DIY Faux Tile Backsplash

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:

wallpaper kitchen before picture

and that’s only the left side. YIKES.

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:

yellow and honey oak kitchen

a world of difference!

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 instantlyΒ had to have it.Β 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. πŸ™‚

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:

faux tile backsplash instructions

I used my laser level to make the horizontal stripes, each two inches apart. Then I randomly placed the vertical lines, only making sure none of them were even but with no real pattern in mind. Once the tape was up I got my license and used it to run over all the tape to make sure it was pressed down real well. And no, I did not do my dishes first.

DIY faux tile backsplash

I had all my paint colors out at once and painted all the colors all at once. I went through and did 5-6 tiles of each to get a lay of the land. Then I went through and did that 4 more times, filling in as I went and making sure I didn’t paint the same color next to itself if it could be avoided.

Here’s the awesome afters:

kitchen backsplash gray and yellow

DIY kitchen backsplash with paint

budget kitchen after picture

The tile does a great job at separating the eating area of the kitchen from the prep area of the kitchen. It adds all sorts of interest without being crazy, and for re-sale’s sake… if the next owner doesn’t like it all they have to do is sand and repaint.

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.

painted tile spacksplash faux back splash kitchen

oooh! ahhh! The gray that looks uneven is actually textured and metallic silver, so it doesn’t photograph well. But it looks ah-mazing in person.

And once more, let’s just look at the very very before versus the now:



yellow and gray kitchen after picture

Love Love Love

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!

DIY painted tile BACKSPLASH

Wondering how it held up? I’ve got a one year update for you here!




54 thoughts on “DIY Faux Tile Backsplash

  1. Pingback: Blogland Tour | Sandpaper & Glue

  2. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #3 | Colors Mixed Together

  3. Pingback: 2013 Round Up | Sandpaper & Glue

  4. Pingback: Sometimes you gotta live with it: 31 Days | Sandpaper & Glue

  5. Pingback: Throwback Thursday - An Alli Event

  6. Pingback: Throwback Thursday Linky Party #3 - Restoration Redoux

  7. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #3 | Girl in the Garage

  8. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #3 | Glitter Glue & PaintGlitter Glue & Paint

  9. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #3 - Sweet Pea

  10. Well, Stephanie! This is really a clever idea. Great job!! Thanks for linking it up at Throwback Thursdays.


  11. Pingback: 15 Fabulous Faux Decor Ideas | Pinterest Addict

  12. Pingback: DIY Kitchen Backsplash | designbytess

  13. PS sorry for the almost exact duplicate comment haha it didn’t show up so I thought it hadn’t gone through and wrote another one. Oops!! πŸ™‚

  14. Looks great! I love seeing the painted backsplashes at Sawdust and Embryos, and yours came out so nice! I did a chevron painted backsplash in my kitchen about 8 months ago and I’m itching to change it up now haha it was so time consuming though, it’s hard to think about covering it up. I may just try the painted tiles!

  15. You have no idea how jealous I am of this – IT’S SO CUTE!
    I hate my kitchen. I love the idea of this, but I don’t really want to give up my coffee colour walls…. Actually I’m probably just afraid it’ll look weird in our house, even though I’ve been debating between doing a tin backsplash, mirror backsplash, and white subway tiles at least on part of it. This seems much easier…. now I just have to convince The Hubby to let me try it, right? :0)

      • I tried that once. My husband decided he hated it ((my kitchen counter tops)) & “for revenge, I’m making you go pick up pizza.” shoot, man, if that’s it, I’ll make sure to send you away for the weekend more often. :0) I’ll let you know how it turns out…. if I get around to doing it!

  16. Pingback: 25 DIY Decorating Projects to get YOU inspired to tackle some projects!

  17. Pingback: High 5 for Friday | Sandpaper & Glue

  18. i think it likes great, i love your floor to.could you tell me if its tile or what. thats what i want . thank you

    • thank you! The floor is peel and stick tile- it was here when we moved in but I think it’s about 5-7 years old, that’s what we were told when we bought it.

  19. Bravo good work……you inherited great genes. You should post a pictures of the “eggs” that would be a great Easter project for kids. Love you

  20. I had no idea that one could buy painter’s tape in that width. I admit, all my stripes – ever – are bases on the width that tape comes in!

  21. Steph, this looks INCREDIBLE! Your kitchen is completely transformed. It looks really classy. You should be proud and sing love songs to your new back splash

  22. FABULOUS!!!! WOW!!! I love the unevenness [how you spell that!!], love the color choices too! Hm..I want to sell this house in 2 years and it hasnt been updated or anything since around 1960’s [this is my hubbies house!! Was an old 1842 one room school house…’s FLIPPIN’ TINY!!] so now I need to show him as the walls are falling,bending whatever and I do not want to skim coat just to sell this for close to NOTHING!! LOL…you are my hero!! I passed your blog onto my BFF so Gloria W. will hopefully be checking you out girl!! xo Pam

  23. I think it look SO killer. I love it, and I bet it totally helps with the cohesiveness of the whole house. Also, want to know something funny? You, Kenz and I all totally have the same dining table.

    • haha and I’m pretty sure none of us actually paid a real price for it. Mine was bartered- I drove an hour and a half to pick it up and move it (along with the chairs and two lamps) and I got to have it for free!

Comments are closed.