get in those tight spots. I am so into it and every so often I stop to rinse my hands, The flesh of my palms is so tight because of the drying grout that a layer peels right off.
Kitchen is done and I have palms as smooth as a baby’s bottom.