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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Kitchen Backsplash Reveal

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I’m so excited to share my latest project with you!

I’ve been wanting to do a tile backsplash in our kitchen for years! Not only does a tile backsplash protect the drywall from splashes and stains, I feel like it just adds such an overall completion to the look of the kitchen. 

Currently lighter cabinets seem to be the on-trend option for kitchens, but I actually LOVE my dark cabinets. The only down side to having the dark cabinets is the darker feel to the kitchen, (and it doesn’t help that we only have one small window over the sink)...not only did adding the white subway tile give the kitchen an overall brighter look, it makes it feel so much bigger as well.

Both wins in my book!

I’ve listed/linked all the supplies I used for this project below, and I’ll also go over any tips, tricks, and thoughts.

Kitchens that don’t have a full height backsplash will have something that goes about 4” up the wall. It will be a continuation of the counter. In our case it was granite. A 4” piece of granite ‘backsplash’ went around the whole counter area, as you can see in the picture below.

I’ve seen people leave the existing 4” backsplash and just add tile above, but to be honest, I kind of hate that look. I personally feel like it takes away from the whole point of the tile design. 

I knew that removing the 4” slab of granite was the first thing I needed to do.

I have posted a full separate tutorial on how to remove the granite backsplash slab here How to Remove Granite Backsplash Slab I go through the steps and process on how, and why I removed the slabs.


Once I had removed the slabs, and adhesive residue, I got started with the tile.

I had spent a *long* time debating on the tile design, color, and  grout color. I hadn’t seen a lot of ideas with darker cabinets and white tile so I had to imagine the outcome in my head (which made it so stressful!).

I found this White Satori Subway Tile subway tile at Lowe’s, and grabbed 30 ‘sheets’.

I had this AcrylPro Tile Adhesive from The Home Depot on hand (leftover from a different tile project I worked on last year), so I thought it would be perfect for this project as well.

I took the outlet covers off, then got to work. I scraped the tile adhesive on to the back of the ‘tile sheet’ and placed it on the wall. I made sure to press hard and kind of move it a little side to side to make sure it got a good stick. I put tile spacers between the bottom row of tiles and the counter top. I then placed spacers between where the corners meet.

Even though these came in a ‘sheet’ they don’t stay evenly spaced apart without the spacers. The spacers help everything stay in place. My tile job would be completely off if I didn’t use spacers!


The spacers I used are these 1/8” Tile Spacers from The Home Depot.

I pulled the oven out to tile across behind it without leaving any gaps.

I took a couple of days to complete placing the tile. (I had a lot of interruptions!) but the nice thing is, you’re supposed to let the adhesive dry completely before applying grout, so letting it sit a little didn’t hurt.

After completing the tile I realized I wanted a tile trim to go along the top between the cabinets and tile, and inside the kitchen window to give it a streamlined look.

I got this Tile Trim from The Home Depot (I got 4 packs).

I used the same tile adhesive on the trim as I did for the tile itself.

For the tiles that go around the outlets, I needed a wet saw. I rented a mini tile saw from The Home Depot and it worked perfectly! It was about $20 for 24 hours so I made sure to have all of my measurements planned out before I picked it up so I could just cut the tile once I had the saw.

My one helpful tip with this was to write a number on the wall where the tile was going, then measure out the cut on the tile. I would then write the same coordinating number on the back of the tile (with permanent marker) so I knew where it was supposed to go after being cut.





I did notice a few tiles in the corner, where the walls meet, that weren't completely straight. I took the heat gun I had used on the granite backsplash slab and ran it along the tile for a few seconds. It softened the adhesive behind the tile just enough so I was able to slightly shift the tile to straighten it out. I'm so glad I took the time to fix those few tiles. It would have been extremely noticeable if I had left them and gone on to grouting.

After the allotted drying period, I got to the grout work. I used this pre-mixed grout Simple Grout in Natural Gray from The Home Depot. I felt like the Natural Gray was the perfect pop of darker color to go with the white tile. 

I made sure to tape off the counter top, as well as any areas I didn't want the grout accidentally touching, and got to work.

After many days of grout work I finished up the installations with this Window Sill Trim I had purchase from The Home Depot.

