Hints and tips · Painting and decorating

A Cheese Knife – not just for cheese!

Kev has decided that I need to learn some of things that he does to help for when we go on quotes together. He also decided that we were going to use our kitchen as a display kitchen to show off to customers what skills he has, so he decided that we just had to redecorate the kitchen (which I didn’t mind as I didn’t really like the tiles in there anyway).

When I say we, he meant me!

First I had to take the tiles off. I thought this was going to be easy, boy was I wrong. In my mind, you just take a hammer to them but apparently it’s more complicated than that. You need to take them off carefully making sure that the wall doesn’t come off behind it. Unfortunately some of it did (I left Kev to fix that as it’s way above my experience level). Add to this that Kev, my son and I all cut ourselves on the sharp tiles, it got quite stressful, very quickly. On the upside, my son thought taking the tiles off was fun, so we left him to it (he is 17 by the way, no child exploitation involved – plus everyone knows how hard it is to get teenagers to do anything!)

Once he had finished, we had to then put the new tiles on. I was literally shown once and then left to my own devises. I was shown how to put the tiles on with adhesive and where to put the spacers to make sure everything was even. I have to admit, I found it quite relaxing. After a short while I realised that I was getting to a point where full tiles would not work and some tiles had to be cut. I walked into the living room to disturb Kev and drag him away from his coffee. We decided that as I’m quite accident prone, that it was not safe to let me loose with the tile cutter, this was again out of my remit!

With Kev cutting the tiles and me putting them on the wall, we had it done in no time.

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It was looking very good. Once the adhesive had dried, I had to take all the spacers out. Kev told me to use a screwdriver which I didn’t think was a good idea, did I mention that I was accident prone. I knew that I would end up slipping and either hurting myself or breaking the tiles. The other option was a Stanley knife, again accident prone! I proceeded to look through my knife drawer to find the safest knife. I then found the cheese knife.

Something about the cheese knife that I had never noticed before is that it has 2 prongs on the end (obviously to pick up cheese). I discovered that this was perfect. I put one prong behind the spacer and just flicked my wrist forward and out popped the spacer. Again, this was something that I enjoyed doing, I found it quite satisfying flicking those little spacers out. Once I had finished, I then went around the kitchen picking all the spacers up off the floor!

Next was the grouting. I was told to use a sponge to put the grout on but I decided that as I have small hands, I would do this with my fingers, that way I could get the grout in more precisely. While I was doing this, I was also cooking dinner because after a day of tiling, you really build up an appetite. This was quite difficult but luckily I’m a woman and I’m really good at multi tasking.

Unfortunately the kitchen isn’t quite finished yet. The problem we have is that I work full time and Kev is always busy decorating other peoples homes. So I am doing it bit by bit on the weekend when I’m not on quotes or doing admin for Kev and his business.

It’s ok, all I have left to do is:

  1. Finish grounting
  2. Paint the Kitchen Doors – tops and bottoms
  3. Tile the kitchen floor

I’m predicting it should be finished by this time next year!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress but as they say on Blue Peter, here’s one I made earlier.

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