Design · Found Around · Frugal · Fun

I Painted My Kitchen Backsplash

Yup. Couldn’t afford the tile I wanted and I really needed to update my backsplash. So what’s a girl to do? Google, of course.

I googled “Can I paint my backsplash to look like tile?” and This Happened.

Here’s how it all went down:  Back in the summer, I decided I wanted to update my kitchen. I always have the craziest ideas but never the money to back them. I’d painted my cabinets about 10 years prior,  dark country green over dark wood and it was nice. But I wanted a change. I wanted to make my semi-small kitchen seem bigger and brighter. I also wanted to paint them with a good, durable paint. The green paint I’d used before did not wear well, probably because I used just a standard interior house paint.

Lesson learned.

I researched different brands and discovered a paint made by Sherwin Williams that was exactly what I wanted, Pro-Classic Alkyd in Pure White. YES. Pure White. I was really afraid, at first that it would be too bright, but the sample dried to an off white and it was fabulous. 2 Gallons, please.


It was quite pricey. I decided to wait until a sale, which happened to be just a couple of days away and I printed a coupon from an email I’d received (It pays to sign up for things like that) and I ended up paying about 45.00 for two gallons and I got a free paint brush!! I only got the paint brush because I had to up my initial purchase price to qualify for the coupon and discount from the sale. It is a nice paint brush!

So, I took all the doors off of the cabinets, removed all the hardware and used wood putty to fill all the holes, as I knew I wanted to update the hardware and handles, as well. Sanded the heck out of them and painted them with my new paint. OH, the paint went on and dried so wonderfully. I was worried at first, because it’s a thicker paint and I was afraid of brush strokes. However, with a roller, it glided on perfectly. Painted the bases of the cabinets and attached the hinges and rehung the doors. Replacing the handles was not as easy because the ones I wanted were too expensive. I was not paying 8-9 bucks per handle from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Now way!

Have I told you what a genius I am at finding internet deals? I found similar handles that I wanted from Here they are…check out the price! What??? $1.89 a handle. Craaazy, right? I was afraid they were going to be cheap, lightweight but they were heavy, well-made handles.Those were for the doors and I found smaller ones on the same site for the drawers.

On to the backsplash. I really wanted glass tile but have you seen those prices? Good God, was not going to pay that. I searched online and found fairly lower prices but not exactly the colors I wanted and I still didn’t have the money to pay even for fairly lower prices. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what colors I wanted to go with but nothing really spoke to me when I’d look at the varying selections that I’d see.

I’m creative and daring, so I wondered if I could just paint it? And guess what? You can and I did…

Now, back then when I did all this work, I did not take a lot of photos of the work being done. So, I’m going to use photos from the site in which inspired me and taught me how to do it. I do have photos of my work, completed, so I will share those, also.

Let’s begin:


This Before picture shows the dark green paint (with off white trim, hindsight…it’s ugly) and my plain off white backsplash. It was never tiled.

First, clean and prime your backsplash. I then painted it using a cheaper flat paint in plain white. Allow that to dry, completely. I waited a day.

According to RealityDayDream (formerly known as Sawdust & Embryos) I needed to get 1/4 in painter’s tape-which was unbelievably hard to find anywhere, locally, so I ordered it from Amazon here. I bought two rolls and used all of the first and most of the second.

If you’re like me and either bad at mathematics or just lazy, you can get your husband, partner, son, daughter (that’s who I used) to make some simple measurements. Simple, that’s funny. You’ll want to take the distance from top to bottom of your backsplash and then figure out how to divide it into whatever size you want your “tile” to be. I wanted 1” “tiles”. You then use the tape to make the horizontal lines, I had another of my daughter’s do the taping. She wanted to and who am I to stand in her way?


Then you will do the vertical striping, with the same tape and in my case, the same daughter. Be random. Vary the sizes and don’t line them up in any ordered way.

Courtesy of (formerly Sawdust & Embryos)

This will take a lot of time and effort, but trust me…it is so worth it!

Time to paint!

I went to Joann’s Fabric Store, with a coupon, and bought the acrylic craft paints that I used (don’t worry, we will seal this, acrylic craft paints are perfect and cheap — especially if you have a coupon!) Up until that moment, I wasn’t sure what colors I would go with. Did I want to keep it neutral, did I  want to shake it up a bit and add some bright color? Did I want the backsplash to blend in or pop?

Pop! I chose to make my backsplash the focal point of my kitchen and so I went with these colors from Delta Ceramcoat:

(Pomegranate, Dark Victorian Tea, Empire Gold, Candy Bar Brown, Brown Velvet, Rain Grey, Drizzle Grey, White and Platinum)

You can choose any color combo you want. Pick out a couple colors to use to highlight, shade and accent also. I used white and platinum. The platinum is a metallic paint.

You’ll paint one color at a time. (Set aside the colors you’ve chosen to use to highlight, shade and accent, for me those were the white and platinum) Using different techniques to give it definition, I brushed vertically, horizontally, dabbing (like in stenciling). Again, you will paint randomly. As long as you don’t paint several touching areas the same color, you’ll be fine. You don’t want to do that. But, it is ok, if you have two of the same colors on top of each other every now and then. One Rule: No Patterns. You do not want this to look planned out!


Courtesy of (formerly Sawdust & Embryos)


As you paint each color, alternate between a light to darker coat to give definition. After you’ve finished painting all the areas, remove the tape. You do not want to allow the paint to dry completely and when you remove the tape, start where you finished taping and work backwards. Use quick but gentle tugs to remove.

Once all the tape is removed, you can touch up any areas of the “grout” lines with same color paint you used prior to taping or if, like me, you used a white background, use acrylic paint to touch up, in same color.

Now, you can use whatever paints you choose to accent. I used the darker grey to shade corners of the light grey, vice versa. White to speckle some colors and the platinum to add dimension. It’s all to your own creative license.

Sealing the backsplash is important. It protects the paint and offers a washable surface for easy cleaning and it adds a nice shine, like you’d get with that expensive glass tile. I used Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Gloss. Of course, you could choose any sealer you’d like. Just do your research.

I applied three coats, allowing it to dry completely between each coat. Use a small roller for easier application and less drippage. If you do get a drip, wipe it immediately with a soft cloth.


And now for the finale…




At some point, I will be painting my own countertop…stay tuned 🙂


A special thanks goes out to Bethany at RealityDaydream for being the inspiration, plus she does some incredibly creative things. You should check her out!



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