I didn't want wood for the window sill, I loved the idea of this acrylic material because it was already the color I wanted and I felt like it would be more durable and longer lasting. It wouldn't get warped after years of water exposure from the sink.

After cutting the acrylic trim to size, I installed it with liquid nails.


Along the edges where the counter and tile meet, between the walls, and between the tile and window, I used this Sanded Tile Caulk in Natural Gray. It matched the pre-mixed grout color perfectly.

A lot of time, and second guessing, went into this project, but I'm so glad I stuck with it and saw it through!

Now I just sit back and stare at my new backsplash with huge heart eyes!
Hopefully this post helped, and good luck with your tile project!

Friday, November 13, 2020

How to Remove a Granite Backsplash

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For years I’ve wanted to have a tile backsplash installed in our kitchen. 

After a lot (!) of research, I finally decided to just jump in with both feet and get it done. (A huge thanks to my husband for believing in me on this one!) 

If I was going to do this project I was going to take to the extra time to do it the right way (in my opinion). I knew I wanted the 4” granite backsplash, the builder installed, gone. I felt like removing this would give the kitchen an overall cleaner look.

The first thing I needed was a heat gun. Lucky for me, my neighbor had one and graciously let me borrow it. So thankful to him for that!

I have to admit, I was really nervous to get started. I was worried that once I pulled off the backsplash, there was no going back. I decided to have some confidence in myself and tackle this.

To start, I plugged in the heat gun and turned on the higher setting. It kind of just sounds like a loud hair dryer.
I would leave it in a spot for 2-3 minutes, then move it a few inches down the wall and repeat.
I would then aim the heat gun at the bottom of the backsplash, where it meets the countertop, and run the gun along there very slowly. It’s much easier to pull the slab off if that part is heated as well.
I then took a flathead screwdriver and hammer and tapped the screwdriver down through the silicone behind the backsplash to remove it from the wall. Do this in a couple different spots to loosen it.
I left the heat gun on 
The granite backsplash slab will start pulling away from the wall.
You should be able to pull the slab away completely.
 If it doesn’t come off just run the heat gun along the edges a little longer.
After you've removed the granite backsplash slabs, you'll need to scrape off the silicone along the countertop and walls, and then you're ready to get to work tiling your walls!!
Congrats!
I've got a time-lapse video below if you want to see the whole thing in action. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Remove Permanent Marker from Board Books

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My youngest has a couple of board books with mazes in them. A dry erase marker is supposed to be used when drawing in the book so it can be erased and used over and over. 

One evening I was in the shower. My husband and my youngest decided to read some books together, and my son grabbed his mazes as well. He also grabbed himself a marker and they got to work. It wasn’t until later they realized it was actually a permanent marker. 

They tried wiping it off with an eraser, using a wipe, Windex, etc. Nothing worked. Luckily, I know a trick! I swear I’ve done this a hundred times!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Camping Chair Storage

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For the past couple of months I’ve been tackling organizational projects in our garage. I felt like too many things where just being thrown here and there, or were just constantly in the way.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

How to Make A Digger Cake

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A few weeks ago we celebrated our baby turning 3.
He absolutely loves construction trucks and always points them out to me while we're out and about.
I wanted to make him a 'digger' cake and searched for ideas.
There were a lot of good ideas where people had little trucks on the cake, but I wanted to make the actual 3D version of a truck.
This is what I came up with...
There is a time-lapse video at the end of this post showing the actual process if you want to check it out, but I'm also going to go through step-by-step here with pictures.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Wooden Medal Holder

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After finishing the built-in shelves in my son’s room a few months ago, we’ve been slowly decorating his room. He had his medals kind of piled up on a shelf, so I decided he needed a better way to display them! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Built In Entryway Coat Rack

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I am happy to say I was able to complete a few built-in projects over the last few months!
I actually have a few more on my list to complete, but with the hustle and bustle of the holidays I took a little break to focus my time elsewhere.
This entryway coat rack was my most popular post on Instagram for 2018, so I wanted to write a quick post to share all of the details on how it all came together.
Clean design plus functionality.
I'm so in love with how this turned out!
Let's take a look at the 'before', shall we?
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