Painting Kitchen Backsplashes

Find out everything you need to know about painting your kitchen backsplash, plus our favorite techniques to inspire your next DIY project.

March 09, 2022
Striking country style blue kitchen with reclaimed wood floors.

Striking Country Style Blue Kitchen With Reclaimed Wood Floors

The old kitchen was expanded and redesigned to feature Shaker-inspired cabinets, beadboard walls and a worktable. The white, vintage AGA range was purchased online and driven back to Pound Ridge from Montana. The counters are Arabescato marble and the space opens up into the dining room.

Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to update your home. In the kitchen, a few cans of paint works wonders on walls, cabinets, kitchen island, table, chairs and even your backsplash.

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You can paint your kitchen backsplash a solid color for a polished look, use a stencil for some one-of-a-kind flair or even create the look of faux tiles using a paint pen and laser level.

Below, get the scoop on our favorite ways to paint a kitchen backsplash and check out our easy-to-follow DIY tutorials.

Choosing a Backsplash Color

Coastal Kitchen With Shiplap

Nautical Nickel Gap

Nickel gap creates a timeless backsplash against the walnut butcher block counters. Using nickel gap on the oven hood adds custom style and draws the eye up to keep the room feeling bright and open.

Photo by: Robert Peterson, Rustic White

Robert Peterson, Rustic White

The first step to painting your kitchen backsplash? Determining the perfect paint color, of course! There are, quite literally, endless shades to choose from, so we advise you to consider the existing colors in the room (think: cabinet, floors, doors) before making your final selection.

Pro tip: Contrast is your best friend. If your kitchen has dark, moody cabinets, choose an airier shade for your backsplash to lift the space and keep the room from feeling too heavy. If you have white or light-colored cabinets, a saturated, vibrant or shadowy paint color will keep the kitchen design grounded and balanced. The best part? Painting your kitchen backsplash is easy and inexpensive, so you have the green light to go ahead and have some fun. Plus, if you hate the results, you can paint over it and start fresh with a new hue.

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Stenciling a Kitchen Backsplash

Light and Bright Kitchen Colors

Light and Bright Kitchen Colors

White-washed porcelain tile floors keep the space feeling bright and open, and play off the white counters and two-tone custom cabinets. Using navy blue cabinets on the lower section keeps the kitchen feeling grounded and adds a dash of color to the space that feels young and modern.

A simple, solid color can work on a kitchen backsplash, but playing it safe may feel lackluster over time. If you want to lean into your inner drama queen (we fully support!), try stenciling a custom design on your backsplash.

An easy and affordable way to update a room, applying stencils to existing tiles can also create a striking backsplash. They're also much less permanent and pricey than replacing your existing tiles, and you can easily paint over the results when you're ready for something new.

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Painting Faux Tiles

White Kitchen With Blue-Gray Range Hood

Blue-Gray Range Hood Adds Color to White Kitchen

This white kitchen gets some color and personality thanks to a blue-gray range hood. Herringbone-pattern white tile makes up the backsplash, adding texture to the room.

Photo by: Chad Mellon Photography

Chad Mellon Photography

If you love the look of tile, but prefer to use paint on your backsplash, you can create faux tiles with paint. This can be a tedious process, but the results are worth it. Using the tape to create different sized "tiles," you can mimic several different materials, from glass to stone. If you'd like to incorporate various colors into your backsplash, this technique is the way to go.

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Painting Existing Tiles

open-concept kitchen with black range hood

Chic Black Range Hood in Kitchen

Instead of using subway tile as a backsplash, the designers chose to paint a brick wall white. In turn, they achieved the same overall look, but with a little extra character and charm. When layered with a black range hood and sconces, the space feels clean and modern.

Photo by: Lindsay Salazar

Lindsay Salazar

Revive your outdated tile backsplash with a fresh coat of paint. This budget-friendly makeover promises to revive your kitchen design in a weekend or less — without draining your bank account in the process. Our secret to creating a clean, cohesive painted tile backsplash is to paint the tile and the grout one solid hue. This technique is more forgiving and much less time-consuming than trying to tape off each grout line before painting.

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How to Paint a Tile Backsplash

Give your kitchen a facelift this weekend with a little elbow grease, some 220-grit and a lot of epoxy paint. Find out how to paint a tile backsplash with this step-by-step guide and shop everything you need to get started from our comprehensive materials list.

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Paint a Chalkboard Backsplash

Chalkboard Kitchen Backsplash

Playful and Practical

Chalkboard paint was used by the entrance to the pantry, to create a handy message center with storage cabinet above tucked away from the rest of the kitchen. Open slots by the upper cabinet allow storage for cookbooks and other kitchen essentials.

Photo by: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

You can also use chalkboard paint to create a unique backsplash in your kitchen. The classic black chalkboard color works well with white or light-colored cabinets, while a lighter shade is recommended for dark cabinets. A chalkboard backsplash will provide a canvas where you can write down grocery lists, recipes or special notes for your family. Easy to wipe clean, chalkboard paint works well in a space where there tends to be grease and spattered food.

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How to Create a Chalkboard Kitchen Backsplash

A drywall kitchen backsplash doesn't have to be boring. In just an afternoon you can transform it with chalkboard paint and a little trim. This inexpensive project packs a powerful visual punch and makes any kitchen chore more fun.

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Hand-Painted Wallpaper Backsplash

DP_O-Interior-Design-white-kitchen-with-blue-green-accents_s4x3

DP_O-Interior-Design-white-kitchen-with-blue-green-accents_s4x3

Photo by: Andrea Schumacher

Andrea Schumacher

Make a (removable) statement with a hand-painted wallpaper mural backsplash. Apply peel-and-stick wallpaper to your kitchen walls, then put your artistic skills to work creating a one-of-a-kind display. Above, interior designer Andrea Schumacher wraps the otherwise classic kitchen with a hand-painted flowering vine wallpaper, rich with color and whimsical flair.

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