Create a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

In a few quick steps, turn a favorite photograph into a durable, hip kitchen backsplash.

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

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.

Prep Step for Creating a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

Make a Template for a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

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.

Sanding a wall to a smooth finish with a sanding block.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Prepping the Area With Spackle

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.

Cutting a vinyl photo with a utility knife for a kitchen backsplash.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Cutting Photo to Size for Backsplash Wall

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.

Wiping a kitchen wall to remove wallpaper paste from a vinyl photo.

Vinyl Photo Backsplash: Wiping Wallpaper Paste From Vinyl Photo

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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