fbpx Skip to Content

Transform Your Kitchen by Painting Backsplash Tile

Are you looking to update your kitchen tile backsplash without spending a fortune? DIY painting backsplash tile is a very easy and cost-effective way to transform your kitchen!

This project is beginner-friendly and relatively mess-free, making it a great DIY project for anyone who wants to exercise their creativity while updating their kitchen.

Keep reading to learn all about painting backsplash tile, from preparing the site by cleaning and sanding to repairing broken tiles and taping things off.

painting backsplash tile

Why Paint Backsplash Tile?

Painting backsplash tile is the easiest and cheapest way to update your kitchen effectively at your own pace. Backsplash tiles are easier to paint than floor or shower tiles and are less likely to chip or peel.

Painting your backsplash tile allows you to skip the mess of replacing the tiles, avoiding the need to remove your existing backsplash with a tile chipper tool or a hammer and a chisel.

This is a more cost-effective and faster method of transforming your kitchen since it can get expensive to remove the backsplash tile, repair damaged tiles, and add new tiles and grout.

Supplies and Equipment

There are a few supplies you’ll need to have on hand before you begin painting your backsplash tile. These supplies include a drop clothsandpaperpainter’s tapefoam paint rollerspaint brushes, and a tray for the paint.

You’ll also need trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP cleaner, gloves, a tile-specific paint formulaacrylic caulkprimer, and a putty knife to prepare the site for painting. For the best results, make sure you use epoxy or tile paint when painting your backsplash tile, which will prevent it from chipping in the future.

Preparing Your Backsplash Tiles

The most important part of this process is properly preparing the site for you to paint the backsplash tile. Your diligence in following the steps to prepare your backsplash tiles will impact the longevity of your finished product.

Clean Kitchen Tile

The first step is to clean the kitchen backsplash tile very thoroughly. The paint will not adhere properly if there is any grease or residue left behind on the tile.

Using trisodium phosphate cleaner, scrub every inch of the backsplash tile thoroughly, including the grout lines. For the best results, allow the tile to dry for 24 to 48 hours after cleaning before taking any further steps.

Repair Broken Tiles

You’ll want to repair any broken tiles before you begin preparing the surface for painting. Check your backsplash tile carefully for any signs of fractures or chipped corners.

Using a putty knife, apply acrylic caulk to any cracks to repair the imperfections. Make sure to use acrylic caulk specifically because silicone-based caulk isn’t paint-friendly and isn’t as easy to manipulate.

Sand Backsplash Tile

The next step in the process of painting backsplash tile is to sand the surface area of the tile. You can use either 220-grit sandpaper to do this, or you can use a sanding machine.

Sanding is an important step because it smooths out any caulk from repaired tiles and scrubs away the existing topcoat, which is necessary to create a paint-gripping surface. After you’ve sanded the surface area, you’ll need to clean it with a wet cloth to remove dust and prepare the surface for primer.

Tape Countertops/Shield Surfaces

You should also protect any surfaces you don’t want to paint, including the countertops, cupboards, and floors, to prevent paint dripping or splattering.

Use an all-purpose canvas drop cloth to protect the floors and surfaces of your countertops from being damaged by paint. Using painter’s tape, frame the border of the backsplash to protect the area from splattering paint.

painting backsplash tile

Painting Backsplash Tile

Once you’ve got the area prepared and taped off, you’re ready to get started painting your backsplash tile!


After preparing, sanding, and cleaning the surface of your backsplash tiles, it’s time to apply primer to the surface.

First, use a small paintbrush to apply a coat of acrylic primer to the grout lines of the tiles, in addition to any engravings in the tile. Next, switch to a small roller to apply the primer to the rest of the backsplash tile surface.

Make sure to let the first coat of primer dry before adding another coat. Don’t apply any paint unless the surface is fully dry.

Epoxy Paint

Now for the best part of the DIY transformation process of painting backsplash tile: applying the paint!

It’s crucial to use a tile-specific paint formulation for painting kitchen backsplash tiles. Epoxy paint is the best option for painting tile, considering the formula of epoxy will keep your backsplash tile from chipping in the future.

Tile-specific paint formulations are made to withstand the wear and tear associated with a high-traffic area like the kitchen.

Use a foam roller to apply the epoxy paint in even layers, allowing plenty of time for drying between coats of paint until you reach the finish you want. Use a paintbrush to apply a coat of paint to the grout lines until you have full coverage, allowing time for the paint to dry between each coat.

Apply Topcoat

Let the painted tile dry completely, and then you’re ready to seal your new kitchen backsplash using a topcoat!

First, you’ll need to select the finish you want for your backsplash tile. If you’re looking for a surface with a bit of sheen, opt for a topcoat with a satin finish, but if you want a high-gloss look, opt for the gloss or semi-gloss options for the topcoat.

To apply the topcoat, use a paintbrush to lightly brush the topcoat onto the surface, allowing each coat to dry before repeating the process.

painting backsplash tile

Time to Paint Your Backsplash Tile

Now, you’re ready to tackle transforming your kitchen by painting your backsplash tile on your own time! This affordable and fun DIY project is great for anyone on a budget.

For more DIY painting tips to liven up the interior of your house, check out the interior painting section of our page!