Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reclaiming Tile Is A BIT-

...Of hard work but will be worth it in the end!

Well Readers, better settle in this is a several factor story/post.

"I'v overhauled the other rooms in this house... the kitchen's had it comin'..."

Over the Labor Day weekend I drew the last straws on my "keeping the kitchen original" patients.  Back during the decorating for the cast party of Pirates of Penzance when Patricia taped  streamers to the kitchen ceiling, when we went to take them off they peeled the 67 year old paint with it (not a big deal it had been peeling in other places and I had planned to repaint soon.)

Well since the ceiling is getting painted it ONLY makes sense to freshen up the paint on the walls. HERE entails the problem.
(The new Valspar paint wall color reclaimed tile )
I bought the paint for the kitchen from the local True Value when I was 15 (5 years ago), at that time they SWORE and GUARANTEED my paint codes would be saved in their computer. I purchased a gallon of paint and hastily slopped it on the walls with a hand brush NOT a roller. 4 years later when I get the stove for my kitchen I go to get some touch up paint and they inform me they no longer carry that brand of paint, and they DID NOT keep the codes. LIVID I went to the lake and tore the house apart because by chance I had saved the paint can lid with the code on it. Go back to True Value and they paint guy mixes the paint and ITS A DIFFERENT COLOR GREEN!!! So iv decided sine Valspar paints are like diamonds (forever) this go round I will be buying my paint from them.  Well with new wall and ceiling and trim color that brings us to...
The Counter Tops...
(Counters as they have been for the last 67 years)
 It is my understanding that these were put in in 1943.  However none of us are sure what the counter tops are made of exactly, its looks like Samsonite/mason boar yet soaks things up like cork. (Oh and EVERYTHING sticks to them.) they also run the length of one and a half walls.
  Im sure Pam over at  is sick of getting my emails asking for period suggestions. She has steered me in the direction of vinyl or Formica counter tops but the people at our Lowes have proved useless in helping locate the materials I want/ need. Then again whats more "period" than 4x4 tiles?!  Well as I was saying Iv reached the point where I had to say to myself  "This is my house, its a home, NOT a museum". Being the stickler for details that I am, Iv decided  to bring the same green and white checkerboard pattern that's on the floor up to the counter tops.
(Like this but white tile in place of the brown)
It was so easy during the bar project it will be perfect in kitchen. The only problem with wanting 1940's Mint Green / Emerald Green tile... is that THEY DONT MAKE IT ANYMORE and when they do its like $5 a tile!!! It is at this point my mother is saying "well just get plain white an live with itHA! This game might be expensive but i'm not beat that easily!
I put a listing on Freecycle for Mint Green colored "Bathroom tile" and not two seconds later i got a message back they had some at our local Habitat for Humanity.  So I go and there is an entire shelf full of light Mint green tile. I picked about 70 tiles out of the stack (for starters) then I want entirely sure how many it would take to tile my counter tops (and possible back splash) so I bought all 190 tiles for ... $20.25
(This is about 80 of the tiles)
However since they had been freshly chipped out of someones house they need the ever so lovely and
time consuming prep work.  So I filled a tub with soapy water and let them soak over night, then use a putty knife to chip the old glue off the back and grout off the edges.

With these 190 tiles now I need to locate...
A) White tile to complete the checkerboard.
 B)Or do you think the solid Mint Green looks better?
Oh how I wish I could go back in time and convince Mr. Martin (builder of the house) to buy enough of the linoleum on the floor to do the counter tops too! I will get to use the original chrome banding  on the edges because the Samson board is the same thickness as the tile. I think it will look great when its all done!
What do you think?



Linda @ A La Carte said...

Mick I am so glad you found the mint green tile as it is perfect. I would do the counter top the solid mint, but the white tiles in the checkerboard pattern would be nice also. I think with all that is going on in the kitchen a nice solid color top would be awesome. Whatever you choose will be fantastic!

Leah said...

I like the checkboard! But whatever you do with that mint green tile will *shine* no matter what :)

Kitty said...

I think you need to have someone proof read your posts before you publish them. Go for the white and green :)

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Green! Go with the green!

Mick don't you have a Home Depot in your area? They can match any color paint, just bring in something that has the color on it, and they use their little laser dealie, and wha-la, they mix the identical color!

I bet other home improvement paint stores like Lowes do the same thing.

Retro Keith said...

Mick, I have always had luck with Olympic paint at HD. And its $9.00 a gallon. they can match colors pretty well.

Jabacue said...

I'd go with the solid mint green if I were you. Visually a little calmer.

Jennie@Wedgwood Tulsa said...

I like the solid green countertop. Those mint green tiles are lovely. I'm glad you found them.

vegan.and.vintage said...

Great find with those mint green tiles! I think you should go with the solid counter tops, sounds like it would be beautiful!

Also, you've inspired me to head over to my local Habitat for Humanity today. I'm excited!

Jessica LeAnne said...

I think you should go with the solid mint green. You already have enough tile for it and as someone else mentioned it is visually calmer for a small space. Whatever you end up doing will look amazing!

Amber Von Felts said...

Hey Mick, here's my 2cents, stick with the solid mint green. I think two sets of checkerboard pattern in one kitchen is over whelming. You want to compliment the floor, but not overshadow my humble opinion. I think it will look fab. with the mint and whatta cheap and eco-friendly way to get tile! I love Habitat for Humanity stores!

Missouri Michael said...

Should I be concerned that I am visitor number 666? Maybe a little prayer after I leave my 2 cents worth. :)

I agree with the others that like the solid color. I think that checkerboard would be overwhelming and compete too much with the vintage linoleum.

50sme said...

WELL....I personally like the checkerboard idea. Solid would be kinda, well...solid. My daughter thinks the BROWN and mint green looks pretty nifty but I'm thinking that wont go with your period look. The white/mint checkerboard would be wonderful. I LOVE YOUR HOME!

delia hornbook said...

Ohh im loving your kitchen so lucky to have the orignal units. I love the checker board effect on the top i think it looks fab against the mint green units and is such a contrast. What did you pick in the end? Dee