I wanted a back splash to brighten up under the cabinets. Rather than spend the money for tile I used what I had around my house. The builder left a huge bucket of Spackle in the garage so I used that...
and a 4 or 6 inch Spackle knife....
Starting in the center if each wall - apply the Spackle (or plaster) with a Spackle knife about an 1/8 inch thick.
Working in a 2 to 3 foot area, use a level and measuring tape to divide the height into 3 equal sections. Hold your level at each line horizontally (should be two). Then scrape a straight line into the smooth texture with your Spackle knife or a 5 in 1 tool using the level as your guide.
(standard height is 17 to 18 inches from counter top to cabinet making each square tile approx. 6"x6")
It looks best to place your middle "tile" center and stagger the top and bottom tiles.
I chose squares but you could do a subway tile look too.
Use your Spackle knife to scrape in the vertical lines in the size of "tiles" you like.
(when scraping - dig your knife all the way to the wall and wiggle it a bit to make the seams thicker and more noticeable)
My splash was applied pretty thick and rough.
The following photo is a back splash that I did for my friend.
We used plaster here and it dried so quick....
I had to work fast.
This one turned out not quite as thick and high textured as mine. It is really pretty.
Once your texture is all dry in the pattern you want - then paint it.
I used white wall paint all over and then sponged in beige and other neutral colors I had on hand to create a "tile" look - treating each tile individually and leaving the seam lines white.
Caulk the edges and along the counter top.
You can seal it with poly or lacquer once you are done.
NOTE: If you don't paint the Spackle texture and poly just the Spackle you will end up with a really bright yellow back splash...been there - done that. =/
Don't stress about imperfections because nobody gets that close to see any little flaws.
I love this treatment more than I thought I would. I can hang things from nails easily and when I take them out when I redecorate, I can patch the holes, no problem.
I could even repaint the whole thing if I change my style.
The wall gets wet behind my sink so I have had to caulk that area once or twice again since I applied this treatment over 6 years ago. (not bad actually)
My iron tray for hot pots is hung backwards here for easy access.
My friend hung a little word art on hers.
This project saved me about $600.
(I have never done tile so I was going to hire it out =/ )
Did I say hire it out? Oh, I don't do that - anymore!
A pretty cool and affordable back splash solution!