Faux Painting Tile

Faux painted tile.
Faux painting tile has become increasingly popular in today’s choice of decorating ideas. This method of making your walls look like they have tile on them is especially used in the kitchen for areas that traditionally had backsplashes.

The possibilities are endless and the look is fantastic. Your walls can mimic the look of ceramic tiles or stone depending on what you prefer. Patterned or plain, there is a tile look that will be perfect for your walls. The process is not difficult, though it may be time consuming, depending on your choice of decorating ideas.

Supplies For Faux Painting Tile

Getting the items together that you will need to create the faux tile look is the first step. For this project you will need the following items:

  • Paint for the base coat
  • Paint for the tile color
  • Low-tack painter’s tape in 1-1/2 inch and 1/4 inch widths
  • Paint sealer
  • Glaze
  • Mini paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Stippler brush
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil


The paint you use as the base coat is used for both the tile grout and for making the faux tile look. The 1/4 inch tape is used to define each tile and is also the width of the grout. If you want a wider grout line, use wider tape. If you can’t find thin masking tape easily try your local auto paint stores.

Let’s Begin Creating a Faux Tile Look

Make sure your walls are clean. Wiping them down with a cloth will free up any dust that may have accumulated. If you are working in the kitchen, wash the walls with TSP to remove any grease.

Remove electrical outlet covers and anything that should not be painted. Using the 1-1/2 inch painter’s tape, cover all the areas you do not want painted. Roll the base coat of paint on your wall. Use a second coat if necessary. Allow this to dry thoroughly before continuing.

Hopefully, you have already decided on the pattern you want to create for your tiles. If not, consider these ideas.

  • The tiles can be laid out as block tiles of any size. Four inch and six inch squares are common in kitchens.
  • The dimensions of your wall will suggest what size of tile would work best. The advantage of using paint is the freedom it gives you from “standard” tile sizes.
  • You can add a row of narrow tiles of a contrasting color at top and bottom.
  • You can turn the tiles sideways and create a diamond pattern.
  • You can add diamonds to replace the intersections four tiles would normally make.


Faux painted tile using a glaze dragging technique.Use the tape measure to get the dimensions of the wall you will be “tiling”. Use these dimensions to determine how you want to lay your “tiles” out.

Now, here comes the time consuming part. Use your pencil to mark where the tape will go to create your tiles. Mark lightly so the pencil doesn’t show through your paint (important for light colors). Use the 1/4 inch painter’s tape to tape the places you have marked with your pencil. Always tape on the same side of the line. For example, if the line is horizontal, always tape above or below the line. If the line is vertical always tape to the right or left of the line. This way your tiles will all be the same size.

After you have the design of your tile taped off, use the paint color you have chosen for your tiles and paint the wall. At this stage, if you were to remove the tape, it would look like you painted squares on the wall.

In order to add depth to your tiles, you need another step. Mix one part of the top coat of the paint you are using with three parts glaze. Mix well and using the stippling brush, dab this mixture on the individual tiles. Allow this layer to dry.

Now you can remove your painter’s tape.

Apply the paint sealer to the finished wall to protect your new “tile”. Now you can put away all your painting tools after cleaning them and enjoy the new look you have created. It will be hard to tell the difference from the real thing.

Faux Tile Painting Tips

  • You’ll achieve an even more realistic tile effect if you use a slightly lighter shade of paint on the wall than the layer with the glaze. As you stipple the glaze mixture on the “tile” apply the glaze more heavily in the middle of the tile and fade the glaze slightly to the “edge” of the “tile.” This will replicate the curve many tiles have along their edges.
  • Use a faux marble technique to mimic the look of marble tiles.
  • Use paint in a terra cotta color to mimic the look of natural terra tile (without any of the negatives of cleaning tile).
  • Use tissue paper painting technique and metallic paint to mimic the look of a tin, copper or aluminum backsplash. In this case, make the tiles large. Use a base paint that complements the type of metal you want to imitate.


Faux painting tile is an easy, albeit time consuming, way to liven up your walls and create a whole new look. It’s a great way to cover old walls that are boring. The materials are not expensive, and it is far easier to do than actually tiling the wall.

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