How to Make Plain Ceramic Tiles Look Like Expensive Designer Tiles


We've all had them somewhere that we've lived; Tiles we wish we could change. Find out how I took my silly ivy decal tiles and turned them in to the look of designer tiles with a stencil, joint compound and paint.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
Our kitchen had the most ridiculous looking ivy decals creating a border along the tile back splash in our kitchen. They made the kitchen look so outdated (1970's?)
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
I taped the tiles off and added grout protection in between each tile with caulk. I later would realize that I sort of liked the raised grout idea.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
The tiles were primed with premium pro primer from Zinsers (which sticks beautifully to even high gloss, slick surfaces). Love the stuff!
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
I found a design I liked in our Raised Plaster Stencils arsenal and created a raised design by applying joint compound over the stencil.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
Allow the joint compound to dry completely.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
I then painted the tiles a soft brown color with standard acrylic wall paint.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
I sponged light cream colored paint over the tile to give it some color variation.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
To give the design more depth, I sponged darker brown paint just over the design and blended it well.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
To add a little glamour, I painted just the raised design with metallic gold acrylic paint.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
I decided I actually like the raised grout between the tiles so I decided not to pull of the protective grout. Once the design was dry, I then sealed my new decorative tiles with clear, non-yellowing polyurethane.
how to make plain ceramic tiles look like expensive designer tiles, diy, kitchen backsplash, kitchen design, painting
Now my silly little Ivy tiles were now replaced with something more modern and pretty to match my newly faux finished counter tops. What a difference!
You can do this with any ceramic tile. If considering the inside of a shower, do seal with marine varnish instead.

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