How to Sponge Paint a Tile Backsplash

Sponge painting your pre-existing tiled backsplash can create a big pick-me-up for a kitchen in need of a change. Sponge painting using a mixture of colors can make your tile appear to have a stone or marbled appearance. It is one of the easiest ways to update old tile, and costs much less than replacing the tile all together. Different looks and textures can be achieved by adding or changing the colors as you move through the sponge painting process. A regular household sponge and some acrylic paint is all that you need to get started.

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Sponge Paint a Tile Backsplash
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Step 1

Wash down all of your tiles with a mild soap and water. Use a sponge to wash the tiles and be sure to remove any dirt and grime that will interfere with your painting. Allow the tiles to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2

Sand your entire tiled backsplash with fine-grit sandpaper. You will want to remove all of the sheen from your tiles in order for the paint to adhere well. You will also need to remove any dust leftover from the sanding before you begin to add paint to the tiled surface.

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Step 3

On a foam plate add a small amount of each of the paint colors that you have decided to use for your sponge painting. The foam plate works well for blending your colors and can be easily disposed of when your project is complete.

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Step 4

Dip your sponge into the paint, and allow it to absorb a small amount of all of the colors. Use another foam plate to lightly dab any excess paint from the sponge. The surface of the sponge should be completely covered with a mixture of all of the colors. They may even begin to blend into one another and this is preferable to create your effect on the tile.

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Step 5

Press the sponge against each of the tiles, adding paint to the sponge as necessary. Additional paint should also be added to your foam palette as needed. It is not necessary to worry about covering the grout with the paint. It will be removed in the next step. Allow the sponged paint to dry completely.

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Step 6

Carefully run a Philips head screwdriver over the grouted area of your tile. The screwdriver works great and is strong enough to remove paint and expose the grout. Continue this process until all of the paint is removed from all of the preexisting grout, giving a neat appearance.

Step 7

Add a layer of clear coat sealer over the entire sponge painted area. This will seal in the paint and make it more durable against scrapes and abrasions. It will also make the surface easier for cleaning later. Allow the area to dry thoroughly.