Can You Paint Brick Backsplash?

Painting a brick backsplash can completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. With the right preparation and paint, you can easily paint over an existing brick backsplash to give it a fresh new look. Here’s what you need to know about painting brick backsplashes.

Should You Paint a Brick Backsplash?

Painting over brick can modernize the space, hide imperfections, and allow you to change the color scheme of your kitchen. It’s an affordable renovation project that can make a big visual impact.

However, there are a few things to consider before painting brick:

  • Painting brick is semi-permanent – it’s not easily reversed. Make sure you’re ready for a lasting change.
  • Paint may not adhere as readily to brick compared to drywall. Proper prep is key.
  • Painted brick needs regular touch-ups. The paint can chip or fade over time.
  • You’ll lose the natural brick texture. Paint glazes over the rough surface.

If you’re ready for a dramatic transformation and don’t mind the maintenance, painting your backsplash brick is a great option. Properly prepped paint will still hold up well over brick.

How to Prepare a Brick Backsplash for Painting

Proper prep is crucial for painted brick to turn out well and achieve maximum paint adhesion:

  • Clean the brick thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner or TSP substitute to remove grease, grime and loose particles. Rinse well.
  • Remove any loose paint or flaking with a wire brush. Sand glossy areas to degloss.
  • Fill any cracks or holes with spackle, letting it fully dry.
  • The brick should be dry before painting. Allow freshly cleaned brick 1-2 days to dry fully.
  • For the best adhesion, use a masonry primer before painting. This gives the topcoat paint something to grip.
  • For drastic color changes, apply a masonry paint tint. This helps block the underlying brick color.
  • Consider using a bonding agent additive in your primer and paint for extra adhesion.

Taking the time to properly prep your brick backsplash will allow the paint to adhere tightly for a long-lasting finish.

What Type of Paint Works Best?

Choose the right paint for a durable and vibrant painted brick backsplash:

  • Use interior masonry paint or another high-quality latex paint specifically formulated for brick and masonry. Avoid cheaper paints.
  • Semi-gloss or satin paints are ideal for kitchen backsplashes. They offer some sheen and are easy to clean.
  • Light colors help hide flaws and make kitchens feel bright and airy. Darker colors bring drama.
  • Add a masonry bonding agent to your paint for maximum adhesion.
  • Apply 2-3 coats of paint for full, even coverage and durability. Use a premium-quality roller made for smooth surfaces.

The specific masonry paint you choose will depend on sheen, budget, and color preference. Consult with your local paint store for the best brick paint options.

Alternative Finishes for Brick Backsplashes

If you want to alter the look of your brick backsplash but aren’t ready to commit to paint, consider these options:

  • Brick stain – Allows some brick texture to show through while altering the color. Provides light penetration.
  • Limewash – Subtly mutes brick color and softens edges. Creates a matte antique look.
  • Whitewash – Applies a thin white coating while letting some brick show through. Soft, muted effect.
  • Glaze – Comes in glossy transparent colors to add a sheer tint without hiding brick.

These alternative finishes offer ways to recolor your backsplash without fully painting over the natural brick texture and appearance.

Maintaining a Painted Brick Backsplash

Paint requires some regular upkeep to maintain its freshly painted look:

  • Hand wash gently using only mild dish soap and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners.
  • Re-caulk perimeter edges as needed to prevent moisture getting under the paint.
  • Watch for chips and immediately touch up with more paint to prevent peeling.
  • Fade-prone areas like near windows may need more frequent paint refreshers.
  • Plan to repaint every 2-3 years as needed to keep paint looking crisp. Spot paint as required in high use zones.

With proper prep and the right paint, you can achieve a gorgeously painted brick backsplash that stays looking fresh for years to come. Approach with care and patience for stunning results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use regular latex paint on brick?

No, regular wall paints are not formulated for masonry surfaces. For best adhesion and durability on brick, use a high-quality latex paint specifically made for brick and masonry.

Does paint stick well to glazed brick?

Paint adhesion tends to be more challenging on slick glazed brick. Thorough cleaning, priming with a bonding agent, and using masonry paint improves adhesion on glazed surfaces.

Should primer and paint match sheen?

Not necessarily. Often ceiling paint is flat and trim paint is glossy. What matters is that you use primer and paint brands that are chemically compatible and designed to bond together.

How long does painted brick last?

With proper prep and maintenance, painted brick can look freshly painted for 2-3 years or more before needing a touch up or full repaint. High-traffic areas may require more frequent repainting.

What sheen is best for backsplashes?

A satin or semi-gloss sheen is ideal for kitchen backsplashes. These offer subtle shine, are easy to clean, and resist moisture and grease. Completely flat paint shows flaws. High-gloss can look too slick.

Can limewash go over paint?

Yes, limewash can be applied over existing paint or brick. The thin translucent finish allows the underlying surface to show through, muting the color. Multiple coats deepens the limewash tint.


Painting over an existing brick backsplash opens up many possibilities for changing up your kitchen’s style. With diligent prep and the right masonry-specific paint, you can achieve a dramatic new look for your backsplash brick that lasts for years. Carefully weigh the pros and cons and utilize proper painter’s techniques for successful results. A brightly colored, freshly painted brick backsplash can modernize your whole kitchen.