DIYdiy projects

diy project: amy adams’ painted tiles

by Grace Bonney

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]

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