Copying thread: Kitchen Makeover...there's no turning back..

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

Late last year, my thread was changed to crafts and decorating, so I thought someone here might have some suggestions when it comes to designing, painting/glazing and putting up ceramic backsplash tiles in a kitchen. This is a photo of the tile that I've sketched and hope to glaze and then install as part of the backsplash. Just wondered if anyone has any experience in doing there own tiles from scratch???

It's been a long project--started back in August and we're still not done. It's a work in progress....
After the backsplash, I hope to get new sliding glass doors!! We'll need suggestions there too.

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/450587/

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Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Well, you are actually making pretty good progress. I haven't done it, but have been studying this for several years. Two ways available.
First you can buy prebaked ready to install white, or any light color, ecru, ivory, etc. tile. Seek out these new paints that are cured in your oven after you paint or stencil your design on the tile. I believe this would be durable for backsplash, but ify for countertop. You also can get your design just like you want it before baking. When installing, I would do everything normaly except I would pipe the grout around the decorated tiles instead of scraping across the whole design like most installers do.(With a pastry bag, or zip lock with a corner nicked.) Grout has sand in it.
The second way is to find a ceramics hobbist and work with them to paint, glaze, and fire your tiles.
My idea was to take a large rooster stencil I have and apply it to several tiles that would have to be laid togeather to complete the whole design. I was going to use the first method and may still do it.
Let me know if you use the first method, I have more hints for those paints.
Sidney

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the tip for piping the grout around the tiles, I wouldn't want to scratch them after putting all the work into them. I will be using the second method you mentioned--I'll be painting them with glaze and having the tiles fired at a local shop. It should be interesting--if it works out...

I like the idea of the stencil--it sounds like you should give it a try. Let us know how your tiles turn out if you do try it.

Thanks again.

Nancy

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

I really have no place to use it, now if I could just get a decorator or two for clients, that would be sweet.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Nancy, not all grout is sanded, so don't overlook that option. It's also a mater of width for the grout and how adept you are.

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

darius, so do thin lines get "no sand" grout and wider lines get "with sand?" It will be a while before we do any grouting, so I want to make sure we get the right stuff. Thanks.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Yes, that's typically how to make the choice of sanded or non-sanded grout. The sand is basically a filler.

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

These are a few of the tiles that are almost done! I've painted them with the underglaze paints and I have glazed one of the tiles so far. The problem now is the place where I was going to have them fired just went out of business. I'm kind of waiting to see what the first few look like before I continue on. I need to get these fired first to see how they turn out.

It's always an adventure doing a "Harry Homeowner project".

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Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

This is the set of 3 tiles for the space under the lighted cabinets. I hope the colors stay the same or maybe darken just a bit after they are glazed and fired.

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Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

This is what the tile with a grape leaf painted on it looks like with the top glaze on it--before it is fired. I'm hoping they turn out--now to find a place to fire them that won't go out of business before I get this project completed!

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Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

If you can't find a place to fire your tiles, maybe you could try glass paints on a regular ceramic tile, and poly over it for protection. I've seen stemware done this way and it's quite lovely.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Is there a college near you, or a high school with a kiln? Even if they don't offer the service to the public, they may be able to point you in the direction of a local artist who would fire them for you. They look GREAT!

Shalimar, FL(Zone 8a)

we have shops around here: some are ceramic shops that supply greenware, sell glazes, etc in the traditional ceramic way. Also there are shops here that have greenware which you buy there; and they supply direction ( if necessary), glazes, and firing - all for one finished price.

Good luck with your project.
JenG

Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Hi guys,
I was a ceramic tile muralist for a company for 15 years. Grouting was never an issue. Just wiped off. I used underglazes for detailed work with glaze sprayed on top (like your grapes), and glaze on glaze and china paint on top of the glaze. The underglazes and glazes fired higher than china paint. All of them needed to be kiln fired. I have a small kiln but I'm too far away and it's packed up these days. You could check with potters. Here's the top of a hot tub from long ago.

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Shalimar, FL(Zone 8a)

Wow! That is really pretty! Thanks for sharing!

Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Some of the underglazes do change a bit when they fire. But it's better than it was. We always did test tiles for new glazes and new underglazes before painting with them. I remember how hard it was to get the true reds. I used one red underglaze which required three coats and even then the edges would still tend to turn grey. China paint used to only be in an oil base so I had to water it down with turps which gave me a headache even with a fan blowing. I believe it's now water-based. The worst was a gold (metallic) that we painted over a black glazed tile. I couldn't dilute it and straight out of the bottle, the fumes were awful. We used to have a spray area just for glazing but now there's a dipping bucket instead. Did you dip into the glaze, nminmd? I painted huge murals that went around pools and bathrooms and kitchens using large tables of tiles laid out to paint (sugarweed method). I made them for individual clients and for businesses. My dad and I also made sikscreened china paint single tiles for gift shops locally and at museum shops. Never made decent money though, so I changed careers. If you have any questions I would be happy to tell you what I know.

