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DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Hello friends! I am super excited to share this weeks project with you. Call me crazy if you like, but I painted the kitchen backsplash! If you follow me on Instagram you know I have been talking about doing this for a while now. I knew it was big decision and I definitely took my time considering it, weighing the pros and cons. But I finally took the plunge and went for it. Do I love it or hate it? Would I do it again? I am spilling all the details including why and how in today’s DIY painted kitchen backsplash. Are you ready?   

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Why I painted my kitchen backsplash 

Do I hate my backsplash. No. In fact, I was the one that chose it seven years ago. But it was starting to feel a little dated and if I were renovating the kitchen today I would have chosen something a bit more simple. Our granite counters are on the busy side, as was the backsplash, and I wanted to simplify the look a bit.  Changing the backsplash is more affordable than changing the countertops and replacing the tile is totally doable, but is more involved than paint. So I decided to give painting a try and worst case scenario we could replace the whole thing if we hated it. This is what it looked like when we started. 

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

DIY Painted Backsplash Supplies

Small Roller
Paint Tray
Paint Brush
Painters Tape

Step 1

Test the paint. Luckily we had some scrap tile leftover from when we originally installed the backsplash that I could test some different paint options on. This is not only a good way to see your color choices in larger scale, but a good test to see how well your paint will adhere to the tile. Our backsplash is a natural stone and very porous so the paint adhered very well. If your tile is ceramic, porcelain or glossy, I would suggest priming the tile first.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

I had three colors in mind, all of which I had on hand. A light option (SW Nuance), a medium option (SW Dorian Gray), and a dark option (SW Iron Ore).  All of these have been used somewhere else in our house and were a satin finish.

Step 2

Hold up the samples and see which one you like best. My gut instinct before I saw the colors on the tile sample was to go light. While I love all the colors, I decided I could always go darker if I wanted, but it would be harder to go lighter after painting it dark. So I chose Sherwin Williams Nuance to paint the backsplash. You may also remember this is the same color we used to paint the brick fireplace.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Step 3

Prep, aka clean. Kitchens get really dirty especially around the stove and painting over grease is never a good idea. So before you paint, I definitely recommend washing down the entire backsplash and any areas nearby to remove any residue. I used my go to Dawn dish soap and a sponge. I wiped down the backsplash and some of the cabinets that were in need of a cleaning. 

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Step 4

I am going to deviate for a minute, because we also decided now was a good time to repaint the walls and the ceiling. It has been my plan to repaint the kitchen ever since the One Room Challenge, but with the stairs, hallway and closet projects earlier this year, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Clearly this step will not apply to everyone, but I always find it easier to knock out all the painting at once especially if you need to paint the ceiling since it’s very difficult to do without painting the walls. As you can see, our ceiling definitely needed it!

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Once the ceiling was painted, I moved on to painting the walls.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

For the walls I used Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, which is the same color I used in the family room, living/dining room, and the downstairs hallway. To see video of the process, check out my kitchen Instagram story highlight.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Step 5

Paint the backsplash. I’m not going to lie, this part was a little nerve wracking because Barry was still on the fence. But I trusted my gut, and went for it. If this is something you are debating yourself, I would only do it if you fully understand your worst case scenario and think it is worth the risk.  A lot of folks on Instagram thought I was crazy and told me not to do it. You just have to be confident in your decision. I used a small roller and Sherwin Williams Nuance to paint the backsplash.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

For the tight spots around the cabinets, countertops and edges, I used a brush. NOTE: I rolled the majority of the backsplash with the roller first and then let it dry for a few hours and then came back and did the edging. You don’t want any of your paint to be tacky when you come back to do the edges or it will mess up the paint you have already applied. Trust me on this! I needed two full coats to cover my backsplash completely. You can see video of this process in my kitchen Instagram story highlight.

Step 6

This step is totally optional but one I really wanted to address. Years ago we had our cabinets painted which I do not regret one bit! BUT, the under side of the cabinets were not painted and it always drove me crazy. So I used this opportunity  to paint the under side of the cabinets as well.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Step 7

Once the paint is one hundred percent dry you can move everything back into your kitchen and enjoy!

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

Do I love it or hate it? 

So far, I love it! It simplifies the look in the kitchen and didn’t cost me a dime since I already had the paint. Will it hold up? I have no idea. Only time will tell. Yes it will get wiped down often, but it’s not like a floor that we would be walking on. That’s a whole different story and I wouldn’t advise anyone to paint their tile floor or shower without thoroughly researching the specialty paint options for those specifically.

Will we still replace the backsplash?  

I would imagine at some point we will, but for now I am a happy camper and have other projects to focus on. I see this as a short term fix, but we may change our minds down the road. 

Do I feel guilty about painting over something that was perfectly fine? 

I think most people get stuck on this one, but for me the answer is no. I have learned to accept that as time goes on, my style and tastes evolve and change. I am allowed to change my mind and want different things. Our home is always evolving and the longer we live here the more things will change. 

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

I am so glad I finally pulled the trigger on this project. It was an easy and affordable solution that completely changed the look of our kitchen! If you want to see all the behind the scenes and video from this project, check out my kitchen Instagram story highlight.

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

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DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

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DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash

This post, DIY Painted Kitchen Backsplash, appeared first on Garrison Street Design Studio.

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  1. This looks great and is a wonderful updated refresh on the tile. The effect is a backsplash with textural interest. I like it! And I like the gray paint. Our house came with busy granite counters and busy tiny tile backsplash. The backsplash was poorly installed, so maybe having a go at painting it wouldn’t hurt! And if it did, then I’d really be motivated to get a new backsplash. Win/win!

    1. Thank you so much Marsha! I also felt it was a low risk update, and you are correct, if it doesn’t work out, it’s extra motivation 🙂

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