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At my house we've added the look of Talavera tile without actually adding tile! You can easily adapt this faux tile approach for any stylish tile appearance you want to add to your home.

I fell in love with the look of Talavera tile but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to adding actual tile to a huge part of our wall as a kitchen back splash. I saw this stencil from Royal Design Studios, started painting, and realized I had a very bumpy wall (bumpy wall + stencil = bumpy design). So googling around for ideas and thinking we had to plaster over the wall led to this solution from DIY network. Adding the raised tile look made for an even better finish product than we were expecting.

Head over to DIY network faux tile tutorial because they have a great video. This how-to below is how we adapted their instructions to fit our needs.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

  • Stencil (link)
  • Re-positionable adhesive spray
  • Wall board joint compound
  • Large putty knives and mud pan (or container to hold joint compound)
  • Painters tape (I used 1/2" masking tape from the dollar store)
  • Carpenter square, measuring tape and pencil
  • Sand paper
  • Wall paint for background (matte finish makes the stenciling easier)
  • Paint for stencil(thicker paint works better, I used chalk paint but you could mix latex wall paint with Plaster of Paris; homemade recipe: here)
  • Brushes, foam pieces and rollers (I used a roller like you might use for kitchen cabinets, found in hardware stores)
  • Poly-acrylic or other type of clear sealer and nylon brush

Step 2: Apply Tape. This Will Create the Fake Grout Lines

I don't have any photos of the step-by-step of our wall but I'll demonstrate on a spare board how the process works. Start with a clean wall (ours was primed beforehand). Next measure your space and plan. Our stencil was for a 5" tile but we found a 5.25" square gives a little more room for the stencil to stick and lay flat. Plan ahead and take into account the spacing of your tape/grout lines; in my case it was 1/2". Then measure in several places to make your grid and use a carpenter square to keep your square tiles--well--square. Once you've have the lines, put the tape down.

Step 3: Apply Joint Compound

Use wall board joint compound and the biggest putty knife you can get and work the compound so that your get a nice smooth coat of even thickness. This can be tricky, but the tape and hand sanding later will cover some of the imperfections.

Step 4: Take Off the Tape

Before the joint compound dries, peel off the tape. Check tape and start to peel at 30 minutes, give or take. You definitely don't want to wait too long because if the compound dries it will be really hard to pull up the tape. Remove all the tape.

Step 5: Apply the Stencil

Next comes the stencil. Test your stencil techniques on a surface that is as similar to your wall as possible because it took me a lot of practice to figure out what worked best. I mapped out the pattern of where each of the different tile stencils would go on a sheet of paper beforehand. Next, I used adhesive spray on the stencil and applied to a designated tile. I applied the blue paint using a small fine nap paint roller. I recommend using a thicker paint like a chalk paint, I tried regular wall paint and I found it too thin. When possible for stencil pick a matte finish over a gloss finish. Keep the coat of paint light. I applied one color at a time, meaning I did the whole wall with my first color and then did the second etc., but you might find it better to do it all colors in one pass. For the orange and yellow I used small foam pieces to apply the color with the stencil. The tiles on the edges are the hardest because you have trim the stencil and it just gets tricky; I had to go back and do some touch-ups. Although this takes a huge amount of time, it's worth it! The picture below was hand painted because my wall stencil was in a few pieces.

Step 6: Apply a Clear Coat

Apply a coat of poly-acrylic for protection and a more glossy tile look. Make sure to keep your coats thin and apply in one direction. I did 3 coats on the wall.

<p>Congrats on winning one of the 1st prizes in the Wall Cover contest!</p>
<p>This is simply stunning! Well done!</p>
<p>OK, that's just way too cool! Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>This is an excellent technique! I suspect most people have no idea the "tiles" are not real. </p><p>Great first instructable, too!</p>

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