Faux Mosaic and Stone Tiles

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Our master bathroom was one of the last rooms in our house that I made over because I wanted to come up with something really great that I would enjoy looking at every morning, and I needed to find the time to do it.  Well I finally found the time and it was worth every minute I put into the transformation because it came out looking even better than I had hoped and I love seeing it every day!

When people see my bathroom walls they always want to feel them because at first glance they think it is real mosaic and stone tiles.  I was able to create a very expensive look on a very low budget!

The first step was to make a stencil for the mosaic border.  I used an exacto knife to cut it out of a sheet of plastic (actually it was a "dry-erase poster-board that I found at Hobby Lobby).

I used a level to draw a pencil line around the room at the height where I wanted the border to go. Next I taped on the stencil and troweled on a layer of joint drywall compound on top of the stencil and then removed the stencil, leaving behind the relief of the mosaic.  I rinsed off the stencil after every couple uses and worked my way around the room, creating the texture for the mosaic border.  When the joint compound was dry I lightly sanded the mosaic to remove the ridges.

To create the faux stone tile texture, I first drew the grout lines on the wall using a pencil and ruler, then I taped over them with 1/4" tape.  Once I had all the grout lines taped on I applied a rough skip-trowel texture over the entire area, removing the tape while the joint compound was still wet.  When it dried I lightly sanded it to knock off the ridges.

I also created a faux tile window frame above the bathtub using the same method.

I wanted to update our bathtub too so I primed the front side of it with oil-based primer and added the faux stone tiles there as well.

Next I applied the skip-trowel texture to the top part of the walls and once that was dried painted all of the walls a light mocha color of latex paint (eggshell finish).

To paint the mosaic, I first used a flat sponge brush to paint all the little "tiles" a creamy white color.  Then I used a small flat-tipped paintbrush to paint the pattern green (I used a few shades of green) and also added some different shades of cream/tan to the background tiles.  I painted the larger "tiles" on the top and bottom of the border with dark brown tones.

To paint the faux stone tiles, I used several brown-tone shades of acrylic paint mixed with latex glaze.  I would apply the paint to each tile with sponge brushes and use rags to wipe some off, then add more until it looked good enough for me.

For the upper-part of the walls, I used a dark brown latex glaze that I applied with a roller and then wiped off with a big flat sponge and rags, leaving an old-world appearance.

To complete my dreamy master bathroom I painted a mural of a peaceful pond above the bathtub.  I wanted it to look kind of faded like a fresco.

Once it was all dry I applied a clear latex sealant so all of my hard work would be protected from water damage.

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Comments

  1. You are so amazingly talented, Kate! I’m in awe of your work every time you post pictures. The bathroom looks wonderful.

  2. Jennifer Bunting says:

    Carrie stole my word. AMAZING! If I watch William, will you come to my house??

  3. That seriously is amazing! You are so talented!
    Lisa from Over the Big Moon

  4. wow-that’s amazing! and what a great space!

  5. Kate… this bathroom is amazing! I know it must have taken alot of time and patience!! It’s beautiful! I plan to share it on my facebook page!

    Kendra
    @ Creative Ambitions

  6. Just incredible. It must have taken you so long to do What a beautiful mural.

  7. One word. Wow.

  8. LOVE your BR!!! Do you mind if I post a pic of this to my Pinterest? I wanted to ask your permission first- It would link back to your blog of course. And is the mural painted on “blank tiles” – My heck you are so talented!!! Would you consider doing a similar piece by commission if they wanted it for their own dream bathroom? I have not seen any I drooled over as much as this….AMAZINGLY Beautiful!!!

    • Thanks so much! Yes, please feel free to post it to your Pinterest. The mural is just painted on the wall and I textured/painted the tiles around it to frame it. I used to do this type of work for other people but now I have stopped doing it so I can be a stay-at-home-mom!

  9. Kate how hard was it to to the bathroom…I love doing faux finished and love to stencil but have never tried this…I just wondered how hard it was to make the stencil…I have never made a stencil before I normally always just buy mine. I am considering trying this in my bathroom but am wondering if I am going to be going in over my head. Can you explain to me the skip towel texture…how exactly did you do this? thanks Kimberly

    • It was very time consuming. If I was charging for the time it took me to do the work, it might have been cheaper (or about the same) to just use real tiles! Since I did it all myself it cost MUCH less than using real tiles. The stencil was not hard to make but all the stenciling, measuring, taping, texturing, and painting just take a long time. To make the stencil I drew the swirly vine pattern on a piece of paper, set it under the stencil paper (so I could see the design through the stencil paper) and first cut the square tiles along the pattern. Then I filled in the background with square tiles. I’ll try to do a tutorial soon on textured stencils and skip trowel texture for more specific instructions. For the skip trowel texture, it is kind of like icing a cake. You put some mud on the trowel and smear it on the wall, then use the trowel to smear it around, creating texture by dragging the trowel over the wet mud. It’s best to practice on a board first so you can get used to the hand movement but once you get it down you can go pretty fast. Hope that helps:)

      • I love it Kate and hope to attempt it as soon as I am done with my kitchen project. I would love to see a tutorial on the textured stencil and skip towel texture. How many different colors do you have in the tiles? Did you first paint everything with a base coat for the grout color in between the tiles. I am also confused on how you taped it up? Do you have any pictures of the wall taped up so I can get an idea. I am excited to try this. thanks for all your help and for your response.
        Kimberly

      • One more thing Kate what kind of tape did you use? I did my sons room a cars room with the bottom half black and white checkered…measured off entire bottom by hand and taped up…took forever too to just get measurements right. I used the blue painters tape for that.
        sorry for all the questions just need to figure all of this out so I can copy your wonderful bathroom. lol. I just LOVE it. thanks again.:)

      • I used a yard stick to measure the grout lines and first drew them on lightly with pencil. Then I taped over the pencil lines with 1/4″ painters tape (sorry I don’t have any pictures of that). After texturing, I painted the entire wall with a “mocha” colored base coat that is exposed in the grout lines. I think I used about 4 colors of acrylic paint (folkart brand- I know I used some butter pecan and some camel). Hope that helps!

  10. This is EXACTLY what I am planning to do with my kitchen in our 230 year old house. :) Thanks for the visual display and walk through. That is helping me QUITE a lot to set steps in my head as to actual execution. ::thumbs up::

  11. I wish my bathroom was larger so I could try this. I can’t believe how beautiful you have made this bathroom. Thank you

  12. This is amazing. I would definitely love to see a step-by-step tutorial on this! I am following you via linky follower.

  13. I was looking at this last year! I don’t think I have the time to do this just now, maybe when the kids are older. But I was trying to explain it to my oldest a few days ago, and just found it again. Looking forward to showing it to her. She is more artsy fartsy than I am. :)

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