Sometimes all it takes is a backsplash to give your kitchen new life. If you currently do not have tile above your counter-tops, adding a backsplash may seem impossible to do on your own and can be expensive when hiring a professional. We love the look of painted brick. We’re not bricklayers, but was that going to stop us? Faux way! This project does take a few days (for drying purposes) but the results will give your kitchen an updated style with old world charm at an old world price. The “brick” (joint compound) will cost you less than $15!
1 inch blue painters tape
4.5 Gallons of All Purpose Pre-Mixed Joint Compound
4-Inch Plastic Mud Pan
12″ Taping Knife
Paint Roller & Masonry Paint Roller Cover
To create 3 x 8 inch “bricks” using painters tape, cut one inch painters tape in half to create the 1/2 inch space for the “mortar”. Place a strip of the now 1/2 inch strip along the bottom of the “backsplash” wall where the wall meets the counter top. Next, measure up 3.5 inches (1/2 inch of this will include the “mortar” line which will be between the first row of bricks and the counter top) from the counter top and make a mark. For the next row, measure and mark 3 inches from the top of the first line of tape and place this strip of tape along the width of the wall above the first row. Repeat measuring and taping. If your backsplash is 14 inches in height there will be 4 rows of brick with 1/2 inch “mortar” areas between them. You may want to adjust the width of your brick depending out the distance between your counter top and cabinets so each “brick” is equal. Next, you’ll then want to measure every 8 inches horizontally and place a strip of tape vertically to make the “brick”. Overlapping the vertical strip onto the horizontal strip will make the tape and joint compound removal easier later on.
Make sure to stagger the “bricks”. See picture below for a reference.
Next, pour joint compound into mud pan. Use your 12 inch taping knife to spread approximately a 1/8 inch layer of the joint compound over the entire “backsplash” wall including the blue painters tape. Wait approximately 2-4 hours for the joint compound to slightly harden.
Do not allow the joint compound to completely dry!! Carefully peel away the blue painters tape. Attention to dry times are only important when the tape is on the wall. If the joint compound is allowed to dry completely with the tape underneath then the tape will not come away from the wall and there will be no mortar line. Once the tape is removed, allow the joint compound to completely dry.
Re-tape the “mortar” seams. It’s easier this time because no measuring is required! Repeat with another coat of joint compound. The second application of joint compound will give the bricks a thicker appearance in relation to the “mortar”. Allow to dry for 2-4 hours and peel off the tape.
Once the second taping has been removed allow the joint compound to completely harden. It may take at least 24 hours. At this point you are not under any time constraints regarding tape and dry times. You can continue on or finish later. Once dry, use fine sandpaper to gently smooth rough edges and imperfections.
To give the bricks texture, roll joint compound with a “masonry” paint roller cover.
Gently roll the joint compound on to “bricks” and “mortar”. Continue to spread the joint compound with the roller until the “bricks” are the right texture.
Run your finger in the “mortar” seams to give the mortar a smooth appearance.
Let the final coat of the joint compound dry before painting with two coats of semi-gloss latex paint. The paint will soften the texture of the bricks and will also soften the mortar lines. And there you have it! A beautiful exposed brick back splash!