Create a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

In a few quick steps, turn a favorite photograph into a durable, hip kitchen backsplash.
Sleek Contemporary Kitchen With Photo Backsplash

Sleek Contemporary Kitchen With Photo Backsplash

Brian Patrick Flynn designed this modern kitchen with gray high-gloss cabinetry and a cutting edge backsplash made from a black-and-white photo. Orange accents brighten the monochromatic palette.

Materials Needed:

  • favorite photograph
  • high-resolution scanner
  • local digital printer
  • gallon of wall-covering primer
  • wallpaper paste
  • spackle and putty knife
  • sanding block
  • wallpaper smoothing tool
  • roll of contractor paper
  • long, flat prep surface
  • roller handle and cover
  • paint pan and liner
  • bucket
  • dishwashing soap
  • sponge
  • hot water
  • tape measure
  • painters' tape
  • spirit level
  • drop cloth
  • pencil

Get Video Pointers for This Project

Photo Backsplash in Kitchen 03:08

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn shares a creative kitchen backsplash idea.

Choose Proper Image

Edit photo collection down to subjects with clean, graphic lines with complementary shape, scale and proportion to backsplash. Once image is selected, determine if it is high-resolution or low-resolution. If image is low-resolution, request a high-resolution scan at local photo processing lab. To have image printed on vinyl, contact a local digital printer. Have photo printed onto laminated, UV-resistant vinyl based on the dimensions of backsplash wall.

Make a Template

Unroll contractor paper, cut to length of backsplash wall. Tape paper to wall, trace parameters of cabinets and countertops to paper, then cut to size with utility knife. Remove paper from wall and roll up template.

Make a Template for a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

Make a Template for a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

After creating a vinyl photo, Step 1 in creating the backsplash for the kitchen is to unroll contractor paper and cut it to the length of backsplash wall. Tape the paper to the wall. Then, trace the parameters of the cabinets and the countertops to the paper and cut to size with a utility knife. Finally, remove the paper from the wall and roll up the template.

Prep Backsplash Area

Protect countertops and kitchen floor with drop cloth. Use putty knife to fill holes or dents in wall with spackle. Allow time to dry, then sand smooth with sanding block. Wipe dust from wall with a damp sponge that's been dipped in hot, soapy water. Pour wall-covering primer into paint pan liner, attach roller to handle and cover backsplash area with a coat of wall-covering primer.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Prepping the Area With Spackle

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Prepping the Area With Spackle

Step 2 in creating a vinyl photo backsplash is the prep. Protect countertops and the kitchen floor with a drop cloth. Use putty knife to fill holes or dents in the wall with spackle. Allow for drying time and then sand the wall smooth with a sanding block. Wipe any dust from the wall with a damp sponge that's been dipped in hot, soapy water. Finally, pour a wall-covering primer into a paint pan liner, attach the roller to its handle and cover the backsplash area with a coat of wall-covering primer.

Cut Vinyl to Size

Lay vinyl out on long, flat surface with printed image upside down. Place template on top of vinyl, trace lines with pencil. Use utility knife to cut vinyl along penciled line.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Cutting Photo to Size for Backsplash Wall

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Cutting Photo to Size for Backsplash Wall

Step 3 in creating a vinyl photo backsplash is to lay vinyl out on long, flat surface with printed image upside down. Place the template on top of the vinyl and trace outline with a pencil. Use utility knife to cut the vinyl along the penciled line.

Adhere Photo Backsplash

Perform a dry fit by placing vinyl against wall, assuring the correct size and shape. Remove vinyl and pour wallpaper paste into paint pan liner. Attach roller to handle and apply paste to wall. After five to 10 minutes, press vinyl against wall, smooth out air bubbles with a smoothing tool and cut away excess vinyl with utility knife.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Wiping Wallpaper Paste From Vinyl Photo

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Wiping Wallpaper Paste From Vinyl Photo

Step 4 in creating a vinyl photo backsplash is to perform a dry fit by placing the vinyl photo against wall, assuring its correct size and shape. Remove the vinyl and pour wallpaper paste into paint pan liner. Attach a roller to a handle and apply paste to the wall. After five to 10 minutes, press vinyl against wall, smooth out air bubbles with a smoothing tool and cut away excess vinyl with utility knife. Finally, fill a bucket with hot, soapy water. Dip the sponge in the bucket, then fully wipe all the wallpaper paste residue from the front of the vinyl. Repeat three or four times until the surface is clean.

Proper Cleanup

Fill bucket with hot, soapy water. Dip sponge in bucket then fully wipe all wallpaper paste residue from front of vinyl. Repeat three or four times until surface is clean.

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