Tile Counter Goes Custom: You Can Personalize a Counter

A plain and ugly counter top that was a DIY, needed some work. This is a counter that is in our kitchen area - DIY kitchen from top to bottom. The general feel of the kitchen is pretty and rustic.
However, one end of the kitchen counter was plain white and ugly tile. I bought some bisque tiles from Bisque Imports of North Carolina. They are great and I have been a client for years. The old small white tiles had to be removed first. Since it was a DIY counter, I had my husband remove the whole section and lay down a new wooden counter top with plywood. It's cheap - about $25 for a 4 x 8 foot piece.
A very ugly counter
I bought some bisque tiles from Bisque Imports of North Carolina. They are great and I have been a client for years. They recently opened up a second major warehouse in Salt Lake City.
6 x 6 plain bisque tile from Bisque Imports
The next step was to paint very simple illustrations on the number of tiles I needed. The bisque under-glaze is from Duncan - also supplied by Bisque Imports. Another great under-glaze is Mayco - also supplied by Bisque Imports. These tiles are super cheap. You get about 24 to a box.
The Queen
I am not good when it comes to original ideas for illustrations, which is why I copy. I always ask the artists if I can use their illustrations, and usually never hear back. Since I am not selling their designs, I will not get clobbered for copyrights.
An Angel
The following pictures are some sample tiles that went into the overall counter top.
A Bunny
Boy on Bike
Country Chicks Rule the Roost
Bunnies in a Tunnel
Girl in the Wind - Detail
Then with all the tiles painted, glazed and fired (by my wonderful friend in Cortez, Colorado), I arranged the tiles and did a very bad job sticking them to the counter top.
Part of the counter
Part of the counter
The next step is to complete the wooden edges and tidy it up.
The tiled counter.
I hope that may give some painting enthusiasts some ideas for making their counter tops their own and 100% DIY and 100% unique. There is not another one of these in the Galaxy or the Universe.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Jarlene Rivera
    on Oct 8, 2018

    how do you make the tiles waterproof and heat resistant? If you clean the tiles, won’t the drawing rub off?

    • Jessica Byrnes
      on Oct 9, 2018

      Hi Jarlene, The tiles are fired after painting. They are bisque tiles and just through the normal firing procedure in a kiln, which makes them shiny and waterproof, like a regular ceramic tile or mug.

  • Jarlene Rivera
    on Oct 8, 2018

    how do u make the tiles waterproof and heat resistant? If I clean the tiles, won’t the art rub off?

  • Margie Hood
    on Sep 21, 2019

    what happened to the area with the beautiful huge windows and the wood counter top..I wouldnt put anything on that if your planning to..are you?? just wondering..the view is breath taking...love it its so rustic and cozy

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