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Faux Paint Finishes on Kitchen Backsplashes

closeup of a warm faux on orange peel textured wall

Faux paint finishes can be used to create an inexpensive and totally custom kitchen backsplash. There is no other technique that can give you more bang for your buck and be easy enough to do it yourself.

Whatever your new kitchen decorating theme is, there is a faux paint technique that can be used. Faux can mimic copper, bronze, rusted metal, marble, stone, wood, etc.

So whether your style is Old World, New World, Country or Grunge, faux paint techniques can deliver.

How to Faux Paint: Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

This is one of the interior paint ideas I came up with for a kitchen with a corner sink. It was on an interior wall, so there was no window and the wall couldn't be opened up.

After getting two free quarts of bluey-green paint from my sister, who bought them for herself but chickened out, I decided to faux my kitchen backsplash.

I wanted to simulate the look of weathered copper, so I also purchased 1-oz. bottles of acrylic paint in bronze, copper, and gold at a craft store for less than $5.

  1. Paint a coat of satin or eggshell paint in a color you like. I used one similar to Sherwin Williams #6466 Grandview.

  2. While the paint is still wet, use a sea sponge to apply the second color into it. (my 2nd color was similar to Sherwin Williams #6746 Julep)

  3. With a 1/2 inch piece of an old kitchen sponge, dab tiny blobs of the metallic paints onto the damp walls.

  4. Use a dry sponge or rag to pull off excess color. You have to be working on a small enough section to keep the paint wet and blend-able until you're finished. Luckily, backsplashes tend to be just the right size to do that.

  5. If necessary, you can add a paint extender that increases the "open time" and makes acrylic paint react more like a glaze.

  6. Wait 24 hours.

  7. Apply two quick coats of polyurethane to protect it and make it easy to wash off splashes.

The multiple colors and movement of the faux camouflaged the bumps and bulges in the wall and the metallics (used sparingly) brought in just enough shimmer to reflect light. Plus the oxidized copper look, with greeny blues, was a perfect accent for the white kitchen cabinets.

Eventually, I hung a mirror on an angle across the corner to reflect the view from the windows behind, which was good feng shui, and made dishwashing more tolerable.

Grunge/Industrial Twist: Use a grey base and sponge on tiny amounts of lighter grey and darker grey, for an oxidated tin look. Metallic silver accents can give the appearance of sheet metal, or try small accents of reddish brown to simulate rust.

If you're a little nervous about tackling your walls because you're unsure of what the colors will look like, why not set up a practice or sample board, just like the pros do?

  1. Take a large piece of drywall (4x4) and paint the same base color overall.
  2. Then draw lines dividing it into 4 equal squares.Use four different layering color combos on the each of the four corners and pick the best one.
  3. If none of those are exactly what you are looking for, pick the closest one and continue to tweak it until you get the look just right.
  4. For single glaze colors over a painted wall, try 4 vairations of the glaze tint over same base, or 2 different base colors with 2 different glazes.

The beauty of layering multiple colors with sponging techniques, is you get a finished product with more depth, but faux paint finishes can also be beautiful using a single tinted glaze color over a satin or eggshell paint base.

faux on backsplash area and entire kitchen

Faux Paint Finishes Can Save You a Bundle!

I had faux paint finishes done in a kitchen with granite countertops and a 6 inch granite backsplash with exposed wall between the cabinets. In that case, the painter used an oil-based glaze over a textured wall called orange peel.

Even a simple kitchen tile backsplash would have cost 2-3 times as much as my painter charged me for the faux paint techniques he used. The kitchen decorating theme went from Contemporary to Tuscan for under $500.

It made sense to get the whole kitchen done, including the backsplash area, since it was so affordable and it looked great!

The oil base faux paint finish was not sealed and yet it's held up extremely well, and in most cases, I was able to wipe off food splashes with a damp sponge. It may be a good idea to seal the kitchen backsplash area, especially if there is a messy chef in the house.

It's important to keep the original faux paint formula in an air tight container for future touchups. This will come in handy if you move or sell your home and need to touch up scrapes and dings left by furniture, as well as holes left by drapery hardware, wall hangings, etc.

Check back often because I’ll go into more detail on some of the interior paint techniques mentioned here and please share this site with your friends.