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How to DIY Your Own Backsplash

COVERFour months ago, I decided to find a place to rent that would serve as my work place. My interior decorating hobby became a full time job and I had to find someone who could help me with the project details and management. It was also getting hard for me to concentrate when I work at home because of my two growing “makulit” kids, so an “office” now makes sense. Anyway, I was able to find an unfurnished condo unit very near our place. Initially, the space looked too lonely and dark for me and I just had to inject a lot of Michelle touches in it.

beforeFirst off the list is changing the countertop of the kitchen. See that huge brown spot that is almost the size of the whole countertop (left photo)? That was water stain. Cheap granite slabs are so porous that are prone to ugly water stains, making your countertop look perpetually dirty. 🙁 On the right is the new one where we used 60×60 white granite tiles (Brand: Sol from Wilcon Depot). Granite tile is a durable and affordable option if you need to update your kitchen countertop. I usually do this in my condo projects. 🙂 Doesn’t it look much, much cleaner? Now all it needs is a backsplash that would add some personality to the unit.

I originally planned to handpaint a pattern on it since this is a rental property and I can’t really have anything permanent (except for the countertop which I asked for the landlady’s permission, hehe!) But then Stiles.ph contacted me about their sticker tiles and I knew I had to try it myself since a lot of you, DIYers would find this interesting too. 🙂

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Basically, it works like regular sticker. You would have to peel the protective covering at the back and just stick it on the wall! I think this is perfect if your rental unit doesn’t have any backsplash since you can totally do this yourself. When you move out, just peel the tile using a hair dryer to easily loosen up the adhesive and minimize wall damage.IMG_4115

IMG_4125The size is almost the same as typical mosaic tiles you can buy from home depots so laying it out is easy too. First, I cut off the excess tiles on the bottom and left part so that it would align on the wall and countertop. I used an X-acto knife initially but resorted to scissors on the later part because it’s easier for me. Haha!

By the way, please make sure that your wall is clean, free from dust or oil smudges, so the sticker would stick well.

IMG_4126The instruction from Stiles actually said to measure the wall first and draw where each tile would be installed. I personally find it hard because my kitchen wall is quite crooked, so I had to just test how each tile would fit on top of the existing one before taking the protective backing paper off.

IMG_4134See? I was hard at work trying to keep the “grout” lines even. Hehe!

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If you have an outlet, simply cut the edges using a cutter and ruler. Not my hand though! I must admit that I did ask for a little help installing the tiles, but only in challenging corners like this, not because I can’t but because I was feeling lazy. And I had to take photos! Haha!

IMG_4156Same with the panel box, just slice the edges off using a sharp knife or cutter. 🙂

IMG_4197And here is my finished backsplash, TAADAAA! 😀 I finished it in about 4.5 hours. There was an “un-tiled” space left on the top because I ran out of sheets. I’m planning to do something about that soon… when I find the time. 😀

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It really does look like real tiles. It’s heat resistant too so it’s safe to use even if you have a stove. It’s water proof and can easily be cleaned. Trust me, it always gets splashed with acrylic paint, sometimes spaghetti sauce, but it still looks pristine. It has been up on my wall for about three months now and it shows no sign of peeling off. Totally worth it!

The cost per sheet is P110-120, almost the price of cheaper mosaic tiles, but less the labor cost, tile adhesive and grout cost. It can even be used in the bathroom or even as accent wall in the dining and living area.

For more information and other tile designs, you can visit their website: http://stilesph.weebly.com/ or facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stiles.ph/



How To Update a Condo’s Kitchen on a Budget

Some condos, like DMCI, will not turn over the unit to the owner until it has been thoroughly finished. The good thing about it is that you can move in right away. But the downside of not having a choice to leave the unit bare is that you’re pretty much stuck with whatever kind of finish they specified for the project. It’s a homeowners’ dilemma because taking down the brand-new cabinets or re-tiling the floor and bathroom is kinda “nakakahinayang.”

