How to Paint Tile Backsplash and Stenciling

Step-by-step instructions show you how you can use stencils and paint to spruce up a tile backsplash.
rxr1903_2_paintedtile

rxr1903_2_paintedtile

Painted Tile Backsplash

Materials and Tools:

acrylic paints (FolkArt by Plaid -- Country Twill, Linen, Barn Wood, Wicker White)
clear glazing liquid
paintbrushes
natural sea sponge
stencils
stencil brushes
painter's tape

Steps:

1. Mix three parts clear glazing liquid with one part of Country Twill. Apply it to the walls with a dry brush using a cross-hatching technique.

2. While still wet, use a damp sea sponge and a random motion to change the look of the texture from harsh lines to a soft mottled finish. Let dry.

3. Tape-off 1/4-inch grout lines, and then paint them in with undiluted Linen paint. Remove the tape as soon as they're done and let the lines dry (about an hour).

4. Tape-off the vertical grout lines and paint.

5. To add depth, paint some shadows and highlights. Make a lower L-shaped shadow along the left side and bottom edge of each tile using Barn Wood. Do the same thing on the opposite sides in Wicker White to simulate highlights. Put some strokes of white inside the tiles using soft diagonal brush strokes, which will help add dimension by creating a layering effect.

6. Use stencils to add the decorative design(s) as desired. Let dry.

Stenciled Designs

Materials and Tools:

three-part stencil design (Tea Time by Plaid)
painter's tape
level
tape measure
large stencil brush
nonliquid stencil paint (Stencil Decor by Plaid--Ship's Fleet Navy #26207)
paper towels
pencil

Steps:

1. Determine the desired height of the stencil and use a level to lightly pencil a line around the room to line up with the guides on the stencil sheets. Remember that a line like this might not need to be level; when working close to the ceiling, it might look better if the stencil follows the ceiling line just in case the ceiling isn't quite as level as you'd like it to be.

2. Tape the first part of the stencil in place. Rub the stencil brush around the top of the stencil paint and dab it on a paper towel to remove any excess.

3. Use a comfortable circular motion to add the paint to the wall. Reload as above when necessary. This technique offers the advantage of creating a variety of shades using the same stencil color by varying the application pressure.

4. Once the first part of the stencil design is complete all the way around the room, add the second and third overlays as directed, allowing the paint to dry between layers.

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