DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Subway tile is one of the most classic, beautiful tiles out there. We love how there are a ton of amazing options to choose from. You can choose from a variety of tile and grout colors and the possibilities for patterns are endless! I’m a renter and unfortunately, I’m not able to add a tile backsplash at our current rental home. However, I have been given the “go-ahead” to paint, so I’ve really had to get creative with paint to update the home and incorporate my own style into this otherwise cookie cutter home. I decided that painting a faux backsplash was the best way to get this look in a rental and on a budget. This entire project costs less than ten dollars and looks like a million bucks!

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Supplies:
-carpenter’s square
-pencil with eraser
-ruler (clear works best!)
(2-3) black paint pens
-subway tile or 3×6″ cardboard template
-touch-up paint

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Step One: Start at the top corner of the wall and place your carpenter’s square in a “V” position. This will allow you to create the perfect angle for your herringbone pattern. Using a piece of subway tile or cardboard template, begin tracing the outside of the template with a pencil to create the rectangle shape. Repeat, moving down vertically until you reach the bottom of your wall.

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Step Two: Start your next column of rectangles, this time going the other direction to create the “V” shape.

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Step Three: Alternate directions with each column creating the herringbone pattern. Erase mistakes as you go. The pattern can get a bit confusing, so just make sure you work in columns and alternate directions as you go. This will keep the pattern going the right way.
 DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! Step Four: Once you have your entire wall covered in the penciled pattern, begin going over the lines with your paint pen. Use a ruler as you go to ensure straight lines, especially on textured walls. Keep touch-up paint handy for mistakes or drips. Repeat until your whole wall is complete.

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! I’m super excited with how it turned out and we were able to complete this project in one afternoon. I love how the black paint looks like dark grout and taking the pattern all the way to the ceiling adds to the drama of it all.

DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial! DIY Herringbone Faux Backsplash - Click for tutorial!It would be really cool in a gold metallic too! It would be awesome behind a headboard, down a hallway or wherever! This was the last of many projects in my kitchen makeover, and I’m beyond excited that my kitchen is finally done! What do you think?  –Mallory & Savannah

Credits // Author and Photography: Mallory Nikolaus and Savannah Kokaliares. Photos edited with Celeste from The Fresh Collection.

  • I could not believe that it was actually traced on! At a glance it looks like the real thing!

  • Hi!

    I love how this looks!!do you have any other finished pictures or tutorials anywhere else that you share for this project?



  • I just did this yesterday during the blizzard! Thank you for sharing! Yours looks amazing, I love that you did the whole wall!

  • I love the idea. I wonder if there a narrow washi tape that could be used to create the faux grout lines. It might be easier to remove for renters.

  • Hey Andrea, try searching online for tile decals. You can cover those flowers easily!

  • You’re 100% right – this really would be amazing in gold metallic.

    Very interesting concept!

  • This looks totally awesome – I would love to see it in gold… or with certain rectangles picked out in a bright colour.
    Hannah x

  • Kind of a tangent… But we’re starting a kitchen remodel and we’re looking at a really similar layout. Does it work for you to have your back to the bar/counter when you’re at the stove? Just curious if you’re willing to share!

  • I really like this! Now i am thinking where i can do it…(although not sure i could ever do such a perfect job) I have never seen those paint pens before, the possibilities are endless! Thank you for sharing. x

  • I’m not a renter. I’m a landlord. And I would fine my tenants for wall damage if they did this.

    True story guys, pencil and marker DO NOT cover easily with house paint. It is visible, however slight, even through darker colours.

    I’m a little flabbergasted that you would do this and advise other renters to follow suit. It’s not that it doesn’t looks good – it does. But it is damaging and this would be very costly for me to repair when I was looking for new tenants.

    If you ever want to make a big change to a space that you don’t own, instead of finding strange work arounds, it might be worth it to talk to your landlord. I’ve paid for all supplies when my tenants want to make changes that I wouldn’t make on my own. But because it improves the space I’ve offered to pay for supplies / give them a rent reduction.

    • Thanks for the insight. I once did a Charlie Brown design in paint markers in my son’s room (owned the house), and it took primer and several coats of white paint to cover enough when we wanted to sell. Especially with black. Go with peel & stick.

  • Yep! Here it is-
    xx- Elsie

  • Looks great! I may have to try that in my kitchen as a stop-gap until we’re ready to tile.

    Also, it doesn’t look like you had this issue, but just in case someone runs into a problem with the paint pen bleeding under the ruler, tape a couple dimes/pennies/something to the back of the ruler so the edge isn’t flat against the wall. This will help prevent the paint from oozing under the edge. (this may not be an issue with paint pens and walls, but it’s a lifesaver with markers and vellum!)

  • Beautiful! I also adore the golden bar stools! So gorgeous!

    Alex | PinkElephantBlog

  • Such a neat idea!! the Rug is beautiful as well, I want one!
    Lucy xoxo

  • This is such a gorgeous idea! I love how it turned out! I don’t think I could ever have the patience to do that!


  • So simple, but it makes a huge impact. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar to one of our walls. Will this cover up nicely when being painted over? If you get a spill or something on the wall, does it wipe up nicely?

  • That’s so pretty and SO SIMPLE.
    I loved.
    And also, I loved the pink detail 🙂

  • I’m over the moon with this idea!!! I’m a renter too and I dream of doing big projects but this is awesome!!!

    ♥ Heather

  • I am so happy to see this post, because I followed Mallory and Savannah’s blog before as well, because I love their gold glam bathroom, so it is so cool to see them post here 🙂

  • Always making the loveliest stuff, love them!

  • Love this tutorial and I think I will be trying this soon! Could I get information on both of the light fixtures? They are awesome!

  • This is the neatest thing EVER! We’re military so we move constantly.. hate not being able to do projects as I please so I am definitely keeping this idea in my back pocket 🙂

  • Ha I definitely didn’t realize this was paint! Super cute idea.

    Kristina does the Internets

  • What a wonderful idea, I really like this pattern and it would be perfect for the kitchen or bathroom floor as well!

  • love it! so trendy and yet so different! thanks for sharing this fabulous diy. I love my metallic backsplash but def. keeping this in mind for my next kitchen. xx. gigi.

  • What an innovative idea! I love how you didn’t let rental restrictions keep you from achieving the look you wanted for your home. Thank you so much for sharing! XX


  • I think it looks great! I also think a pile of donuts under a cake dome would be gone in about 4 seconds.

  • Hi Andrea! I made the window valance and will be sharing a tutorial soon! 🙂

  • I love this! I also live in a rental and the kitchen is just downright hideous. My backsplash is square tiles; with a floral patterned one every few tiles. I’ve been racking my brain for the past year on how I can cover it.

  • This looks amazing! I just want to give a word of caution to others. Don’t use a regular Sharpie marker in place of a paint marker. Sharpie lines don’t cover well, even with several coats of primer. I know from experience! The lines just keep bleeding through. I haven’t tried covering with oil based primer before, so that might work, but most people don’t automatically reach for an oil based. Save yourself (or landlord, or future tenant) a lot of headache but sticking with the paint marker.

    • AWSOME job! I LOVE IT! My kitchen is so dark and dreary, I’m going to try this, I’m sure it will make my kitchen look AWSOME!

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