Painted "Tile" Backsplash

A few months ago, my husband and I bought our very first house. After 6 years of apartment-living during medical school, we love having a place of our own! We are so blessed to have a beautiful house that is close to the hospital, our church, and all the shopping and restaurants in town. And although our home is new and clean, a few of the finishes and wall color (a creamy yellow) just aren't our taste. So my challenge is finding the balance of making our home the way we want it without breaking the bank.

So far I have painted the dining room, kitchen, powder room, upstairs hallway, bedrooms, and guest bathroom. While my dad is here for Thanksgiving, we're planning to tackle the painting of our two-story living room walls.

One of my favorite projects was working on a backsplash for our kitchen. We have nice dark wood cabinets and a dark laminate countertop (not my favorite, but it has to stay for now). After repainting the walls a light gray (to match the foyer, hallways, and living room), I realized that the kitchen still needed a little something more. I am in love with long glass tile backsplashes but that is not in the budget right now. So I decided to paint a "tile" backsplash. I figured if I hated it, I would just paint over it again - no harm done.

Here's a picture of the kitchen that we took before we moved in:

After a little research, I headed out to the store to purchase some supplies. Another blogger had recommended using 1/4" whiteboard tape from Staples instead of purchasing the 1/4" grout tape. I'm glad I took that advice - it cost about 1/8 of the price of grout tape, and the slight stretchiness of the tape made it easy to get straight lines. I think I used about 6 rolls of the tape for the wall behind the stove, and the narrow wall above the sink (not visible in the above picture).

From there, I headed over to Michael's to buy some little bottles of acrylic paint. I decided on a metallic gray, a pearl white with a metallic finish, a charcoal gray, and a black (both matte finishes). After purchasing a few small foam brushes, we were ready to begin. The taping was relatively easy, once I figured out what width I wanted the tiles to be. I decided on long, horizontal "tiles". After taping the horizontal lines, I cut little pieces of tape and placed them vertically to make a random design.

The next morning I started painting and realized that each color needed two coats of paint to cover thoroughly. Fortunately, acrylic paint dries quickly. I also peeled the tape off as I went along (after the second coat) to keep it from peeling off the dry paint with it. Once everything was painted and dried, I applied a coat of Minwax Polycrylic Gloss to seal the paint and add a nice sheen to the backsplash. (A half-pint was more than enough and only cost $9 at Lowes.) Plus, it makes the backsplash washable with only soap and water.

I think I spent less than $30 on the entire project. And I could not be happier with the results! It was a low-cost way to add a little drama to the kitchen. Here is the finished result:

I look forward to sharing more of my DIY projects and house pictures with you over the next few months.

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