If you want to switch up your kitchen backsplash, but don’t want to deal with the cost or labor of replacing it, why not try painting your kitchen tile backsplash instead? It may sound crazy, but it’s a simple & affordable solution that can last for years or just until you’re ready to replace it for good.
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When we moved into new home last year, I noticed all the potential it had. The owners had taken great care of the home and they even updated the kitchen. I loved the tall ceilings, the shaker style cabinets and the overall layout, but I found the backsplash pattern & color too busy & brown for my liking. Since it mimicked the look and staggered pattern of subway tile, I started thinking what it would look like if I painted it white.
Since I had just transformed our stone fireplace surround from dingy yellow color to bright white using only primer, I thought I could do the same with my backsplash. So… that’s just what I did! While this was no means a long term solution for us (evidenced by the fact that I never caulked the seam where the counter meets the backsplash or applied a sealer), it was been the perfect quick fix to brighten & update the space. If you want your painted tile backsplash to last for years, make sure you use a compatible & quality sealer on top.
Here’s what you’ll need to paint your kitchen tile backsplash:
- Krud Kutter or TSP
- Zinsser BIN Primer (White Color)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Frog Tape 1.88″
- Foam Paint Roller (Fine Finish)
- Small Paintbrush
- White silicone caulk
Here’s how I painted our kitchen tile backsplash:
- Prep work is everything. Clean, clean & clean so that no dirt, grease or residue remains. Wipe everything down with a little bit of Krud Kutter and then go back with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to make sure everything is squeaky clean & bone dry.
- Remove and label any outlets covers. Now’s the time to clean them, too.
- Tape off the base of your tile where it meets your countertop. Use a 1.88″ width tape so you can roll as close to the edge without worrying that you’ll ruin your countertops. See the image below. I started with 1″ painter’s tape and had to hand paint the bottom area because the roller was thicker than 1″, but then I went back with the wider tape.
- Pour some of your *white* primer into a paint tray with foil (makes for easy clean-up) and start painting. Apply one coat and let it dry fully.
- Apply a second coat once you have allowed the first coat to dry fully. I needed at least 2 coats for my tiles for an opaque white. Use a small paintbrush to work primer into any nooks & crannies in the grout that the roller can’t reach.
- The last step is the caulk the area where the counter top meets the tile backsplash. Simply run a thin bead of white caulk in the seam, then use your finger to smooth down the bead (this is called “tooling” apparently) and make sure to wipe your finger on a rag and use acetone to remove any leftover caulk.
Here’s what it looked like once it was complete, but before we tackled painting our kitchen cabinets.
And here is the final outcome after painting our tile backsplash, painting our kitchen cabinets & adding faux shiplap to the island. Our kitchen has undergone quite the makeover without spending a ton of money. Paint has the power to transform a space in an instant!