Monday, April 3, 2017

Necessity IS the Mother of Invention-- How I Saved Time (and Probably My Eyesight) Tearing Out Tile


It starts the same for everyone; the dreaming, planning, financing, material ordering, hopes and dreams of an easy remodel.  Then reality sets in.  Expense, work, more time, extra work, extra expense, even more time---you know, the "Domino Theory."  As a kitchen designer who sees folks through every stage of a remodel, I try to make things go smoothly (at least for them.)

Painting doesn't sound hard.  But painting is probably the smallest part of that process.  There is the room unloading, taping, repairing dings or holes, putting down covers, bringing in ladders and the rest of the crap you need.  Then the second trip to the store to get what you either forgot or didn't think you needed.  I work at Lowe's 40 hours a week and still had to make a trip, as well as have Audra pick up stuff (she works there too.)

Aside from me being dreadfully out of shape, the actual painting went fine.  I did two coats of Valspar Reserve from Lowe's (of course!)  I bought two gallons and didn't even use all of one.  It covers nicely and there is zero smell.  It washes up easily and it's the best paint we sell.  However, cleaning up all the stuff to put back was not fun.  I have things on top of the wall cabinets.  We hardly ever cook and stuff gets so grungy.  The only accident was stepping on my rimless glasses.  I sort of bent them back in shape and went on like the soldier I am.

The next project was the one I dreaded the most:  taking down the tile and glass backsplash.  I've had issues with my right arm, wrist and hand, but they never hurt as much as after working on this awhile.  The tile was put in with a lot of Mastic adhesive instead of grout.   The best option really would've been to just pay my contractor to cut out the drywall and start over.  But, I am trying to do several things on a really tight budget and decided to hack away at this.  And hack I did!

What a mess!  I had safety glasses on, but they fogged up and were in the way, so I took them off and just used my regular glasses and prayers.  I found that it would come off in bigger hunks if I beat an area first with a hammer.  Tiny glass shards and bits of ceramic went flying beyond the covered area with a few into my hands, fingers and arms (why aren't I wearing long sleeves and gloves you ask?  I get too hot!) Then, I'd pry a little with a chisel and hammer, sometimes going through the drywall.  I heard stuff falling off my son's bedroom shelf because I was really going at it.  (Don't whack the wall too hard though as it will soften the drywall to unusable.)

Then, a light turned on...I needed something to protect me while I was hacking, but I only have two hands (at best.)  What about Press 'N Seal wrap????  I'd been using it to wrap my paint brush so I wouldn't have to clean it every time I stopped for a little bit.  Well, by cracky, it stuck to the tile on the wall like a charm and if you didn't go over the same area a ton, it didn't even rip.  It caught all the tiny debris, though of course when I took it down, most hit the counter...but infinitely better then cutting me!

You have no idea how beautiful this photo is until you try it!

See the stuff the Press 'N Seal is trapping for me????  So awesome!  A popular YouTube (Jennifer McGuire) crafter's husband invented this awesome product.  I must thank him!  You can get it at any grocery store.

I swear if this is a normal use for Press 'N Seal I will cry as I really am feeling smart right now.  The rest of backsplash came down fairly quickly and tomorrow my contractor will be here to install a new countertop.  (This is the first time I've been happy for bad weather on my day off in a long time.)

He will also install a new white subway tile backsplash as soon as I repair the walls--I am hoping in time for Easter dinner here with my family.  I will be sure to post the finished project, but for now I will leave you to admire my ingenuity....

Until next time,


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