From 1978 to Up to date! Kitchen Makeover{The Hill Hangout}
July 31, 2012
Time to Link up to the Kitchen Makeovers and Decor Challenge
August 1, 2012

DIY Backsplash{Sawdust and Embryos}

Hi everybody! I’m Beth, popping in from Sawdust and Embryos! We’re so excited to have been invited to throw down a tutorial for y’all! The hubs and I came up with a technique to paint backsplashes to look like tile, and it looks so real, you won’t believe it!

You’ll want to start out with your backsplash painted a solid color that will work as a grout line. We recommend a white or off white for this, because the contrast will really help your ‘tile’ POP out! My backsplash was a weird sea-foam green color (before we painted our kitchen dark teal), so I slapped on a coat of white, and gave it a good day or two to dry and cure.

IMG_1635 IMG_1646

Next, Nick (the brains of the operation) measures out a grid and we start taping! This is the most time-consuming part, and you may have to use your brain and do some mathematics… but once the tape starts going up, you’ll see it all coming together! We use 1/4” inch painters tape that we purchased at our local hardware store. But I know you can order it online too if they don’t sell it at yours!


And you don’t HAVE to do squares. You can do subway tile or staggered horizontal tiles. The sky is the limit!


And next, as you’d imagine… we start painting! We just squirt some globs of acrylic paint on a paper plate. You can choose any color combination you want! We wanted a light-ish neutral ‘tumbled travertine’ look, so we went with creams, tans, and medium browns for dimension!


Using a foam brush, just start blotching the paint onto each square… all haphazard like! You really can’t go wrong with this. We just try to get a slightly different combination of paints on our brush for each ‘tile’, and try to be as purposefully random as possible!


Now’s the REAL fun part! Start pulling back the tape! Acrylic paint dries in minutes, so you can start basically right away! Be careful at first until you get a feel for whether it’s going to pull off some ‘grout paint’ with it. You may need to go very slow.


And you’re left with a BEAUTIFUL and CUSTOM piece of local artwork right in your kitchen. YOUR ARTWORK! You’ll be giving yourself a huge pat on the back after this one! It’s so rewarding, and provides instant gratification! And it shouldn’t take you more than an afternoon, start to finish!


Here’s a close-up for your benefit!

It makes such a dramatic difference to the appearance of your kitchen. When you look back at your before pictures, you won’t believe how boring and unfinished your kitchen looked! Check out these before/after pics!

bethany's backsplash

My kitchen feels so ‘gourmet’ …am I right?! I love spending time in my kitchen now! You should probably give this a shot immediately! To see more examples of backsplashes that we’ve painted since, chick here!

And I can’t leave you without showing the amazing transformation to our kitchen using PAINT ALONE! Since we had white cabinets and good natural lighting, we could get away with going bold with the wall color. And, besides the backsplash, the glossy swirls on the one wall is my favorite part! It just makes the room!
New Folder (2)2

Thanks for letting me stop in to show you the little tricks we have up our sleeve! We’ve got LOTS more going on over at our blog Sawdust and Embryos, so come on over and have a look around! Take care!


  1. Robin says:

    That looks amazing…great job.

  2. Katherine says:

    This is beautiful. I’m going to give it a go at my son’s house. They are doing a very low budget makeover. This will be great.

    I notice a design in the teal wall. What method is that?


  3. Patrina says:

    Great idea. This looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Diana Rushing says:

    LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! Thank you!!!!

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