Vintage Tiles: Uncovering a Secret

Vintage Tiles: Uncovering a Secret

Sarah Rainwater
Aug 17, 2011

A few walk-throughs are hardly enough time to discover all the details of a new home. It's only when you've moved in (and possibly lived there a few years) that many of a space's secrets start to reveal themselves. Our kitchen backsplash tiles were painted white when we moved in, and flaking paint revealed cute tiny white tiles below. But a little elbow grease discovered that the tiles were not plain old white at all.

The paint was hiding a sweet retro tile pattern — our house was built in 1958 so we're assuming they're original to the kitchen. We're embarking on some minor kitchen renovations and now that we've discovered the tile we can think about how to update the countertops and cabinets to feel harmonious. It's important to me to keep as many original elements of the house that we can, if they are worth keeping. Now we just have to finish!

If you're wondering how we removed the paint from the tile — after trying a hair dryer and several chemicals we were ready to jump to heavier chemicals when we discovered a natural solution: hot vinegar! It works wonders for removing paint from glass, and seems to work well on tile as well and gets them clean and shiny as a bonus, the only downside is the potent smell. Read this post for a vinegar paint removal how-to.

Images: Sarah Rainwater

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