diy project: amy adams’ painted tiles

after we published amy adam’s sneak peek on monday i got an update from amy about a fun new project she finished at her home: painted flower tiles. i immediately updated her peek with the new photo and then asked if perhaps she’d be willing to share her project steps with us. and thankfully, she was!

so today i’m thrilled to share amy’s steps for painted floral tiles- they’re a great way to spruce up existing, or new, inexpensive, cabinets. and the best part? you can customize the design to fit your specific taste- and when you’re done you’ll be able to look at your own handiwork every day you walk by. i’m all for decals when you’re a renter, but sometimes it’s nice to take things a step further and create a custom design with your own two hands.

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

Materials needed:

1. Unglazed tiles
2. Acrylic paint and paint brushes
3. Pre-mixed Tile Adhesive/Grout (available at hardware stores)
4. Ridged Trowel
5. Tile cleaner*


Painting the tile:

1. Amy made her own tiles but you can buy unglazed tile from a hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes. Be sure to clean each tile with tile cleaner before you begin (you can also clean with soap and water if the tile is brand new)

[Note From Amy: I’ve also found that the backs of plain glazed tile, like from Lowe’s, sometimes have interesting patterns, and they are porous so you can paint them. Consider working with that design on the back as well]

2. Create a stencil using an image you print and cut from your computer, or something you hand draw and cut on thick cardstock or plastic. *You can also freehand paint if you prefer that method*

3. Using your paint brush and paint, stencil your pattern onto your tiles. Amy wasn’t going for a specific pattern, but if you’d like to have each tile work with the next one be sure to map our your design and measure closely to ensure it will line up correctly.

4. Let dry for at least 24 hours. You can also apply an optional clear coat of poly on top if you’d like some extra shine.

Tiling (approximate time needed: 25 minutes)

1. Measure your space and make sure the tiles fit (you may need to cut some if they don’t- most hardware store and big shops like Home Depot can do this for you with a tile cutter)

2. Clean the space to be tiled thoroughly

3. Apply Tile Adhesive/Grout (available at any hardware store, premixed) onto the first section to be tiled. Then run a ridged trowel down through the smear so it’s got grooves.


4. Add first tile and hold in place for a few seconds to ensure that it sticks.


5. Continue with next tile, moving a row at a time. Once you’ve finished a row step back and make sure they’re even- there will be enough give in the grout to let you make small adjustments at the end of each section. [Don’t apply all the grout at once, or when you get to the last section it will be hardened and difficult to work with]

6. Let dry for 48 hours.

7. Go back in with the same premixed grout and fill any gaps (you can use your fingers and a damp paper towel to wipe away the excess)

8. Let dry for 48 hours and apply a liquid grout sealer to prevent the grout from getting dirty and dark.

You’re done!

[Amy will be selling this same floral pattern on her vases soon- click here to keep an eye out for them and see the rest of her collection]

  1. Eve Fox says:

    So cute! There’s so much you can do with tile, both this way (using acrylics) and also with actual glazes for a more durable finish. My mom has done a ton of great kitchen and bathroom murals and trivets and whole bathroom decors including hand-painted sinks (you can check them out at: for our houses and I’ve even dabbled in it myself – my latest tile trivet is at:

  2. kim says:

    I’m loving this project for our bathroom. Great stuff today Grace!

  3. laura trevey says:

    they add just the right touch!
    subtle and pretty!

  4. three.bees says:

    How did Amy make her own tiles?

    1. grace says:

      amy is a ceramicist so she cast them herself in a kiln :)

  5. Amy says:

    Exactly, thanks Grace!
    These are white earthenware tiles with grey and orange underglaze for the flowers and a clear glaze on top.

  6. Soooo fun! Love the vases too!

  7. Jaime says:

    This is exactly what I need for my bathroom! Whoever lived there before I did messed up installing the toilet paper holder and then painted over the wood and it looks terrible!! This would be such a cute alternative.

  8. Allen Gong says:

    You have a lovely blog. Keep it up!

  9. awesome idea and great Job!!!!!!!!

  10. Helga says:

    The vases are so qute.
    Your blog is great. It´s vonderfull to return and se all of the nice creations here.

  11. Fatima says:

    Hey! I have just found your site and love it! I’ll be back when the kids go to bed :)

  12. Pragya K says:

    This is fantastic! My favorite DIY so far.
    Really love the happy flowers.

  13. Maitri says:

    Love the tiles! Great idea.
    The countertop looks like the one I have from Ikea. Sadly, after three years the gray countertop is starting to peel away near the sink area.

  14. Kristy says:

    any thoughts/resources on painting existing tile? my kitchen came with hideous tile and I am looking for ways to update it without have to redo it…

    1. grace says:


      you can easily apply those stick and peel decals to tile- the people at mibo sell gorgeous tile decals :)


  15. Mary says:

    Amy Adams the actress?

    1. grace says:

      nope, amy adams from perch design in brooklyn ;)


  16. Ruth says:

    Okay, loving the fact Amy is in a dress sitting on a little round rattan seat. Adorable and feminine!

  17. qtpuh2tme says:

    Someone asked about painting existing tile… I’ve painted glazed tile with glass paints. These paints need not be cured in the oven if being used in an area that won’t be exposed to over washing, or scrubbing will not occur. It would likely be possible to use some sort of poly glaze if the tiles are in an area that comes into contact with lots of water or wiping/scrubbing down.

  18. JJ Davies says:

    Great idea for a low cost facelift to the kitchen, especially like the way it can be linked in with the vases using the same designs.


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