Can You Paint Laminate Backsplash?

Painting a laminate backsplash can refresh the look of your kitchen without a full remodel. With the right preparation and paint, you can easily transform your outdated laminate into a modern, stylish backsplash. Here is a detailed guide on how to paint a laminate backsplash.

What You Need to Paint a Laminate Backsplash

Painting laminate requires careful prep work and the right materials. Here is what you’ll need:

  • High-adhesion primer: A bonding primer will help the paint adhere to the slick laminate surface. Look for primers specifically made for plastic, laminate or melamine.
  • Latex paint: Latex or acrylic paint works best on laminate. Avoid oil-based paints which can yellow over time.
  • Paint supplies: Microfiber mini rollers and angled brushes work well for backsplash painting. You’ll also need paint trays, roller covers, rags, masking tape, and drop cloths.
  • Grit sandpaper: Lightly sanding the laminate gives the paint something to grip. 180-220 grit sandpaper is ideal.
  • Tack cloth: Use a tack cloth to remove any dust after sanding before painting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting a Laminate Backsplash

With the right supplies and preparation, you can transform your backsplash in just a weekend. Follow these steps:

Clean the Laminate Surface

Before painting, thoroughly clean the laminate with soap and water to remove any grease or residue. Allow it to fully dry.

Lightly Sand the Laminate

Use 180-220 grit sandpaper to lightly scuff up the entire laminate surface. This helps the paint adhere to the slick laminate.

Remove Dust and Wipe Clean

Use a dry tack cloth to pick up any dust after sanding. Go over the surface again with soap and water and let fully dry.

Apply Primer

Using a high-adhesion primer made for laminates, apply an even primer coat with a small paint roller or brush. Let the primer dry completely.

Apply First Coat of Paint

Using a small paint roller or angled brush, apply the first coat of latex paint in thin, even strokes. Let the paint dry fully before adding a second coat.

Apply Second Coat of Paint

Apply the second coat of latex paint in the same direction as the first coat. Two coats are usually sufficient for full coverage and a smooth finish.

Remove Tape and Reinstall Fixtures

Once the paint has dried fully, carefully remove any masking tape and reinstall any fixtures or outlet covers. Admire your refreshed laminate backsplash!

Tips for Painting a Laminate Backsplash

Follow these tips for getting the best results as you paint your laminate backsplash:

  • Properly prep the laminate surface for maximum paint adhesion. Clean, lightly sand, and apply primer.
  • Always test paint in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure proper adhesion.
  • Apply paint in thin, even coats using overlapping strokes. Avoid brushing back and forth excessively.
  • Use angled trim brushes to cut-in around edges and corners neatly.
  • Give each coat of paint plenty of time to fully dry before adding another coat.
  • Consider using painter’s tape around edges and cabinets for crisp paint lines.
  • Work slowly and carefully. Rushing can cause drips, uneven coverage, or brush marks.

Advantages of Painting a Laminate Backsplash

Painting a laminate backsplash offers many benefits over a full backsplash replacement:

  • It’s budget-friendly. Painting costs a fraction of what new tile or other backsplash materials would cost.
  • It allows a quick update. With minimal prep, you can paint your backsplash in a weekend and enjoy an updated look.
  • No grout or caulking needed. Painting avoids the hassle of regrouting or recaulking worn areas.
  • Customizable color options. Paint opens up many color choices beyond what laminate typically offers.
  • Lets you preserve counters. Painting prevents having to remove lower cabinets and countertops.

So if your laminate backsplash is dated or worn, try refreshing it with paint for a stylish facelift! Proper prep and application allows paint to adhere beautifully.

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Laminate Backsplashes

Can I use regular latex wall paint?

For best adhesion, use heavy duty latex paints designed for surfaces like vinyl, laminate or melamine. Standard wall paints may chip or peel.

Does the laminate need to be sanded before painting?

Lightly sanding gives the paint a gripping surface. Use fine 180-220 grit sandpaper so you don’t scratch deeply.

How long does the paint need to dry between coats?

Allow at least 4-6 hours between paint coats. Let the final coat dry 24 hours before use. Curing fully takes about 3-4 weeks.

Should I use painter’s tape while painting?

Painter’s tape around countertops, edges and cabinets gives clean painted lines. Remove tape immediately after painting before the paint dries.

Can I use oil-based paints on laminate?

Latex or acrylic paints are best. Oil-based can yellow over time. Always test paint compatibility in a small spot first.


Painting laminate backsplashes is an affordable DIY project that can give your kitchen an updated, brand-new look. With proper prep, primer and paint selection, you can easily transform your outdated laminate into a fresh, elegant focal point. The key is thoroughly cleaning, scuff sanding, and using high-adhesion paint products specifically made for laminates. With some time and care, you can paint your backsplash in a weekend and enjoy a stylish new look for a fraction of replacement cost.