When I was asked to decorate my sister-in-law and friend’s unit in Acacia Estate, the first thing I wanted to change was the kitchen cabinets and countertop. The laminate color was too dark for the unit and so the cabinets made the kitchen look even smaller. And since the kitchen is one of the first areas you see when you enter the unit, I want it to have an impact. But both my clients had very limited budget so having custom-made cabinets was out of the question.

Here’s what I did and what you can do too if you want to give your kitchen a make-over. Both projects cost less than P7,000.kitchen-before2

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Spot the difference! From vertical to horizontal cabinet handles. Just apply wood filler on the screw holes and proceed with these steps:

  1. Laminates can definitely be painted over. You don’t need to strip it off since it would damage the surface, making the project even costlier. Prep the surface by sanding it a bit using 220 grit sandpaper. Laminates are too smooth for the paint to adhere onto. Even if it is a textured laminate, sand it still.
  2. Next prime the surface using flat white latex (water-based paint). I personally don’t want to use oil-based enamel since condos usually have limited ventilation. Enamel odor takes forever to leave the room and you don’t want that.
  3. Choose any color you want in high/semi-gloss finish. Remember to still use water-based paint.

TIP: Since water-based paint dries much quicker than oil-based one, using a foam or cottom roller would ensure a smoother finish. Paint brush would leave brush marks unless that’s the finish you’re after.

With my sister-in-law’s kitchen (above), the mirror backsplash cost around P4,000 plus the quart of paint for P400+.

kitchen-before1For my friend’s unit, I wanted the kitchen to look clean, sort of Scandinavian-inspired. I initially planned on replacing the cabinet doors with melamine board for the glossy look but I realized that I had to replace the entire cabinet too with melamine board and that would go beyond the budget. So again, I had them paint glossy white.

kitchen-after1aThe glass doors looked great with the back of the cabinet painted blue-green. It might still have looked great if they only had white ceramics as contents. But who wastes precious space for such stuff anyway? So to hide the clutter, (because it really shows through despite the frosted glasses) I had the back of the glass painted too. Not bad, eh?

kitchen-after1bThe black countertop was actually just 60x60cm plain black granite tiles laid over the existing granite. I had the left part extended for a cooktop so the gas and trash can could be stored underneath. It looked more customized like that than just placing a gas range in that spot.

Those white little subway tile-like (30x30cm) cost just P23/pc and the black granite tiles were about P150/pc (tiles were from Floor Center.) For this particular project, we spent no more than P8,000 including the tiles adhesive, grout, plywood for the extended countertop, paint and labor.

I really wish I could take better photos because these kitchens look way better in actual. Hehehe!

If you have similar kitchen and are dying to give it a fresh look, go ahead! P10,000 would go a long way. You can paint the cabinet yourself and just ask the help of someone reliable to do the tiling. Lucky you if you have a handy husband!



5-Minute DIY Hanging Belt Planter

planter-coverTwo weeks ago, I was shopping for our beach trip in Landmark when I came across these colorful belts for P19.75 each. I’m not exactly a belt wearer but these are perfect for DIY projects so I got one of each color and two red ones. I would have bought more if only I didn’t have other things to buy. Those belts will definitely be gone when I return to Trinoma but shopping for DIY materials was not part of the budget that time!

planter-beltAnyway, I’ve been thinking about having a hanging planter in the house and using these belts is a great way to add a pop of color. I already have a spare vase lying around the house which I got from Uniwide Warehouse for P30.planter-belt2This project is really quick and easy. All you need are two belts, a vase and a pair of scissors.

Using the first belt, wrap it around the middle part of the vase or on its widest area. Mark the part of the belt where you plan to create a hole. Make sure it isn’t loose when it’s buckled up because it will hold the long belt and planter together. Once you have made the hole, cut the excess belt. Remove the little belt, put the other one just like the picture below and you’re done!

You can use the excess belt as an extension if your belt is too short. If you’re worried about the vase falling off, you may opt to secure it with a super glue. I like it this way because I can change the belt and the planter anytime. You can mix and match belt colors too.

Oh, and yes, the plant is fake. Don’t judge me! Haha! planter-belt3



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