Let’s just dive right in, because this post has A LOT of pictures and instructions. We’re focusing on the kitchen today, so let me give you a little reminder of what the kitchen looked like the very first time I saw it:
Sorry for the terrible picture, it’s before I even started a blog.
Then within about 4 or 5 months of us living here we had transformed it to this:
But here’s the thing- at the time we removed the wallpaper we had not yet learned what skim coating was, so we didn’t do it. That means what you can’t see in these pictures is a whole mess of dents and dings and unevenness within our walls. So, as with everything around here, I wanted an under $50 amazing solution- which knocked out the possibility of a real tile backsplash immediately.
Then last week Beth from Sawdust and Embryos posted an awesome faux tile tutorial and I instantly had to have it. I feel in faux tile love. I asked her where on earth so found painters tape thin enough to stand in for grout and she directed me here.
Then I checked with my friend Kenz, who imitated another one of Beth’s faux tile tutorials and she used the same tape. So I ordered it for $10 (cost + shipping).
Next I went through all my old paint and here’s what I decided to use for my tile colors:
- Behr Manila Tint (the color our kitchen already is)
- Better Homes & Garden Partridge Grey (colored matched to Behr, the color of the darker stripes in the sunroom)
- Behr Wheat Bread (living room color)
- Behr Sand Dollar White (bathroom and master bedroom color)
I also picked up 2 Martha Stewart textured paints, a silvery gray and a black for $7 each. So my cost for this project was $25 due to all the supplies I already had on hand. But actually, I had a gift certificate to Home Depot so I only paid the $10 for the tape.
Here’s the breakdown of how I got such a tedious project done:
- Thursday I put up two coats of primer
- Friday I painted pure white (my “grout”) and taped
- Saturday I painted in all the tiles
Enough with the words though, here’s some pictures of how it went down:
Here’s the awesome afters:
We decided to line the backsplash up with the cabinet, and not the counter. I think no matter where we chose our starting point that it would be a bit awkward, I might actually go back at some point and add a white outline around the edge. I haven’t decided on that yet.
The tile is not completely even everywhere so my OCD mind goes a little crazy, but I found out with my laser level that my walls aren’t completely level so that’s just how it is going to be. It does an amazing job at hiding our lack of a skim coat though.
And once more, let’s just look at the very very before versus the now:
This project is not difficult, just time consuming. The tape itself took about two-two and a half hours and the painting probably another three. But the results are crazy worth it!
1 Year Update:
I painted a faux back splash in my kitchen about a year ago and thought I’d give a quick update on it.
After one full year with the back splash here’s where I’m at:
- It is still one of my absolute favorite projects, and I’m so glad Beth from Sawdust and Embryos posted an awesome faux tile tutorial. I fell in faux tile love and copied it immediately.
- It has held up so well and I didn’t even seal it. My counters go up about 3 inches on the wall which has probably helped with the not sealing, and I also tend to do most of my prep work at the part that juts out from the wall, so if you’re nervous I’d recommend a coat or two of polycrylic (not poly-A-crylic… that one can yellow!).
- Using colors from the rest of my house was key in making this work and keeping costs down. I’m a sucker for a yellow kitchen, and the rest of my house has grays and dark blues so it really helps tie things together (we have an open concept floor plan).
To read all about how paint a faux tile back splash, check out the original post. It’s so so easy and anyone can do it.
Here’s the before:
And here it is today, still looking fly:
This project is not difficult, just time consuming. The tape itself took about two-two and a half hours and the painting probably another three. This is not our forever home, so a bigger money kitchen reno (even a few hundred for real tile) was just not worth it… but a weekend paint job totally was! What do you think?