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow, is right. I just took a look back here, and I love your tiles, boojum. I'm using the underglaze colors by Amaco. It looks like little tubes of watercolor paints. I just used the colors straight out of the tubes on a color pallet. I mixed some of the colors to get what I wanted, I'm just not sure they won't turn out muddy looking once they are fired. I brushed the glaze on with a brush--kinda dabbed it on. I put on two coats, but I had to be careful not to get any on the back of tiles. The gentleman that was initially going to fire them for me told me to be careful of not getting glaze on the back so it wouldn't adhere to his kiln when firing. I also mixed some powder (forgot the name of it--Aluminum something or other) into the glaze so it wouldn't come out high gloss. I wanted more of a matte finish on all of the tiles.

boojum, What type of underglaze and top glazes did you use on your "frog" tiles in the above photo. They look great! You do very nice work!

Still haven't had any tiles fired. DH is really getting anxious for me to get on with this project! I will really have to find somewhere to fire them for me.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Why don't you contact the art faculty at Hood College? http://www.hood.edu/academic/art/index.cfm?pid=_faculty.htm

Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Thanks, had to be good or no one got paid! I neglected to say that I always made a drawing on a grid for the client first that got approved before I began painting the mural. I used a range of brushes of different sizes and I perfected a background technique to add details (just like watercolor only dealing with the absorbent surface of a bisque tile). I never worried much about the backs because you could always use sandpaper to get any excess off. Underglazes don't stick to a kiln, only glazes. I think I used amaco, too. Some of the colors I remember were blue jewel, golden gem. Darn can't remember the wine red or the browns or greens. Anyway, they came in little plastic jars and I learned how to dilute them so that I could make extremely smooth outlines. Also learned what I could blend and what I couldn't. You learn a lot in 15 years! I'll have to scan some of my photos for you. I did lots of flower baskets, portraits of pets and homes (a fancy bull one time), branches with pine cones, wine and candles and cheese, beach scenes, ski scenes, etc. I did twining morning glories and hummers all over a bathroom in a well known pub in Boston, also architectural bridges in the Hotel bathrooms in Boston. Once I did scenes from Aruba for a pool enclosure, and scenes of Greece for a deli. If I had made good money I would probably be doing it still. Also the work was very much linked to construction trends and that was hairy.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

You know, Boojum, with the internet and the ability to sell products to a worldwide audience...Ever think about picking the brush back up?

Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Not at this time. I have a private practice as a speech-language pathologist. I work with learning disabled children and people with autism. I feel necessary instead of feeling like an optional luxury and I get paid well. My approach is creative and I draw all the time to describe words and language. My summers allow me to garden. Maybe when I retire.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Oh, wow, you're in a good spot - that must be really rewarding.

Frederick, MD(Zone 7a)

Ahhh, we should talk sometime, boojum, My 12 yr old stutters and he is dyslexic, he currently uses a speech easy device (when he feels comfortable). We've been through many, many years of speech therapy..... but anyway, I loved your tiles, and I wish you the best with your new profession. If you have any pictures of past projects, I'd love to see them.

At this time, I'm holding off on continuing with the rest of the mural for the kitchen until I see what the colors look like once they are fired. Thanks for the Hood college source, GW. I will start on Monday putting an effort into finishing this. Thanks for pointing me in a direction!

Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Mostly you want to build his confidence. Help him find things he's good at. There is new research on stuttering that suggests there may be an over abundance of dopamine. In which case, it may be remediated with medication in the future.

I scanned some pieces of murals to show you. I haven't done this for about 13 years! I thank you for giving me an opportunity to enjoy my artwork again!

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Mostly you want to build his confidence. Help him find things he's good at. There is new research on stuttering that suggests there may be an over abundance of dopamine. In which case, it may be remediated with medication in the future.

I scanned some pieces of murals to show you. I haven't done this for about 13 years! I thank you for giving me an opportunity to enjoy my artwork again!

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

OOPS! Here's another.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

You can tell I was already gardening.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

another.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

This was part of a house portrait.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

This reminds me of your project.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

table top.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

This was on a hot tub wall.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Here's me painting pelicans for the aruba piece.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Gosh I was young looking then. Anyway, here's someone's pet bull.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

This is bisque before glazing and firing. Wish I had a photo of the finished product. Blue-footed booby.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

Fish-I remember this took me 3 hours to paint.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

I started this from a fashion ad. It was in a display wall.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

I remember struggling with china paint till I really was in control on these accent tiles.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

I don't know where this went. I'm sure a client asked me to do this-probably residential.

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Shelburne Falls, MA(Zone 5a)

This was part of a completely painted bathroom of tiles. Ran from spring to fall.

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