Make Your Own: Painted Mexican “Tile”

Being a third generation Mexican-American, I try to keep my culture alive at home by filling it with things that I love and that possess the spirit of Mexico. Something that is specific to our culture and beautifully functional all at the same time is Mexican tile. I’ve always loved the look of Saltillo and Talavera tile but I’ve never had the time or the budget to install it in my home.

I’ve had this idea of creating my own Mexican “tile” using a stenciled pattern and paint for years now, after reading an article in Better Homes & Gardens. I tore out the pages and put it in my idea folder (this was before Pinterest, ya’ll), knowing one day I would make it happen. Working with Sherwin-Williams Latino, I finally accomplished it! You can read the original post (in Spanish) here.

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I decided to start small and paint the stair risers in my front porch. It was a good place to experiment and I knew it would provide the most impact since it’s the first thing you see when you enter my home. The plan was to create this tile using paint, which has the power to transform any space, especially this set of plain concrete steps.


All I needed to do was choose my color palette.

That was a feat unto itself since Sherwin-Williams carries such a vast amount of options. I decided to go with the Duration Home Interior Acrylic Latex paint because it has stain blocking technology, goes on smoothly and is ideal for high traffic areas. I chose interior paint because my porch is covered and my stairs aren’t subjected to the elements. I settled on these five colors:

My husband Michael helped me with this project, and together we settled on a design we both liked. One way to keep the layout simple is to choose geometric designs, which can be easily achieved using blue painter’s tape. A stencil works great, too. My husband is an artist and a sign-painter, so he tends to get extra fancy with these things. I wanted to keep it simple so we had fun coming up with a unique design all our own.

First, we made a stencil pattern to help us with the layout. Then, we painted a coat of Dover White to buff and prime the area. Then we pounced the layout.

We used a “pounce” pattern that is commonly used by sign painters.

We painted two coats of paint on each section, to give it solid coverage. I really loved the colors I chose together.

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My hubby has awesome painting skills — even while laying on his stomach in the middle of our front porch.

I loved how our tile came out but it was still missing something. To give our painted Mexican tile a little something extra, I decided to incorporate Crafty Chica Day of the Dead Papers. They come in several different colorful images and designs, and I really liked the tile patterns. So fun and so easy!

This is exactly what we needed to give our project an authentic Mexican tile look.

I cut out a piece of the patterned paper to add to one of my tile squares. I then used a decoupage glue like Mod Podge (in gloss) on both the front and back of the paper design and glued it directly on top of the concrete. The good thing about the decoupage glue is it also acts as a sealer, so the papers won’t curl or peel off.

Matte or Satin Mod Podge would work well, too.

I love how my painted Mexican tile turned out! It definitely has the look and feel of real tile.

Each pattern is different and unique.

All I need to do is add a few more potted plants and maybe a new welcome mat and my porch is set to welcome my friends and loved ones for the holidays.

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Disclosure: This is not sponsored. The original post is in Spanish on the Sherwin-Williams Latino blog. All opinions are mine.

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There are 3 comments

  1. Erin

    This looks really awesome. My wedding invitations are a talavera tile theme and I am looking at inspiration for wedding decorations. I love these!

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