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Create a Vinyl Photo Backsplash

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

Brian Patrick Flynn, Decor Demon
Modern Kitchen With Photo 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.

Vinyl Wallpaper Backsplash Step 3

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 Wallpaper Backsplash Step 4

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 Wallpaper Backsplash Step 5

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 Wallpaper Backsplash Step 6

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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