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Painting Tile Backsplash: Bye-bye Ugly Kitchen Tiles

We are really excited to share our latest DIY project with you today. We think it will be very helpful to anyone considering a kitchen remodel or a simple kitchen makeover. Painting tile backsplash is a great option for anyone that is on a budget or on a time constraint or both.

Tips and tricks for painting tile backsplash in the kitchen

Painting Tile Backsplash

When it came to our coastal cottage kitchen renovation plans, we were pretty torn on what to do with the backsplash. Hands down, we knew the existing tiles wouldn’t work with our new coastal cottage kitchen design ideas: the fruit and vegetable decals throughout the backsplash was not exactly the calming beach feel we were going for. However, we didn’t have it in our budget and timeline to completely replace the existing tile.

On goes the light bulb: let’s try a painted tile backsplash instead. Now that all the work was done, we are very pleased with the final cottage kitchen design. You can also see how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding, which can also have huge savings on an overall  kitchen remodeling budget.

how to paint tile

There are numerous reasons why this would make the best option, here are just a few benefits to painting tile backsplash:

  • Skip the mess – no need to painstakingly remove existing tiles with a tile chipper or hammer and chisel
  • Cost – removing existing tile, re-dry walling damaged areas, mudding and finally adding new tile and grout is very labour intensive which adds to cost. Not to mention the added cost of purchasing tile that ranges for different types.
  • Time – all the steps to removing and replacing existing tile backsplash is tedious and time consuming. Depending on the size of your kitchen, re-tiling could add weeks to a kitchen remodel.
  • Minimal skill needed – unlike tiling, painting tile backsplash is quite simple. Continue reading for the full how-to instructions.

Materials Needed to Paint a Ceramic Tile Backsplash:

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How-to Paint Tile Backsplash:

Clear off the kitchen countertop and cover with a drop sheet to protect the surface if you plan to keep the counters. In our case, we were planning to replace them so we left them uncovered and unscrewed them from the lower cabinets.

Thoroughly clean the tiled back splash using a degreaser and a cloth or rag. Scrub the tile surfaces and in the grout lines for a proper cleaning. Leave the backsplash to dry fully after cleaning before painting. In our case, we left it to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

painting tile backsplash

In some areas that the grease was not removed well, we found the primer and paint did not adhere well. So although this step may seem tedious, it is extremely important. Take the time to clean off the surface, use a scrub if necessary to remove all grease especially in and around the stove area.

Apply a good coat of primer using a paint brush for all the grout lines and any decals in the tile.

painting tile backsplash

Using a small roller, apply the primer to the entire ceramic tile surface of the backsplash. Depending on the color and texture of existing back splash, a second coat of primer might be needed. If so, repeat with another application of primer. Leave the backsplash to dry fully between primer coats and before switching to the next step: applying the paint.

Once dry, begin to apply the surface paint the same way as you applied the primer: paint brush for grout lines and roller for the entire surface.

painting tile backsplash

Repeat as necessary until you achieve your desired coverage. In our case, we applied two coats of surface paint with one coat of primer.

painting tile backsplash

We are pretty amazed at the difference it made with the overall look of the kitchen renovation. The painted backsplash looks beautiful with the new painted kitchen cabinets and new quartz countertop, don’t you think?

painting tile backsplash

The Before

The after

Over the next few months we’ll monitor and share how well the painted backsplash holds up.

Newly renovated modern coastal kitchen with two-tone cabinets

I will most likely do this option for my home kitchen as well when I go to update the existing cabinets, flooring and backsplash. There are so many beautiful tiles available that it can be very tempting to want to replace the tile. And chances are if it were in our budget and timeline, we would have chosen this fish scale tile* for our coastal cottage kitchen renovation. But for now, we are very happy to have kept our existing tile backsplash and updated the look simply with a few coats of paint.

Are you considering a kitchen makeover?

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Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Easy to do nice job doing this one, Thanks for sharing this informative article.

Naomi Franco

Thursday 12th of September 2019

How has the paint held up?

Ariana Gomez

Saturday 2nd of February 2019

Woah, Your ideas are really inspiring, but I am having quartz tiles on my walls of the kitchen so would you let me know if we can paint quartz tiles too?

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