Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Project Fail // Painted Tile Floors

I consider myself someone who does a good amount of research before taking on any project. I spend nights weighing the possibilities, projecting costs and itemizing supplies I'd need to have on hand before taking on any major DIY endeavor. I'm a cost cutter if I can help it, but I will also stretch my budget to get a hold of a better can of paint, higher quality brush or the right tool, especially where I know I will save my dollars on the labor. I've been lucky in that most of the projects I've set out to do around Holtwood House have been successful - both in finished outcome and cost savings. But you can't win them all and I found out the hard way in early July, just a mere week before our big SummerBash. 

I've talked about our dated entryway floors and one of the plans we've had to update them.  Research into that idea proved it would fall outside our near term budget. So I set about looking into other options that might not only hold us over in the meanwhile, but buy us a couple of years while we still worked on other areas of the house. Enter the idea to paint the tile.

I can already hear the collective thud of hands to foreheads on this one, but dear readers, let me lay out my thought process. I researched expensive floor and porch paint, watched countless You Tube videos,  looked into primers of all varieties and read first hand accounts by other bloggers on their experience painting out high traffic entryway tile. It was only after all of this that I landed on the idea of using Chalk Paint, as I understood it to not need a primer - in the vein that it "sticks to anything".  

Before I go any further, my disclaimer: this is not in any way a criticism of chalk paint, nor any brand of chalk paint. I was actually pretty darn giddy about the coverage and consistency of the brand I chose for my project. 
What I learned is that my particular tile- plus, my lack of preparation both collectively played a large role in my outcome.

I cleaned the surface well, made sure it was absolutely dry and then proceeded with two coats of Chalk Paint. By Wednesday evening, I was feeling pretty good about the first coat. Thursday evening brought  an even higher degree of satisfaction with the final. It dried incredibly fast and even and I found myself scratching my head at the ease of it all. By Friday evening, my confidence started to wane when I found a small chip in an area I knew I had coated a little too thickly. My Dad came to paint out the walls the next day and we quickly realized that even our protective activities (taping and tarping off) were starting to wear on the floor. By noon, it was evident that the paint was scuffing off fairly easily from tile.

A trip to two local paint stores later and I learned that perhaps if I'd coated the tile in primer, a good floor and porch paint might have been a solution. But most of the paint suppliers I talked to recommended against painting out the ceramic tile in my entryway to begin with. Painfully hard lesson learned.

It took a solid 12 hours to thoroughly scrape the paint from the tile and luckily, my Dad and husband were helpful in the clean up, though they were not complicit in my mess. I was feeling pretty defeated by Sunday afternoon when I realized I still had some scraping to do around the perimeter. 

Eventually, the paint did come off - though our grout lines still hold some of the color. We are back to the drawing board, but perhaps a little more motivated to tear out the tile (now worse for the wear) and move forward with a fresh solution. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Fort

Monday evening typically rolls around and we find ourselves already planning out the next weekend's activities. By Wednesday, a bonafide grocery list is usually in full swing - another pack of rainier cherries, a case of stone fruit from our local Traders, that really good salsa we found at the meat market some weeks ago and of course, a bottle or two of our favorite libation that probably dried up sometime the previous Sunday afternoon. The pool guy typically comes 'round on Friday and after we survey the newly sparkling waters, we'll inevitably begin temperature negotiations on the pool heater for the following day. These routines have played out week after week here at our summer fort, but they've been far from monotonous. I've found that the rotating poolside playlist and a fresh coat of polish on the toes are enough of a change to keep things interesting each week. We've actually ventured out quite a bit, but my favorite days off this summer have certainly been spent here at home, floating, sipping, noshing and chatting away around the pool with family and friends.

Of course this routine has impacted some others - like daily blogging. Over the past three years, I've had so much fun cataloguing, photographing and blogging about the many landscape and decorating projects that have essentially built our little slice of staycation heaven here at Holtwood House. But if I'm being truly honest, it's been rewarding to disconnect just a bit to really live in these real life moments this summer. 

That said, my soul feels sufficiently rested and I feel ready to dive back in again. While it's been mostly lazy days lounging under the canvas and those giant pom-poms above, I'm feeling re-charged enough to launch into some new design endeavors and resume regular posting here at Holtwood Hipster once more.

On Wednesday: The highs and lows of a floor project using Chalk Paint.
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