DIY Network

Faux Tile Backsplash

This DIY Basic will provide tips on faux tile backsplash.

More in Kitchen

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

soap and water or trisodium phosphate (TSP)
drywall compound
drywall trowel
1/8-inch and 1- to 2-inch painter's tape
carpenter's level
interior latex primer
interior latex paint in grout-line color and tile color
paint roller and tray
3/8-inch nap roller cover
small paintbrush
foam brush
lint-free rag and water
clear sealer

Step 3: Prep the Wall

For the look of real tile at a fraction of the cost, use drywall compound and paint to create a faux tile backsplash.

Start by scrubbing backsplash with soap and water or TSP. Rinse well and dry.

Prime backsplash area.

Paint entire area the color you want the grout to be.

Tip: For a clear look, paint it the color of the other kitchen walls.

Step 4: Create a Backsplash Design

Outline outer edges with painter's tape.

Create design on butcher paper or computer software.

Make template and transfer to wall.

Tip: Dividing design into quarters will make transfer easier.

Use a pencil, level and ruler to mark the design on the wall. Mark horizontal grout lines first, then verticals, then diagonals.

Cover grout lines with 1/8-inch painter's tape. Use the edge of a plastic card to stick the tape tightly to the wall.

Tip: Leave 2 to 3 inches of tape at ends for easier removal.

Step 5: Cover the Area With Drywall Compound

Cover entire surface, including grout-line tape, with 1/4 to 3/8 inch of drywall compound.

Before compound dries, slowly peel off painter's tape covering grout lines.

Tip: Center blocks are faux tiles; narrow spaces are faux grout lines.

Remove painter's tape from outer edges.

Let dry overnight.

Step 6: Finish the Faux Tiles

Sand tiles for rough texture; wipe with damp cloth for smooth texture. Let tiles dry again after smoothing.

Re-tape grout lines.

Apply interior latex paint to tiles.

Tip: Use foam brush for smooth tiles, 3/8-inch roller for textured tiles.

Remove grout-line tape.

For shiny, ceramic-like finish, apply poly sealer to faux tiles.