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How to Paint a Ceramic Tile Backsplash

Do you ever wish you could update the look of your kitchen, but you just don’t have the budget for a major reno?  Well, I have got the perfect solution for you!  I recently painted the tile backsplash in my kitchen, and I can’t believe what a difference it has made.  It was so simple that I wanted to share with all of you just how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

 

If you have been following my blog at all, you already know that I am slowly transforming my house, one diy project at a time.  You probably also know that I am working with a fairly tight budget, which can make things interesting.

 When we bought our house nearly 7 years ago, the previous owners had made some upgrades to the kitchen.  They had installed ceramic tile floors, a ceramic tile backsplash, and granite countertops.  While all of this was definitely nice, the colors and pattern are not something that I would have chosen for myself.  If I had known how easy, and cheap, it would be to change the look of the backsplash, though, I would have done it a long time ago!

I took my method from an article I found at Country Living, who had taken the method from Christy over at 11 Magnolia Lane.

(This post contains affiliate links.  To see my full disclosure, go here.)

What You’ll Need:

1 – TSP cleaner

2 – Rubber gloves

3 – Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer

4 – Paint Brush

5 – Oil based paint in color of your choice 

6 – Paint thinner

The Process:

(Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures of the actual process.  Sorry!)

Here are a couple of “before” photos.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash. This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

The first thing you need to do is clean the tile well.  The method that I used called for TSP heavy duty cleaner, which I was able to pick up at my local Lowe’s.  

I simply used the method recommended on the box of TSP.  Wash the backsplash with a sponge and the TSP solution, then wipe clean with a wet rag.

You’ll want to allow the grout to fully dry before you paint.  I waited 48 hours before putting my first coat on.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.
This was in process with the primer, and you can see what a difference it makes over on the left side of the photo.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous to start painting.  I knew that once I started there was no going back, and I just prayed that I was making the right decision.  After I had completed the first coat on one wall, I stepped back to take a look…and was thrilled!  I immediately knew that it was the right thing to do.

                                                      

I painted one coat of primer – the Zinnser Bullseye – and let it dry.  You will need to paint with a brush, as opposed to a roller, in order to get all of the grout fully covered.  It was definitely a bit tedious, so just be prepared for it to take longer than you may anticipate.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.
After the primer went on.

Once the first coat was done, I started with the paint.  I used Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic oil based paint in Extra White, semi-gloss.  Oil based paint is much more durable than latex.  It dries quite hard, and it really leaves a lovely gloss finish without having to do anything else.  Be aware, though, that you have to use paint thinner to clean up oil based paint.  So, be sure you have some on hand before you start, in order to properly clean your brush up afterwards.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

Oil paint takes a while to completely dry and set, so once again, I gave each coat 48 hours to dry.  I put two coats of paint on top of the primer and that was it.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

I’m loving how it turned out and how much brighter my kitchen looks!

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

This easy, and cheap, DIY project can quickly transform the entire look of your kitchen. Check out this simple tutorial on how to paint a ceramic tile backsplash.

What about you?  Have you ever attempted to paint ceramic tile before? 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Isn’t it just amazing how a coat of the right paint can update something. The tiles look so perfect and well worth the time and the initial stress you had before tackling the project. And it’s waaaaay easier and less messy than re-tiling the backsplash too. Your kitchen looks so light and airy now Amy. I would love to do something similar in our kitchen

    1. Thank you! And yes, I’ve always been a big believer in the power of paint. I’m just loving the way it turned out, for so. much. less hassle than re-tiling. You should totally go for it. It really was pretty simple! 🙂

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