When I first moved into this house the wall above the stove was just painted wall. Nothing very exciting. Over the years I have tried different finishes. I had faux brick at one time. I painted a mural. Considered tile. But somehow I never liked anything I had there until I bought some dimensional paintable wall paper. The ceiling in the kitchen is lower than the rest of the house and the cabinets were stained a dark walnut. I always felt like I was in a cave.
On the wall area that drops down for the kitchen I used the dimensional wallpaper. It is just over 1 foot tall. I love that it now looks like metal ceiling tiles. I searched everywhere for a pattern that would give me the look of metal ceiling tiles and finally found some on the Internet. After hanging it and letting it dry I painted it white and then gave it a second coat of white paint with a slight shimmer.
That wall was also something I never liked, it just looked like it was never finished. Now it actually has a purpose because I have my pot rack hanging from it at the end of my island and it looks decorative now.
So last summer I finally got brave and painted the whole kitchen an off white and the cabinets a bright white. What a difference. No more cooking in a cave. It opened the whole area up and made it feel light and airy. I stood back and looked at my new bright kitchen and decided to add some of the cut out medallions from the wallpaper to each cabinet door and paint just the medallions with the white shimmer paint.
That still left me with the wall over the stove. Now it was just blank uninteresting WHITE! I mean a big WHITE square. That really drove me nuts. So I hung the same paper over the stove that I had hung on my little wall of the dropped ceiling. Yes, it had texture now but still just WHITE. I tried adding the shimmer white paint. Alright, now it had shimmer but still too WHITE.
Then it hit me. Why did I like this paper in the first place? Because it reminded me of antique metal ceiling tiles. That's it. Off to the big box hardware store to see what I could find to make it look like metal. Perfect, I bought two shades of Martha Stewart's decorative paints in small containers in two shades of silver.
First I painted the entire area with the lightest silver and just before it dried I used a cloth to rub the paint off the raised areas. When the first coat was dry I went in with the darker silver and worked it into the valleys of the medallions creating lowlights. And again used a cloth to remove most of the paint from the high areas. Then When that was dry I gave the entire area on last coat of the lightest silver.
I love the dimension and sheen that this created and best of all the wall is very durable and washable. The Martha Stewart paints seems to have a high acrylic finish making them stain proof. I know because I have splashed red tomato sauce on the wall and it washed right off. Even the dried on bits I missed the first time.
Finally, I have a wall over the stove that I really love and it gives me the Shabby Chic/Cottage feel that goes with the rest of the house and also looks great with my stainless steel and black appliances.
And best of all the total cost was under $20.00. Little price for a big look.