Because I do not have enough to do....
In between taxiing kids around and everyday life in general I decided to indulge my curiosity in a little project I had had my mind on for some time! We have never had a backsplash in our kitchen and I have pondered on this..... I did my research and then some! I have watched every tutorial and read every bloggy experience, even the horror stories! I finally found the courage to experiment! I found this to be a very tedious yet enjoyable experience! One that ended in victory! We all sit at the counter to "oooooh and awww!" our beautiful new space! We absolutely love it!
sponge brushes in various sizes
grout line stencil tape
various colors of paint
water based polyurethane
small paintbrush for touch ups
Start by painting the background the color you wish your "grout" to be. For best results allow to dry for at least 24 hrs. Then you can begin the design process one of two ways.... build your design by sketching it out on paper and then transfer the design to your intended space. Do this in sections. If you have a good eyeball and imagination you can begin by building your design directly onto the wall, also by section. Whatever is easier for you!
Once you have your design sketched out and in place...take a deep breath, stand back and let the admiration begin! Before you begin anything, make sure you have grout line stencil tape in your possession! I looked high and low for this tape! It is hard to find! Use the stencil grout tape to tape over your pencil lines. Be sure to press the tape firmly into place. Yes, this is a pain in the rear! Think happy thoughts! It will be so worth it! Use scissors to cut your tape for sharp precise lines. Use the painters tape to protect the outer borders and cabinets.
Many tutorials include adding dimension to your tiles by using drywall compound after this step. If you choose to do this, work by section to apply the compound and remove the tape promptly! Do not let it dry under the compound! Once it is all dry, re apply tape and follow the next few steps... DIY Network has a wonderful tutorial for using drywall compound Faux tile backsplash We obviously chose to not use the dry wall compound....
Ready to paint?
Find a few shades that coordinate with your colors. These small color samples from valspar are perfect! For under three dollars they are just right for a project of this size! Dip your sponge into one of your colors. If you start in the middle of a taped off tile when your brush is wettest, then work out to the taped edge with a drier sponge it will cut down on paint bleed! To achieve the faux tile look apply a few different colors....
Work in sections...to apply your paint. As you finish a section, remove the tape from where you began. This will help you avoid removing more than tape! Don't be afraid to be creative! I really enjoyed shading random areas a little lighter here, a little darker there! Also different pressures on your sponge will create different effects! Experiment! Continue working by section until you have completed your backsplash!
After you have removed all of your tape it is time for touch ups! By using a drier sponge around the tape lines I was able to significantly cut down on bleed, however I did still need to correct a few areas. What do you think? Once your tiles are complete and have dried for 24 hours apply a water based polyurethane to seal and protect! This will also give the illusions of glossy tiles! Now to the repainting of the rest of the kitchen!