I decided to use hardie backer board (special bathroom drywall for tiling), texture it and then paint it.
I had my husband cut the hardie and then I added the texture. To do this, I used Soquete but you can use any drywall texture which you apply with a regular paint roller.
After it dried, I painted the entire wall with an oil-based copper paint as a base. ( So, one day to cut and texture, next day to paint and third day to install).
Then came the fun part...