My recent trip to San Antonio made me fall in love with Spanish tile and architecture even more than before. Up close and personal to beautiful buildings and artwork and standing on top of hundred-year-old tiles with their gorgeous worn patina made me craving some of that charm and character in my own home. As I've said before though, this isn't my forever house and I don't know if the next home owner is going to love my style. I wanted to tile something...the fireplace, the bathroom walls, the kitchen back splash...with the amazing beauty of the Spanish tile, but it couldn't be permanent. The budget factor was a component too of course (my motto is beautiful spaces on a budget) and so real tiles, mastic, grout, sealer, etc. didn't really fit with a low-cost project. Tile-look wallpaper can be expensive too. Then it hit me...STENCILING! Growing up, my mom had stenciled every room in our house. But omg...stencils have changed since then! No more ivy and roses.
I found the MOST AMAZING stencil website I've ever seen: Royal Design Studio. Tribal, modern, wallpaper-looks, cheetah spots...the list goes on and on. And they are fantastic too for telling you step by step how to achieve the look you're going for using certain paints, products and techniques.
Though it was a hard decision, I ended up choosing the Spanish Tile Set. It arrived quickly and the directions were so straight forward. I absolutely suggest that you check out their videos and instructional downloads for your project. It was really helpful and also gave me hundreds of new ideas for things I want to stencil!
Since I had not stenciled before, I decided on a small area to tackle first. The front of my kitchen island is drywall so I thought it could be a great place to add a little interest and character. Here is the BEFORE picture.
The first step was to choose the background color of the "tiles". I chose a warm white called "Alabaster" by Sherwin Williams. After finding the exact center of my wall from top to bottom and left to right, I taped up the first stencil with painters tape. I chose a dark charcoal chalk paint as the stencil color and used a foam roller heavily off-loaded onto a paper towel prior to rollering it onto the stencil. This method was SOOO easy. You just need to make sure that you have very little paint on the roller so that it won't seep under the stencil. I applied it heavier in some areas and lighter in other to mimic that aged patina I saw on true Spanish tiles. There was so rhyme or reason to the order I put the tiles in...I just made sure to mix it up a little here and there and to place some of the same ones directly next to each other to create an even larger pattern.
And here is the end result! My last step was to use an antique wax (sold right near the chalk paints at Michael's or other craft stores) that I applied using a brush then wiping it off immediately with a lint-free towel. This made the tiles have some depth and texture to them and also helped me achieve that aged look.
Two great things: 1) This project total cost was about $50. 2) If I get bored of this or a new owner may not like it one day, it is easily painted over!
What do you guys think?! I'm in love with it and I can't wait to stencil something else!